A simple lesson that we can ALL learn from..................

vyacheslav

Senior Member
As drummers, most of us (and in fact by virtue that we are on this forum is proof enough) that we are obsessed with gear and "our sound", "our look", etc. We all have our preferences, from setup to tuning, to technique, to gear. We're all very particular and loyal to our heads, cymbals, sticks etc.

I am a part time private lesson teacher and found a good deal on a cheap used kit (Mapex Rebel) for one of my students. I cleaned them up a bit, tuned them and set them up to make sure everything was cool before passing them on to my student.

When I sat down to play, I was thinking about approaching playing the way the student would....."real drums to play on that were all my own and could be proud of, regardless of brand or model". When I shifted into that mentality, I had an absolute blast playing those drums!

I played for solid 20 minutes at least. I had so much fun! I didn't care what brand the heads were. I didn't care about the crappy brass cymbals. I didn't care about the non-adjustability of the beginner pedal. All that mattered was having fun playing those drums!

It really taught me a valuable lesson that I know we ALL forget from time to time. HAVE FUN PLAYING THE DRUMS! That's really what it's all about isn't it? So many times, we are so locked in and focused on too many other things. Is my DW 7000 pedal good? Would I be happier with a 9000? Should I try one of those new K. Zildjian Sweet Crashes? I wonder if I should swap out these tom heads with Vintage Emperors. And the list goes on and on and on and on.

Sometimes, we need to forget about "what we know" and approach it like a beginning student who is just happy to have drums to play! When you first started playing, did you care about what brand of heads were on the kit or the pinpoint adjustments you could make on a gearless boom tilter? Heck no, you just wanted to sit down and make some noise!

The moral of this story is: Sometimes, we all need a reminder that having fun playing the drums is all that matters. Don't let anything else get in the way of that. It's great to have preferences and know what you like, but let's not obsess so much about it that it detracts from (or even takes away) our joy from playing this wonderful instrument!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Fabulous! I can agree totally. I currently play a Pearl Midtown due to space constraints. I was hesitant to buy a tiny kit, and wasn't even sure if I would enjoy it, but I NEEDED drums to play. I had been in my new house for 4 months with no drums set up. My full sized kit is too big to put anywhere. When I got the Midtown and set it up, I was so ecstatic to have drums to even play, it didn't matter. And guess what? I have been in love with the little kit ever since.

So I agree fully. Sometimes just having drums to play completely outweighs everything else. Viva la bateria!
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..But it is actually the opposite, I rarely see any profi drummers interested in gear, that is more beginner´s stuff..

Exactly..

I know many people enjoy a lot to be busy with gear, but in my opinion the 'Drum Gear' section from this forum and 99,99% of the discussions there are not relevant at all to drumming or becoming a better drummer/musician..

Plus, gear discussions are always the same, like..:

* Question..:

'Hej, whats your opinion about this Sabian crash, because i am thinking to buy that one..'

* Answers..:

'Hej, i also have that crash and is my favorite..'

'Hej, you should just buy what sounds nice to your own ears..'

'Hej, i used to have that crash, but i sold, because the crash just was not the sound i needed..' (lol)

'Hej, maybe you should try this Meinl crash, kinda similar to the Sabian one, but the Meinl is a little more dark..'

'etc with another 20 similar replies................................'

* Thread-starter..:

'Hej, thanks a lot, i have a much better idea now..'


Yes, sure you have..lol..
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Okay, I'll add a different perspective. When I was gigging, I was more concerned about gear. I wanted to sound good for the band, the audience, and the microphone. Now that I'm not gigging, I could give 2 S#1tS and a F¥©K what other people think about my gear. In my world, public scrutiny makes one think about gear. Playing and gear are of utmost importance. Isolation makes one think about improvement. Alone is personal time, gear is the last thing on my mind.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Playing and gear are of utmost importance..

Well, you need some gear to play, thats a fact..

But, regarding all those gear discussions, i remember a discussion i read here quite a while ago..

Thread starter had an Omar Hakim signature snare drum, putted exactly the same drum heads like Omar Hakim, maybe even tuned that snare drum exactly the same way like Omar Hakim, etc, but was wondering why he could not make that snare drum sound like Omar Hakim..

To me, that said all..
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Well, you need some gear to play, thats a fact..

But, regarding all those gear discussions, i remember a discussion i read here quite a while ago..

Thread starter had an Omar Hakim signature snare drum, putted exactly the same drum heads like Omar Hakim, maybe even tuned that snare drum exactly the same way like Omar Hakim, etc, but was wondering why he could not make that snare drum sound like Omar Hakim..

To me, that said all..
I get what you are saying, and I agree. But that isn't where I was going.

In the public eye, to me, gear is just as important as ability to play. One must obtain a visual as well as sonic image.

In my house, alone, gear doesn't matter. It's all about bettering one's self, regardless of gear. The only one I need to satisfy is me.

That's where I was going.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Lots of videos of people wailing away and having fun drumming on buckets and stuff.

Attitude is most important. Caring about gear is OK too.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..In the public eye, to me, gear is just as important as ability to play. One must obtain a visual as well as sonic image.

In my house, alone, gear doesn't matter. It's all about bettering one's self, regardless of gear. The only one I need to satisfy is me.

That's where I was going..

I understood..

But my theory is that gear is really not mattering that much, also not to the public..

As has been said oft, about every $1000,- drum set is very ok, for the player, the audience and the microphone..

Also everyone knows that all cymbals from, lets say, Zildjian A and up, are perfect quality cymbals..

Thats that..

Just buy a colour you like within that quality range and you are set..

And from that moment, invest all your energy and time in playing, learning and studying..

Quit nagging about gear, studying gear, discussing gear, buying gear, etc..

Just learn how to play..

And once you know how to play, you will realise that $1000,- set is not sounding that much worse than a $3000,- set..

Thats what my answer would be in about every drum-gear thread, but i realise very well that no one will listen to that..😄
 

jansara

Junior Member
I came up in an era when there was good gear and bad gear. There is no bad gear anymore.

I cut my teeth on bad gear that I learned how to get a sound out of. There was no internet or YouTube from which to get fast answers. I have a recording I did on MIJ Stewarts. They sound killer. Most never guess that. A lot of guys aren't surprised, either.

You learned from experimentation and talking with other drummers.

I can't count the number of times I walked into bars and saw well-worn drums played by good drummers who knew how to get a sound. Well-worn? Hell, some were beaten up. Wayne Shorter's cousin Andy turned my head around and inside out on a set of Ludwigs that had so much character, it was sickening - severely keyholed Zildjian ride, dirty heads, shoelaces in place of snare strings, browned out hi-hats and a Supra that looked like it fell out of the car. Andy was a bitch of a player.

I'm not knocking high priced gear. I like nice gear as much as the next guy but give me a well-built drum with good heads, and I'll get a sound.

I still have the same 4-piece Rogers I bought new in '68, the same A's. 50 years later, they're in good shape, not pristine, but when you look at them they drip character and sound. I don't mind playing on darkened heads (love the mojo) and A's that don't shine (more mojo), and gigs seldom go by without someone asking if I'd be interested in selling. I'm not, but if I did, I wouldn't be spending a whole lot of time looking for replacements.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I completely agree with the OP, but good gear can also be inspiring. Different sounds from different drums can be inspiring. The right gear for specific situations can be inspiring.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
It’s about nuance in my opinion.
I’m not going to sit down with my wife or work colleagues and talk about drumming equipment. If I was talking about a single ply head verses a double ply head they wouldn’t have a clue. But the opposite side of the coin is in a Forum populated by drummers who KNOW the minutiae . On here we would view a single ply verses double ply discussion as too wide ranging. We’d be more at home discussing the merits of coated, clear, smooth, ply thickness, dots, rings, materials, manufacture, tuning, the manufacturer, experiences, customer care, hoop material, drum hoop design, drum hoop thickness, the reso side etc. A STACK of variables. And while this is educational and enjoyable it can result in “paralysis by analysis”. There was someone a few months ago who posted multiple threads asking for advice one one kit versus another. Everyone was happy to help at first but the threads dragged on and on and it seemed that people lost interest. Pretty much any of the kits they were deliberating over would have been a great choice, none of them were bad choices, but obsessing about the decision meant they never made a decision either at all or only after far too long deliberating.
Getting back to vyacheslav’s original post, MOST ( not all ) beginners in any endeavour don’t know what they don’t know. The first ‘kit’ I played was made up of single drums from 2 different kits, there was no bass drum pedal, there were very few stands, I used a plastic school chair to rest the mounted tom on, the snare drum batter head was beaten into a large crater and probably untuneable (not that I know because I didn’t know about drum keys), there may not have been snares on it. The first kit I owned had brass cymbals ( I didn’t know at the time, I only realise that when thinking back now) the hi hats got beaten out of shape they were so soft, I struck the cymbal with either the tip of my stick or the shaft I’m not sure if the words crash and ride were in my vocabulary. I recorded my bands’ first demo with that one cymbal, listening back you wouldn’t know. We would play with two guitarists or a bass and guitarist or a guitarist and vocals plugged into the same combo. And I smile when I think about it because ignorance was bliss, it worked, and we had great times.
Would I want to go back to using gear like that? No.
Do I enjoy discussing gear, helping people by sharing my experiences and being helped by others sharing theirs? Yes.
But there’s a middle ground where we have to make our own decisions and not rely on others to tell us what to do, and to enjoy how the drums sound without worrying that we can’t afford a full set of 2 ply heads yet. It’s not the same as but similiar to those occasions when you leave a few drums and cymbals at home and “make do” with less gear at a gig and find yourself smiling at the simplicity of it all.
 
Nothing wrong with having a thing for gear. As someone said earlier it can be inspiring. However don’t loose sight of what it’s all about. Fun plain and simple. As a hobbyist I enjoy drumming for the sheer fun of it and that’s all.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I know many people enjoy a lot to be busy with gear, but in my opinion the 'Drum Gear' section from this forum and 99,99% of the discussions there are not relevant at all to drumming or becoming a better drummer/musician..
It's rare I discuss anything but gear here. Why? Because I already know what I need to do to get better. I need to set goals, practice in order to reach those goals, and (for me) I need to play with other people to get better and to keep my drive for playing up so I can continue to get better. If I want to learn a certain groove, pattern, or fill that I can't learn on my own, I go to YouTube and not here because this is more about written word and sharing experiences. I can learn more about playing in a 3-min video than I can reading 10 pages of text. Maybe that's just me though.

Back to the OP's words - I think sometimes it's easy to forget that playing drums is actually fun whenever we get tied up into gear, bookings, driving, learning songs, dealing with other musicians, etc. Thanks for the solid reminder! :)
 
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CommanderRoss

Silver Member
It really taught me a valuable lesson that I know we ALL forget from time to time. HAVE FUN PLAYING THE DRUMS! That's really what it's all about isn't it?
Well said for sure!
I've learned on my 30+ years drumming on this planet that if it's not fun to do, it's not worth my time. I'm 49 now & have the luxury of selecting my gigs. I'll admit I always have fun playing, but some gigs are WAY more entertaining than others.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've always enjoyed playing and didn't care about improving till I started here on DW-then it "made me want to be a better drummer"-in my best Jack Nicholson voice (and no a lil blue pill won't make a better player-maybe just play harder).
 

nolibos

Active member
"The guitar for me is a translation device. It's not a goal. And in some ways, jazz isn't a destination for me. For me, jazz is a vehicle that takes you to the true destination - a musical one that describes all kinds of stuff about the human condition and the way music works." Pat Methany said when asked about gear.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
As drummers, most of us (and in fact by virtue that we are on this forum is proof enough) that we are obsessed with gear and "our sound", "our look", etc. We all have our preferences, from setup to tuning, to technique, to gear. We're all very particular and loyal to our heads, cymbals, sticks etc.

When I sat down to play, I was thinking about approaching playing the way the student would....."real drums to play on that were all my own and could be proud of, regardless of brand or model". When I shifted into that mentality, I had an absolute blast playing those drums!

I played for solid 20 minutes at least. I had so much fun! I didn't care what brand the heads were. I didn't care about the crappy brass cymbals. I didn't care about the non-adjustability of the beginner pedal. All that mattered was having fun playing those drums!
You can have fun being a street drummer playing on plastic buckets and sound better than some guys with actual drum sets.

It really taught me a valuable lesson that I know we ALL forget from time to time. HAVE FUN PLAYING THE DRUMS!
Sure playing drums can be fun but when you're trying to work out new things it takes a lot of work. That isn't always fun. Fun is part of it though.

The moral of this story is: Sometimes, we all need a reminder that having fun playing the drums is all that matters. Don't let anything else get in the way of that.
That would depend on what level you're at. Are you playing in a dive bar, your basement, jamming with friends, or an arena? So you make the big time and then get replaced. What are you going to said to your band mates. Hey I was having fun? I agree with you in part but there's a lot more to it than just fun. Ever walk on to a stage in front of 10 thousand people with the flu? hahahahaha. I have. YMMV
 
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