Country snares?

Meat the beat

Senior Member
Ladies & Gents, I'm involved in a project playing a genre that I dont really know much about.... Country... having played rock for a long time, I've gotten used to drums & sounds that I know work well. Snare wise, what do you country players go for? I have 12 x 5 Craviotto that i'm thinking of using tuned quite low... any help would be appreciated.

Till then, LETS ROCK!!!! :-D
 

mcbike

Silver Member
a 14x5.5 supraphonic would probably be the best. I wouldn't go to small on the drum unless it had a really good cross stick sound. cross stick is a big part of country playing. you also want something with a fat back beat sound if your doing ballads.

When I play country I usually use a 6.5x14 maple drum with a genera hd or a remo powerstroke style head on top (coated for brushwork!) and set the snares really loose.

good cross stick
loooooong snare for the ballads
good for trains

when I think of country snare drums I think of devil went down to georgia with the brushed snare train, and I also think of eastbound and down by jerry reed the smokey and the bandit theme song.
 

Meat the beat

Senior Member
a 14x5.5 supraphonic would probably be the best. I wouldn't go to small on the drum unless it had a really good cross stick sound. cross stick is a big part of country playing. you also want something with a fat back beat sound if your doing ballads.

When I play country I usually use a 6.5x14 maple drum with a genera hd or a remo powerstroke style head on top (coated for brushwork!) and set the snares really loose.

good cross stick
loooooong snare for the ballads
good for trains

when I think of country snare drums I think of devil went down to georgia with the brushed snare train, and I also think of eastbound and down by jerry reed the smokey and the bandit theme song.
Cheers MC,
Maybe my 14 x 6 craviotto might fit the bill better then... Better go do somemore listening!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Really, it's no different than rock, sometimes you need a tight metal 14 x 5.5 and sometimes you want that deep maple singing loud and proud. Depends on the mood of the song.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
I use the same gear for my country gigs as my rock gigs. Ans if you are playing current country its pop rock darn near anyway.
 

hess.drums

Junior Member
I've been doing country for a couple years steady now. I only recently found the snare that I like. Gretsch new classic 14 x 6.5. I slapped a REMO CS on top and a hazy on the bottom with pure sound wires. The drum likes to be tuned higher than one might think, but it gives a great crack, good cross sticking sound, and still has a full bodied "fat" sound for ballads. The ability to have high tension on the batter head while still maintaining the fatness of sound lets you do low volume stuff as well and the articulation works great for train grooves.

Die-cast rims and 10 ply maple can be a bit much for some rooms, so I usually carry some muffling with that drum just in case.

Good Luck!

Jonathan
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've been doing country for a couple years steady now. I only recently found the snare that I like. Gretsch new classic 14 x 6.5. I slapped a REMO CS on top and a hazy on the bottom with pure sound wires. The drum likes to be tuned higher than one might think, but it gives a great crack, good cross sticking sound, and still has a full bodied "fat" sound for ballads. The ability to have high tension on the batter head while still maintaining the fatness of sound lets you do low volume stuff as well and the articulation works great for train grooves.

Die-cast rims and 10 ply maple can be a bit much for some rooms, so I usually carry some muffling with that drum just in case.

Good Luck!

Jonathan
Boy I agree with this. I think a 14 x 6.5 w/ diecasts (any material you prefer) is the best all around snare, I just crank it up for certain songs, crank it down for others, and leave it medium tight the rest of the time. Gotta make sure the bottom head is nice and tight though.
 

Meat the beat

Senior Member
I've been doing country for a couple years steady now. I only recently found the snare that I like. Gretsch new classic 14 x 6.5. I slapped a REMO CS on top and a hazy on the bottom with pure sound wires. The drum likes to be tuned higher than one might think, but it gives a great crack, good cross sticking sound, and still has a full bodied "fat" sound for ballads. The ability to have high tension on the batter head while still maintaining the fatness of sound lets you do low volume stuff as well and the articulation works great for train grooves.

Die-cast rims and 10 ply maple can be a bit much for some rooms, so I usually carry some muffling with that drum just in case.

Good Luck!

Jonathan
Boy I agree with this. I think a 14 x 6.5 w/ diecasts (any material you prefer) is the best all around snare, I just crank it up for certain songs, crank it down for others, and leave it medium tight the rest of the time. Gotta make sure the bottom head is nice and tight though.
Cheers guys, Starting to think about the whole kit now....
At the mo mines a DW collectors maple c/w 22x18 kick drum... is this too big for that country sound?? Or is it just PARANOIA ????
 

hess.drums

Junior Member
I've got an old DW collectors that works great: 12,16 & 22. Coated emperors on top and coated ambassadors on the bottom. Coated PS3 on the bass drum. I find coated resos help darken and soften the sound of the drums with out having to tape the life out of them.
I find the 22x18 is fine. Some acts are even using 24's! I tend to like bigger, darker sounding drums for most modern country, ... nodding to the southern rock side of the genre. If you're going to be playing U2-esque disco beats along with banjo loops... you want a huge sounding kit. Check out Keith Urban's Drummer http://www.chrismchugh.com

However, if you're playing older country... you might try a 20 or 18 inch kick. Either way, I think deeper is better for the kick, really lets you get "inside" the bass guitar's tone. Figure out which decade(s) will most of your band's music be drawing from and find drum sets and names of drummers from the era. Will you be amplified or acoustic? Will you be playing with an electric or upright bass? Kits are relative to the room and your surroundings I guess.

However, there's a youtube clip of Levon Helms (from the Band) telling students that if your drums don't sound right, just put some more tape on them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRekuHyIgXU

So it really depends on how much you want to think about things. :)

Best,
Jonathan
 

Meat the beat

Senior Member
I've got an old DW collectors that works great: 12,16 & 22. Coated emperors on top and coated ambassadors on the bottom. Coated PS3 on the bass drum. I find coated resos help darken and soften the sound of the drums with out having to tape the life out of them.
I find the 22x18 is fine. Some acts are even using 24's! I tend to like bigger, darker sounding drums for most modern country, ... nodding to the southern rock side of the genre. If you're going to be playing U2-esque disco beats along with banjo loops... you want a huge sounding kit. Check out Keith Urban's Drummer http://www.chrismchugh.com

However, if you're playing older country... you might try a 20 or 18 inch kick. Either way, I think deeper is better for the kick, really lets you get "inside" the bass guitar's tone. Figure out which decade(s) will most of your band's music be drawing from and find drum sets and names of drummers from the era. Will you be amplified or acoustic? Will you be playing with an electric or upright bass? Kits are relative to the room and your surroundings I guess.

However, there's a youtube clip of Levon Helms (from the Band) telling students that if your drums don't sound right, just put some more tape on them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRekuHyIgXU

So it really depends on how much you want to think about things. :)

Best,
Jonathan
Great food for thought... Thanks jonathan
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Don't know about the snare but it is very rare to meet a country drummer here. Seems like most everyone is into jazz and metal; country is the most popular music in the US but it doesn't seem like many musicians want to play it.
 

Manicoti

Member
That's most of what i play. I have used mostly 14x6.5 maple snares for the country i'm doing. I have the snare tuned medium with the snares loose for a fatter sound and helps fatten up the brush work on those "train" type beats.
Lately i've really dug my Ludwig 14x5 Supra and tomorrow night i'll be test driving a new Dunnett stainless steel. Most of the country these days is like rock. I wouldn't sweat it, just use the kit you use for rock. As for the 12'' snare, i think i'd leave that one at home. You won't get a crisp enough cross stick out of it.
The kit i'm using tomorrow is a new Tempus Carbon Fibre kit that i'll tune fairly low.
Mark
 

Meat the beat

Senior Member
Don't know about the snare but it is very rare to meet a country drummer here. Seems like most everyone is into jazz and metal; country is the most popular music in the US but it doesn't seem like many musicians want to play it.
Cheers DeathM,
I've played Rock & mainstream here in the UK for most of my life, but my long time regular gig has just fallen apart, and I'm a bit jaded with the same ol' stuff to jump straight back into a similar outfit, so, given the offer from an old mate of mine who played guitar for me for years, I thought I'd give it a whirl... change is as good as a rest they say, cant see me doing it forever but it'll be great for my control thats for sure!!!!
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
For me it just happened. I got a call to cover a gig. I get there and they decided they were going to play all their country tunes since the guy that sings on the rock tunes was sick. I did not know a single song but I made it through it. Then a guitarist I am in another band with called me to do a gig. we did about 50% country. I actually had played most of the songs the previous week so at least they were familiar.

So I have been playing country for about 5 months now as well as being in an original Texas Country Rock band.

Country music = gigs!

I also really enjoy the fact that the audience seems to really get into it. They all get up and dance.

I never thought I would say I dig playing country but what can I say?
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Paul Leim is has a 14x5,5 brass signature snare with die-cast hoops.

(I personaly find snares without diecast hoops more ringier and thus louder to the ear)
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
For me it just happened. I got a call to cover a gig. I get there and they decided they were going to play all their country tunes since the guy that sings on the rock tunes was sick. I did not know a single song but I made it through it. Then a guitarist I am in another band with called me to do a gig. we did about 50% country. I actually had played most of the songs the previous week so at least they were familiar.

So I have been playing country for about 5 months now as well as being in an original Texas Country Rock band.

Country music = gigs!

I also really enjoy the fact that the audience seems to really get into it. They all get up and dance.

I never thought I would say I dig playing country but what can I say?
Seems like every day there are six threads about the groove vs. chops debate. Country music makes no bones about it: Groove is first, second and third most important.

Funny how the most popular music for listeners (country) gets the least attention here, while the least popular genres (jazz and metal) get obsessive discussion. Go figure.
 
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