Do you ever use your brushes?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't have any songs I use them on anymore so I ditched them and even went to a clear head on my snare. Batter. Yea that one.

Egads!

I never knew what I was doing with them anyway.

Meaning brushes, not clear heads.
 
Well you're playing rock, right? I never used brushes for rock. Not that it's not possible, I just don't know of many well-known rock brushes songs. Maybe if you play Up From The Skies, you could use them.

But in my jazz group I use them all the time. And like others I wish I was better at them. I find them harder to learn largely because they're crazy boring to study. They're also difficult to effectively study with musical accompaniment, because they're so quiet. Lots of sitting in a quiet room and listening to make sure your swishing hand maintains constant sound. Not my favorite thing to work on.
 
Just started using brushes. I got an ahead brush. My bandmates encourage me to pick some brushes and learn some jazzy beats. We were thinking about doing some fusion music or something like that to incorporate some regular slow rock to ballads to acoustic songs and to use brushes on the drums. Its really hard since I'm not used to brushes, really not happy doing it since its hard to do those bottomless swirling of my left hand and the constant tapping of 1... 2-3 on my right. Its hard to do some fills or taps on various notes. And my heads are not grainy or its produce very little sound for brushes. But slowly I'm pikcing up some momentum. Been watching a lot of brush techniques from youtube, doing some backtracking on drumless jazz videos in youtube too, researching in the net and etc. I'm kinda like learning new stuff in my drumming life. I hope I can be good at it in some level. I kinda like it now since its a challenge for me. and truly enjoys playing with the brushers now
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I pull them out for about 30 seconds.. then put them away for a month.. i really need to just force myself to learn them.
 

ConcertTom

Senior Member
It looks like you've already decided to go for it, so that's Great! I think it will only add to your level of general stick control.

I play brushes often on jazz gigs, and not at all on my main rock gig. I got a brief intro to how to play them from my first teacher in college when I was 18, and then was left to figure out the rest for myself (odd to think, really, that the 4 or 5 teachers [all jazz] I had after that never bothered to check on my brush technique at all). I've always wanted to delve back into more study when I see what some real brush masters can do musically with them. I also figured out in my mid 20s that that teacher had shown me a backwards left hand technique (pushing out on 2 & 4, instead of pulling in) from the way most people do it and by that time, thats what felt natural and comfortable, so I feel like when I do get back into it I'll have to break my technique down and start from scratch. I'm looking forward to it though...

Good luck with your study!
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
I use brushes on every gig, but only for ballads.

The reason is I can play as soft with sticks and find that brushes have a lot less dinamic range and they are slower to react to your dinamic changes (in something like jazz that you need very sudden multiple changes of it).

It´s allright to check some of the drum masters of the art but, besides being very nice to learn fancy movements (yes, some can look so great), it´s important to concentrate on the masters of the: FINAL RESULT (meaning: "music impact"). Example: Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd and Jack Dejohnette, those guys don´t do anything "movement wise" tricky but when you compare their records with others...

So again, it is important to check out both aspects, the musical and the technique ones (pirotecnical).
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..it is important to check out both aspects, the musical and the technique ones..

There is a video with a lesson from Peter Erskine about brushes where he seems very strict about how brushes should be played..

I was wondering, since you are also a teacher yourself, would you also say that there is a 'wrong way' on how to play them..?
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
There is a video with a lesson from Peter Erskine about brushes where he seems very strict about how brushes should be played..

I was wondering, since you are also a teacher yourself, would you also say that there is a 'wrong way' on how to play them..?
Is it the Vic Firth ones? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeMhe0CT-wM

There is definitely a best practices way of getting the sound, but like all music there is room for expression.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I use them monthly during my acoustic rockabilly gigs at a local watering hole. They give me just enough punch during accents, yet quiet enough for the groove keeping.
I prefer the nylon retractable ones over the metal as they give me better control. The metal bristles tend to wander too much.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
There is a video with a lesson from Peter Erskine about brushes where he seems very strict about how brushes should be played..

I was wondering, since you are also a teacher yourself, would you also say that there is a 'wrong way' on how to play them..?
Well, to me using brushes because you can not play soft enough is "SORT" of wrong, but my GENERAL approach is open in all cicunstances, not only about brushes...

Here a couple of my examples:

1) Alex Sanguinetti BRUSHES Playing Brazilian Music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux7b407mtvA

2) Alex Sanguinetti BRUSHES Playing 3/4 Ballad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2LtIYrPdE
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Is it the Vic Firth ones?..

No, i meant his Drumeo-lesson, where he seems to be very strict about what sounds ok and what sounds not ok regarding brushes..


Well, to me using brushes because you can not play soft enough is "SORT" of wrong, but my GENERAL approach is open in all cicunstances, not only about brushes...

Here a couple of my examples:

1) Alex Sanguinetti BRUSHES Playing Brazilian Music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux7b407mtvA

2) Alex Sanguinetti BRUSHES Playing 3/4 Ballad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2LtIYrPdE

Some nice playing on those..
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
No, i meant his Drumeo-lesson, where he seems to be very strict about what sounds ok and what sounds not ok regarding brushes..
I am not seeing the strictness you describe after viewing the lesson. However, I feel it is important to learn a strict method to do this before adding your own personality to it.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I have a pair of Slingerland brushes from the 70s, and I know they are in my house somewhere. I do not remember the last time I used them. Peace and goodwill.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Only on ballads, they're perfect for anything waltzy aka 3/4 or 6/8. I do love a good stir fry :)

I tend to blag my brush work, not really something I've ever had any lessons or really worked on.

Brushes sound easy as it's not precise but it's hard to give it the looseness it needs!
 
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