'Downgrading' equipment to upgrade your playing

JT1

Silver Member
Well now i feel like a fool as i type this as i have done what i thought i would never do. As most of you know or have probably guessed, i own a Sleishman double pedal when i first used it, i fell in love with it but it was more the speed element than anything else (i have learned my lesson now). However just for fun i wanted to go back to my old Iron Cobra to see how it felt after all of this time, well let me just say that my Sleishman will probably never be played by me again! The instant improvement in my playing was hard to ignore as much as i wanted it to be psychological, it wasn't.

I could do single pedal stuff much much better on the Iron Cobra and i have to say it all comes down to the one adjustment that wasn't featured on the Sleishman and one that is overlooked by many drummers i feel, INDEPENDENT BEATER ADJUSTMENT. For those of you who know what i am talking about, then i needn't say anymore as you will already know the power of it.

Have any of you ever downgraded your equipment to upgrade your playing?

And i possibly will be selling my Sleishman for a fair price if anyone is interested, PM me.

Thanks, JT
 
I bought a Pearl Eliminator to replace my cheaper Gibraltar one because everyone was raving about them and I wanted a quality pedal and felt good "in the store".

Lost beater power, lost control of my heel up technique and would lose balance. Got extremely frustrated and tried to pin the problems on my playing.

Brought in my old Gibraltar kick pedal and my playing instantly returned to normal. This cheap Gibraltar is a wonder pedal (for me anyway).
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
It's cool that you're doing cool stuff on the single (again), but I wouldn't call your IC a "downgrade".

There are a few pedals out there that people would think are "crap", but when I sit in on a few friends kits, they have PDP lower line pedals, and I have no problem playing them.
If it feels good on your foot, that's all that matters.

Have fun!
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
This is the effect observed when one puts drumsticks in their own hands that about as thick as broom handles. After playing fills over and over again after a while one gets accustomed to use more strength, when you put those 5A or 5B drumsticks back in your hands, your chops just fly and it feels easy (this effect with the 5A/5B sticks only lasts a few minutes). When this is done for longer it really effects technique in the long term.

I imagine I would play considerably or atleast play a bit more consistently on an Iron Cobra double pedal, because my own Tama Iron Cobra Jnrs. don't have independent beater angle adjustment, so I would adjust the settings on the Iron Cobra until it was good.

That means that if I improve my technique currently on my "crap" double pedal, when I later on get a better pedal (not necassarily the Iron Cobras, they were just an example) I will do atleast slightly better because I am using better equipment that is a more precise reflection of what I am trying to express.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have a beautiful 14 x 14 exotic veneered DW floor tom as part of my 2 up 2 down DW kit.

I'm not using it anymore. Too many drums confuse me. I just need a high, medium, and

low tom. Plus it made it more of a reach to hit my fav floor tom, the 16. Plus I don't want 2

- 14" drums on my kit, for hardshell case nesting reasons. (the snare would be the other

14" drum) Plus it takes longer to load up, set up, tear down, load out, and put away.

I never used that setup before, but when I got the set, I figured I better get it because of

the custom finish. Maybe I'll turn it into a ballad snare, Oh man would that sing!
 

nicotine25

Senior Member
When I started playing drums, (and continuing for the next 10 + years) I wanted to be the next Neal Pert or Alex Van Halen...I had it all; huge Gibraltar rack, 8,10,12,14,16,22 set, 4 snare drums, cymbals galore (especially splashes), wood blocks, cowbells, tambourines, bells, chimes, timbales, mini-timbales, congas, bongos, bells, whistles...you get the gist. However the music I played and loved (and still play and love) is just good groove rock, i.e. The Stones, Black Crows, Nirvana...etc. I just loved huge sets but all that "stuff" is distracting, and hence I down sized quite a bit. Now the set is just bass, rack and floor...(I still have a couple snares)...and A few cymbals all on stands...My playing has dramatically improved since downsizing.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
... i own a Sleishman double pedal ....i wanted to go back to my old Iron Cobra to see how it felt after all of this time....
Have any of you ever downgraded your equipment to upgrade your playing?
I wouldn't call your move a downgrade. I play Off-Set pedals, when I play a double pedal. And the reason for that, is the center pedal design. When I play a single pedal, I play a Yamaha Direct Drive. Two extremely different pedals. Two extremely different designs. There's only three center pedal designs (that I'm aware of). And who knows, 100+ (?) different single and conventional double pedals designs, to choose from.



I have a beautiful 14 x 14 DW floor tom...
I'm not using it anymore.
Put it to the left of your hi-hat. A jazz cat showed me that trick some 20 years ago. Since that discovery, I've had single drums, quads, and my SPD-S living over there. Not that you need to do that live, or anything, but check out the options. I have a 14x14 that I cut a really big hole in the batter, and parked it next to my desk. Makes a good waste paper can.
 
When I started playing drums, (and continuing for the next 10 + years) I wanted to be the next Neal Pert or Alex Van Halen...I had it all; huge Gibraltar rack, 8,10,12,14,16,22 set, 4 snare drums, cymbals galore (especially splashes), wood blocks, cowbells, tambourines, bells, chimes, timbales, mini-timbales, congas, bongos, bells, whistles...you get the gist. However the music I played and loved (and still play and love) is just good groove rock, i.e. The Stones, Black Crows, Nirvana...etc. I just loved huge sets but all that "stuff" is distracting, and hence I down sized quite a bit. Now the set is just bass, rack and floor...(I still have a couple snares)...and A few cymbals all on stands...My playing has dramatically improved since downsizing.
While I didn't actually *have* the gear, I had the same idea. But I've pretty much nailed the setup I need and want. There's a few trinkets I'd like to add eventually but for the most part my five-piece, five cymbal kit is precisely all I've needed to do everything I want for a majority of my ten years behind the drums. I play rock-based genres for the most part so its not imperative that I have a banquet of different instruments and sounds.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
When I started playing drums, (and continuing for the next 10 + years) I wanted to be the next Neal Pert or Alex Van Halen...I had it all; huge Gibraltar rack, 8,10,12,14,16,22 set, 4 snare drums, cymbals galore (especially splashes), wood blocks, cowbells, tambourines, bells, chimes, timbales, mini-timbales, congas, bongos, bells, whistles...you get the gist. However the music I played and loved (and still play and love) is just good groove rock, i.e. The Stones, Black Crows, Nirvana...etc. I just loved huge sets but all that "stuff" is distracting, and hence I down sized quite a bit. Now the set is just bass, rack and floor...(I still have a couple snares)...and A few cymbals all on stands...My playing has dramatically improved since downsizing.
I hear ya.

My kit wasn't that extreme, but I grew up admiring Neil Peart, and later Mike Portnoy, and wanted a big kit. So I bought a double bass kit on a rack.

Reality of gigging set in, so I scaled it back to a 5 pc.

And even though I've since expanded my large kit, I don't really feel comfortable playing it, and feel much better with a 5 pc.

And even though I have two very nice high end maple kits with great lacquer finishes, I kind of want a middle of the line kit in a wrap, just so I can have a kit I can throw in the car.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
I often simply just use less gear. One of my favorite set ups is bass drum, snare and hats.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
Sounds to me like you're just not used to newer equipment, so you're reverting to equipment you ARE used to. That's a lot different than "downgrading".
 

JT1

Silver Member
Sounds to me like you're just not used to newer equipment, so you're reverting to equipment you ARE used to. That's a lot different than "downgrading".
Well as most of you have specified it isn't really downgrading and i did imply this in my post by putting downgrading in inverted commas as i know it's not really a downgrade in quality but in terms of price, innovation and strength, it definitely is. Plus just thought i would make it clear that i used the Sleishman for almost a year none stop so it's not like i wasn't used to it.

You see the main problem was the fact that i like to have my beaters about 7 inch's back from the head, every time i brought the beaters back, the footboard would rise and i didn't want it to! The pedal became much to springy for what i wanted even after adjusting spring tension and the pedal board became much to high and uncomfortable, a problem that unfortunately could not be fixed on the Sleishman but could only be modified slightly and i mean very slightly.

Good old IC's i played a gig with them last night everything fell into place just like it used to, what a pedal, absolutely fantastic.

I'm not saying that the Sleishman is a bad pedal either, they are absolutely fantastic pedals but it just has that one major flaw.
 

JT1

Silver Member
It's cool that you're doing cool stuff on the single (again), but I wouldn't call your IC a "downgrade".

There are a few pedals out there that people would think are "crap", but when I sit in on a few friends kits, they have PDP lower line pedals, and I have no problem playing them.
If it feels good on your foot, that's all that matters.

Have fun!
Yes the single pedal element really has become important to me, i can pull of quicker doubles with one pedal as my footboard is in a position that allows me to do so really well. I may give the Sleishman another chance and have a tinker on because it does feel like a waste of a great pedal.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
My kit wasn't that extreme, but I grew up admiring Neil Peart, and later Mike Portnoy, and wanted a big kit. So I bought a double bass kit on a rack.

Reality of gigging set in, so I scaled it back to a 5 pc.
If I was in your situation I would scale the kit down to a 5 piece but with two bass drums, a snare, one med tom and one low tom.

So it is a bop kit with an extra bass drum...awesome!

I think I saw it in a music video somewhere, that or the drummer had an extra low tom and bass drum.

...and I think Louie Bellson had a setup like that aswell (bop kit with an extra kick).
 

mcbike

Silver Member
I play an acoustic gig every wednesday with kick, snare, hat and we play alot of the same songs we do on the weekends but it is totally different. It really helps my playing, and my creativity on fills. I found myself mixing the kick in on fills more often, and finding more sounds out of my hi hat.
 

Thunderstix

Senior Member
Personally, most gear is overhyped. The most imported settings on a pedal are beater height and beater angle. The higher up and the more back, the more power you have. I've seen pedals with the beater too close and too low. How can you ever play fast or get dynamics out of such settings!

Footboard height and spring tension are usually medium. I also have the iron cobras and am happy with them. I don't think other pedals will make me play better (or a lot worse). It's a double pedal but I don't use the slave a lot since I can play fast and powerful doubles with one foot. And I like to rock the hats with the other foot to keep a steady pulse.
 
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LeeLovesSabian

Silver Member
Personnaly, I don't like this idea.

I think you should play with whatever setup you'd regularly play with, so that you master it. Yes, downgrading can make you more creative, but its just not needed.
 

JT1

Silver Member
Personnaly, I don't like this idea.

I think you should play with whatever setup you'd regularly play with, so that you master it. Yes, downgrading can make you more creative, but its just not needed.
I can see what you are saying but surely if switching something is going to make life a lot easier for you, you would rather take the easy route. i know i would.
 
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