Erroneously entitled: "Nobody Cares"

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
With all this talk of different gear, I think there's one thing I've learned in over 20 years of playing in front of audiences of all kinds: nobody cares.

Most of the time, I'm playing gear I like, and if I have a new cymbal or a new snare drum, the mojo of it and any noticeable differences are only noticed by me. When I go out to talk to people in the audience, no one has ever told me how great my ride cymbal sounded, or that the snare drum sounds way better than others they've heard. In fact, I'm a little suspect if they do notice, because it then detracts from the music they were supposed to notice. So then a red flag goes up about the person I'm talking to that this person is just another gear head.

But really, people either say I play great, or they don't say anything. They're happy they got to hear "cymbals" and "drums". The fact that it might be a Zildjian Constantinople cymbal or a vintage 1920s Ludwig Black Beauty is lost on most audiences.

So, like going to the hardware store, drums are just tools. I like my tools, and I often switch them out for new tools, but my doing so isn't because people request me to have a new sound. The sound apparently stays the same. I just like having new tools. But my audience doesn't care what those tools are. In fact, tools are often provided for me on some of the gigs I do, and like Buddy Rich said, if I'm a real player, I should be able to play anything in front of me. And I do.

But there is drum gear I personally like better than others. Don't get me wrong there. But when I think I might need another ride cymbal, or another snare, the mojo level better be very high.

I apologize, this thread kinda' flies in the face of asking "what would be a good drumset for me" and "I need a new cymbal" threads, but does anyone here feel this way or is it just me?
 

shemp

Silver Member
Patrons at clubs...the non- musicians that is, do not know or care. That is my experience.

I've had many instances where musicians that may be out partying at the club come over and ask me about my gear...or on multi band shows, ive asked and been asked.

But I agree that in general it is unlikely that folks at the establishment will hear that wonderful new piece of gear and pick it out or be stoked about it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I agree that most people don't care about the gear or the sounds the gear makes. But what they do care about is the sounds the drummer gets out of the gear. For example, Bo I know you are a big fan of Bonham. How would you feel if he was replaced for an album by Ringo? This is what people care about. Not to say Ringo wouldn't or couldn't play what is appropriate for the song, but his appropriate would be different from Bonham's. I know personally I have felt this way about bands I like when they change drummers. No matter how well the new guy plays, he still isn't the old guy, a big part of the reason I like a band in the first place. Sometimes it can be an improvement, but something usually is still missing. Guns N Roses had this effect on me when they kicked Stephen Adler out. To me the band just didn't seem to rock as hard with Matt Sorum, even though he is a great player in his own right, much better than Adler actually in my opinion.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I agree that most people don't care about the gear or the sounds the gear makes. But what they do care about is the sounds the drummer gets out of the gear. For example, Bo I know you are a big fan of Bonham. How would you feel if he was replaced for an album by Ringo? This is what people care about. Not to say Ringo wouldn't or couldn't play what is appropriate for the song, but his appropriate would be different from Bonham's. I know personally I have felt this way about bands I like when they change drummers. No matter how well the new guy plays, he still isn't the old guy, a big part of the reason I like a band in the first place. Sometimes it can be an improvement, but something usually is still missing. Guns N Roses had this effect on me when they kicked Stephen Adler out. To me the band just didn't seem to rock as hard with Matt Sorum, even though he is a great player in his own right, much better than Adler actually in my opinion.
Adler has a feel and ease on the drums...what he did with guns was probably not able to be duplicated....I agree Sorum is a great player...but Adler drove the band, and I have to say again about his feel.

I enjoy watching him play a lot. Definitely agree on the feel delta with those two drummers and guns
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
To paraphrase Harry Conway who once said something like: the audience may or may not be aware that there were some drums on stage.

A slight embellishment, yeah. But it does drive the point.

That said, I don't think that should mean that we as musicians shouldn't strive towards the sound we desire. The devil is in the detail, as they say. Even if that detail may occasionally get lost in the bigger picture.


And considering a Gunners digression seems to have gathered more air time. That band absolutely cooked with Sorum at the helm. Sure the production was a lot more polished. They lost that punkish, raw edge from the first album. But at the same time, there was some great stuff on those two Illusions albums that Adler just never could have pulled off. I'm glad they carried on and I got to hear it. Personally, I don't think they lost it due to a change of drummer....they changed, yeah. But not necessarily for the worse. For me the turning point was when Izzy buggered off. His complimentary sound was so crucial to that band that they were just never the same without him. [Sorry Bo!!]
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Yet you created a thread to ridicule a gigging drummer that was playing an electric kit? Really Bo, It's just a tool.
 

sdedge

Senior Member
I agree Nobody Cares, only we do.
Its al about the sound/feel/mojo ,not the gear/set.
If brand a or b works for you than your have found your tool.
its a personal thing,nothing more,Nobody cares indeed.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
And considering a Gunners digression seems to have gathered more air time. That band absolutely cooked with Sorum at the helm. Sure the production was a lot more polished. They lost that punkish, raw edge from the first album. But at the same time, there was some great stuff on those two Illusions albums that Adler just never could have pulled off. I'm glad they carried on and I got to hear it. Personally, I don't think they lost it due to a change of drummer....they changed, yeah. But not necessarily for the worse. For me the turning point was when Izzy buggered off. His complimentary sound was so crucial to that band that they were just never the same without him. [Sorry Bo!!]
Don't get me wrong I think both Illusion albums were great, but it just didn't have that same feel that Appetite and Lies had to me. The first two were up in your face and the Illusion albums to me seemed to lack that intensity. Maybe it was because I was a GnR fan from the start, I don't know, but for me the band lost something after the switch.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yet you created a thread to ridicule a gigging drummer that was playing an electric kit? Really Bo, It's just a tool.
I did do that, didn't I? Well, my point about the eKit guy was the amount of clicking I got instead of the actual sounds, if I recall correctly. I think the eKit would've sounded much better had he not played so hard, but just took it easy and turned it up some. That would've been preferable to having him hit so hard because on an eKit, it doesn't matter how hard you hit, right?

OK - I'll give ya' that it's another tool. Excuse me ;)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The GnR discussion I don't mind - but you guys are talking about two (or three) different people. I already assume that different people will play differently. And many drummers carry their sound in their hands, so that's a given in this discussion.

And really, only hardcore fans would notice the drummers have switched out. Think of all the anonymous players that play for the Madonnas/Katy Perry/Lady Gaga's of the world....those guys could be anybody ;)
 

toddmc

Gold Member
That would've been preferable to having him hit so hard because on an eKit, it doesn't matter how hard you hit, right
OK - I'll give ya' that it's another tool. Excuse me ;)
You may not realise this Bo, but with today's E drum technology, the harder you hit the pad, the louder it triggers!!! Shocking, I know!!!
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I completely agree that drums are just a tool, but having the right tool for the job is extremely important. If a carpenter shows up to a framing job with a finishing hammer he would get laughed off the job. Same holds true for drums. The goal is to fit into the context of the music. If the drums sound bad people will notice. They may not know that was the problem, but they will leave knowing something was off. Asthetics is also an important part of most drum setups, again the right tool for the job.

I equate e-drums to the keytar. They might be an effective tool, but they look ridiculous.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
Bo, you seem to really subscribe to this 'nothing matters, nobody cares' attitude when it comes to gear. Frankly, I don't get it.

Yes, folks in the audience don't notice new or different gear...and that's what I don't care about. It matters to me. I notice. What I hear/feel/see affects my perception and influences the way I think and the way I play , even if just a bit. Sizes, color, the way things are set up. It does matter. Think of how this relates to a drummer in the formative years - what you play while you are learning. Those good/bad choices affect you for the rest of your career.

I'm passionate about drums. Playing them of course- but not just that, everything, including gear. Maintenance, setting them up, history, etc etc etc. I will admit that I'm a gear head but that doesn't mean that I can't play.

Cyclists care about their equipment. Guitarists are worse than drummers. Race car drivers have a whole team of people devoted to such little details when the 50,000 fans don't know or care what kind of ______ they use. I know a competitive sport is not a fair comparison but it illustrates my point quite clearly.

Neal
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
If you subscribe to the fact that the instrument you play can affect how you feel, then indirectly, people care. If your bandmates feel the sound is good, it shows in their performance. If you feel your drums sound good, consciously or not, you play differently. Sound qualities affect your dynamic choices, & that in turn colours your personal performance. The sum of this is the quality or vibe of the performance the audience experiences. They may not care about how you arrived at that overall performance sound & vibe, but they do pick up on the vibe itself. Ok, you can fake it, but even if only some of the audience pick up on the vibe, it's worthwhile.

Bo, the very fact that you change kits fairly often, indicates that you care. Call yourself a nobody if you must, but the totality of your posts here strongly suggest you care about your sound. Quite rightly too.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I think they care to their ears. If you only played a popcorn snare all night, they would hate it. If you played using an 18inch floor tom in place of a snare, it would also get old quick for them. They don't however know the exact differences between what ply shells you have, cymbal alloy, wind chime count, they just need to hear the proper sound within reason. I always say its a shame to place a beautiful snare behind a kit so they cant see it, maybe they would appreciate it a little more.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
*I* care.

When I see a live music act, if they're all playing on First Act gear, it ruins it for me.

Just kidding. Imma go with the whole mojo thing. If your gear gives you that mojo, who cares if it's a Percussion Plus or a DW or a vintage Ludwig?

I haven't been able to get rid of my old 1st-gen Stage Customs in all this time because of the mojo. I mean, I get those things to sing, they sound great, and I don't hear enough difference in a $3000 kit to warrant an upgrade at this time.

I have an old stencil-kit steel snare that has had some serious mojo for all the time I have owned it. Now I have two very nice working snares that each get a huge grin out of me whenever I sit down to play them. Who cares if one's "only" a Sensitone Elite BOB and the other's an aluminium Ludwig Standard? I feel like a rock star when I tune them up and get a great rimshot out of either of them.

I'm really digging how hard you are digging your new Luddies, because I think this is going to be the set that really captures your mojo, and you're probably not going to flip them that quickly.

I also think that a lot of people get hung up on the bells and whistles of gear buying, and never feel that "ahhhhh" feeling when they sit down and play, because their soul isn't in tune with the instrument. They are trying to think it through, imitate someone, or haven't learned to listen yet. I think of these folks as "mechanical" players. They know the correct order to play things, but not the why. They are not students of life through music, and their playing is much more materialistic than ours.

Bo, I agree with you that a true player shines through no matter what he's playing. I also think that there's a little more shine that can come through when you find that kit, or snare, or guitar, or whatever that fits like a glove.

Phew, long rant. Time for more coffee!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Did I say that "I" didn't care? I definitely care. I was just pointing out that the audience doesn't care.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
My first thought to this as I read was the picture post I at last came upon. Nobody cares about the sound detail, but the "look" of the set is another matter, in such a visual age as this.

If we played drums based on audiences we'd be playing beginner drums and cymbals. But we play according to $$ we can afford to buy what we can, based on our own perceptions of what brings out the best in us. But, everybody knows if you put Bonham or Baker, or Cobham, or Rich on a beginner's set it will sound like Bonham, Baker, Cobham, and Rich. The musician's voice is not bound by equipment.
 
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