Gavin Harrison here!

I always find it hard to break down your double stroke technique. I know you use a lot of wrist around the kit, fingers for fast single strokes, more wrist for ghost notes and thumb-index pinching for snare buzz, but when i slow down your doubles i see hardly any finger control.

Do you play doubles with wrist and only use fingers to "lift" the stick back up after the second stroke? That would imply you practised doubles with the technique of accenting the second stroke in order to neutralise the natural power of the first stroke at faster speed.

Ps. I want to be like you (as a musician at least, i will never become 6'2 lol)
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I always find it hard to break down your double stroke technique. I know you use a lot of wrist around the kit, fingers for fast single strokes, more wrist for ghost notes and thumb-index pinching for snare buzz, but when i slow down your doubles i see hardly any finger control.
Do you play doubles with wrist and only use fingers to "lift" the stick back up after the second stroke? That would imply you practised doubles with the technique of accenting the second stroke in order to neutralise the natural power of the first stroke at faster speed.
Hi 20y-oNotAProdigy

that's an interesting question and something I haven't really thought about in a long time as it's such a subconscious thing. I don't practise doubles where I accent the second stroke - I don't think I ever did. Also I don't really utilise the bounce from the drum either so the first note being louder than the second isn't really an issue (although I am trying to make them sound even of course). I do play with a lot of wrist but the double stroke (once it's up to a reasonably speed) must have a finger squeeze-pick up for the second stroke.

cheers
Gavin
 

Doraemon

Member
Hi Gavin!
The new song is so cool! Are those lights Drumlite or something else?
And is that your new birch kit? (too dark to see) Cheers,
Dora
 

Doraemon

Member
Hi Dora
Yes they are Drumlite and the new Sonor Birch drumset.
Glad you enjoyed the song

cheers
Gavin
Thanks for the info, Gavin! Just ordered the boxset after reading "Also includes a 48-page book featuring lyrics, photos from the writing of the album & recent touring, drum notations from Gavin Harrison and handwritten lyrics." This is awesome! Even if it's only an excerpt as I imagine.. I've never seen any album coming with drum notes. I hope the TPT transcribing you mentioned on the live will happen, too.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Dora

it's definitely not worth buying for the drum notations - they are just abstract images - (but most likely in the near future Terry Branam will do a proper book of the drum notation of The Pineapple Thief records that I worked on). However - I really do think it's worth it for the beautiful artwork and the extras disc with the alternative versions on. I worked really hard on those !

cheers
Gavin
 

bananers

Junior Member
However - I really do think it's worth it for the beautiful artwork and the extras disc with the alternative versions on. I worked really hard on those !

cheers
Gavin
I'm so excited for the marimba 😁 Is it of older songs or the new ones? Or will I just wait until September to hear for myself? 😂😁

Alannah
 

Doraemon

Member
Hi Dora

it's definitely not worth buying for the drum notations - they are just abstract images - (but most likely in the near future Terry Branam will do a proper book of the drum notation of The Pineapple Thief records that I worked on). However - I really do think it's worth it for the beautiful artwork and the extras disc with the alternative versions on. I worked really hard on those !

cheers
Gavin
Of course I'm getting it for the music, including your reworked songs, and the book, not to mention the signed art print. But I can see myself holding a big magnifier over those drum score fragments trying to extract any little piece I can. I hope they're based on real ones, haha. Can't wait!
 
Last edited:

JeffV71

Junior Member
Hi Gavin. I'm really enjoying the new song Break it All. I have a question about the middle breakdown section. Around the 2:15 mark I hear a higher pitched tom fill. It doesn't sound like your 8" tom. By chance is that one of your maple Sonor log drums?
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Alannah,

I'm so excited for the marimba 😁 Is it of older songs or the new ones?

I played a bit of marimba on a couple of the new ones and a lot on the 'alternative versions' on the special edition extras disc.

Hi JeffV71

I'm really enjoying the new song Break it All. I have a question about the middle breakdown section. Around the 2:15 mark I hear a higher pitched tom fill. It doesn't sound like your 8" tom. By chance is that one of your maple Sonor log drums?

Actually it is the 8" tom but I rim-shotted it.

cheers
Gavin
 

kerrek

Junior Member
Hi Gavin!

I have a question about your kick mics, but first, a little motivation. I've been playing drums since '07 and I've taken a lot of inspiration from you and Danny Cary. Of course, as a result, I often use double or triple hits on the kick during fills. Now, I'm getting into recording and mixing and finding it difficult to recreate that effect in a mix. I'm using Audix D6's inside and out, and adding more microphones a few feet away has done a lot for the overall tone of individual hits, but the faster stuff isn't quite fitting into the overall "line" that I'm playing with the faster fills.

I saw your list of microphones on your website, and it looks like you're using these on your kick? Shure SM91, Audix D6, Telefunken M82

So, my questions:
Where do you put each of these mics, and
Are there any other techniques you use to make your double/triple hits work within a mix?


Your stuff all sounds fantastic; I can't wait to see you live!

Warm Best!
Jeff

PS: Come through Kansas on your next North America tour!
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Jeff

So, my questions:
Where do you put each of these mics, and
Are there any other techniques you use to make your double/triple hits work within a mix?
For the last few years I have been using an AKG D12VR and a Shure Beta 91A both mounted inside the bass drum on suspension mounts like this:

IMG_3631.JPG

They are exactly in the middle of the drum. The AKG is the one at the top and has an EQ setting on the mic itself (indicated by the little blue light).
They are 'phase aligned' with an audio plug-in (inside Logic) called "Auto-Align". Basically it moves the Shure microphone seven samples nearer to the AKG mic. This is the VERY slight difference of distance they are from the batter head. To cut a long story short - it means they just blend the sound together a bit better. I do add additional EQ to both the mics inside the Logic software.

Getting a bass drum to sound good in a mix is a really challenging thing. You can have the best sounding bass drum in the world - and then you add the other instruments into the mix and it just disappears. So hearing the bass drum cut through the mix is absolutely relative to the other instruments around it. Distorted guitars and heavy low bass notes really eat up the frequencies of your bass drum. Many times I will add a sample (with the Steven Slate "Trigger" plug in). That's pretty much the only way those fast notes on your bass drum are going to come through in the mix. Otherwise you have to EQ your natural bass drum sound SO much - it will sound really crappy. If you're playing a style music that requires some fast double bass drum action alongside distorted guitars you'll need a sample that has a really noticeable high frequency 'click' to it. Then you just need to 'blend' it in with the really bass drum mix until it pokes through the music.

best of luck
Gavin
 

Warrenoids

New member
Hi Gavin, I'm super excited for the new Pineapple Thief album.
Two questions, are you still a part of King Crimson?

And did you move your right Speed Cobra beaters even more to the right?
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Warrenoids

Two questions, are you still a part of King Crimson?

yes but all touring is postponed until next year.

And did you move your right Speed Cobra beaters even more to the right?


Yes. It is possible to move the right beater across a bit (although it requires some fiddling in order to do so). It's not possible to move the left one.

cheers
Gavin
 

Warrenoids

New member
Thank you for the answer Gavin.

I listened to Hold our Fire and Meltdown back to back, and I found your snare tone to be very interesting to say the least.

Do you have any specific notes that you tune your 12" and 14" snares to?
 

kerrek

Junior Member
Fantastic! Very helpful information, indeed. Thanks for your detailed response, and just for having this amazing forum in the first place. You're an inspiration.

I'm curious, though... when did you stop using a pillow in your kick and why? I've seen enough of your videos to know that you used to always use a pillow.

Huge fan, keep up the good work!
-Jeff
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Warrenoids

Do you have any specific notes that you tune your 12" and 14" snares to?

No I just tune them by ear to whatever sounds good for the song in question - or generally for the concert I might be playing.

Hi Jeff

I'm curious, though... when did you stop using a pillow in your kick and why? I've seen enough of your videos to know that you used to always use a pillow.

No there are still pillows in there. This first photo outlines the KickPro Pillow leaning up against the batter head:
KickPro Pillow.jpg

and here's the outline of the second pillow. Heavy feathers in a 35x45cms pillow:
Regular pillow.jpg

If you're going to have mics inside the drum then you have to interrupt the 'standing wave' caused by the reflections of the inner shell. Otherwise you'll hear that kind of basket-ball "ping" sound.

cheers
Gavin
 

bananers

Junior Member
The new Pineapple Thief track is beautiful Gavin! Love it, definitely my favourite so far - very excited for the album now 😁 Marimba sounds great, haha😁
 
Last edited:

Birch4Punch

Junior Member
Hello Gavin!
I have been using your Signature Series drumsticks for a while now. Great design. I wanted to ask you which spot on the stick do you find gives you the best sound when playing the bell of the cymbal?
 
Top