Yeah, I know it's not hurting anyone, but a weird way to order your priorities.
Well, not necessarily. Right now, there are TONS of books, DVDS, videos on YouTube, etc. that deal with becoming a better player. How many publications, videos, etc. are there dealing with how to buy drum gear? Very few by comparison. I think of this forum as being more a resource about discussing gear, or what resources to use to learn how to ________ (fill in the blank with a playing technique) rather than instructional. The playing technique/instructional part is all of the videos on Drummerworld, outside of the discussion forum.Right now:
General Discussion: 54 viewing
Drum Technique: 18 viewing
Drum Gear: 92 viewing
So most people are more interested in the gear than becoming a better drummer(technique).
That example sums it up, Caz! Those $30k cymbals won't be purchased for playing around the traps.I'm with Polly... people collect a lot weirder stuff, some people just seem to be into gear.. good for them, if I had more money god knows what I'd be into. On a slightly related note, I wonder who'll get these, Buddy Rich's cymbals are up for grabs and the price is huge! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321235149050
I'm not quite sure the premise here is accurate. I think many drummers eagerly read everything they could about drums, even if there wasn't as much, and were fairly well-informed.I think that the idea of "knowledge is power" is good in theory, but I wonder if players becoming so educated about gear is a good or bad thing. Until the advent of drum magazines (which really didn't exist until 1977), local and regional drum shows, and ultimately the internet, information and marketing and shared experiences had been very limited. Few drummers really knew - or cared - what edges were about, how plies and hardware affect a drum's sound, and there wasn't the pre-occupation with where a drum is made, or who makes the shells and parts. Companies certainly weren't forthcoming with such information, not because it was a big secret, but because drummers weren't really interested enough at the time, and such explanations and specifications would have seemed like so much gobbledygook. Consider that some companies didn't even tell you that their 'metal' snares were brass, where today, shell material would probably be the first thing we'd want to know about a snare!
On the whole, I'll agree that the drum specification awareness and a certain amount of industry knowledge has helped us make better decisions about the gear we use. But I also think that the sheer amount of information available gets in the way of making (formerly basic) choices such as, 'does the drum sound good?'
The over-educated drummer today is concerned with edges, shell material/thickness/construction, heads, wires, throwoffs, hoop type/material/thickness, lug mass, lug gaskets, number of lugs, washers (nylon of metal), vent or no vent, the difference in sound between lacquer finish or wrap, and whether the wrap is glued or taped. And that's just the snare!
Yet none of those things were important - or even known - to the vast majority of drummers until fairly recently. Never once did I ask about any of those aspects when checking out a snare. I asked for a stick - and it didn't matter what size or whether it was nylon tip or not - hit the drum, and I either liked it, or I didn't. I never asked to try a different tuning, or see how it sounded with a different head, or questioned what it was made of, etc. If I liked it, I bought it! Or in most cases, just drooled over it because I couldn't afford it.
But I have become overly-aware of how the different aspects of a drum can affect its sound and playability, and now there are many things I 'need' to know before I can simply hit the drum, heaven forfend that I might decide with my ears if it sounds good or not. Sometimes that knowledge prevents me from even bothering, and it takes a lot of willpower and letting-go to get over it and discover some great-sounding, but specification deficient drums. Am I not supposed to like certain drums because they don't spec well, or are a 'budget' line? Conversely, should I automatically buy anything with exacting, well-researched specs and meticulous craftsmanship? Does that mean the drum sounds good?
I started by saying knowledge is power, but I wonder if ignorance is bliss at times. I miss going into the music store, tapping on pretty drums and shiny cymbals, and liking them all without question.
Anyway, just pondering on a Saturday morning as a categorize a bunch of gear I picked up on the road this year. Probably none of this is important.
And that's it; you HAVE to move beyond looking at the specs and actually play whatever the piece of gear in question is. I can't count the number of threads started by guys looking for help finding the "perfect" drum head that never seem to actually try anything. There comes a point where all the advice and virtual comparisons are completely meaningless without actually trying something.I don't think you can be "over-educated" on gear. You simply have to temper what you THINK your ears want with what the gear actually gives you.