is cowbell's really that worth it to have?

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
How about tambourine or hat jingle attachments-I have both (three tambourines) use neither ROFL.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Those of you who have and use a cowbell-do you just whack it on mouth or sit stick in and rattle it (great latin sound) or hit on mouth and base? I like all the above but I note a lot just whack on the mouth? I've shown the video of my brother dancing in crowd hitting a cowbell surrounded by adoring females mesmerized by the thing like a buzz zapper. Women do love it? I'm trying to figure the symbolism, notion, etc that would make phenomena possible. It doesn't seem to have that effect on men. I know plenty of people who just hate tambourines. I actually hate drums, drummers, anything drummer but I'm a masochist so I love to torture myself and all of you ROFL. just kidding well at least about part-I may torture you all?
 

s1212z

Well-known member
It's surprising how simple the sticking is. The groove is an example of taking a simple sticking and moving accents and sound sources around to make it ... groovy:
Code:
Rodney Holmes sticking:
|1...2...3...4...|1...2...3...4...|
|RLRRL RLRLRLRRL |RLRRL RLRLRLRRL |

Rodney Holmes groove:
|1...2...3...4...|1...2...3...4...|
|         L      |         L      | : Hihat
|                |  RR            | : Tom 1
|    >         > |    >    >    > |
| L  L  L   L  L | L  L  L(L)L  L | : Snare
|  RR    R R RR  |R     R R R RR  | : Cowbell
|      R         |                | : Tom 2
|R               |                | : Floor tom
|o         o     |o         o     | : Kick
|+   +   +   +   |+   +   +   +   | : HiHat foot

The four bar groove is a repeat of two bars with a slight variation:
  - The accented "(L)" on the snare is for the second iteration, replacing the L on the Hihat.
Nice transcription! It's a fun groove, w/ creative voicings.

Here is a show Rodney played with Kimock. On "It's Up to You" around the 13:55 mark, he has a cowbell groove and then start ripping into it by 14:20...it's one my favorites. The whole song is worth a listen as a great version, really the whole show is a killer. Was at that show right at stage level, the band was on fire. Alphonzo Johnson was on that tour but for some reason didn't play this show.

I like this cowbell sound, low and throaty but not abrasive with some resonance. Jam block are another story, so freaking loud and high pitch....the sound get annoying quickly for me.

 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Nice transcription! It's a fun groove, w/ creative voicings.

Here is a show Rodney played with Kimock. On "It's Up to You" around the 13:55 mark, he has a cowbell groove and then start ripping into it by 14:20...it's one my favorites. The whole song is worth a listen as a great version, really the whole show is a killer. Was at that show right at stage level, the band was on fire. Alphonzo Johnson was on that tour but for some reason didn't play this show.

I like this cowbell sound, low and throaty but not abrasive with some resonance. Jam block are another story, so freaking loud and high pitch....the sound get annoying quickly for me.

Great band. I'm a Rodney Holmes fan now! :)

EDIT: I got tricked into listening to "Moon People". Great 7/4 groove there. Is there a video anywhere of this performance? Actually I think we musicians need to learn to listen without the visual. But I like Rodney's technique too. I mean isn't that why we go see live music LOL.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
No, there were no cameras. I had a soundboard copy as a special release they did but I've since scratched the CDs. This is a taper's version but Kimock is taper friendly so no issue sharing it here. But he was playing the same aqua Starclassics and cymbal setup (minus the x-hats) as the MD fest vid above....something to be said about simple cymbal setups. But there are videos of the 2003 era tour that are floating around on YT

I think Rodney keeps improving...he has to mastered creative double stroke roll for double bass and the ergonomics of his setup is pretty unique now....but works!
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
I hate cowbells. Actually, I despise them. They ruin every song they’re featured in. Don’t own one and never will.

In fact, this is pretty much how I feel about them.

 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
A cowbell has a place in songs-often signature parts. But the tambourine is the instrument singers who wish they could play a musical instrument often grab to play along ,out of time, to drive all the other musicians crazy ROFL. I remember the music minister at one church I played despised them-well that's probably an understatement. We had some in the orchestra pit but they "suddenly" went missing-probably locked in a vault sunk out near the lock and dam of nearby reservoir. I am sure he filled it with holy water before hand to fight the evil cursed thing.
 

Pootle

Well-known member
As a young aspiring drummer growing up listening to Appetite for Destruction in the 80s, I used to love cowbells. Many an hour hammering out NightTrain.
Nowadays I’d put them in the same category as a china or a 2nd floortom; probably use it for one or two songs so wouldn’t bother owning one or taking it to a gig.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Sure, you can play songs without a cowbell - replicate the patterns on the bell of the ride, etc. However having a cowbell on hand elevates songs that feature them. It's a small piece of kit - to carry, and place. Tuck it in near the hi-hat, and incopoarte it into grooves appropriately.

Everyone notices when the cowbell is missing. Songs like Play That Funky Music (yeah... I know), Honky Tonk Woman, American Band, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Good Times Bad Times, Born On The Bayou, Down On The Corner, and anything by Santana (that's off the top of my head). Without the cowbell... meh. Play those parts, and you will see/feel the change.

Other band members* dig into the groove. The audience hear/feel that positive energy, and reflect it back.

*One of the last gigs I did in 2020 was a fill-in. Black Magic Woman was in the list. I play a mix of the drums, conga, and timbale parts for that song. The bass and keys players were smiling ear-to-ear during. At the end, the bass player turned, pointed to me and yelled "YES! That's what I have been missing!"

Cowbells are powerful implements. With great power, comes great responsibility. :D
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I’m going to market a cowbell in the shape of a heifer’s udder . I think it will make the cowbell a necessity. Everyone will want one.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
What, no poll?

Yes, a cowbell's really worth having.

The colour may be too much for some, but the LP Chad Smith model is great for rock and has the best cowbell clamp I've seen.
Agreed!!!! For rock, t's awesome, I have also the Meinl Mike Johnson on my kit, more Latin sounds, so, two cowbell for me!!! And just check how Steve Gadd plays it in almost every solo!!!
 
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Pootle

Well-known member
Agreed!!!! For rock, t's awesome, I have also the Meinl Mike Johnson on my kit, more Latin sounds, so, two cowbell for me!!! And just check how Steve Gadd plays it in almost every solo!!!
I remember watching a promo video for Mike Johnson’s cowbell where he claimed he spent 2 years working with Meinl’s R&D team perfecting the sound. 2 years on a bloody cowbell, do me a favour.. Ok if it was during the pandemic maybe while away some hours tinkering around in the workshop, but didn’t they have anything better to do with their time?
 

BruceW

Senior Member
A cowbell has a place in songs-often signature parts. But the tambourine is the instrument singers who wish they could play a musical instrument often grab to play along ,out of time, to drive all the other musicians crazy ROFL. I remember the music minister at one church I played despised them-well that's probably an understatement. We had some in the orchestra pit but they "suddenly" went missing-probably locked in a vault sunk out near the lock and dam of nearby reservoir. I am sure he filled it with holy water before hand to fight the evil cursed thing.

Our current band has a bass player and a lead singer who played together in a couple previous bands. When I suggested to have the singer play tambourine on a song or two, they both snapped their heads around at me, quickly...I was all "uhhhh....what?" The singer sheepishly said "Randy (the drummer in one of the previous bands, and a friend of mine) forbids that I play tambourine".

bwhahahahahaha

I didn't suggest it again.
 
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