Marketing Drums to Individuality

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I have been noticing a pervasive pattern in marketing. I observed the pattern in one of my other hobbies kayaking/canoeing, however I believe it applies very much to drumming as well. I was shopping for a tandem boat for my wife and I to go touring in, however the options for tandems are really very limited, and all the salesmen have nothing but bad things to say about tandems, "divorce boats" they call them. I have been a canoeist for a long time and I think that is absolute non-sense, paddling a boat together is a lot of fun, then I realized well to the salesman selling a tandem is selling one boat selling two singles is selling two boats. This upsets me because not only do they want to sell individual kayaks, very few if any of the individual kayaks will actually fit me at 6'7", since the all the money is in fitting that average build.

How does this apply to drumming, if you go to a drum store it is immediately obvious that there is an emphasis on drum sets for individual drummers, why do you need a surdo or conga player when you can buy a full set of toms and a bass drum, everyone needs a full set of toms and a snare and you can't play them with other drummers because they don't keep time right, and you can't tune them to fit in...

Personally I would rather have a set of congas and friend with a set of timbales or bongos (doesn't have to be congas and timbales or bongos, could be djembes and dun-duns). Furthermore those snares, toms, and cymbals that were designed to be played by themselves don't sound good to me either.

Has anyone else felt this way about the marketing and sales in western hobbies, especially drums?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Has anyone else felt this way about the marketing and sales in western hobbies, especially drums?
Nup. There may be much wrong with the way many things are marketed in this day and age, but I can't say I have any issue with the angle you're touching on here.

They're different instruments that fulfill different roles. The marketing of a drumkit in no way excludes a djembe or timbales. Some music just doesn't call for a surdo or conga. Why bother having them if that's the case? You might be down with different percussive instruments but that doesn't make it a blanket rule to applied....nor should it. And it certainly doesn't entail that exclusive marketing is being employed in order to exclude other forms of percussion.

I see no marketing gimmickry, trickery or even exclusion, at all......in either your drum example or your canoe example. In fact I'm struggling to grasp the gist of your entire post if I'm honest. If I'm missing the obvious, is there any chance you care to clarify further and help an idiot better understand where you're coming from?
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Nup. There may be much wrong with the way many things are marketed in this day and age, but I can't say I have any issue with the angle you're touching on here.

They're different instruments that fulfill different roles. The marketing of a drumkit in no way excludes a djembe or timbales. Some music just doesn't call for a surdo or conga. Why bother having them if that's the case? You might be down with different percussive instruments but that doesn't make it a blanket rule to applied....nor should it. And it certainly doesn't entail that exclusive marketing is being employed in order to exclude other forms of percussion.

I see no marketing gimmickry, trickery or even exclusion, at all......in either your drum example or your canoe example. In fact I'm struggling to grasp the gist of your entire post if I'm honest. If I'm missing the obvious, is there any chance you care to clarify further and help an idiot better understand where you're coming from?
So, I see your point that adding a surdo or conga to the mix wouldn't sound good with the particular instrumentation that you have chosen, though what remains to be seen is are there any complementary percussion that would fit, if not, then I would assert that you have bought into the individuality concept of drumming, and it may reflect poorly on the sound you have chosen, if you can't point to some complementary percussive instrumentation that would fit with your sound.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
....Personally I would rather have a set of congas and friend with a set of timbales or bongos...

I thought I saw where you were going with this, but now I'm not sure.
From the above quote, I got that you were talking about the focus on the individual vs. co-operative jamming as a joint effort.
Usually drummers/percussionists do that with groups of other types of instruments. There's lots of groups that have both a drummer and other percussion instruments together though.

There isn't too much call for percussion only groups. Other than marching bands, I can only think of a few percussion groups that have carved out a unique place.
Like the Japanese Taiko thing - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiIuZdD0sCA,
the Stomp guys - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B9dXrbfUjk
Blue Man Group - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geujnsOaUN8
and lots of jazz percussion ensembles - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlLpLdIqccI


Of course, you may be talking about jamming with some people on percussion instruments just for fun - as in a drum circle type thing. That's always fun. But it would be difficult to market specifically with that focus.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Of course, you may be talking about jamming with some people on percussion instruments just for fun - as in a drum circle type thing. That's always fun. But it would be difficult to market specifically with that focus.
You mean they don't market getting together and having fun with percussion, say it ain't so. What do they market, sitting in your basement by yourself beating off to records with a full line of cymbals and drums, and the promise of maybe getting a gig, if you are lucky?

I have played auxiliary percussion in school ensembles and blues bands, and I have known a number of drummers that really aren't capable of interacting with other drummers, they don't get it. They don't know about space, they don't know how to tune their drums, their cymbals are bland and boring, and they only know time keeping beats.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
So, I see your point that adding a surdo or conga to the mix wouldn't sound good with the particular instrumentation that you have chosen, though what remains to be seen is are there any complementary percussion that would fit, if not, then I would assert that you have bought into the individuality concept of drumming, and it may reflect poorly on the sound you have chosen, if you can't point to some complementary percussive instrumentation that would fit with your sound.
It's really hard to understand what you're talking about-- I think maybe you're a hobbyist trying to make judgments above your pay grade? There is no "individuality concept" of drumming, or of music. The drumset, timbales, congas, and djembe are all percussion instruments played by a single individual person, and can be played individually, or as part of an ensemble with other percussion or non-percussion instruments.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
It's really hard to understand what you're talking about-- I think maybe you're a hobbyist trying to make judgments above your pay grade? There is no "individuality concept" of drumming, or of music. The drumset, timbales, congas, and djembe are all percussion instruments played by a single individual person, and can be played individually, or as part of an ensemble with other percussion or non-percussion instruments.
Unlike a drum set, which can't be played within a percussion ensemble.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think that this site has a member ship of percussionists that prefer the drum set over the other forms of percussion. Most major drum companies will also sell percussion other than the Trap set. I played percussion in school in both band and orchestra and neither hand a trap set, but rather, several musicians that played, Tympani, Bass and snare drums, along with xylophone and others. Even some larger bands today will have a percussion section, along with the drum set. I see the sales ads for all types of percussion, but again this forum is mainly for the trap player so I see the issue to some degree
 

drummerjims

Senior Member
I think I understand what you are saying... Asking why have a modern drum set when you could have different drums in a set? Like a surdo for a bass drum, some congas for toms, and maybe a djembe for a snare? Who needs cymbals when you have so many bells? Obviously I am exaggerating your point a bit and if this is not what you are saying please let me know.

In my opinion it is not like that because that is how the drum set started. We now have a more standard set up. It is not wrong to change things up however it is not how most people play drums now. I personally think it is great to have many options. For me I love the modern drum set, but I also love my hand percussion and bells. You are not going to see me anytime soon replacing my toms with djun djuns but who knows one day I might. Or Maybe I will quit playing a set and just move to aux percussion.
 

BGH

Gold Member
Marketing aside for a second, anyone is free to discuss any percussion or drum topic they wish to, on this forum. I have seen some guys discuss various percussion arsenals and post photos that depict other than just a drum kit. However, the majority of members want to discuss drum kit oriented topics, evidenced by what is actually discussed. So, if one looks at the percentage of drum kit topics vs percentage of 'other percussion' topics, the drum kit topics would occupy a much higher percentage.

If you apply that back to marketing, if the vast majority of guys are most interested in drum kits, I can't blame manufacturers for marketing to the masses. I'm not saying its 'right,' but after all, business is business as they say and companies are in business to make money.

I actually have played percussion rigs at gigs, but those gigs are probably less than 5% of all of the gigs I have played in my experience. If you are talking about paying gigs, most bands can't afford to have a percussion section of guys nor the space on stage for that. If you are talking about jamming or bands that don't play 'for the money,' well I suppose that could be a different story, but there are still usually space limitations.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Unlike a drum set, which can't be played within a percussion ensemble.
I really don't think you've thought this argument out at all mate.

There's a plethora of examples of kit being combined with other percussion. Jump on youtube and check some of it out........it's bound to be an eye opener for you I reckon.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I really don't think you've thought this argument out at all mate.

There's a plethora of examples of kit being combined with other percussion. Jump on youtube and check some of it out........it's bound to be an eye opener for you I reckon.
I heard quite a few kits and percussion, and for the most part, the percussionist would have been better of if the kit had been left in the basement.
 

mymarkers

Senior Member
I see what you're getting at, but I think you have it backwards. This isn't some vast marketing conspiracy to get more people to spend more money on drums. For one thing, have you ever looked at how expensive a decent set of congas is? The vast majority of western music- be it country, pop, rock, funk, or jazz- has one drummer playing one drum set. That means a lot of people will learn to play the drum set and want to buy drum sets. Manufacturers and retailers emphasize the drum set because that's where the market is.

Personally, half the reason I play the drum set is because there are far more opportunities than other types of percussion.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I see what you're getting at, but I think you have it backwards. This isn't some vast marketing conspiracy to get more people to spend more money on drums. For one thing, have you ever looked at how expensive a decent set of congas is? The vast majority of western music- be it country, pop, rock, funk, or jazz- has one drummer playing one drum set. That means a lot of people will learn to play the drum set and want to buy drum sets. Manufacturers and retailers emphasize the drum set because that's where the market is.

Personally, half the reason I play the drum set is because there are far more opportunities than other types of percussion.
Ah, as I was saying which would you rather have, a friend who plays bongos, or full set of toms and cymbals sitting in the basement?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
You've lost me completely mate. I didn't get it to begin with and you've gone way of the reservation now.

You're gonna need to clarify and make a far more concise point if you want me to go on.
 
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