Often ignored yet the key to kick tone...

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
What did Bonham do? That's all I need to know.
It always cracks me up when people swear by whatever Bonham did as if it will somehow fit any situation they may find themselves in and whatever gear they have. Do these people all play in Led Zeppelin cover bands and use the same gear?

He also shunned internal muffling.
Except for the newspaper. And the aluminum foil. Oh and don't forget the felt strip... 😂
 

jimb

Member
It always cracks me up when people swear by whatever Bonham did as if it will somehow fit any situation they may find themselves in and whatever gear they have. Do these people all play in Led Zeppelin cover bands and use the same gear?
Except for the newspaper. And the aluminum foil. Oh and don't forget the felt strip... 😂
Its what the audience hears that matters. I have never understood why musicians think out front in the audience, tight choked and compressed works....it doesn't. I'll take the Bonham boom over an eq'd BD any day. 0.2$
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Do these people all play in Led Zeppelin cover bands and use the same gear?
Bonzo’s impact on the drumming community can’t be overstated. There are players far more skilled than I who’d give their left bass drum to sound like him. Let’s be honest, given his skill set at an early age and Zeppelin’s forays into multiple genres, it’s clear, to these ears anyway, that Bonzo could’ve turned his hands to any style of music and smashed it...whilst it manifests in a need to know how he set up and tuned his kit etc.I think what people really want to do is “play“ like him? :unsure:
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Bonzo’s impact on the drumming community can’t be overstated. There are players far more skilled than I who’d give their left bass drum to sound like him. Let’s be honest, given his skill set at an early age and Zeppelin’s forays into multiple genres, it’s clear, to these ears anyway, that Bonzo could’ve turned his hands to any style of music and smashed it...whilst it manifests in a need to know how he set up and tuned his kit etc.I think what people really want to do is “play“ like him? :unsure:
While I don't enter best-drummer-of-all-time discussions, as they're based upon subjective criteria impervious to facts, I will assert that in the class of rock drumming, Bonham, to my ears, has perhaps the most distinctive style in history. His technique and tuning are unmistakable. Millions have sought to emulate him, often with deficient results. He broke ground that many drummers can't even stand upon. Such is the crux of his greatness.
 
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
As usual, a first-rate experiment reveals startling results. A common belief is that a ported reso head is nothing more than a decoration, as the incision renders it incapable of producing tone or influencing the length of a note. That notion is clearly false. Thanks for providing carefully wrought content from which all drummers can benefit.
Is CMJ the only member on DW to achieve a reaction score greater than his or her post count? Time to change his status to "Best Selling Author". :)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Is CMJ the only member on DW to achieve a reaction score greater than his or her post count? Time to change his status to "Best Selling Author". :)
While I appreciate the gesture, I'll eternally decline the nomination, playful though it may be. I've contributed nothing to the forum worthy of inductions, accolades, or privileged titles. Like everyone else, I share my experiences and insights with the community. While some readers may find my perspectives useful, just as many, if not more, might think me insane. After all, I like Zildjian's S line more than its K offerings. Is such partiality not the deluded conviction of a madman at the precipice of ruin? Thousands here would probably say yes.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Its what the audience hears that matters.
I couldn't agree more. Though wide open, huge sounds would be grounds to get you fired from quite a few gigs I've seen and played. Context is everything.

To be clear, I'm not downplaying Bonham, his sound, or those that recorded it/mixed it for him. He was an exceptional player with a sound and style that influenced countless others, not to mention it worked with the music. Something tells me he would have played differently and likely tuned/chosen different drums given a different context and that's the sign of a versatile and self aware musician.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Something tells me he would have played differently and likely tuned/chosen different drums given a different context and that's the sign of a versatile and self aware musician.
Bonham's versatility is sometimes overlooked, as we know him chiefly in the context of one band. Nevertheless, his playing overflowed with adaptable characteristics. Zeppelin's music influenced Bonham's drumming just as much as Bonham's drumming shaped Zeppelin's music. Separating one from the other is next to impossible, a testament to how locked in they were as a unit.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
I couldn't agree more. Though wide open, huge sounds would be grounds to get you fired from quite a few gigs I've seen and played. Context is everything.

To be clear, I'm not downplaying Bonham, his sound, or those that recorded it/mixed it for him. He was an exceptional player with a sound and style that influenced countless others, not to mention it worked with the music. Something tells me he would have played differently and likely tuned/chosen different drums given a different context and that's the sign of a versatile and self aware musician.
I think the biggest mistakes drummers and other musicians make with sound are; first worrying too much about the sound they can hear, so for drummers how it sounds behind the kit, instead of what the audience hears. And secondly not playing to the song/band/venue/crowd. How often do you hear a guitarist in an amateur band that doesn’t know he’s in an indie pop band not Van Halen? Or a drummer that thinks he’s Bonham when he needs to be Meg White?
Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it sounds good “in context”.

Also @BenOBrienSmith I am absolutely loving your channel. I’ll have to join the Patreon when I can, work like yours deserves to be supported.

and yeah @C.M. Jones reaction score is off the charts, as is his loquacity and sometimes verbacious but always poetic turn of phrase. I unfortunately have fat thumbs and an overwhelming propensity for myriad typos. 😔
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I think the biggest mistakes drummers and other musicians make with sound are; first worrying too much about the sound they can hear, so for drummers how it sounds behind the kit, instead of what the audience hears. And secondly not playing to the song/band/venue/crowd. How often do you hear a guitarist in an amateur band that doesn’t know he’s in an indie pop band not Van Halen? Or a drummer that thinks he’s Bonham when he needs to be Meg White?
Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it sounds good “in context”.

Also @BenOBrienSmith I am absolutely loving your channel. I’ll have to join the Patreon when I can, work like yours deserves to be supported.

and yeah @C.M. Jones reaction score is off the charts, as is his loquacity and sometimes verbacious but always poetic turn of phrase. I unfortunately have fat thumbs and an overwhelming propensity for myriad typos. 😔
Just envision Meg White with Led Zeppelin and Bonham with The White Stripes. The fantasy illustrates the extent to which drummers mold the music.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Just envision Meg White with Led Zeppelin and Bonham with The White Stripes. The fantasy illustrates the extent to which drummers mold the music.
Oh I completely agree. My comment was more in the context of drummers who don’t adapt to the band at all. Like the guy who starts playing double kick chops in a semi-acoustic indie band. Molding the music only works if the band is on the same page to a degree. Stylistic tension can work (you just have to see Copeland‘s tug-of-war over sound with Sting for that) but there needs to be some common ground.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I couldn't agree more. Though wide open, huge sounds would be grounds to get you fired from quite a few gigs I've seen and played. Context is everything.
Hmm.. One gig I played, the soundman tuned/engineered the backline bass drum so it would sustain for 5 seconds. I didn't like it, but it was not like I could do anything to change it :(
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Oh I completely agree. My comment was more in the context of drummers who don’t adapt to the band at all. Like the guy who starts playing double kick chops in a semi-acoustic indie band. Molding the music only works if the band is on the same page to a degree. Stylistic tension can work (you just have to see Copeland‘s tug-of-war over sound with Sting for that) but there needs to be some common ground.
Absolutely. Any band member who pretends that he's playing alone would be better off in the parking lot. I was simply noting your allusion to Bonham and Meg White. It spurred me to imagine them in each other's roles. I can see Bonham in the White Stripes. Meg on a Zeppelin reunion tour is tougher to grasp, though it could be a fascinating pursuit.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Absolutely. Any band member who pretends that he's playing alone would be better off in the parking lot. I was simply noting your allusion to Bonham and Meg White. It spurred me to imagine them in each other's roles. I can see Bonham in the White Stripes. Meg on a Zeppelin reunion tour is tougher to grasp, though it could be a fascinating pursuit.
I’m imagining a distinct lack of Bonham Triplets on that tour 😂
 
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