Playing Soft but...argh

Dane777

Member
Okay I need some help here.
I've been asked to play a gig but the venue is really really echoey if that's a word lol
How do I get to the point where you can still play with the same intensity quietly as you do loudly?
Like the vibe is there I feel when I play Medium to Loud but soft it sounds ..ergh..
Help? Tips?
 

mrtolmachov

Member
hi

i think, it's all about control and relaxing....
playing soft with a nice sound and "in time" is a life time job, in my opinion....

practice a lot, very soft, with a slow click, try maybe different kind of sticks...

it's long work, but, i think keeping this in mind can make you a great musician, not just a drummer...

sorry formy poor english, hope this can help you in your research....
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I've been transitioning from rock beating to lounge tapping over the last year with my current band. It's not easy! Long way to go. I still regularly slip up and start playing too hard in song parts that require intensity.

mrtolmachov's comment was spot on IMO. All of it. I'd also add that it helps to use a soft beater on the kick and to keep your hands as low as possible.

As mrtolmachov said, practice practising soft a LOT helps, and don't let yourself get loud. Imagine the kit is made of very expensive glass that you dare not break - soft hands, letting gravity do the work as much as possible. Try to allow the sticks to resonate.

Go really easy on the hats ... that way you don't have to tap the snare hard for strong backbeat accents (by comparison).

Offtopic PS. Abe, I just noticed that you now have your Scooby Doo dog as an avatar. I should get a couple of pics of him so I can replace him in your caricature :)
 

Dane777

Member
Awesome.
Im definately gona practise that.
Yeah I got hotrods. But I miss the stick definition on the ride..*sigh..
Wish I was Gadd. Id rule the world lol
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Never liked the sound of rods. When you play gently they have a tacky sound on a tight snare head.

Instead I bought Vic Firth Kid Sticks - yep, sticks for children, just 12" long - to work through the transition. Here's a vid of me using them at a gig in Sept last year. That was our our "heaviest" song at the time and I'm playing MUCH harder in it than at rehearsals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LK2XaUWH4Y

Probably should shift to 7As but I've become attached to my little blue sticks now lol. The beads are quite durable too.
 

Drum-Head

Silver Member
My thing lately - I can't sleep so to pass time I practice at night on the pad sometimes. The thing is, in my house you can hear quite easily through the walls. I would set the metronome at the lowest volume possible, and start playing rudiments, some accenting etc. Here's how the game goes: if another family member wakes up, comes over and gives me a good wallop across the head for doing so, I loose. So far it has not happened! Some good training it is... But hard.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
One little trick you can do...choke up on your sticks. You can swing just as hard, but your volume will drop. You won't have as much reach though.
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
Set up on a carpet.

Muffle down with some of those nasty sound rings

Use every trick of dynamic playing you know.

Have a couple acoustic practices with the band. Unplugged.

Dont take the brass snare.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
My thing lately - I can't sleep so to pass time I practice at night on the pad sometimes. The thing is, in my house you can hear quite easily through the walls. I would set the metronome at the lowest volume possible, and start playing rudiments, some accenting etc. Here's how the game goes: if another family member wakes up, comes over and gives me a good wallop across the head for doing so, I loose. So far it has not happened! Some good training it is... But hard.
Great idea, DH. I like very much. I steal immediately :)

Larry, forgot to mention choking the sticks since I use 12 inchers. Yep, use 7As or Bs with wood beads and choke them.

If there's wooden or stone floors then bringing along carpet to set up on makes sense too.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Here are my assorted goodies. The orange ones nylon fibre & are made by Regal Tip and are actually quite sticklike. You can slide the band up or down the shaft to go 'Stickish' or 'Brushy'.

dw stix.jpg

...
 

MattJ

Member
Lots of good tips here. Choking up on the sticks works really good, as does going to a lighter stick like a 7A. I found that playing jazz really helped me with my dynamics, since a lot of jazz is fairly low-volume.
 
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