Playing Vintage Drums

macr0w

Member
First off: I'm not a collector or am I very knowledgeable about collector drums.

I just want to know how many guys who are collectors will actually play their drums?

Do you restore them to playable condition?

If you have a snare that is lets say 70-80 years old, would you play it?

I understand that the og heads might not be able to take much and you wouldn't want to beat the crap out of them for sure but, What about new skins?

Just a thought.

I picked up an antique snare that is in good shape and I want to tune it up and hear what it can do.

But should I?

Thanks :)
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
First off: I'm not a collector or am I very knowledgeable about collector drums.

I just want to know how many guys who are collectors will actually play their drums?

Do you restore them to playable condition?

If you have a snare that is lets say 70-80 years old, would you play it?

I understand that the og heads might not be able to take much and you wouldn't want to beat the crap out of them for sure but, What about new skins?

Just a thought.

I picked up an antique snare that is in good shape and I want to tune it up and hear what it can do.

But should I?

Thanks :)
I play my vintage drums,although some vintage drums out there are a little fragile and or very rare,and would lose their value if damaged while being played.

If I buy a vintage to restore,I of course restore it to original condition as possible,so yes it can and does get played.

The oldest drum I have is my 40's Slingerland Radio King snare and yes I do play it,but I also take care of it better than most drummers.

You can use modern heads on most vintage drums,but some drums are oversized,and require calfskin or Aquarian American vintage heads which are oversized.Calfskin heads are pretty durable too,but they are sensitive to temp/humidity.I Hit a little on the hard side ,but I refuse hit as hard as I can.All that does is choke the drum.When you do that...you lose all tone and musicality,and you're just making noise.Whats the point of that?

Why buy a vintage snare and not play it?What brand/model is it?What size?

Drums are mans oldest instrument ,and for the most part,meant to be played.But I also believe that we as drummers are just a temporary caretaker of our drums.As such,we have a responsibility, to keep them in original,and playable condition.Some of them are a piece of history,and should be maintained with respect.

Steve B
 

macr0w

Member
It's a CG Conn from the late 20's or 30's I guess.





The top head has "Joe Roges Jr" written or stamped on the underside.

The bottom head has a stamp of some kind that I haven't id'd yet.

I know that it's not perticularly valuable to collectors but it's a cool looking snare.

I like the lugs. :)
 
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caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I don't consider myself a "collector", but I do have a collection of vintage drums/cymbals that I play.

First off: I'm not a collector or am I very knowledgeable about collector drums.
If you care about it, you'll seek out the knowledge. If not, no biggie. I know tons of people who play vintage gear who know nothing about it--they just know if sounds good.

I just want to know how many guys who are collectors will actually play their drums?

Do you restore them to playable condition?

If you have a snare that is lets say 70-80 years old, would you play it?
There are collectors that have so many drums that they couldn't possibly play them all regularly. There are some collectors who buy drums/cymbals and merely store/collect/hoard them, just like some people do with Beanie Babies or old coins or Hot Wheels. There are some collectors who enjoy playing what they have, and some who will not for fear of putting stick marks on that immaculate original head, or won't tune it for fear of stripping out the original tension rods.

I do restore drums to playable condition, because I play them. I just restored a Gretsch round badge drum set, because all of the drums were mis-matched. I didn't restore it to original condition, but rather made it look pretty. To contrast, I have a 1928 Slingerland snare, and I play it regularly--it's one of my go-to snares. But, the throw-off is sketchy. I'm not going to replace the throw-off, because it's not in *that* bad of condition. It still functions, but I just don't want to mess with it--more out of laziness than wanting to preserve the originality of the snare.

I understand that the og heads might not be able to take much and you wouldn't want to beat the crap out of them for sure but, What about new skins?
Heads are meant to be played and replaced. They get worn out, like guitar strings or saxophone reeds. If you happen to have the original, unblemished heads, and the drum is desirable and in tip-top shape, I would recommend removing the original heads and storing them in the event that you want to sell it in the future for the most money. But, if they're beat up or unoriginal, by all means, do what you will with them. If that worn out old 1970s Remo Ambassador still sounds good to you, play it.

EDIT: Those are calfskin heads, and look to be in decent condition. Given the dryness of the shell (all of the holes), those heads won't sound very "lively". Carefully take those heads off and put some new heads on. You might have to buy specific heads (Aquarian American Vintage) if the shell is slightly oversized. If you choose to sell the snare, having the original heads is a plus.

I picked up an antique snare that is in good shape and I want to tune it up and hear what it can do.

But should I?
Did you buy it to collect it, play it, or flip it? Answering those questions will give you your answer.
 

macr0w

Member
Did you buy it to collect it, play it, or flip it? Answering those questions will give you your answer.
I bought it mainly out of curiosity.

Maybe it's my way of getting my feet wet in the collector drum world.

I'm not looking to flip it.

I want to keep it and I would love to be able to play it.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I want to keep it and I would love to be able to play it.
Take it to the local drum head store and get new heads on it. You don't want to go to the shop, buy heads, bring them home, try to put them on and find out they are just under-sized. Take the drum to the shop and make sure you get some heads that fit (take the heads out of the box and set them on the bearing edge, making sure they will go on easily).
 

macr0w

Member
It's a 14" rim.

I measured it.

I think I'm going to take it apart and clean it up and re-assemble it.

It has a strainer on both the top and bottom heads. :-/
 

macr0w

Member
Does anyone know where to get the nylon straps (if that's what they are) to replace the og ones?

I seem to remember seeing them somewhere online but now I can't find them.

Thanks
 

T.Underhill

Pioneer Member
I have a couple vintage kits, I play one (Edgware) but the WFL came with calf/pig skins so I've never put a stick on them.
 
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