Reconsidering some things

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I picked up another gig.... On Sunday nights, I was asked to do an open mic blues jam. The house band (us) would play a short set and then turn the stage over to the attendees who bring their respective instruments. The pay is crap, I get 30.00. But the other musicians in the house band are the cream of the crop in my little world, that's why I took the gig, to be able to play with them. (I've been waiting for years now to be asked to do SOMETHING with them, and it finally happened)

OK since it's Sunday night and I usually work the next day, and since I have to let others use my kit, coupled with the crap pay, I decided to not use my nice DW's. Instead I decided to use my Yamaha Stage Custom set, and forego the cases. I don't care if the heads get dented or the finish gets scratched, I just don't care. I just want fast set up and teardown/load out.

I've done 2 Sundays so far.

Well I'm sorry DW but this "lesser" kit sounds friggin phenomonal. I use one of my good snares and I have to have my best cymbals around me, but I am seriously questioning why it is that I go to the trouble of hardshell cases, and expensive drums to gig with.

Load in and out and setup/teardown is such a breeze with the Yammies, and the sound is top notch...I am seriously considering ditching the DW/hardshell case fiasco and just gigging with stuff that I don't care if it gets scratched or whatever.

The DW thing would be all ego at this point, because I can get the same quality sound from the Stage Customs, so why would I want to subject myself to twice the work for no real sonic benefit?

For my regular rock band gig, and any other gigs that aren't the Sunday night thing, half of me wants to use the DW's and leave the cases at home, and half of me wants to just use the Yammies and use the DW's as my miced up studio kit. No part of me wants to use the hardshell cases again, but knowing me I will. After all, I paid like $6,400.00 USD for just the drums and cases. But it's way more work. And for what? Nobody gives a hoot what I'm playing anyway. Anybody else cross this bridge before? Why would anyone in their right mind leave exotic veneered DW's at home and use the cheap Yammies by choice instead?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
And there you have it , folks. The great Yammy v/s Dubz debate has finally been put to bed!






PS- Seriously, Larry, I've had a similar epiphany about my 15 year old Tama Imperialstars. They gig like champs and they sound so good I feel foolish owning top end Yams.


...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think alot of us have been here and came to your same conclusion Larry! You are not alone! It's all about the sound and the ease, and if the Yammies do it for you, then no, you don't need the exotic crap, as most of us don't either.

We just like it because it's like a trophy to carry around.

I once hung out with Johnny Vatos Hernandez (Oingo Boingo) long ago who played DW when they were a small startup boutique company. I was shocked to say the least: he had a big 26" bass drum converted to single-headed - he took the front lugs off of this beautiful maple DW bass drum, and he had his snare drum in it with a single headed tom on top of that and a roto tom inside of that and carried it like a bag of groceries out of his Pinto station wagon at Madame Wongs! It was all scratched up inside, and had a good gash in it because he had the first remote hi-hat and had it mounted onto the tom mount on the bass drum, and the bottom ate into the shell!

He saw my shock and said, "They're drums - you play 'em!" We had a few beers together and I was ok with it after that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
We just like it because it's like a trophy to carry around.

.
You said it Spanky.

I may just uncomplicate my life and go with the easier route. The only difference between the 2 sets is what I paid for them. Why is it so hard to let go of something that is more work, and more worry for something that is less work and no worry?

Like Abe says, us humans are a curious breed (or something like that!)
 
N

nhzoso

Guest
I have recently come to this conclusion myself.. I have a Maypex Saturn at home and I played a gig the other day and used the house Rogers kit and it sounded fantastic, I also bought a beat up pdp kit to leave at my bass players house when we practice there and it too sounds great.. Why did I spend all that money on a Saturn?? I am now trying to sell the saturns for half what I paid and get a decent used kit for about $400-500 and use the rest of the money on my Harley : )

Lesson learned for me, except for a few hardware upgrades, low to mid kits perform more than well enough for the bar scene imo.. Glad I did not get the DW I was looking at 2 yrs ago for $4k.. I came close too. I agree about the cymbals though, they are worth every penny to me and if you cheap out on those everyone will notice.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I agree, Larry. Cases are a total pain. I had hard cases for all my drums and some point (probably 6 or 7 years ago) I just quit using them. I think I was jealous of some guy throwing his mid-level kit into the back of his car with no cases. I thought that looked so easy that it outweighed my concern about little drum rashes and scratches. Haven't used them since. I still use a case for my snare, but that's more to protect the snare side.

My kit isn't uber high end, but it's Keller maple made by a guy here locally for ~1/2 what a DW would have cost me. So as much as I want to want a DW, or similar high end kit, I would feel horrible tossing an investment like that into the back of my car unprotected.

Besides, my Keller kit sounds amazing.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I hear ya Larry.

I have two very nice kits with very nice wood grain finishes, and and great cases for them.

But the whole hauling around the cases and worrying about the finish is a pain. I can't believe how much time it all takes.

I won't get rid of my kits, but whenever I go for a new kit, it's going to be a wrap, and something I can just set up and tear down easily and toss in the back of the car without the worry.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I recall there was an interview with John Freese a few years back.

He was getting ready to go on the road with the Vandals for a few weeks, and he was unpacking his newest DW kit. He came to the conclusion that this kit was going to get beer spilled on it, and tossed around, why subject this beautiful new kit to that? So he called John Good and asked if he there were any already trashed DW kits sitting around that he could use instead.

So, even some DW endorsers realize there are some gigs that it's just not worth it. LOL.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I recall there was an interview with John Freese a few years back.

He was getting ready to go on the road with the Vandals for a few weeks, and he was unpacking his newest DW kit. He came to the conclusion that this kit was going to get beer spilled on it, and tossed around, why subject this beautiful new kit to that? So he called John Good and asked if he there were any already trashed DW kits sitting around that he could use instead.

So, even some DW endorsers realize there are some gigs that it's just not worth it. LOL.
Well yeah, but he called John Good asking for any thrashed DW kits. It's not like ol' Josh went out and bought a Tama Rockstar or something. And I read in an old interview that he even took a flame torch to one of his DW kits to give it a burnt up look. I forget who he was using it with at the time, but it was before he hooked up with Devo.

Yeah, Josh sure is all about taking the easier way..... He's all about being a rockstar and I'm pretty sure he knows it. I think Larry is talking about a different thing.

I had gone through the same thing when I got into that Sonor 3007 kit months ago, and I still ended up with these Tama Bubingas. I have an open bed truck so I have to use cases (regardless of the drums). I used to throw the kit into the backseat of cars and all that too, but then I started thrashing the car's interior, and I couldn't have that!

I think it's cool that we come to these reconsiderations about why we play what we play. But I would take Johnny Vatos' remark to heart - They're drums - you play 'em! Meaning, that if you like what you bought, expensive or not, take 'em out and use 'em! No kit is meant to be a museum piece. If you've already spent the money on a nice kit, thrash the hell out of it and use it everywhere! That's why we bought them in the first place! Use 'em without cases if it makes it easier. DW's are really common nowadays and I see guys thrashing theirs all the time. Drums are only tools. I never treat my Craftsman tools nice. Perhaps Larry, you just need a different attitude towards your current nice kit. You paid all that money for a kit to withstand the abuses - I say you should find out how far it'll go. I know my drums will take alot of abuse before I'm done with 'em.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well yeah, but he called John Good asking for any thrashed DW kits. It's not like ol' Josh went out and bought a Tama Rockstar or something. And I read in an old interview that he even took a flame torch to one of his DW kits to give it a burnt up look. I forget who he was using it with at the time, but it was before he hooked up with Devo.!
The torch thing was the same interview. After he got the trashed kit, he took a torch to it to thrash it even more, so he wouldn't wouldn't feel bad about not using cases.

Well, obviously, there is a difference, Josh didn't pay for his kit, and he didn't scale back to a lower end kit. But then again, as an endorser, Josh really can't be seen touring with another kit, so going to get a Rockstar wasn't an option. I don't think the low end PDP kits were in production at that time, or else he might have taken one of those.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Well Larry, here's the thing.

Omar Hakim owns and plays two different Pearl kits. A Reference kit in an awesome midnight fade sparkle-farkle, and his own completely custom Masterworks kit.

Guess which one he takes with him when he gigs and plays big shows?

If you care so much about your DW's, then keep them in a bubble. If you just want to use them, then use them. Any wear and tear will be based on how you handle them outside of your home, and that's that.

Stop geekin' out over it, dude.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The torch thing was the same interview. After he got the trashed kit, he took a torch to it to thrash it even more, so he wouldn't wouldn't feel bad about not using cases.

Well, obviously, there is a difference, Josh didn't pay for his kit, and he didn't scale back to a lower end kit. But then again, as an endorser, Josh really can't be seen touring with another kit, so going to get a Rockstar wasn't an option. I don't think the low end PDP kits were in production at that time, or else he might have taken one of those.
I get the endorser thing. I know Josh's dad (we work together at Disney) and I've met both Josh and his brother Jason (a killer sax/keyboard player too) when they were really young. I would venture this: they're a family of working musicians, nothing I've ever seen them play could be construed as mid-level. I doubt Josh would ever be seen on a PDP kit. And it's not just because Josh and his brother are who they are. Everyone working out here, at Disney anyway, is the same way. We all have high-end stuff that we trash, just because we need it to work for as long as it'll work. Then it gets replaced. Disneyland has a deal with Yamaha, they supply us with everything musical instrument-wise to professional audio - and we definitely do not use Stage Custom drums out here, nor do we use their little MG mixing consoles.

We've set up stages and had a drum kit sitting on it in the outdoors for at least a day before the band actually showed up to play. Then we light it up with 100-degree lighting. It might get sprayed, something will definitely bump into it at some point. So everything is top shelf. If you're not doing that, then yeah, a DW kit is overkill, but they are designed for that. We had a wrap DW kit that lived on a towed trailer for a surf band that played around the resort - at the end of the day that kit stayed there while the whole rig was parked under a tent for storage. I don't think that kit ever saw the inside of a building for the rest of its life. It broke my heart, but like I said, they're tools.

That's why you spend the 4K for the drums you have. Yes, I agree, they're pretty enough to live in a museum, and they are marvelous musical instruments, but you're also buying thrashability. I'm just suggesting that people do that. I would rather be able to throw the kit away in the end after I was done with it, that would mean I got my money's worth out of it!
 

CJM

Member
I've got a nice new Renown set, and a really nice vintage Ludwig set...but I got so fed up with the one-nighter drill that I decided to carry my beater Rogers kit as pre-set up as I could. I've got a problem with my thumbs now so twisting keys and wingnuts is painful..so I carry the floor tom without a case and already set up, and the snare *firmly* in its stand already set up, and the hihat already set up. Since I got a new minivan, now I carry the throne set up too. The Memriloc mounts always get the toms back in the right place.

I think the drums are at least part maple and they sound awesome for country/classic rock with pinstripes and coated resos. The Dynasonic snare still cuts it too. But the guitar players are partial to my Renowns, because they're sunburst, I guess.

I have used soft cases for 20 years, because they squeeze into small cars more easily. But the only things in them now are the two rack toms. I keep them in the van most the time covered with black flat sheets I found at WalMart. I even stopped using the rolling hardware bag and put what loose hardware I have in a duffle bag. Obviously, no double-braced boom stands for me anymore!

What really set me off was playing the Renown one-up with the cowbell on the bass, and not realizing the holder had worked loose during Honky Tonk Woman (ugh) and it had fallen against the tom and dinged up the lacquer finish. It's just so delicate, where the old Rogers wrap really takes a beating. You can't see the marks from the audience.

And now, no more dealing with bass and floor tom cases, trying to get them out of sight because the club owner doesn't want to see them around...bleah.
 
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