Riding the Snare

The Scorpio

Senior Member
I've been trying to play what I call snare rides. What I mean is where I'm playing 8ths as unaccented notes with my right hand, and two and four accented with my left. Like the verse groove on Motley Crue's "Kickstart my Heart." I'm having a sort of trampoline effect, like if two people are jumping on a trampoline, and they both land at nearly the same time, one of them will be bounced higher and faster than the other. In drum terms, my left hand on two and four is bouncing up faster, resulting in an uneven sound with my backbeats. What can I do to eliminate this problem?

Thank you in advance!

Kyle
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Tough problem...the trampoline analogy is spot on. The only thing I can think of is riding closer to the edge and backbeating closer to the middle. Or get a side snare. If you've seen the slo mo vids of a drumhead after it's struck, you see that like a trampoline, the head forms troughs and crests as it vibrates. No matter how you slice it your backbeats are going to hit on random troughs and crests of the drumhead, which creates that uneven feeling.

Maybe get a spotter? :)
 

The Scorpio

Senior Member
Tough problem...the trampoline analogy is spot on. The only thing I can think of is riding closer to the edge and backbeating closer to the middle. Or get a side snare. If you've seen the slo mo vids of a drumhead after it's struck, you see that like a trampoline, the head forms troughs and crests as it vibrates. No matter how you slice it your backbeats are going to hit on random troughs and crests of the drumhead, which creates that uneven feeling.

Maybe get a spotter? :)

Haha definitely a spotter! Thanks for the advice!!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
This is actually an interesting question.

What do most of you do?

I flam 2 and 4. I love flams anyway so it's just natural for me to do. But I wonder what other drummers do.

I was rehearsing Lonely Boy by the Black Keys with a band a few weeks ago and I didn't care for the sound of the flams. But I hate popped flams. Just can't bring myself to play them.

Another option is leaving out the right hand when playing the 2 and 4, sort of like Charlie Watts did on the hi-hat. But that doesn't quite feel right to me, either.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I would just play flams on 2 and 4 too.

Or play your groove on two separate snares... :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't think doing a flam for the backbeat would make a difference. The head will still have crests and troughs from the riding action, so I would think it would create the same feeling, flam or not.
 

The Scorpio

Senior Member
I looked at a few videos of Tommy Lee playing kickstart my heart, and he seems to flam on two and four. The drummer for the black keys seems to be playing about halfway between center and the rim with his riding hand. I guess a slow train beat could work as well. I'm looking forward to getting to practice so I can try to get this worked out!
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Little Richard's Lucille has the same beat.

I haven't had this issue when playing double stops on the snare.

Maybe try hitting one stick on the snare in a different quadrant of the head and experiment that way. ie right hand towards the rim, left hand center.

I think Tommy Lee actually does flam when he plays, but Lucille's groove is flat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An6VAgQUI0k
 

KnuckleBuster

Senior Member
I flam slightly as well, my riding hand or right hand is not playing the center of the snare but just out of center. Left hand on back beat in the center.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Just thinking, some alternatives to flamming would be to do a Charlie Watts and lift the RH on the 2 and 4. Depending on how it's articulated it can add a touch of upbeat funkiness to a rhythm. Also the whole thing can be played with RH, including 2 & 4 accents, which frees up the LH to add toms, cymbals or show.

Agree with Larry about playing closer to the edge of the drum. To my ear is just sounds better - at least in low volume settings.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
You could flam the 2&4, play the pattern with alternating sticking RLRL RLRL, play RRLR RRLR, or if the tempo allows it, play the entire pattern with your left hand LLLL LLLL; the last one allows you to do other things with your right hand. Double stopping (or flat flamming) on the snare doesn't sound good to me.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I experimented with the beat and I agree with the others, the flam does sound good and does seem to eliminate the funny feel when your stick hits while the head is in a trough. The flat flam feels funny and sounds inconsistent.
 
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