Rimshots on every snare hit

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Just stop it, please.

I can understand if you have songs that are truly best served by constant rim shots, but nobody wants to hear that **** on every song, especially if you're not playing death metal. Even death metal fans get sick of it. And really, folks...if you think your snare needs constant rimshots to sound badass, you either need another snare or you need to up your badass game, and I've been around long enough to bet money that it's not the snare.

Phew! Glad I got that off my chest...been wanting to say that ever since I got on here.

So who's with me here?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
The sound of a rim shot is very loud and piercing in person but heard through mics it's more of a tonal difference and usually quit subtle. I heard Donald Tardy from Obituary say he pretty much hits rim shots every time and it never occurred to me that's what he was doing, I thought I just liked his snare sound.

I don't see it as sounding badass, it just gives you a lot of the shell tone.
 
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JimmyM

Platinum Member
The sound of a rim shot is very loud and piercing in person but heard through mics it's more of a tonal difference and usually quit subtle.
Trust me, bro...it's never as subtle as you think.
 

iCe

Silver Member
I don't see it as sounding badass, it just gives you a lot of the shell tone.

^ +1

Personally i rarely use rimhots. Only when the end of the song has a couple of snare hits and i want to make a statement.
Just a technique to use, but hey... i'm sure that people who hear me play say 'dude, lay off on the china', but i just like that sound.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Trust me, bro...it's never as subtle as you think.

Some of these are rims shots, some aren't. The difference sounds subtle to me. Obviously it's noticeable, or else why do it?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Again, I like rimshots sometimes. I'm not saying don't ever use them, and I'm not even saying don't use them through a full song. Just not every song and every hit.

Yup. Too much of anything is bad. Except for Rice Krispy Marshmallow Treats.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
I'm not saying don't ever use them, and I'm not even saying don't use them through a full song. Just not every song and every hit.
It's the sound of modern rock and pop, as established by great drummers like Jeff Porcaro, Andy Newmark, Kenny Aronoff, and a whole bunch of 70's funk icons.
A centre hit is an equally valid sound, but not for some genres and tends to be more of a retro sound.
It's not really the drummer's decision. If the song requires a sharp precise backbeat the songwriter or producer will expect rimshots.bviously ghost nets are not played as rimshots.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
It's the sound of modern rock and pop, as established by great drummers like Jeff Porcaro, Andy Newmark, Kenny Aronoff, and a whole bunch of 70's funk icons.
A centre hit is an equally valid sound, but not for some genres and tends to be more of a retro sound.
It's not really the drummer's decision. If the song requires a sharp precise backbeat the songwriter or producer will expect rimshots.bviously ghost nets are not played as rimshots.
There you go injecting what's expected out of pro drummers for hire again :D Which is great because I like to know these things, and I am working the constant rimshots and trying to keep from catching rims every time regardless of my opinion of how overused it is. I'm a pro on bass but not back up to par on drums or what's expected of pro drummers yet, so this is good you're schooling me.

I guess this comes from hearing so many bands with drummers who do it inappropriately, and I've heard them at very high levels of showbiz, too. I always loved Blue Oyster Cult, and Al Bouchard is one of my favorite hard rock drummers ever. He can hit rimshots with the best of them and does in heavier songs but not in their more moody stuff. Saw them several times with the original lineup, and three times with three different drummers. Rick Downey and Jimmy Wilcox sounded awesome on everything. Jules Radino, however, is a really great drummer who hits hard and solid and I love that aspect of his playing, but every snare is a rimshot no matter the song or how mellow, even a good amount of fills. Great for "Godzilla," horrible for "Don't Fear The Reaper" and "Last Days Of May."
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Horses for courses.

I would rim shot all the time & goes with the godawful racket we make. Not so much nowadays as it hurts my wrists if I do it all the time. :oops:
 

jimb

Member
As a long time bassist. Repetitive rim shots, over tight staccato snare drums and machine gun BD patterns. No thanks. And FOH don't help either. There's a vid of Joan Baez on here somewhere and the snare sounds like a firecracker going off behind her....terrible. Play to the song not to ur ego.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Play to the song not to ur ego.
It's either the right sound for the song or it isn't. 75% of rock/pop/funk/country drum recordings from the 80's awards have been based around the rimshot sound. It has zero to do with 'ego'. The snare drum centre hit is a different sound.
The only time rimshots are 'inappropriate' is when playing a song that was first popularised with centre hits. Like many disco songs, or for example 'Sultans of Swing' by Dire Straits. It sounds wrong played with rimshots (a mistake I myself made).
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
It's either the right sound for the song or it isn't. 75% of rock/pop/funk/country drum recordings from the 80's awards have been based around the rimshot sound. It has zero to do with 'ego'. The snare drum centre hit is a different sound.
The only time rimshots are 'inappropriate' is when playing a song that was first popularised with centre hits. Like many disco songs, or for example 'Sultans of Swing' by Dire Straits. It sounds wrong played with rimshots (a mistake I myself made).
There you go. I've worked with drummers who have done it, too, and it's just so wrong. But any smart drummer taking a gig with DS would take direction from Mark Knopfler while it's 50/50 whether they'd tell me thanks or GFY.

Speaking of which, did you check out the earlier songs that Terry Williams played live when you played with them? He bashed the drums a good one but I don't seem to recall a lot of rimshots on Dire Straits earlier stuff with him, either. Been a while since I heard it, though. Narrowly missed meeting him on a couple gigs I did in Stuttgart with Dave Edmunds on the bill. He'd just left and Dave got a really fun and big Swedish guy. What a great hang...hope I didn't annoy those guys, but to see two nights of half of Rockpile, Robert Plant's bass player, and freaking Garrant Watkins, and have them all talk to me like I belonged there talking music with them...whoa!
 

iCe

Silver Member
But any smart drummer taking a gig with DS would take direction from Mark Knopfler while it's 50/50 whether they'd tell me thanks or GFY.

You do realise that Chris played with Dire Straits on the 'On Every Street' tour right? ;)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
In a live situation, I play rims on every hit (except for certain ballads or orchestral.) I think I learned to do that because it cuts through the mix and conveys energy without being loud. It's just become part of my style, and part of my sound.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Yes, it's the sound of excitement. Centre hits are fat and warm, which is great for singer-songwriter type music.
Mark never told me not to play rimshots. As I say, it was just the prevalent sound of the 80's and 90's, plus he wanted me to play as loud as possible (bizarrely).
Terry Williams was all rimshots as far as I can hear. Pick was more a 70's style player and he mixed up centre hits and rimshots, a lot of centre hits on the first couple of studio albums.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Mid-80's Sultans.
It is all rimshots, stadium rock style.
In order for it to be true to the album version the whole band would have to play lighter, skippier. That's why I ended up overplaying with rimshots, the volume on stage was anything but a swing band playing in a small bar (The Sultans).
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member

The whole show is rimshots, the difference is he had his snare tuned lower so it sounds less hard/sharp.
I hear rimshots sometimes, and I see him doing them when I don't think I hear them. I think Terry's snare sound is a major reason why I like him so much, that and he flat out plays his ass off and always plays the right thing at the right time. But that snare drum sound is a dream rock and roll sound to me. Big and warm with just enough crack to get over in the mix and not a bit more.

OK fellas, I guess I got schooled. I still think center hits and no rims sounds great in hard rock, but apparently it's become way more important to be able to do them every time than I imagined. I hope they come easier with a buttload of practice...I've never been able to do rimshots 100% and not miss. Never had to before, but I guess I do now.

You guys are sure they're non-negotiable for a working drummer? :D
 
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