Snare question for the jazz guys

synergy

Senior Member
My usual pride and joy is a restored 70's Ludwig Acrolite.

I am starting a new project that I dont think will fit this snare and wanted to put a question out there to see if I can get a little help.

My new project is a female acapella singer that I have known for a while, myself on drums and an acoustic guitar.

We will be playing small bar type things and coffee shops etc.

So I have the Acro and a Birch Yamaha snare but I wanted to see if you guys had any ideas of a snare that would work for this kind of setting?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I don't see why either snare that you own wouldn't work.
Just tune for a Jazz sound.

I myself would prefer maple for this sort of thing.
I would use either a 5 or a 5.5x13 or a 5x14 maple snare.
 

synergy

Senior Member
Thanks Bob,

I just thought they would be a little on the loud/harsh side

I was thinking mybe maple would be a good choice...

Any thoughts on other woods- wulnut, bubinga etc?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Shell material is really immaterial, I think. Loud/harsh is really up to the player playing the drum. Through tuning and technique you should be able to take any snare drum and make it do what you want. I've done all kinds of gigs with an acrolite, a supra, several types of brass snares, several types of steel snares, and each drum did what I told it to do. I don't think another drum is the answer. And then environment is another factor, the drum is going to sound slightly different depending on the venue, so I would take the snare drum you know best and be prepared to alter it on the fly during the gig. Keep your other snare in the car as a spare if you break something.
 

synergy

Senior Member
Thanks Bob and Bo for you input. Its just whenever I hear snares being described -its always 'loud crack' or it'cuts' through the mix.

The project is a laid back chilled- let this singer's phenomenal voice float over the easy groove myself and the guitarist are laying down. I dont want the usual things that snares seemed to be made for (by that I mean marketed for)

I have been eyeing maple for a while... another thought would be to try something like a piccolo snare? Would that be a good addition?



Though there is a reason why I have gone through a number of snares and always come back to my self restored beaten up acro. It was one of those moments when you know you have found something that fits you. She is my workhorse and I kinda feel bad leaving her at home! :)

I will be playing this with several variations of brushes etc and an absolute stiped down kit- bascially snare , small bass and hats- maybe my washy Dream ride to accent areas where I would normaly crash etc
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
A Piccolo snare will also work.
The shallower the snare drum the more response.
This will allow you to play lighter and hear the full snare sound.

Use 7A maple wood tip sticks
They are light and they will allow you to play at lower volume easier.

You will probably use brushes also for some tunes.

You can put a handkerchief over the drum to really dry it out.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think the Acrolite will work just fine, just bring some extra muffling and stick options to tailor the drum to the room.

For Coffeehouse/restaurant gigs I'd bring along a pack of moongels and some dowel sticks to bring the volume down if you need it. I also have a pair of Vic Firth Echo sticks for low volume playing.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
My usual pride and joy is a restored 70's Ludwig Acrolite.

I am starting a new project that I dont think will fit this snare and wanted to put a question out there to see if I can get a little help.

My new project is a female acapella singer that I have known for a while, myself on drums and an acoustic guitar.

We will be playing small bar type things and coffee shops etc.

So I have the Acro and a Birch Yamaha snare but I wanted to see if you guys had any ideas of a snare that would work for this kind of setting?
Couple of thoughts.

Traditional jazz from 40's - 60's had 'whatever I have' snares on most of the gigs. Some standout vintage but others just good working drums of varied materials.

The Acro is a good choice. I love my '68 Keystone very much. If you want traditional jazz sounds maybe more snare sound/less shell tone? If so, then maybe up the wire count on your snare. 42 strand came to mind since Gretsch did that first on a lot of their snares. Nice single ply coated head, tuned for the room with maybe a bit of moon gel pieces placed out of the way of brushes.

Another way to go that I've done is to use a cajon with brushes and hands. This works great in low volume situations. I also have a thing about playing bass-less gigs on drum set. I just get too bugged and usually am happier to play hand percussion. This of course would assume that you would either have some facility on hand percussion or be willing to add those chops to your arsenal. Highly recommended BTW.

HTH

Jim
 

droveto

Senior Member
Go vintage. I strongly vouch for the 60's single ply slingerland snare drums (artist model). The rounder bearing edges mellow out the attack and these drums are just so warm. I've played some vintage Ludwigs and have the same feeling about them, but I'm partial to the old Slingerlands since I own one. :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Many prudent suggestions here.

I think that in the long run you will have to experiment and decide what works best for you for this type of gig.
We all have to find our own way for this sort of thing.

The most important part that will make this gig work will be your sticking and control.
 

Hercules

Senior Member
Something like the mahogany snare with wood hoops in my avatar - very warm and woody - perfect for those situations.
 

synergy

Senior Member
Thanks so much for the ideas guys. I'm a little out of my depth in this situation- Used to rock only so i'm feeling a bit like I'm back at day one experience wise.

I can tell you that I'm really excited about this project- Its like the start of a new journey
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
You will be fine, Just relax and play with finesse.
That is the key to a low volume sound.
Play with a light hand and finesse.
You have to be totally relaxed to do that.
 

Zickosdrummer

Senior Member
I have a Ludwig vintage six lug brass snare that would work well in that setting. Something dry and not tuned too high. I recommend brushes. If you have to use a ride cymbal, then some very light sticks, 7-A Maple with wood tips is what I would use.
 
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