So I listened to a band this weekend...

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
With such a scant setup, the inclusion of a woodblock is certainly a curious decision. Did he use it in a way that departed from traditional cross-sticking patterns? If not, maybe he just favors the sound of a woodblock. I've never come across a woodblock I've liked more than the cross-stick sound I can get from a snare hoop, so I've never bothered using a woodblock at all. Plus, a woodblock is just another piece to keep up with, and I'm all about avoiding parts I can forgo.
He didn't use the woodblock much. Mainly as an accent, same as he used the other things. He had a cowbell and a mounted tambourine that got little use. All got some use though. It's not like he stayed on the bell or the block or the tambourine for most of the song. His groove was kick snare hats with the occasional (and unneeded for the music he was playing IMO) odd tone. I wanted to hear a ride once in a while and the occasional tom hit would have been warmly welcomed. IMO the music needed a ride and at least 1 tom.

I had subbed for this guy the week before. I never saw him play. I knew the bandleader for about 18 years. He's a dyed in the wool blues guy. So I decided I wanted to see his drummer.

I was just a little disappointed TBH. The bandleader is a seasoned pro who is good with the crowd, sings well, and plays blues
well too. He deserves a better drummer.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Sounds right for the gig. There are gig where it wouldn't be.

It's not a bad kit and I'm sure plenty of thought had gone into both the snare and those 3 cymbals.

Personally, I'd love to have more options than I have, but I'd still bring just exactly what I needed for a gig. I do a variety of stuff and it's nice to be able to experiment.

When people go really over board I think in most cases that in principle it's mostly a one in the van and one at the practice space type thing.

Bringing a selection of snares to a session where you're not sure what will work the best and as a pro want to provide options is a very different thing from doing a gig with your main band.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The good ol' 1 up 1 down set up. I've played this and at most put an extra floor tom on since my teens.

It's all I need for any situation, I'll change the tuning and swap cymbal/snare voices out if I'm recording and I want a certain sound. Might be a tad tricky for Bozzio but I like a challenge!

Playing aside the best thing about 1 up 1 down is the logistics. If I'm taking the 20/12/14 or 22/12/16 my load in/set up/tear down time is minimal. When you're on the clock why make your job harder?

As for weddings, playing wise they're easy but having done them for the last 10+ years I can see how they can grind people down. I just think about doing my grounding playing rough as arses pubs and clubs for hardly any money and then realise lots of drummers would happily have my gig.
 

iCe

Senior Member
For my prog project i use a big setup, but when i was in a rock band cover band it played a more humble setup.
With the cover bands i adjusted the setup to what i needed to reproduce the drumtracks accordingly, but was mostly 2 toms, floor, bass, snare, ride, hats, 2 crashes and depending on the songs a china and or splash.
With the rock band it was pretty straightforward rock 'n roll. Last year or so i just a 4 piece, ride, hats, 2 crashes and a china. Liked that setup and had everything i needed to play our songs and a few covers.
 

jimb

Member
I'll say it cause no-one else has. The crowd on the floor dont care about ur chops or your OTT kit, all they want is a steady groove, whether 4 on the floor or a variation. You could easily do a wedding with just BD snare and hi hat. Think about any dance house mix/old skool disco groove and there is barely any cymbal or kit work....its all thud thud thud.
Charlie Watts spent a lifetime in the worlds biggest band playing on the biggest stages and barely played a triplet and his cymbal crashes could be sparse.
Many years ago I played bass in a few disco/dance bands and it was the same thing, in fact if the drummer started getting flash he would get the look,...often from me.:ROFLMAO:
 

SVBJECT

Well-known member
I'll say it cause no-one else has. The crowd on the floor dont care about ur chops or your OTT kit, all they want is a steady groove, whether 4 on the floor or a variation. You could easily do a wedding with just BD snare and hi hat. Think about any dance house mix/old skool disco groove and there is barely any cymbal or kit work....its all thud thud thud.
Charlie Watts spent a lifetime in the worlds biggest band playing on the biggest stages and barely played a triplet and his cymbal crashes could be sparse.
Many years ago I played bass in a few disco/dance bands and it was the same thing, in fact if the drummer started getting flash he would get the look,...often from me.:ROFLMAO:
So true. Apart from filling in a bit of space at the high end of the spectrum the cymbals are often totally superfluous when all half the crowd wants is a controlled environment to dance in. It's easy for us - drummers - to comment on the drumming. For many people music is something to fill a void that surrounds them.
One of my old music teachers described it as "pop music is like day time TV, when you sit on your couch and watch it, what's actually important is the tea and biscuit in your hands."
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I've played many weddings with a two piece and felt I was a better contributor to the music because of it. My "home/fusion" setup is a 6 pc, but I enjoyed the hell out of playing this one.

2pc.jpg
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Snare + brushes = Done. :cool:

I'll say it cause no-one else has. The crowd on the floor dont care about ur chops or your OTT kit, all they want is a steady groove, whether 4 on the floor or a variation.

Sometimes what matters is what I care about. Great artists don't follow the crowd. ;)
 
I was a guest at a wedding a few days ago and they hired a really good dance/funk/wedding band. The floor was packed with approx. 160 guests.

The crowd loved the band, they kept the floor full with songs from the past 40 years. I asked one of the caterer's about the band and she told me she'd seen them before and they're popular. The bride and groom told me later that evening they were really happy with their choice and would gladly recommend the band.

So as I'm listening and watching the drummer who playing a simple Yamaha tour custom 4 pc. kit with 3 cymbals I thought for a minute about all the internet forum's obsession regarding gear. Whether it's shell plys, ugly lugs, cymbal logos, latest hero endorsement news and on and on, here's a guy in his early 30's laying it down getting paid to entertain and make people happy.


Thoughts on gear... Horses for courses.

It's a well known fact that a Yamaha Stage Custom with a few A's is all you need to be a successful gigging drummer. A Tour Custom is even better.

For a few years I was doing sound for a local venue and it was an eye opener. I remember guys with Stage Custom, and one with some DDrum thing, sounding amazing in band context. And then there was this guy with a killer vintage Sonor kit that sounded painfully bright with no "body" to his tone. Halfway through the gig he changed snare and the tone improved... turns out that was his cheap "spare" snare that he used because his main snare was having throw-off issues.

At the end of the day, playing technique, head selection and your tuning abilities will go a much longer way than having fancy equipment. If you can't make it happen with a Pearl Export, the problem is not the gear. If you CAN make it happen with a Pearl Export, then your Pearl Reference or DW Collector Series will obviously sound even better... but the truth is in a gigging context you might be the only one noticing. Which is why I see many pro drummers leaving the nice kits at home and gigging with more pedestrian gear.

Cymbals though... as the saying goes you can't tune a cymbal. But A's and similar are not that expensive and should be the bare minimum for the gigging drummer. Then again, had a drummer in one of my bands (where I play guitar) get a pair of XS20 hats after he lost his A Custom pair, and while I hated their sound it would appear I was the only one who noticed. The one time he had to play on B8s though (house kit) we all hated them.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
At the end of the day, playing technique, head selection and your tuning abilities will go a much longer way than having fancy equipment. If you can't make it happen with a Pearl Export, the problem is not the gear. If you CAN make it happen with a Pearl Export, then your Pearl Reference or DW Collector Series will obviously sound even better... but the truth is in a gigging context you might be the only one noticing. Which is why I see many pro drummers leaving the nice kits at home and gigging with more pedestrian gear.
I concur sir… :unsure: :)
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
And then there was the guy who played at my wedding reception. The band (and the drummer) were killer! They played a mix of swing and dance tunes. The dance floor was packed and people loved the band. The drummer used an absolute top-of-the-line Yamaha Phoenix with three toms and a plethora of cymbals. I actually thought what he brought was way over the top but in the end, if it makes the audience, band, and drummer happy then that's all that matters.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
And then there was the guy who played at my wedding reception. The band (and the drummer) were killer! They played a mix of swing and dance tunes. The dance floor was packed and people loved the band. The drummer used an absolute top-of-the-line Yamaha Phoenix with three toms and a plethora of cymbals. I actually thought what he brought was way over the top but in the end, if it makes the audience, band, and drummer happy then that's all that matters.
Go figure.

Whatever works, is the way.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Ah yes, it's about time we got around to looking down on wedding gigs.
Seriously, who wants a gig where you're fed beforehand, paid well, and have a frankly gorgeous audience dancing their asses off? Who in their right mind wants a dance floor full of what looks like a bunch of drunken strippers at a cleavage convention? Pfffffffft, dude, check my blushda over 7.34/19 instead, man..... Screw open bar!
 

davezedlee

Senior Member
Ah yes, it's about time we got around to looking down on wedding gigs.
Seriously, who wants a gig where you're fed beforehand, paid well, and have a frankly gorgeous audience dancing their asses off? Who in their right mind wants a dance floor full of what looks like a bunch of drunken strippers at a cleavage convention? Pfffffffft, dude, check my blushda over 7.34/19 instead, man..... Screw open bar!
well, you're playing low-denominator covers for people that wouldn't pay to see you otherwise, for starters

nothing wrong with that, but hardly a solid base for determining the future of music
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
If I can't play it on a four-piece, I don't need to play it at all.
Whilst this is true on many levels, there may be other considerations.

I play a compact 6 piece in my regular gig. I tried a 4 piece in the same gig a few years back. I lived with it for a few months, but I wasn't happy. For sure, I could play the set no issue, & with the same number of notes, but it neither felt the same, nor delivered the same soundscape.

It was the band members who aired this before I did, but I was already in the same space. I reverted to the 6 piece.

I concede my skill level probably held back my ability to adjust more wholesomely, but there was no way of getting around the lack of voices available. I doubt the audience ever picked up on the difference, or at least, wouldn't identify it's source, but the band did, & so did I.

I will add, I'm very comfortable on a 4 piece kit. I've played 4 piece by choice in many settings, but it wasn't the optimum choice in this setting, & with this player.
 
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