Stupid Newbie Tricks

M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
When I was at my local percussion store last night waiting for help I was toying around the hi hat section messing with the various hats they had setup. I saw my hats - Sabian AAX Xplosions setup and was like 'ah nice - I got those!' when I noticed that, ahem, they had them set up with the top hat on the bottom and the bottom hat on top... I almost said something to the clerk when I realized that I have my hi hats setup upside down :) I must say I do like the sound the upside down hats created but was pretty embarrassed that I made such a rookie mistake. In fact I am such a rookie I really don't know if hi hats can be reversed like I did - I wonder, as I said the sound was kinda cool....

Got me to thinking about other rookie mistakes and I could only think of a couple others:

- When changing heads on my snare drum I thought that each tension rod needed to be put back in the exact same spot. I panicked when I realized that I got the tensions rods confused and did not know how to get them properly re-aligned.

- When I got my Gretsch kit, (first acoustic kit) I did not know that drums had resonant heads and thought that Gretsch was super cool providing me with clear "replacement" heads. Probably my favorite.

- Could not "re-install" my snare wires when changing heads and had to take the drum to the percussion store. Of course the day I take the drum in to the shop the store is packed and the guy at the front desk decides that this is a training opportunity for his new help and conducts a small clinic on putting snare wires on in front of the whole store.

- Wanted to upgrade my Zildjian ZBT ride and crash cymbals so I bought used Sabian B8s

That is all I can think of now. Anyone else have any rookie zingers they care to admit to here? If you can't laugh at yourself...

MM
 

Nancy_C

Senior Member
In three years, I've never tuned my drums. I have no idea how to do it. My instructor did it for me once.

I don't know what "tension rods" are. (I can't believe I'm admitting this.) I'm going to go look at my snare and figure it out.

And I'm sure glad my top hihat cymbal says "TOP HIHAT" on it!
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
nted to upgrade my Zildjian ZBT ride and crash cymbals so I bought used Sabian B8s

That is all I can think of now. Anyone else have any rookie zingers they care to admit to here? If you can't laugh at yourself...

MM
Oh yeah another good one from last night... I just got my second pedal and was hooking up the two pedal system. I got the rod connected from slave pedal to base pedal and was all good. I started to re-do my setup when I was like "dang these two pedals sure are close to each other - how am I supposed to set up my snare drum. So I managed to get a somewhat decent setup worked out when I realized that the rod between the pedals could be extended out so I did not have the pedals A FOOT apart from each other....

I really am smart.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Imagine being so experienced that you never discovered the superior sound of inverting the placement of your HiHat Cymbals...

A beginners state of mind is what we should all strive for.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
In three years, I've never tuned my drums. I have no idea how to do it. My instructor did it for me once.

I don't know what "tension rods" are. (I can't believe I'm admitting this.) I'm going to go look at my snare and figure it out.

And I'm sure glad my top hihat cymbal says "TOP HIHAT" on it!
I am so glad to have someone else in my Newbie boat :)
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
Imagine being so experienced that you never discovered the superior sound of inverting the placement of your HiHat Cymbals...

A beginners state of mind is what we should all strive for.
I am available for lessons Otto :) JK I know what you mean.
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I think my only blunder was one time at a gig, I "thought" I clamped my pedal to the bass drum, but about half-way through the first song, I realised I completeIy missed the hoop and the clamp was underneath.

I never played my hats upside-down, but for about the last 20 years or so, I've always bought a 2nd bottom hat and used it on the top.

And about playing the reso side of the snare ... if you listen to the 60's song "Little Children" by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, it sounds like the drummer flipped the snare over and is strumming the wires. Later in the song, he's using brushes and/or sticks, but I haven't figured out the first part - it doesn't really sound like brushes.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I didn't know about tuning when I started out and my bass drum was tuned way too low. My first gig was a party and near the start of the first song I put the pedal right through the head. Took a lot of gaffa tape ... :)

In the 80s I had a lovely pair of Paiste Sound Edge hats ($200 back then, which is like around $800 or $10,000 today).

Then, at a party, some dancers fell over on my hats and made a crack in the top hate around the felt, almost punching a bigger hole through it. So I had to swap them around so the crack was supported by the larger felt at the the bottom. I played them like that for the next 15 years or so.

There are no rules, just standard models that are known to work. From there it's influences, intuition and trial and error.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Well, I think drums are one of the most complex instruments on any stage, except for maybe Geddy Lee's setup.

The first time I replaced my snare reso head, I put on the batter hoop by mistake—and it took me a while to figure out my mistake—then when I put on the correct hoop, I didn't line up the snare slots with the snare strainer. And I had it tuned up. AAAAARRGH.

When I got my first hi hat stand, I didn't know the rod unthreaded from "somewhere inside the tube". When it became so loose, I freaked out and took it to the music store and the guy told me I needed a new stand (he was a horn player). Some guy who worked at a gas station, whose son was getting lessons, helped me out.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Have you ever tried flipping your snare over and playing on the reso side? Give it a shot man!

:)
Well I'll tell you about snare side heads. I bought a hazy 500, 5 mil snare head just to see how it sounded and yep, Terrible. Well not one to waste things, I decided to put in on the batter side for a while. now I am not a heavy hitter but still wondered how long this thing would last. so after weeks of banging on this poor head nightly, I took it off and as it got loser it was apparent why it didn't break. It had about a thousand craters on it like the moon. It looked like it belonged on a hammered metal snare. it was ghastly.
It made the trash the next day, little pimply thing.
 

Nancy_C

Senior Member
I think my only blunder was one time at a gig, I "thought" I clamped my pedal to the bass drum, but about half-way through the first song, I realised I completeIy missed the hoop and the clamp was underneath.
That's your big gaffe? You don't belong in this thread. ;-)

A couple of gigs ago, the chain drive thing came completely off the (borrowed) kick pedal. For several songs, I couldn't kick for s*** and just assumed it was because I'm a spaz. How could I not notice the pedal had come apart, you ask? Beats me! I was just happy to have an actual equipment failure to blame.

Also recently, the (borrowed) hihat clutch assembly came apart in the middle of a song, and I couldn't get it back together. A bar full of people watching me as I'm hurriedly spinning the cymbal while trying to hold onto the washer underneath, just spinning away, while audience members are shouting encouragement, and nothing is happening because the part that came undone was ... I can't explain it, but what I was doing wasn't helping. I kept thinking I had it fixed, I'd tell the band, "OK!" and start playing again, the top cymbal would drop onto the lower one and refuse to budge, I'd start trying to screw it all together again ... This went on for several minutes, until I finally figured out the proper way to fix it.

We do a lot of multi-band gigs, and I have a very small car and a motorcycle, so I always use the club's kit, plus my cymbals, pedals, and some of my own hardware. It can be pretty mix-and-match, though, which leads to Adventures in Equipment Unfamiliarity.

I also tend to hit myself in the face with the sticks. Hard.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
I also tend to hit myself in the face with the sticks. Hard.
I think we just became best friends Nancy.

I also regularly trip on guitar cords and fall into my drums or knock amps over - but only if someone's drink is sitting on it... I also fell off my throne, stone cold sober - I was bouncing along (literally) when I bounced right off my stool.

We are drifting into a new thread about clutziness.

Grunt and other pros trying to make us feel better - THANK YOU!
 

Nancy_C

Senior Member
*fist bump*

And I, too, appreciate the more experienced drummers who make me feel less dorky/stupid, here and in other threads. I love this forum!
 

coolhand1969

Senior Member
We all made mistakes as we were learning
My biggest mistake was buying a kit from a local shop, could have got it for 1/2 anyplace
2nd big mistake was buying a Zil ZBT+ and then a Zil Edge Series
Learned better and now only play Paiste
I hope it is OK to put this link in, but it is where I learned everything about heads and tuning: plus taking the kit and heads off at 3:00 am and putting everything back together and tuned in 45 minutes or less

http://www.menet.umn.edu/~kgeisler/Tuning.pdf[/URL
 

Altar

Senior Member
Played with backwards traditional grip for a month before becoming so frustrated I just gave up on traditional altogether. XD
 

STXBob

Gold Member
Brought my first kit home, pulled it out of the boxes, and set it up. Worked like hell at getting the rack toms to a comfortable playing distance. They were just too close. No amount of adjusting them could get them far enough away. Took me three weeks to figure out I had the batter and resonant heads reversed.

Also, I used to regularly smack the side of my face and send my glasses spinning across the room. Ouch.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
Well I'll tell you about snare side heads. I bought a hazy 500, 5 mil snare head just to see how it sounded and yep, Terrible. Well not one to waste things, I decided to put in on the batter side for a while. now I am not a heavy hitter but still wondered how long this thing would last. so after weeks of banging on this poor head nightly, I took it off and as it got loser it was apparent why it didn't break. It had about a thousand craters on it like the moon. It looked like it belonged on a hammered metal snare. it was ghastly.
It made the trash the next day, little pimply thing.
Helpful hint: If you have heavily-dented - but not punctured - single-ply heads, don't throw them away. Use them as water trays under your potted plants!

I steam them flat again - okay, as flat as they'll get - then slap 'em under the flowerpots. Great for starting tomatoes!
 
Top