The myth of special equipment?

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Here's a vid of Gene Hoglan playing a rather complicated piece.
I do know he played old Camco pedals for a long time, including here.

What I also see is he playing said piece in old boots like it's no big deal.
Which leads me to the question:
Do we as drummers really need "special equipment" to play drums, or does Gene's example here show that it's BS?
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I don't know if I'd say it's BS necessarily. Physically, we're very different individuals. Bass pedals, our height and strength are going to have an impact on equipment we use.

I have literally never, worn boots behind the kit. Makes me feel slow, and BIGfooted. I'm a big guy, but I want to feel "nimble" back there.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Here's a vid of Gene Hoglan playing a rather complicated piece.
I do know he played old Camco pedals for a long time, including here.

What I also see is he playing said piece in old boots like it's no big deal.
Which leads me to the question:
Do we as drummers really need "special equipment" to play drums, or does Gene's example here show that it's BS?

Gene uses ankle weights and takes them off to rip fast DB lines....isn't that considered special equipment?

I think he used to use femur bone to warm up too (?), lol.

He said he collect Camco pedals, refused to use anything else because he liked the feel...perhaps special but I think Gene would kill on any kit he sat on. But it's a separate skill level; to play a house kit and still sound great even though you don't have your princess $1k snare and polished cymbals.
 
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CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Gene uses ankle weights and takes them off to rip fast DB lines....isn't that considered special equipment?
About the same as we using marching sticks to warm up with & then playing the gig with 5a's.

I think he used to use femur bone to warm up too (?), lol.
Smartass... :LOL:

He said he collect Camco pedals, refused to use anything else because he liked the feel...perhaps special but I think Gene would kill on any kit he sat on. But it's a separate skill level; to play a house kit and still sound great even though you don't have your princess $1k snare and polished cymbals.

Great point. Some drummers can just sit down on anything & just crush it (Kenny Aronoff comes to mind), and others need to have things a certain way to play how they do (Neil Peart).

I was just curious if those on here needed special stuff to play or can we just sit down & beat the kit like it owes us money.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I'd like to point out that those old Camco pedals which I've owned a couple are really great pedals. They were the original DW 5000. Since DW bought them they've had a lot of upgrades bearings double chain all those kind of things but basically that pedal is a 5000 DW.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think it's whatever you get use to. I play barefoot in the house but would have to adjust or re-learn if I was playing out. I wouldn't want my bare feet on most floors.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
I used to have ankle weights but never used it to the extent that Gene did, it's really uncomfortable so he must have built some real strength to play like that while wearing them. So probably wearing boots (or not) is like nothing to him.

The bone warm-up is actually a real thing, read it in an old MD article back when he used to have a boat propeller mounted like a cymbal...think he even had a car door too in his setup. Gene is really under-rated with all innovative double ride work with left or right lead, super creative guy.
 

Capital D

Member
I can play in boots, but I don't wear boots regularly. Why would I put them on to play? I have shoes I like to wear when I play, but I'm not dependent on them to play well.

Maybe it's a combination of what is comfortable to the player and what the player wants on the kit or the person. I don't think it is much deeper than that.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Here's a vid of Gene Hoglan playing a rather complicated piece.
I do know he played old Camco pedals for a long time, including here.
I gotta say, those old Camco/Tama pedals are some of my favorites. They just got those RIGHT. If someone said I needed to get rid of my "pedal collection" and keep just one type, the Camco/Tama's would be the ones.

What I also see is he playing said piece in old boots like it's no big deal.
Which leads me to the question:
Do we as drummers really need "special equipment" to play drums, or does Gene's example here show that it's BS?
Work boots wouldn't be my choice of footwear, but I've seen dudes wear them regularly "as their footwear of choice". Also cowboy boots and flip-flops. It's just a case of what you get used to.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
They weren't made of real bone.

I think we all have special equipment whether we want to admit it or not. Also where do we draw the line for "special equipment?" Is that vintage kit "mojo" special equipment?

There's things we get use to, and somethings are helpful while others don't make a difference in the real world, but in our head it's helpful so we do play better with it because we feel "normal/safe."
 

someguy01

Well-known member
The bone warm-up is actually a real thing, read it in an old MD article back when he used to have a boat propeller mounted like a cymbal...think he even had a car door too in his setup.
+1
I read the same article way back when. He also used to have a 70mm field artillery shell casing and a glass ashtray mounted on his kit. He said he hits random objects and if they make a sound he likes, he tries to incorporate them into his kit.
He practices with ankle and wrist weights, or used to anyway.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Certain techniques might call for something specific. I'm thinking of the 'slide' bass drum style.
I don't think it could be done with grippy soles instead of socks or a smooth leather sole.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Nice to know I've been playing the section at about 2:15 wrong the whole time lol.

Gene is a fantastic drummer. I dont think he gets as much credit as he deserves.

I saw him play with Testament AND Anthrax on the same night, one right after the other. He used Charlie's kit also.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"Special equipment" is a relative notion. Each drummer has his or her own technique, his or her own body, and his or her own perceived needs for both gear and attire. What seems unnecessary to one player might be essential to another. All judgment becomes flimsy in the presence of that fact.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I think part of it is experience playing different kits, and part of it is just mental attitude.

Before going to PIT, I would obsess over how my drums were set up, and I was a nervous wreck about having to not play my own kit for a whole year when I was getting ready to go to PIT.

But after a year of PIT and playing on 101 different drum set-ups, I got really used to adapting to whatever was there. And then in bands, I got really used to playing house kits whenever I had to. So my mental attitude is I don't much care what the setup is (though I certainly have preferences) I can make it work.

Maybe for really complex stuff, or stuff with a special vibe, certain gear or set up may lend itself to easier than others, but no special set up is required.
 
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