What's ONE piece of gear that made you change the way you play your whole kit?

davezedlee

Senior Member
Vic Firth 5A Extremes from Promark 747 Oaks... the length, and hickory's "spring" got me more into bounce and rebound, whereas the oaks were shorter, and more rigid, and i used too much wrist action to get around, which lead to tendinitis
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Mine is kinda' like your cymbal story. When I started using two A Zildjian 17" thin crashes as hi-hats, that basically changed the way I play ALOT. I started to tune my drums down too, so I got a nice big phat sound. Away went the piercing hi-hats, and the staccato drums. I began to blend in better with the band and stopped beating the audience and band members over the head with my sound. It also extended to my ride cymbal, now a 22" K Light Ride, which is probably like the OP's ride, and when I use a crash, I couple that with a 20" A Thin Crash. All my cymbals speak quickly, but they don't really cut unless I want them to. The drums are these bigger notes too - and I think what's been happening is that I actually play less because I want the notes to wash over the listener, and not nail him to the wall. So in this process I guess the way I play has changed over the last five years or so. I do know I can't listen to myself on recordings I made of myself from ten years ago!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Numerous things over time. When I was first starting, it was a cowbell. I flew it off the bass hoop and it was in my way of the toms (2 up 2 down), so I offset them and moved the ride in. That was quite an eye opener.

I then went to 3 up 2 down. The cowbell moved, as did the ride. I bought a rack and that allowed me to push the kicks out some which really helped my feet out substantially.

Then it was 1 up 2 down. I added a ride to the left. That really changed things. Double rides add a whole new universe of possibilities. Double strokes on two rides is quite enjoyable. Open handed started to become a thing.

Now it's 0 up, 1 down (left) and 2 down (right). I centered the hats on the snare, moved each ride in closer, mirrored around the hats. I can now move effortlessly between the 3 cymbals and the snare. It still feels odd, but it's a somewhat new concept for me. I really dig it though. The third floor is there, it just didn't make the pic.

View attachment 89870
Vaguely reminds of the set up of Vlad from Jinjer.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The first one was a Tom stand: which allowed me to offset my toms. The second and more important isn’t a gear but an App: live BPM, I use it to keep a good control of my tempo, not obsessed by it, but I check it out from time to time like the tachometer of a motorbike/car.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I've gotta split my vote on this one. My first thought was the sticks, for sure. But going back to when I got serious about drumming 6 years ago, it was when I started to replace my Sabian Pro (B8) cymbals with actual professional studio quality cymbals that it totally changed both my experience while and understanding about what I was doing.

Granted, I play praise music in church, so I should be feeling something. But the first time I hit a real cymbal during a set, it actually brought tears to my eyes. Sticks that feel great in my hands are the other side of the coin as they're just as important at expressing what I feel onto the kit and inside the band. Because of them, I feel different and we play different.

Pete


Stuff.jpg
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Getting a basic rack was a game-changer for me, so I could now position my rack toms offset from the bass drum and get everything else in more comfortable positions since I didn't have to deal with stand feet. (I later figured this out on my rehearsal kit that still uses stands, including a tom stand that also holds one of my crashes.) Upgrading from a luan to a maple kit was the next thing- so much better tone!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've gotta split my vote on this one. My first thought was the sticks, for sure. But going back to when I got serious about drumming 6 years ago, it was when I started to replace my Sabian Pro (B8) cymbals with actual professional studio quality cymbals that it totally changed both my experience while and understanding about what I was doing.

Granted, I play praise music in church, so I should be feeling something. But the first time I hit a real cymbal during a set, it actually brought tears to my eyes. Sticks that feel great in my hands are the other side of the coin as they're just as important at expressing what I feel onto the kit and inside the band. Because of them, I feel different and we play different.

Pete


View attachment 89883
I was so lucky my first kit (when I was 8) came with Zildjian New Beats from the 1960s. I've never had to experience sub-standard cymbals.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Mine will sound dumb but here goes:

A crash to the right of the ride (right-handed player).

I've been playing an electronic kit and now a basic acoustic kit and an acoustic kit at church. All these had a single crash (on the LH side) and I tended to use it sparingly. Now I have located an additional crash on the RH side I'm in crash heaven. Massive contrast to my playing - I can't believe it.

Glad I got that off my chest.
Peace
Davo
 

joe.dodd.735

Junior Member
Mines split evenly between two. The first is the more professional level gear that I'd saved up for and purchase over the last year. This included new pedals, hi hat stand, stealth racks and a full set of cymbals. This has really helped me to develop my own sound and advance my drumming.

The second was going to a Steve Smith clinic last February that really opened my eyes to what I need to work on. My playing is far more relaxed than before and I'm still working on it. It has also been complimented by my changes in gear.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Timbale cowbell was a game changer for me. Really made me learn patterns where multiple tones were in the part. I had always played different tones on the snare, toms, and cymbals, but now they sound like something.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Numerous things over time. When I was first starting, it was a cowbell. I flew it off the bass hoop and it was in my way of the toms (2 up 2 down), so I offset them and moved the ride in. That was quite an eye opener.

I then went to 3 up 2 down. The cowbell moved, as did the ride. I bought a rack and that allowed me to push the kicks out some which really helped my feet out substantially.

Then it was 1 up 2 down. I added a ride to the left. That really changed things. Double rides add a whole new universe of possibilities. Double strokes on two rides is quite enjoyable. Open handed started to become a thing.

Now it's 0 up, 1 down (left) and 2 down (right). I centered the hats on the snare, moved each ride in closer, mirrored around the hats. I can now move effortlessly between the 3 cymbals and the snare. It still feels odd, but it's a somewhat new concept for me. I really dig it though. The third floor is there, it just didn't make the pic.

View attachment 89870
so freaking weird...my set up is nearly the same!! This has really made me rethink fills, and just made the way I play more fluid

and I also think that finally finding sticks that fit my hands has really changed everything...

I think my next thing is finding a better bass pedal situation. I still have my DW 5000 double bass pedal from 1994...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Someone else said it already I think, but way back when I first upgraded from that garbage student B8 cymbal crap my whole world opened up. I cannot overstate how bad crap stamped cymbals are for technique, sound and control. They are so one dimensional.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Double bass pedal.

Even though I don't use it now, the couple years I spent focusing on different techniques
for it have improved my single pedal bass playing a lot.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Someone else said it already I think, but way back when I first upgraded from that garbage student B8 cymbal crap my whole world opened up. I cannot overstate how bad crap stamped cymbals are for technique, sound and control. They are so one dimensional.
I felt the same way about my XS20s. Huge kudos for those all over and while miles above the B8, they still could only produce less than half the tone and satisfaction of my HHX. Great starter cymbals, but the world still opens up with better cymbals, albeit not as much as the B8s.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I felt the same way about my XS20s. Huge kudos for those all over and while miles above the B8, they still could only produce less than half the tone and satisfaction of my HHX. Great starter cymbals, but the world still opens up with better cymbals, albeit not as much as the B8s.
For sure. I'm at a point where I can quite literally play anything where the drums are concerned, I just don't care, and I've gotten great compliments even on house kits falling apart with tape all over them. Give me crap cymbals and I'm gonna have a bad night, though.

I usually bring my standard hats/crash/ride set along most places I go so it's not an issue anymore... But man, all the years I suffered under the oppression of stamped B8 cymbals I wish I could get back... There was a point where I thought I was just unable to "swell" cymbals. Nope. It just sounds like trash on trash cymbals.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
There was a point where I thought I was just unable to "swell" cymbals. Nope. It just sounds like trash on trash cymbals.
It was really amazing to me the first time I swelled on a nice thin Zildjian A after doing so on B8s for years.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
It was really amazing to me the first time I swelled on a nice thin Zildjian A after doing so on B8s for years.
Yep. And this is why I hate them being billed as beginner or "student" cymbals. It's really harmful to development of musicality. I guess the idea is that at the start you don't understand how all that works anyway, but as mentioned, I wish someone made it more clear to me before I put in all that time. I guess the good news is that I adjusted quickly, mostly because things just worked so much easier... But the harder thing to do is get all the new control skills under your belt. With a real cymbal every little thing translates to a different color, with the stamped stuff, you kinda get one sound and have to whack pretty hard to get it. New set of skills that I could have been honing in for years!
 
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