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#1
keywing

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Hi,

I've been wanting to play more brushes these days but I'm not sure which coated snare drum head would be

 the best one to use for brush playing. Could some one advise me as to which brand might be a good choice?

Thank you,keywing 


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#2
CSR

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I play brushes a lot. I'd recommend a thinner head, like a Diplomat. The Aquarian Vintage series are good, too, but a little thick for me.

A trick I learned from the late Bruce Felter...take a little of the roughness off the head with 400 grit sandpaper used lightly in a circular pattern around the head before mounting. This keeps your wires from catching and allows for a smooth sweep.

I'm not a pro per se, but I do play 100-150 rehearsals and gigs a year with a variety of big bands, jazz combos, Dixie bands, brass ensembles, concert bands, and orchestras.

Edited by CSR, 23 July 2016 - 05:57 AM.

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#3
speady1

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Thinner heads are good.  I use Evans (coated G1 or coated J1), as I feel that the coating holds up longer than other brands.  Also, a pro tip I got years ago is to loosen your snares wires for more response with the brushes.  It helps a lot.


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#4
CSR

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Many brush players prefer to play with snares off, but I like the snare sound. Try both.
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#5
JDA

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Use the one's  Art Blakey Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones used at various times Can't go wrong ..


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#6
JoePasko2002

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Many brush players prefer to play with snares off, but I like the snare sound. Try both.

 

Brushes are kind of like snares to begin with.   Using brushes, I can approximate a snare drum sound on a tom, frame drum, etc.

Different brush angles will produce different levels of 'snare' sound.

----

But I am wondering this : does anyone ever set up a drum kit, with some drums primarily or specifically for brushes and other drums for sticks.  With each drum headed and tuned best for its intended purpose ?   Probably no one does this, but it doesn't seem that unreasonable, does it ?


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#7
gwbasley

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I have a "once a month" gig for a local steel guitar club and I set up an Acrolite specifically for it.  It is, for the most part, low volume with a lot of brush work.  This drum is tuned down and muted for the room.  When I go to sticks I throw my wallet on the batter. I find this kind of playing very rewarding from other gigs...I am playing off the head and don't rely on rim shots to create dynamics.


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#8
cworrick

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to answer your head question: 

Remo/Evans/Aquarian/Ludwig/Whatever - COATED Head.   If you find a store that carries all the heads, you can take them out of the box and just do a quick once over with your brushes to see what one you like the sound and feel of.   They will work the same on a drum and from 10-12 feet away Joe Listener won't care what brand it is.  

 

All the coatings eventually wear away, some quicker than others.  Everyone on here will tell you which ones last and don't last but I really believe that the way (ie.pressure and force used to play and sweep) makes some difference in the longevity of the coating.   I have also tried the Evans J1 Etched Head.  It is actually eteched instead of coated so there is not a coating to wear off.  I think it lasts a little longer, but it is not as rough as a coated head so you don't get as much sound out of it when you sweep the head.

 

As for snares on or off:

Rule #1 - TRY IT To see what you like.

Rule #2 - see rule #1.

To me, and on my snare, I turn off the snare wires.  I do this because I hear the snares muffling the bottom head when sweeping and not letting it resonate.  Now if I am just doing country train beats, I will leave them on.


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#9
JoePasko2002

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Emperor Black Suede heads work well for me.   


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#10
icebone

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remo ambassador, regal tip classic brushes, snares on.


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#11
RickP

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Like CSR, I play a LOT of gigs where brushes are required. A single ply coated head works well for brush playing. My personal preference is the Aquarian Texture coated. The coating is a tad thicker than the Evans G1 or Remo Ambassador. The coating on the Ambassador will last a long time though.

The Earthtone Calfskin heads are beautiful for brush playing, you will need to sand them down a bit to smooth them out so the wire strands don't catch . The sound of a calfskin head with brushes is outstanding. These heads are pricey and very susceptible to weather changes and some people do not want the hastle of tuning these heads during the gig.
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