- May 28, 2019
- Reaction score
I’ve read and heard that the popularity of bop size drums arose from the practicality of lugging small drums in NYC when hard bop music was becoming popular. As a result, the sound of bop size drums (more articulate and higher pitch), became associated with bebop music.The 18" bass drum has little to do with trad jazz (dixieland and swing). Even most late 40s to 50s bebop recordings were done using 20" or bigger bass drums. 18" bass drums made their entry in the post-bop era with players like Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette, who used their bass drums a lot for comping. It's not about chops, it's about the sound and the role of the bass drum.
About 95% of my playing is small-group jazz, for which I use a 16" bass drum. For any other style of music where a low bass drum sound is desired (also big band), I prefer my 20" RB over any 18" I have owned. So it's not about losing their luster, it's about the right tool for the job. If you're a farmer and you buy a sports car instead of a tractor because it looks cool, you might end up selling it because it doesn't work that well for schlepping hay bales...