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Does it matter what you hit as long as you have groove?

stickmakeboom

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
 
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I've seen some killer players sit in on a jam session with a cowbell and transform the whole vibe. Good ears, time, syncopation, and expression (dynamics, phrasing, articulation) - masterful musicality like that can't be beat. Putting someone of that level on an instrument who's builder has an equal degree of expertise is a recipe for magic. But I've also done a double take at some street performers or people playing with that sort of instrumentation.
 

mydadisjr

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Yeah, I know we got us some Cajon haters here, but I have a nice solid face Peruvian made cajon and am pretty good at it. Heck, it is just a wood box but I have gotten lots of compliments on what it brings to the music when I bring it to the acoustic folk jam.



6b50d652fba91cb12414635ddc33c686.jpg
 

davezedlee

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
I’ve NEVER, EVER seen anyone dance to a drummer playing pails, ever, so yes, what you’re playing and what you’re playing ON does matter
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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To a certain extent, yes…some cheaper drum kits can still sound good. And everyone here knows that a high end DW, Yamaha, Tama, etc. won’t make one a better player. But given someone that can play well, a well made kit (assuming good tuning and so on) can improve the experience for the player and listener. Not saying everyone go out and spend a fortune, but at the same time, it’s also quite okay if a drummer wants to use nice gear.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I saw a YT video years ago with a Jazz jam in an apt. and the drummer was using brushes on a phone book! Blew me away and sounded good. Oh how I wish I could find it again....

I again looked and all I found is this guy jamming out a pizza box:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Jazz/comments/g36daz
 
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hsosdrum

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Depends on the music. Not all music has the goal of making people want to dance; therefore not all music requires a drummer who adheres strictly to playing a groove. What is important is that the drummer play things that help whatever music they're involved in communicate emotion. Doing this may only require a set of empty 5-gallon buckets; or it may require a set of Craviottos with old K Zildjian cymbals.
 

Pibroch

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For example, I've seen street drummers literally hit 5 gal buckets and pieces of metal and make a sick groove/beat I could dance to and/or make music to. And conversely, I've seen guys with amazing super expensive drum kits who completely miss the point, have no groove and are simply distracting from the music. This is an interesting conundrum to me...and I feel like the balance lies somewhere in the middle...?

Discuss.
I don't think there's a balance in the middle if we're talking mainstream western music practice: if a drummer is a drumming musician they will have excellent groove abilities by definition. What they play on is a matter of what suits their stylistic plan, or that of their band (or record producer), and sometimes their ability to source their preferred instruments.
 
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BennyK

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If you've got " IT " then " IT " will come alive with whatever you're playing on . Whether or not your " IT " fits into a band or an orchestra is another conversation .

Morphine is a good example with the one ( two?) stringed bass .

Steel drums of the islands were born out of .... steel oil drums left over from WW ll .

Bagpipes ? your guess is as good as mine .
 

drumgadget

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For the moment, restricting this to playing on your own favorite, well-tuned kit .......

I truly believe that it DOES matter WHAT you hit and when ...... even if you are totally locked in and grooving. I constantly catch myself playing patterns that sound, in hindsound (?), amateurish. I think in my case this is the result of limited chops - hitting the rack tom or floor tom with whatever hand is "next in the queue" - rather than planning out a sensible melodic fill ...... or possibly, no fill at all.

One of the reasons why I feel much more comfortable with a simple 4-piece; way fewer temptations to lash out at the wrong sound, but "perfectly" in the pocket (as if!). Worst case for me is a two-up config ..

I should go back to trying to record my playing ...... I know ...... but it's just one more hassle, plus I'm afraid I would not like what I hear.

I've been having a lot of fun recently with a single hand drum ...... and trying to stay out of the way.

Mike
 

JDA

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hi -med- lo- short- long
extra dessert- white and black noise.
I just random picked that one there's a 100 when TW uses Sounds. (played by his drummer usually)

SO No it Doesn't to me matter and I agree with someone who said Middle isn't;
There's better examples from TWaits but haven't listened to them in 6 years)

hi-medium- lo- short- long
 
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Pat A Flafla

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Does it matter what you hit? It certainly does. That guy linked above by JazzDrumGuy wouldn't be making lovely brush sounds like that on a wadded up fleece blanket.

Beyond my simple functionality nitpicking, does what you hit matter more than what you have to say through what you're hitting? Certainly not. I'd rather hear Zombie Max Roach perform on an array of Amazon boxes than hear someone uninspired and clunky play on [fill in your favorite gear here]. That doesn't mean our hypothetical jazz derp isn't worth hearing in some context, but come on... Zombie Max Roach could pull off his own arm and use it to beat you about the noggin in a creative way that would give your life new meaning.
 

pwc1141

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Assuming we are talking about actual drums., then a lot can be achieved with just brushes and a snare drum ...or snare, bass and hi-hat. But ....there is a lot of music where just those are not enough such as big band as one example. I have seen many vids of people playing pots, boxes, iron pieces and plastic buckets and it's often impressive but I have never seen any in an on-stage band setting and maybe there is reason for that ...
 

Whitten

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It's all about context and what is appropriate.
Yes, a good player can groove on anything, but 'When The Levee Breaks' sounds completely different on cardboard boxes compared to a great sounding drum kit. It depends what the goal of the project is - which determines whether you use great drums or cardboard.
 

mtarrani

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Assuming we are talking about actual drums., then a lot can be achieved with just brushes and a snare drum ...or snare, bass and hi-hat. But ....there is a lot of music where just those are not enough such as big band as one example. I have seen many vids of people playing pots, boxes, iron pieces and plastic buckets and it's often impressive but I have never seen any in an on-stage band setting and maybe there is reason for that ...
In a big band, true. Performing big band standards - it's fun with a scaled down kit :)

 


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