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

doubleroll

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I’m thinking it really doesnt matter what you hit as long as its funky…As demonstrated by the Doctor himself:

Steve Gadd – Drums/Boxes & Thighs

 

bigbonzo

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Of course it doesn't matter. What a silly (stupid) question.
It's all about what you can afford to buy. Not how well you play.
That's why you see great drummers play plastic tubs and poor drummers play great drum sets.
 
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DB-66

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It’s all about sound and rhythm. Sound, as Joe stated, is largely pitch and duration, but also what we expect or want to hear. Brushes on a pizza box have the sound. A large sized Ludwig kick with stairwell reverb has another sound. However, the rhythm (notes and spaces) is what matters in both of these examples. Music - it’s source and execution - is only limited by your imagination.

 

TPC

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Some of the best percussion I've ever heard was played with a half-full jar of peppercorns.

Ideas, skill, execution matters. Instrument, not so much.
 

Nubs

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The answer is no. Hitting something, anything in time is more important than the right notes. I argued this all the time when talking to guitarists about dexterity.

Since I'm a lefty, there have been exactly 535984395430950323549359 conversations on the internet about how lefties should play righty because of fretting dexterity (allowing your dominant hand to do the "complicated" work of fretting). My contention is, and always will be, it is WAY more important to play in time than it is playing the right notes. Not to mention all of these "righties" are saying this without the willingness to flip their righties around lefty, so yeah hypocrisy runs deep.

Groove is king. Period. There is no escaping time.
 
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This is one of my favorite forum topics that have popped up in the years that I've been a lurker/poster on any of the forums.

I personally derive a lot of pleasure out of exploring the infinite sounds that can be expressed on nice drums/cymbals. A lot of where my "money's worth" when investing in a great setup is the cooperative nature of the individual pieces of the kit. When at home and not supporting fellow musicians, my playing continually trends towards experimenting with a drum, and then let the resonance length, tones, textures, and timbres guide the tempo (or lack thereof), rhythms, expression, and fundamental qualities of my playing.
I think that this mentality is what has largely pointed me towards an appreciation of non-traditional percussion approaches outside of traditional drumset study.

For example lets say you sit down with a mason jar, a plastic tub, and a metal tube. You could try to fit the conventions of a drumset onto the instrumentation and attempt to play your same drumset "go-to's" and experience varying levels of satisfaction with the musicality, which works, but depending on which way you look at it this could feel a lot like attempting to fit a square peg in a round hole. Alternatively you could use said instrumentation as an opportunity to break convention and compose a concept or groove that utilizes the specific abilities or limitations of the individual pieces.

Been into world street music lately and have been fascinated by the approaches that people take with percussion, especially in situations where there are multiple drummers in the situation (sometimes they're using beat up western drumkit pieces but the approach still feels similar to what I described above).
 

drums1225

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No matter what instrument you play, your time feel begins from within. If you ain't got IT, no instrument (or other inanimate object) can give IT to you. On the other hand, if you DO "got it", you should be able to groove on a steering wheel, a newspaper, the skull of a friend (or enemy), a custom steam bent kit carved out of the hull of Noah's ark, or a toy kit from Walmart. The sounds may be most pleasing on the Noah's Ark kit, but rhythm itself is largely independent of the sound source.
 

gretschdrummer

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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
I’m beginning to think that a lot
This equipment debate
Because we love our gear it is beginning to not matter
 

Rick

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When I was in college at Baylor, our percussion ensemble was invited to be a featured performer at a conference in Chicago. Baylor flew us up there. The last piece we did was a percussion ensemble piece for paper bags. Yes, the entire thing was played with paper bags of different sizes! It was a long time ago and I don't remember much about it, but I do remember it was pretty cool and got a good response from the crowd!
 

langmick

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I remember playing on a kit in the basement of someone's house in Indiana PA. It had two huge cymbals that sounded alike, and kinda dark and dreary. I can remember it because it was so hard NOT to sound dark and dreary with everything. The environment certainly plays a part in what you play.

I felt depressed after that jam session.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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One of Montreal's drumming legends: Guy Nadon. A poor guy from the hood who has learned to play litteraly on cans. He then has played with a plethora of great jazz names when they were playing/touring in or around Montreal. A documentary movie called "Guy Nadon le roi du drums" (trans. Guy Nadon king of drums) has been made about him.
This is him, playing his set of cans on a local late night talk show maybe 30 years ago. There he plays Sweet Georgia Brown with the house band. Song starts at 2:22.
 

bpaluzzi

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One of Montreal's drumming legends: Guy Nadon. A poor guy from the hood who has learned to play litteraly on cans. He then has played with a plethora of great jazz names when they were playing/touring in or around Montreal. A documentary movie called "Guy Nadon le roi du drums" (trans. Guy Nadon king of drums) has been made about him.
This is him, playing his set of cans on a local late night talk show maybe 30 years ago. There he plays Sweet Georgia Brown with the house band. Song starts at 2:22.
Reminds me of this classic:

:D
 

TPC

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I'm going to give that tractor a call. Maybe I can get some lessons!


I saw the show Stomp years ago and the show was almost entirely built around grooves using unconventional sounds. Some of the coolest sounds was the duet using big metal sinks that started full of water and slowly drained out during the piece. Another piece was done by an an ensemble using large brooms sweeping the floor.

Blue Man Group using PVC pipe ... I'm sure there are millions of examples.

I saw Neil Young on the Greendale tour and on one (some?) of the tunes, the drummer played a large broom creating a long-short swooshing sound by sweeping the floor. Very effective.
 

stickmakeboom

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Of course it doesn't matter. What a silly (stupid) question.
It's all about what you can afford to buy. Not how well you play.
That's why you see great drummers play plastic tubs and poor drummers play great drum sets.
What a silly (stupid) answer. It's about how well you can play, not what you can afford to buy. DUH
 


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