No Rimshot backbeats

hefty

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
3,289
Reaction score
404
Location
Seattle
Same here. I would love to do it for some accents because I think it really adds a different texture, but I'm still terrible at doing rimshots. Never really required them since I always played in small rooms with rather quiet musicians.

Any hints on how to practice those? (besides Benny's trainbeats)
I was the same way-- grew up never having to play that loud mostly because I was never in loud bands. Plus somehow I had a bias against rimshots weirdly... But then I found myself in louder and louder things that really required it.

It's really not that hard to get going I don't think. Carefully adjust your snare height and angle in a way that gives you a good rimshot with just a slight stroke adjustment. Then ideally start playing in a loud-ass band where you have no choice but to practice them all night long.
 

piccupstix

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
855
Reaction score
355
Location
pasadena, ca
Seems to me the best thing you can do is get both techniques down and let the music dictate. Myself, I've mostly been non-rimshot for a long time but spend a lot of time now trying to master it.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,370
Reaction score
2,227
Location
SF Bay Area
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Matt Cameron plays like this. He gets a great sound.
I'd be surprised if that was true. I hear rimshots quite frequently on most if not all Soundgarden tracks. That doesn't mean he plays them all the time but I think he does them by feel.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,115
Reaction score
2,196
Location
Sweden/Finland
I'd be surprised if that was true. I hear rimshots quite frequently on most if not all Soundgarden tracks. That doesn't mean he plays them all the time but I think he does them by feel.
Yup.

Looks and sounds like rimshots to me. Also, not playing them at that big stages/volume would be really unusual.

Coule of good close ups on this one:


 
Last edited:

michaelg

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
830
Location
Ireland
Yup.

Looks and sounds like rimshots to me. Also, not playing them at that big stages/volume would be really unusual.

Coule of good close ups on this one:




check the 4 min mark, says he plays very few rimshots. but yeah i agree with you they look and sound like rimshots.
 
Last edited:

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,200
Reaction score
1,224
I’m not accurate enough to make every snare hit on the back beat a rimshot.
I set the snare up low and flat, so that when I punch my leg it's a shot. 3 hour hard rock show = maybe 3000 shots in a row, so I want to bat 1000... or 3000... whatever.
 

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1,200
Reaction score
1,224
Guess I started playing rimshots very early on in my formative years and today I play them a lot (like 90% of the time). Loud ones, quiet ones and everything in between.

Over the last while I've been working on getting a decent sound from no rimshot backbeats and they really don't come natural to me but some guys can make them sound great.

Presumably its not much to do with tuning and everything to do with your touch and the sound in your head ?

Any tips you've found for achieving a good no rimshot backbeat please share your thoughts.
Tuning low helps with impact, and can work very well with compression. You still need to drop the hand with weight, velocity, and a whip/snap. Think of your arm as a tentacle ending in the stick bead, rather than its actual multi-jointed articulation points. I imagine nunchucks think of themselves more as killer noodles than jointed sticks.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,115
Reaction score
2,196
Location
Sweden/Finland

check the 4 min mark, says he plays very few rimshots. but yeah i agree with you they look and sound like rimshots.
Ok, wow, I have to believe it then.
His hand is very low when the stick hits the head, and he often seem to leave the stick to the head after the impact, so that made me believe he does rimshots. Having the same mixing engineer helps in this case, to make it sound so powerful without rimshots.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,370
Reaction score
2,227
Location
SF Bay Area
Hit the snare the way you hit a tom loudly and you'll start getting a good rimshot-free snare sound. You're trying to pull the sound out rather than force it out.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,115
Reaction score
2,196
Location
Sweden/Finland
Hit the snare the way you hit a tom loudly and you'll start getting a good rimshot-free snare sound. You're trying to pull the sound out rather than force it out.
This is a good advice to get a good non-rimshots sound BUT all the same principles apply to rimshots too, keeping the impact as quick as possible so the stick won't mess with the vibrations of the head, pulling the sound upwards, loosening/relaxibg the grip just before impact etc.
If your rimshots feel like "forcing it out", you're doing it wrong.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,370
Reaction score
2,227
Location
SF Bay Area

check the 4 min mark, says he plays very few rimshots. but yeah i agree with you they look and sound like rimshots.
It could be that the percentage of snare hits to rimshots in his playing is (making up a number) 90% in the middle of the head, but that still adds up to a lot of rimshots. I'm guessing but it would be based on what I see and hear him playing.

Either way, the clip was a good little interview with one of my favorite rock drummers.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,115
Reaction score
2,196
Location
Sweden/Finland
It could be that the percentage of snare hits to rimshots in his playing is (making up a number) 90% in the middle of the head, but that still adds up to a lot of rimshots. I'm guessing but it would be based on what I see and hear him playing.

Either way, the clip was a good little interview with one of my favorite rock drummers.
Thanks for posting that. Gotta listen the whole thing.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,370
Reaction score
2,227
Location
SF Bay Area
This is a good advice to get a good non-rimshots sound BUT all the same principles apply to rimshots too, keeping the impact as quick as possible so the stick won't mess with the vibrations of the head, pulling the sound upwards, loosening/relaxibg the grip just before impact etc.
If your rimshots feel like "forcing it out", you're doing it wrong.
I mention "forcing it out" due to seeing a lot of drummers leave the stick on the rim/head momentarily when playing rimshots. That will change the sound a degree more than coming off the drum would. It reminds me of burying the beater. Even so, both are acceptable sounds depending on what's needed or how it gels with the music.

And as you mention about loosening the grip just enough at impact, if the grip remains tight throughout, it sounds a little different than letting the stick go and rebound. That is when I think the "forced" sound begins to show up.
 

Matched Gripper

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
2,770
Reaction score
2,527
That applies only if you play rimshots badly or to the wrong place on the head.

Rimshot, when hit properly to the right position, will activate the shell of the drum much more and give lots fundamental tone. It has the widest spectrum out of all hitting techniques.
The beefiest place is about 1" off center, and when you learn to hit that place consistently, there's really no turning back.

Hitting only the head will give fat sound sure, but it works only if you play in moderately soft volume. The sound don't really carry or cut.
But a rimshot with good technique and aim will provide really fat sound in louder environments. And with great technique you can adapt that stroke and sound to soft dynamics too.

It's not an easy technique to master, and that's the reason why we see played poorly quite often.
Agreed! A good rimshot can be a sweet and subtle snap when playing a jazz shuffle, or in can be like a punch in the chest when playing a big backbeat. I generally play closer to 2-3 inches off center. But, I’d like more consistency. Maybe closer to center is the key.

Another issue to consider is burying the stick against the drumhead when hitting rimshots. I don’t do it, but, I’ve seen many players do it. It generates a great thumping crack.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,370
Reaction score
2,227
Location
SF Bay Area
Agreed! A good rimshot can be a sweet and subtle snap when playing a jazz shuffle, or in can be like a punch in the chest when playing a big backbeat. I generally play closer to 2-3 inches off center. But, I’d like more consistency. Maybe closer to center is the key.
Bruford plays pretty far off center and sounds plenty consistent (and rimshot heavy) to my ear. Copping his placement and rimshot technique is harder than it looks, though. I can do it for awhile but I find myself drifting back to the usual way I play after a bit. It takes a conscious effort but if done enough, I guess it could become more automatic.
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3,464
Reaction score
2,117
Location
Germany
I did notice that my rimshots, when going for big backbeats, are still somewhat inconsistent. I will pay attention to the placement of the stick over the head and rim as well as grip, but I am starting to think the sound differencemight be caused by miniscule differences in wrist height from one beat to the next, so that rim and head are hit at slightly different times, or with different velocities. Nothing to theorize about a lot though, it's certainly more a feel/practice thing.
 

tbird8450

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
173
Reaction score
212
Once you find the right positioning for you, it's just a matter of (lots of) practice. My left hand picked them up very fast, my right hand took a long time and I was rewarded with lots of beautiful rim-clacking. Or maybe I was really just the world's fastest cross-sticker.
 

thejohnlec

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
954
Reaction score
890
Location
Ohio Valley
I prefer to save rimshots for when the effect is needed, keeping backbeats just slightly left of center on the head only. It just seems to me that it fatigues listeners’ ears if they have to hear those gunshots on 2&4 on every song, all night long.

I’m also a bassist and I play with a drummer who does rimshots on every thing and it wears heavy on my ears after a while.

I save on sticks too!
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,115
Reaction score
2,196
Location
Sweden/Finland
I prefer to save rimshots for when the effect is needed, keeping backbeats just slightly left of center on the head only. It just seems to me that it fatigues listeners’ ears if they have to hear those gunshots on 2&4 on every song, all night long.

I’m also a bassist and I play with a drummer who does rimshots on every thing and it wears heavy on my ears after a while.

I save on sticks too!

But why play rimshots only loud? They can be played at low volume too.
 

BoomBoom

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
41
Reaction score
33
No rimshot backbeats on a pretty open snare seems to be the sound of Motown. I recently started playing along to all those classic recordings. Definitely a different kind of snare sound, especially hearing it without a band. But a great choice for lower volume music. I could never get the hang of low volume rimshots.

In my experience a wallet makes center hits sound fatter (arguably better). But it's a trade off because you give up the presence in your rimshot.
Ah, the ole wallet trick.

The Motown guys used that too.




Personally I'm a rim shot back beat guy. I think they sound cool and they really add volume and they cut through. I presently have a hand problem and have had to go back to trad. Learning how to do consistent trad rim shots now.
 


Top