Play drums that you actually want to play

DrumTransit

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Hey, long-time reader, first-time poster here. I just want to say over the years, I've read a lot of good stuff on here, and in the past couple of years, it's been incredibly helpful to get info on tons of things.

Reading everyone's comments during this time relates to the title of this post and makes me wish I took it to heart a lot sooner than I did. I started off playing in grade school with a CB700 (who didn't?!) and then got an insane deal on an already-cheap Tama Rockstar kit with hardware/cymbals included. This was great as a teenager as I just wanted to pound the drums like Bonham, but as I grew older, my style of playing changed, and the kit didn't really match my needs. These drums and hardware were also a royal pain to haul out 1-2 gigs a week due to the weight. I hated the snare, and didn't care much for the set in general. But I never sought a different kit (and more important, a better kit) because I didn't want to risk damaging/losing them, money was tight, and no one in the audience really listens to the drums, right? Fast-forward 20 years after that first purchase, and the sound guy at a gig tells me my snare sounded terrible. My dad (who is also a drummer and spent tons of $$$$ on quality drums himself) was at that show and said, "Yeah, why are you still playing with that kit?" Despite money still being tight, these comments were the catalyst I needed. A week later, I picked up a nice 60s-era Ludwig kit, and sold the Rockstar. (To Tama's credit, despite being their budget set, the Rockstar was still in great condition when I let it go.) Next gig, my band loved the Ludwig kit, and our singer turned to me mid-song to tell me he was loving how the snare sounded.

Since then, I've gone down the rabbit hole of constant drum research on DFO and other sites, buying different snares, hardware, cymbals, etc., trying out new things and restoring old things. All of the tips on here have been great in helping me find the gear and sound I want. I'm still accruing a lot of stuff and don't have my perfect kit yet, but I'm enjoying this a lot more than before (when I had the Tama's) because I actually want to play the drums/cymbals that I own. As many have said on here, and I wholeheartedly agree, invest in gear that gets you excited to play. You don't have to break your bank (some great used deals out there), and while it might not be a 110th Anniversary Mahogany kit, you still can get some great drums and cymbals that make you happy as you sit behind them.
 

Deafmoon

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Hey, long-time reader, first-time poster here. I just want to say over the years, I've read a lot of good stuff on here, and in the past couple of years, it's been incredibly helpful to get info on tons of things.

Reading everyone's comments during this time relates to the title of this post and makes me wish I took it to heart a lot sooner than I did. I started off playing in grade school with a CB700 (who didn't?!) and then got an insane deal on an already-cheap Tama Rockstar kit with hardware/cymbals included. This was great as a teenager as I just wanted to pound the drums like Bonham, but as I grew older, my style of playing changed, and the kit didn't really match my needs. These drums and hardware were also a royal pain to haul out 1-2 gigs a week due to the weight. I hated the snare, and didn't care much for the set in general. But I never sought a different kit (and more important, a better kit) because I didn't want to risk damaging/losing them, money was tight, and no one in the audience really listens to the drums, right? Fast-forward 20 years after that first purchase, and the sound guy at a gig tells me my snare sounded terrible. My dad (who is also a drummer and spent tons of $$$$ on quality drums himself) was at that show and said, "Yeah, why are you still playing with that kit?" Despite money still being tight, these comments were the catalyst I needed. A week later, I picked up a nice 60s-era Ludwig kit, and sold the Rockstar. (To Tama's credit, despite being their budget set, the Rockstar was still in great condition when I let it go.) Next gig, my band loved the Ludwig kit, and our singer turned to me mid-song to tell me he was loving how the snare sounded.

Since then, I've gone down the rabbit hole of constant drum research on DFO and other sites, buying different snares, hardware, cymbals, etc., trying out new things and restoring old things. All of the tips on here have been great in helping me find the gear and sound I want. I'm still accruing a lot of stuff and don't have my perfect kit yet, but I'm enjoying this a lot more than before (when I had the Tama's) because I actually want to play the drums/cymbals that I own. As many have said on here, and I wholeheartedly agree, invest in gear that gets you excited to play. You don't have to break your bank (some great used deals out there), and while it might not be a 110th Anniversary Mahogany kit, you still can get some great drums and cymbals that make you happy as you sit behind them.
Spoiler Alert though my Drum Brother, you will one day miss those Tamas. It happens to all of us as we change gear over the years.
 

DrumTransit

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Spoiler Alert though my Drum Brother, you will one day miss those Tamas. It happens to all of us as we change gear over the years.
Ha! You know what's funny, after I sold that kit, I immediately missed the hardware that I sold with it. That very basic HP20 pedal had great action. Very smooth.
 

DrumTransit

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Welcome. Wise words. We often say “it’s not the drums it’s the drummer”, but crappy drums still sound crappy.
In my case, it was probably a combo of both. Drums didn't sound good for my playing style or my band's gigs. But I also didn't put in the time and effort to play as much as I could on the side because I didn't like the sound and they were a bear to set up/take down. I also didn't consider new playing techniques, new types of cymbals, different heads/rims, other than what I already knew. Nowadays, my curiosity is piqued and I'm always reading/watching a ton about drums.
 

drummer5359

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Hey, long-time reader, first-time poster here. I just want to say over the years, I've read a lot of good stuff on here, and in the past couple of years, it's been incredibly helpful to get info on tons of things.

Reading everyone's comments during this time relates to the title of this post and makes me wish I took it to heart a lot sooner than I did. I started off playing in grade school with a CB700 (who didn't?!) and then got an insane deal on an already-cheap Tama Rockstar kit with hardware/cymbals included. This was great as a teenager as I just wanted to pound the drums like Bonham, but as I grew older, my style of playing changed, and the kit didn't really match my needs. These drums and hardware were also a royal pain to haul out 1-2 gigs a week due to the weight. I hated the snare, and didn't care much for the set in general. But I never sought a different kit (and more important, a better kit) because I didn't want to risk damaging/losing them, money was tight, and no one in the audience really listens to the drums, right? Fast-forward 20 years after that first purchase, and the sound guy at a gig tells me my snare sounded terrible. My dad (who is also a drummer and spent tons of $$$$ on quality drums himself) was at that show and said, "Yeah, why are you still playing with that kit?" Despite money still being tight, these comments were the catalyst I needed. A week later, I picked up a nice 60s-era Ludwig kit, and sold the Rockstar. (To Tama's credit, despite being their budget set, the Rockstar was still in great condition when I let it go.) Next gig, my band loved the Ludwig kit, and our singer turned to me mid-song to tell me he was loving how the snare sounded.

Since then, I've gone down the rabbit hole of constant drum research on DFO and other sites, buying different snares, hardware, cymbals, etc., trying out new things and restoring old things. All of the tips on here have been great in helping me find the gear and sound I want. I'm still accruing a lot of stuff and don't have my perfect kit yet, but I'm enjoying this a lot more than before (when I had the Tama's) because I actually want to play the drums/cymbals that I own. As many have said on here, and I wholeheartedly agree, invest in gear that gets you excited to play. You don't have to break your bank (some great used deals out there), and while it might not be a 110th Anniversary Mahogany kit, you still can get some great drums and cymbals that make you happy as you sit behind them.
Good introduction, welcome to the forum.

This site helps to keep me excited about playing, and I learn a good bit here.

What kind of snares are you playing today?
 

equipmentdork

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I find that if you like the sound of the drums, it will change your playing. This is the case with my late 60s Slingerlands: the sound is so warm and inviting that I find my playing to be more inspired on that kit than others.



Dan
 

DrumTransit

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Good introduction, welcome to the forum.

This site helps to keep me excited about playing, and I learn a good bit here.

What kind of snares are you playing today?
Thanks! Agreed about this site. I have two snares. One is a late 60s Ludwig Standard maple snare that I got with my current kit. The other is a 1967 Supraphonic. Both are 5.5 x 14 and came with the original (or at least older) Ludwig plastic-end wires that sound great, but are a little bent. I put some generic wires on the Standard, and it sounds really good, but wonder how it would sound with Puresounds, Canopus, etc. The Surpa I completely restored. Still has a "used" look but sounds great. Looking into exploring a brass snare and/or a 6.5x14 of any kind, but don't have my sights on anything in particular. I also just bought $900 worth of cymbals, so the extra snare might have to wait a little while, ha.
 

Topsy Turvy

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Spoiler Alert though my Drum Brother, you will one day miss those Tamas. It happens to all of us as we change gear over the years.

It is interesting to read comments like these because I didn't realize people felt like this.

Once I sell something, I (almost) never want it back. I prefer to look ahead and see what other things can inspire me. I tend to think this way, "I sold off that gear for a reason and that was a valid reason. I wonder what else can inspire me now."

I have had the opportunity to buy back previously owned gear, and it just never has appealed to me. If a drum or a cymbal inspires me, I keep it and play it. Once it no longer inspires me, I sell it and move on to something that does. With that, I completely agree with the OP's comment. Life's too short to play gear that doesn't move you in some way. Of course, as is the case with everything, money is an issue, but if you can afford it, play what you like.
 
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drummer5359

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Thanks! Agreed about this site. I have two snares. One is a late 60s Ludwig Standard maple snare that I got with my current kit. The other is a 1967 Supraphonic. Both are 5.5 x 14 and came with the original (or at least older) Ludwig plastic-end wires that sound great, but are a little bent. I put some generic wires on the Standard, and it sounds really good, but wonder how it would sound with Puresounds, Canopus, etc. The Surpa I completely restored. Still has a "used" look but sounds great. Looking into exploring a brass snare and/or a 6.5x14 of any kind, but don't have my sights on anything in particular. I also just bought $900 worth of cymbals, so the extra snare might have to wait a little while, ha.

Those are both great snare drums that will allow you to cover anything. Trying different snares can be a really expensive rabbit hole. (Although it is a lot of fun.) Currently I own about forty, I've probably owned seventy different snares in my lifetime.
 
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pwc1141

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I agree with the sentiment "play what you want to play" but I think it took me 50 years to get exactly what I had in mind. Problem was my mind kept evolving, as did the gigs and genres I played. I'm happier than I ever was with what I have now but I'm not at all sure that one day I might not be even happier ....:)
 

CC Cirillo

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Welcome to The Forum.

I like the part of your post where at a gig your singer turned to you mid-song and told you he was loving how your snare sounded.

That’s a great feeling when a band mate notices your gear. Savor that moment. It only happens once.
 

Targalx

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I started off playing in grade school with a CB700 (who didn't?!) and then got an insane deal on an already-cheap Tama Rockstar kit with hardware/cymbals included.
My second kit was a generic Made in Taiwan late 1980s CB700-ish setup. My third kit was a Tama Rockstar. And then, I got a 1970s Ludwig. We have a similar path, I see.

I still have the Rockstar, it was my first brand new kit.
 

DrumTransit

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I agree with the sentiment "play what you want to play" but I think it took me 50 years to get exactly what I had in mind. Problem was my mind kept evolving, as did the gigs and genres I played. I'm happier than I ever was with what I have now but I'm not at all sure that one day I might not be even happier ....:)
I completely agree. I think my choice of "sound" will continue to evolve. I noticed that even last month when a crash cymbal I bought a few years ago (because I thought it sounded great), suddenly sounded like complete garbage to me. Hence my recent cymbal buying spree. It's great to have so many options of drums and cymbals to choose from now.
 

DrumTransit

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I



Those are both great snare drums that will allow you to cover anything. Trying different snares can be a really expensive rabbit hole. (Although it is a lot of fun.) Currently I own about forty, I've probably owned seventy different snares in my lifetime.
That's what I'm fearful of. I feel I'm right at the rabbit hole, about to take the plunge!
 


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