The Human Drummer

dambugg

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This was a great read. I dug the part about physical fitness. Something I have struggled with my whole life.
 

mtarrani

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dambugg said:
This was a great read. I dug the part about physical fitness. Something I have struggled with my whole life.


There is sage advice and interesting tales throughout. My favorite chapter was about John Densmore.
 

mtarrani

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Kevin O said:
Mike great read! Thanks for the post 8)


Thanks Kevin ... I am happy to share anything I come across, but especially stuff like that.
 

HHammerHeadD

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I thought that is an incredible storybook diary of a novel, and it is going to take a few tries to actually read it all, but, among and aside from all the chapters, it also has an incredible list of links at the bottom. Its worth saving and reading again and again. I see the author is looking for publishers. Well put together.
 

Kevin OConnor

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mtarrani said:
Kevin O said:
Mike great read! Thanks for the post 8)


Thanks Kevin ... I am happy to share anything I come across, but especially stuff like that.

Mike,

Thanks for your service to the USN on this Memorial Day! Bravo Zulu; Regards to Victoria as well
 

mtarrani

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Kevin O said:
Mike,

Thanks for your service to the USN on this Memorial Day! Bravo Zulu; Regards to Victoria as well


Thank you Kevin! I suddenly feel old today - September will be the 20th anniversary of my retirement from my 22 year career in the Navy. I'll spend today remembering friends and fellow servicemen with whom I served who would have been in or nearing their 60s this year, but who passed before they reached their 20s.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I like this guy :lol:
Read this:
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"In the sixties cymbals were marked, if at all, with small, discreet lettering that identified them as rides, crashes, hi-hats, and so on. Spurred probably by Paiste’s willingness to experiment with new shapes and alloys, an unbecoming race ensued in the seventies to see which company could offer the most specific types of cymbals and which could desecrate them with the biggest, most garish ad copy. So many dedicated cymbals appeared that no self-respecting drummer would have dreamed of riding a crash cymbal or crashing a ride cymbal. All through the eighties I had to explain to one student or another that what matters about a cymbal is how it sounds and not what’s proclaimed on its surface. The classification craze shows no signs of abating, of course, and it has defined certain archetypes. But there’s no law against using these instruments for purposes other than those for which they were designed, as their designers would be quick to point out. Mickey Toperzer of Drums Unlimited understood this well enough to order his Zildjians unstamped so buyers would rely on their ears and not their eyes—until Zildjian discontinued that courtesy. In 1996, Paiste got the message and rediscovered the beauty of unsullied bronze in its fabulous K.-inspired Traditionals line.



Here’s a tip you won’t get from the manufacturers: a coat of paint stripper and a few minutes will free you from commercial bondage.



I was never much concerned with cymbal classification, and the sounds I heard from my favorite players’ cymbals confirmed the feeling that cymbals are intensely personal instruments. I loved the big, slow crashes Ringo Starr got from his rides; he never used piercing little cymbals, and his famous open hi-hat wash was bold and invigorating in those days when producers and engineers did everything possible to keep drummers in their place. Whenever I heard a great jazz drummer perform I noted that musicianship is the key to eliciting a certain sound from a cymbal. The last time I checked in with Elvin Jones he was playing three 20” cymbals, one heavy and two mediums, the last two with rivets. He occasionally switched their positions to give each instrument a chance to “sing lead.” Max Roach was getting everything you could want from an 18”, a 19”, and a 20” Pang. And Tony Williams, whose dark, beautiful cymbal colors have inspired generations of drummers, was using a similarly unexceptional setup, all mediums.



Closely tied to cymbal classification is positioning. There are so many lovely sounds you can get from each cymbal that you should place them so you have easy access to the whole instrument—bow, bell, edge, top, and bottom. Generally that means keeping your cymbals low. I get uncomfortable if a cymbal is above shoulder height, and I don’t like having my cymbals’ positions dictated by my other instruments. Normally my drum set is a four-piece, but even if I augment it I make sure I can get to every inch of every cymbal. Maybe it’s a “jazz” attitude, maybe it’s a fascination with the metal sounds I heard as a child in the Middle East, but I think this logic is important. On the other hand, recording engineers use different mikes for cymbals than for drums, and they sometimes like you to mount your cymbals high for maximum separation—and you should cheerfully comply if you hope to be called back. I accept the notion that high cymbals allow a certain showbiz appeal. Big gestures, such as those necessary to reach a cymbal that’s out of reach, have always been important on TV and in grandiose rock venues. It’s true also that the huge setup, physical power, and complete lack of subtlety the average rock drummer uses really do require that cymbals be placed up and out of the way, as it were—why be able to stroke the grooves of a crash cymbal with the end of a brush when all you’re going to do is attack it with all your might? Cymbal positioning, like drumming itself, is about the transfer of physical energy to produce musical sound; how much energy you expend, and how needlessly or gracefully you use it, depend on the style of music you play and where you’re playing it. Rock and roll, to paraphrase Bill Bruford, is a young person’s game. A drummer’s cymbals tend to get lower as he or she gets smarter"
 

gryphon

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I'm with EvenSteven. Not sure I'm really getting smarter, but my cymbals are getting lower.

Thanks, Mike for the link to a great article.

jim
 

rokkman

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After watching the utube clip of Tommy Aldrich I would have to disagree that rock and roll is a young man's game. I am sure Peart, Aldrich and a whole host of other rock drummers would disagree also. I do agree that there is more to playing a cymbal than beating the hell out of it. The only cymbal I moved down was the ride when I went to a 1 up 2 down. Different strokes, different folks.
 

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