When did people stop playing butt end on snare ?

MrDrums2112

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I usually only flip the stick over for the cross stick. I don’t feel that playing the butt end on the snare gives me enough finesse, if that makes sense.
 

Dumpy

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I played timbale sticks for that butt end sound and feel. There are a few songs that call for that, though admittedly I play timbale sticks for mostly cross-stick heavy tunes. I still keep a few pair in my stick bag.
 

JDA

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I usually only flip the stick over for the cross stick. I don’t feel that playing the butt end on the snare gives me enough finesse, if that makes sense.
and we all know Mustang Sally without any finesse is a drag ; )
But I got ya.
(butt end out on snare a pocket thing analogous to grandma's warm purse)
 
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JDA

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is there a Zep track with that For $500 Alex
What Is And What Shall Never Be
I was going to say that "montreux" thing on Coda
(but you're right Reddy for $250* credit)
*no photograph showing whether butt or tip was out
(look for on you tube performing that song live (on TV maybe)
Let's watch
\can't see stick can you/
that was prime Zep wasn't it?

let's go here "for more more cross stick" action..
notice he hits (smashes the) bass drum with the gong at 3:55..
also rim tapping out the wahoo 4:52 he's having fun!
 
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Rich K.

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I used to think the butt end was fuller sounding to the audience on cross stick until I joined a ska/rocksteady/reggae band and was able to see other drummers who are playing cross stick 80-90% of the time. Most of the drummers we've done shows with play tip out. I've switched to tip out a few years ago and have focused on improving my cross stick tone. Once of the best cross stick sounds I've ever heard (without mics) was a guy playing a beat up pair of regular Vic Firth 7As with the tip side out. The tone seems to be a little higher pitched with a bit more cut and the stick rings more with the tip out if you learn to let go of the stick for a spilt second after contact with the rim (this takes practice). Most ska/rocksteady/reggae drummers have no muffling on the top head which I think helps as well.

I think there is more room for error with the tip out as it seems the sweet spot of the stick is smaller than plying cross stick with the butt of the stick.

My ska snares all have a spot on the head the size of a quarter with the coating worn off from the repetition of the butt end sitting on the head. That spot makes a good visual guide to make sure the stick is hitting the rim in the right place.

It's also nice not having to flip back and forth when playing a tune at 200 bpm that has cross stick.
I agree that if you find the sweet spot easily, there no need to flip the stick over for cross sticking. I play a lot of country stuff where I'll do the first couple of verses with rim clicks and then switch to normal sticking for the chorus and end of song. Never feel the need to flip my stick to butt end out.
I usually gig with an acro that has an old brass single flange top rim, which makes rim clicks stronger, but I don't change my style if I use a different snare.
 

JDA

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I usually only flip the stick over for the cross stick. I don’t feel that playing the butt end on the snare gives me enough finesse, if that makes sense.
it can be done: Jimmy Cobb example->
also good example of the trad to butt end out works smoothly in soft (but (no pun) intense) settings

(it's mostly trad players that go to butt end out matched (and back and forth suiting circumstance) the power of different genres mayn't need it.
As far as cross stick we all stated it; butt end out gets a thicker sound but others factors compensate for those that remain tip out cross stick . So we all make due in that moment in time with whatever comes up. Flexible being flexible might be the end answer.
 
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drums1225

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Do all you butt-enders drive your cars in reverse on the highway, too? Sweep the floor with the broom handle? Write with the eraser? :D Just bustin' balls... I know my old drumming hero, Neil Peart, played butt end, but I never liked doing so myself.

I play all my cross sticks with the butt end, but I generally only play butt-end backbeats out of convenience. For instance, when playing songs with cross stick in the verses and snare backbeats in the choruses, sometimes I play butt-end until there are no cross sticks left in the song, and then I flip back to tip forward. Sometimes, I'll flip back and forth each time. I'm usually not thinking very much about it, either way.

When I was first starting out, and my sticks would crack in the shoulder, I'd tape them up and play butt end until my mom took me to buy new sticks.

These days, I see a lot of guys playing cross stick with tip forward, and they sound fine, but I just don't like the sound and feel *I* get when doing that.

CM
 

wayne

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Butt end on the floor tom for crescendos now and then. Using it for extra power on the snare drum makes my hands feel off balance, so i dont bother, i get plenty of volume playing trad grip out of my snare
 

Markkuliini

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For any back beat ype of music I play about 75% of the time with the butt end on my left. Only if I deliberately want thinner/sharper sound or the tempo is way up there, I play with the tip. Sure, it's bit more sluggish to play with the butt end, but that's why we practice technique, to overcome these small inconveniences. ;)
The sound is definitely more beefy played with the butt end, and it's especially useful when you want to get that extra beef out of a 4"-5" deep snares.
Viva la options! I don't know why someone would want to limit themselves from such a simple and easy trick to get extra fat sound from the snare.

Cross sticks almost always with butt end out. Tip out only on "world music" if I want to achieve more overtone-y sound to imitate conga players etc. The lower volume of the tip out sounds sometimes better on afro/cuban/brazilian styles, where you want it to blend more than cut.
 
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Pat A Flafla

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It seems like some people just aren't comfortable flipping the stick over to change things up while playing.
 

mebeatee

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It seems like some people just aren't comfortable flipping the stick over to change things up while playing.
Whaaa? I have a hard enough time holding onto the thing....now I gotta flip it around as well?
Actually you're right....so I just change the stick. Depending on the stick, I sometimes don't like the feeling of the tapered part of the stick in my fingers/hand if a cross stick is required. I still like the feeling of the regular shaft, and some sticks will have a sweet spot so the tip will be "up". The only time I will flip it is if I'm playing trad grip but not matched.
If it needs to be beefier....both back beat and cross stick...I'll use a beefier stick with maybe a different tip.
bt
 

Seb77

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I'm all for choices. I've long accepted I learned drumset backwards. After playing classical piano, I started out playing matched concert snare drum, tympani and xylophone. Drumset started out with written exercises. I later specialized on jazz drums, learning to play trad. by myself, to have more sound options.
Never did a lot of backbeat playing, this thread made me consider switching to butt-end on purpose for a metaier sound now.
The first time I played cross-stick it was also tip ahead. Butt end out does sound stronger, but on some snare with die-cast hoops, cross rim sound is almost too loud, so I might still play tip-out.

I would be interested who of you are against Trad. grip and play matched with butt-end out on one hand ;)
 

Russian Dragon

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Boy, the habits we let ourselves get into. Whenever I pick up a new pair of sticks, I flip them over on my favourite snare, find the butt-end cross-stick sweet-spot, (the BECSSS) and mark it with red sharpie circles around the sticks. (In the Before Times, it was "important" that the sharpie be red, because it shows up better under stage lights, don'tchaknow.....) Then I mark the butt end of each stick with an identifier, so I can find pairs in my stickbag more easily, without having to pull 15 sticks halfway out before finding a pair. This thread has reminded me of the silliness of the first habit, but I'm not abandoning the second half of my New Stick Ritual, and you can't make me!
 


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