your 'own' sound - how distinct can it be?

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bignickonthedrum
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:48 am

It's got as much to do with how you play as it does your gear. I'd like to think the biggest thing that distinguishes my playing is my snare drum sound. I got a Pacific all maple w/ wood rim snare drum at Music-Go-Round for $150, and I discovered that you can crank it pretty high (but not too high), and if you play it with a nice Moeller stroke, it still gets a nice deep punchy sound, and I think that's how people can tell I'm playing. I get just as many "nice snare drum!" comments as "damn, you really lay into that drum!" Other comments I get: "I love these old Zildjians", "I love these new Pastes", "you play really fast on your ride cymbal", "i love the way your kit is tuned", "your bass drum sounds huge", "you bass drum looks stupid", "your kit looks like junk", "your kit sounds awesome", "you're one of my favorite drummers." the last three are my favorites. :)
"Music is like murder: you play like you're going to commit something." -Duke Ellington
MikeRowland
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:55 am

Interesting thread... There are many drummers who have distinct sounds : Bonham, Copeland, Ginger Baker, etc. Many of these guys didn't have a specific piece of gear that made that sound, but rather an ordinary piece that, coupled with their unique playing style and tuning, resulted in that huge bass drum sound or snare drum tone. I think each drummer adds his own character into each stroke, thereby defining his own sound. An example of this is: I recently bought the Tama Warlord Masai snare drum (bubinga) based on a recording I heard from a good friend of mine, Brett Stowers from Fair To Midland. However, with my personal taste in tuning, coupled with my playing style (I use a lot of rimshots and come from a drumline background, and he buries the stick in the center without using the rim), our drums sound nothing alike. We can also instantly tell when the other is playing, regardless of the band, kit, or tuning. So to me, it is more the player than the tool.
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break the prism
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:54 pm

adamski wrote:I dont know why people havent mentiond him yet
but gadd
you can alwasy tell if a song has steve gadd on it
and this is, i believe, down to a mixture of gear and his actual playing
obviously gadd's grooveand timing are exquisite
but he was also one of the first to utilise a 10" rack tom
something commonplace nowadays
but it bestows his playing with a definite top end, especially compared to other stuff during his formative years
and his snare wire has only 10 strands.
this is definfitely an explanation for his magnificent, dry snare sound
apparently he based his K custom session cymbals on a cracked 18 inch ride that he favoured
and between tiny snares andcracked cymbals
id say we have a personal sound


definitely. i was listening to Eric Clapton's "Me and Mr. Johnson" the other day and during a few of the softer, brushed songs i thought to myself "hey...this sounds like steve gadd". it was. they guy's got a pretty recognizable style.
Beat on.
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break the prism
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Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:56 pm

amontholdDrums wrote:I def think that having your "own" sound comes from the differnt styles of music you listen to.. right now.. i feel i play a very pocket oriented jazz kind of punk.. which is kind of weird but its just pretty much punk with fancy slightly swung ride cymbal patterns.. nothing complex really and i like to hit cues and give them.. not sure if its a great idea in punk.. but im having loads of fun.. i like trying different things in different styles of music..

I play in this kind of '80's guitar solo project and ive twisted a few of the songs around to have a more hip-hop feel in them.. i like the change.. i get bored playing straight 4/4 patterns to the stuff..


one time my band played a show and i swung half of the set and did hip-hop beats to the rest. we got some of our best responses that night.
Beat on.