Most expressive part of your kit.

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Post Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:24 pm

My 13' Dark Crisp Hi-Hats and my signature 14' and 12' pAisTe stacks. Well not really sig cymbals! They are a 14 Alpha Crash and 14 Alpha China on top, and 12 Alpha Splash and 12 Signature China on top!!!
Will Geronimo
Drums, Cymbals, Percussion
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drumming adept
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Post Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:48 am

I think it's the hi hat for me...
Rhytm is a way to transmit a description of experience
in an emotional and not abstract way.
It is more than a metaphor:
It is a physical experience as real as any other.
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:29 pm

My 9" LP bell.
People love it.
I gotta get the smaller one.

My Mapex snares get a lot of attention too.
8-piece Mapex Vx
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:30 pm

There's been some great points made on this thread. I agree with a little of everyone.

Hi hats rule because with slightly decreased pressure with your foot, you can change the entire sound of the song.

I marched snare in high school before i really started on drumset so I'm a little partial to it since most of my fills and drum solos all go off some kind of snare lick. It's also a necessary contrast to the bass drum in almost any beat.

I'm surprised no one has said this yet, the ride/bell combo can be mean as hell and just as versatile as hi hits if used properly. Fast alternate switching between the ride and bell respectively can produce a dance beat feel (i.e. up beat hi hats). I like to accent the guitar's high and low notes during a song intro using the ride and bell. It's hard to get down at first, but becomes very useful when trying to make that ever-so-subtle change you're looking for in a beat.

Toms are very fun and can really make for a cool breakdown anywhere in a song. The beat for the verses in one of my band's songs is alternate floor tom and bass drum with my 12" tom serving as the "snare" for a very driving beat. A lot of drummers will physically tune their toms to specific notes according to the song's key. Oh yes, toms can be extremely expressive.

While maybe not the most flambouyantly expressive, I think the most important part of any beat is the bass drum mainly cause it gives so much drive. What is it most people look for in a stereo system? How hard the bass hits. What is it most people who like rap look for in a song? How hard the bass hits and how it moves. It's what makes people dance. It's what the other members of the band follow on stage. I guess it depends on how you want to define "expressive" because if you mean what creates the beat itself, you'll have to go with bass drum.

Overall, I'm gonna have to agree with those who said that the entire drumset is what's most expressive. Every piece is important. You can be Neil Peart with 15 cymbals and a gong surrounding your 20+ piece half acoustic/half electric drumset, or you can be Travis Barker with a 4 piece punk drumset, each is fantastic in its own way because you the musician (yes I said musician, guitarists...) are what makes each piece sound it's voice. You can't make a very good beat with only one of the afore mentioned pieces. You can't paint a masterpiece with only one color. Whether you have 2 toms or 8, whether you double kick or hoof it with one, whether you even have a crash cymbal or not, if you know the song, what it needs, and what you can do with what you have, you can use every piece of the kit to lay the foundation for the song and accent where it's needed.

By the way, I just want to say that Greg rules because if he weren't on myspace posting links to these threads on his bulletins, I would never have found this incredible forum. Thanks man!
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:57 pm

My big, beautiful 20" HHX Evolution Ride Cymbal! & My 13" HHX Evolutin HiHats & 5"x12" Pork Pie little squealer snare come in a very close 2nd & 3rd respectively. :lol:
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:16 pm

Cool topic.

For me, I feel that the snare, hi-hats and ride are the most important for expression... I suppose the kick as well. The most important pieces of a drumkit are the snare, hi-hats and kick drum for the purposes of laying down a beat for a song.

If I had to prioritze, I go with the following:

1. Snare
2. Hi-hats
3. Ride
4. All other cymbals (spash, crash, china-type)
5. Kick
6. Toms

I picked the snare as number one, because I asked myself, "Self, if you were to express yourself with only one piece of your drumkit, what would it be?" The snare drum allows me so many dynamic and percussive possibilities, from ghost notes to rim shots, intricate patterns to simplistic, single-stroke back beats.
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Damian Saint
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:39 pm

It has to be my Old Paiste Sound formula reflector series 20" ride.

It defines my sound. Since they do not make them anymore I will probably have a service and cry a lot if it is lost or cracks.

Sheesh Im tearing up now just thinking about that loss sniff sniff.....haha....nope no haha I am so serious ...

(If anything else were to be included I must also add to the ride the sound that is made when that ride rings its bell with the combo of the Sabian Rocktagons on my kit it gives me a shiver almost everytime.
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:51 pm

This is hard to say. Great question. Something that I like to use for accents and such is the "bell" part of my rides/crashes. It cuts through the mix and if it's done at the right time it sounds great.
"Sometimes 'the majority' only means all the fools are on the same side" - Rom 12:2
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Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:46 pm

I think I may (IF I interpreted it correctly)... be a agreeing with the previous post/..... BUT as soon as I saw this question... I thought o myself.. the kit is a whole.. so for ME the entire KIT is an expression of art... I don't have more than I need.. and I USE all I have... it's a matter of HOW you use it to express yourself...

I don't NEED the ride... I don't NEED the snare.... Kick... etc.. BUT without them your creative energies are forced to excell... (like was mentioned in a previous post)... we've ALL prolly been forced to make due with a broken drum head from time to time...

and playing someone elses kit.. OR a different setup will allow you to see what YOU go to most to get the sounds you feel need to be created to fit a certain song..

But in the end.. it's what you do with what you have that makes the music come alive... Just My humble opine
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Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:16 am

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Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:22 pm

Shalaq wrote:Is it the kick? The snare? The ride etc... And why :)
I still can't decide wheter the snare, kick or hats, but I think I'd go with the hats, because you use 3 limbs to operate it, so you can get the most out of it :)

My opinion is that the snare drum is the heart of the drum kit. But I think it is a combination of kick and snare and the drummer playing them. Everything else is a colour. Everything else is important of course.
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Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:52 pm

My riser. the cymbals hang over head and the bass drums lean forward. Kooky but Comfy.
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Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:49 pm

I tell all of my students that the most expressive part of the kit is the Hi-Hat. It's the only insturment included in the kit that lets you phrase both short, stacatto notes and long, lagato notes with out relation to rhythm. To play a half note on the snare drum, we must play a 32nd note roll. With the hats, we can strike it once (with the stick or with the pedal) and let it ring for the desired lenth, cutting off the note with the pelal. Any not value can be perfectly phrased -- just like a horn, piano or voice.

Plus, with multible hi-hat set-ups the tonal colors available are unlimited.

Tom in lbc
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Post Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:32 pm

The entire set. I think you should express yourself on one thing as much as anything else on your kit
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Post Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:33 pm

Without my toms, I have no where to go on my set. They are my freedom, as well as 75% of my expression.
kit: Pearl Export
cymbs: Zildjian | Sabian
sticks: Vic Firth | Zildjian | Vater
'ware: Pearl