Rimshots for Backbeat

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Bebopdrummer
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Post Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:46 pm

I almost always play a rimshot. Unless the song is a ballad. My theory on why drummers (particularly funk and R&B drummers) use rimshots is that when I started playing drums in 1964, bands didn't mic the drums. I used to go to Black juke joints (Jackson, MS)when I was 14 and noticed this and adopted it. I MUST use a rimshot 8) . One funny anecdote: I was the great blues singer and harpist Sam Myers' drummer for a time in the 80's, (He later went to Dallas and hooked up with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets)
He was friggin' Elmore James' drummer from 1952-1963. Sam was almost totally blind. He would say "Watch my leg" for cues. Well, one night he said "Rim shot, drummer"!, and I would crack the shit out of the snare. He turned his head back to me and said it again.....so I cracked it again! What he really wanted was what I call a side stick. I learned my lesson the hard way that night from one of the all-time blues greats.
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Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:48 am

It all depends....You cant just go rimshotting just because you want to...It depends what are you playing...if your playing something based on rock or funk or something that the music demands a tight and or heavy drum well ul need the rimshot...but u cant just rimshot like hell u need to have control and dynamic over the volume ur playing with ur hands and feet and the rest of the drum, to be able to make it sound equal, the kick, toms, hi hat n snare.The song will dictate what it needs, and u as a drummer will use the interpretation to play the song as u feel.......Since I play with rock bands, I play with rimshot and sometimes ur playing somewhere where the sound of the drum is below the rest of the band n u need that rimshot n higher volume from the drum...but other times i might be doing other stuff that it really doesnt need the rimshot, it would be somewhat more loose with the grace notes....ul figure it out eventually and its you choice to make, not from anyone of ur bandmates
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Rob Crisp
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Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:32 pm

racefan33 wrote:
Rob Crisp wrote:After a thread on here and chatting with a few other drummers I started playing rimshots on the snare to get more tone and a fatter sound.

I love it, think my snare sounds the best it ever has.

Unfortunately my band mates aren't too keen and asked me to stop. Turns out the drummer before me also played rimshots and they convinced him (with the help of our sound engineer) to stop.

Personally I think I should carry on playing rimshots, but I thought i'd see what the concensuss was on here!

So rimshots, ass kicking backbeat, or unneccessary?


Dude, I understand listening to your band but unless it's specifically in a recording session, on a specific song or you are playing at low volumes, your sound is your sound. Do you ask your guitar player to change the tone on his amp? Tell them to invest in some quality earplugs (you too) and play your snare how you feel it sounds best.

I rimshot pretty much all the time, it's just more of a crack to the sound. It eats up sticks though.


I pretty much said that I'm gonna play them when i feel it suits, oh and I already have a decent set of plugs so I'm fine ;-) they on the other hand get the full impact haha!
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Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:49 am

Rob Crisp wrote:After a thread on here and chatting with a few other drummers I started playing rimshots on the snare to get more tone and a fatter sound.

I love it, think my snare sounds the best it ever has.

Unfortunately my band mates aren't too keen and asked me to stop. Turns out the drummer before me also played rimshots and they convinced him (with the help of our sound engineer) to stop.

Personally I think I should carry on playing rimshots, but I thought i'd see what the concensuss was on here!

So rimshots, ass kicking backbeat, or unneccessary?


Well I always liked rimshots. But I think it all comes down to the sound the band wants collectively. If they feel the sound isn't right for what they are doing, it might be an idea to do that. Of course you can always strike the drum more softly if volume is an issue.

But it's you who is in the band and ultimately it is up to you.
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stevo
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:39 pm

i use rimshots for almost everything. the hard thing is getting used to doing them with my right hand to equal out the sound. the only time i dont use them is fast cresendo's and ghost notes (of course)
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phee
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:02 pm

Any learned recording engineer will tell you that a snare drum does not sound right unless you play a rimshot. That does not mean you have to hit it hard! Just hit the rim at the same time as you hit the head. It can be done just as effectively at low volumes. The style doesn't matter. It's the way the drum is supposed to sound. If you don't agree it is probably because you have to crank your snare heads crazy tight to get a decent sound with all of your non rimshots. Try going mid tension on the top head, mid-loose tension on the bottum head, and mid-loose tension on the wires, then play a song with all rimshots. You'll also want to get rid of any muffling and/or "dry" heads. You'll see. Rimshots sound stupid and unnecessary if and only if you have your heads and wires cranked and the drum is muffled. Every pro uses rimshots on nearly every snare note. It is THE way.

I'm really starting to sound like an A-hole here. haha Sorry!
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:20 pm

I use a combination of techniques on every song... Play what's appropriate for the music...
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CraigR
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:18 pm

Any schooled or professional drummer will tell you that if you want to sound like a pro, rimshotting the 2 and for is essential. As far as dynamics, you can hit a rimshot just as soft as a ghost note and it will be obviously louder. Whoever said that the band doesnt revolve around the snare is exactly right, however if you were to take away every instrument on the kit besides the snare, and had a strong backbeat, the song would still groove.(ants marching, dave matthews)
And as a correction, rimshots are usually used sparingly, if at all in straight ahead jazz. They are a necessity for contemporary funk, latin, rock, and most other styles.
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sharkscott
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:42 pm

My-2-Cents

I use the rim shot all the time, sometimes through a whole song, sometimes just for accents.

It is another voice on your kit..use it.
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warlocke
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Post Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:08 pm

Use 'em for flavor - don't try to make it into a whole meal. If it's right for the song, then play the hell out of 'em. If the song calls for something different then play what is appropriate. Playing in a funk band, I use lots of rimshot AND pingshots for accents but if I were playing something different I'd adjust accordingly.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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Shalaq
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Post Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:22 am

To me rimshots choke the drum. I don't know, but if I play a rimshot as opposed to a normal stroke, the second one is more lively and has more tone. And if you DON'T use a rimshot for every backbeat, then you still have more space to develop volume.
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SmellsLikeIan
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Post Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:52 am

I tend to use rimshots on the more rocking, loud tunes my band plays. For ballads I don't always use them and in some small, reflective rooms, I may try to keep away from rimshots all together. At a large venue however, rimshots on most backbeats shouldn't be a problem unless you're just really whacking the hell out of the thing (which can sometimes "choke" a drum) in which case, consider the damage you're doing to your wrists and hands (as well as sticks) and let up a little. Tell your soundman to maybe turn the snare mic down a hair if its coming thru too loudly ( that's what he's for isn't it, working with the band's sound, not bitching) and like others said before me, tell your guitar player to get some earplugs and worry about himself. I find that guitar players, while a necessary evil, are usually the whinyest.
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Post Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:13 am

Shalaq wrote:To me rimshots choke the drum. I don't know, but if I play a rimshot as opposed to a normal stroke, the second one is more lively and has more tone. And if you DON'T use a rimshot for every backbeat, then you still have more space to develop volume.

It has been said before - you can play rimshots at different volume level so you can have a place to go volume-wise even when playing rimshots.
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Post Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:02 am

Being a rock and metal drummer, I can't say that rimshots are necessary at all.

Infact, I don't use them period. If I want a loud note out of my drum then I move my arm more. Of course, I realize that moving your arms a lot isn't good for your drumming, but I think it looks better for the people watching you.

Also, it makes the sound of your drum more consistant and reproduceable. Saves the heck out of sticks too, I only break sticks on cymbals now.

I used to play jazz, and rim shotting at a reasonable volume added a lot of flavor to the drums, so I think that's a good thing. I just think rimshots should be used strictly for accents and not for driving a beat (stop being lazy and put some movement into your playing style)
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Post Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:12 am

I believe you should not ALWAYS rimshot for backbeat. It's a question of DYNAMICS, folks! Say you are chugging along in the verse, and want to add a little to that chorus coming up..... well, if you are already playing a rimshot for every backbeat, then you don't have anywhere to go, but if you ADD it just for the chorus, then go back to straight snare in the next verse.... voila! DYNAMICS!
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