Rimshots for Backbeat

Rob Crisp

New member
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?
 

Shalaq

New member
I don't use rimshots when the tip is in the center of the drum. I use them to get that jazz-like high end ping(the tip of the stick on the sides). I think the backbeat rimshot chokes the sound, I just play louder for the backbeat and very soft for ghost notes.
 

Qbs

New member
ALWAYS use rimshots for those essentials backbeats :).
First of all, it allows to have a significant difference in dynamics between the accented and non accented notes. Second, I personally believe that a rimshot is much more 'right' sounding when a solid backbeat is needed - also almost every professional drummer I've met advised me to use backbeats and I ought to think they know what they're talking about.
Of course I've seen many drummers play without rimshots even outside jazz but I've always got the feeling that the snare isn't really cutting through especially when the drums were unmiced.

Also, I don't want to sound too self-centered, but it's your sound and you don't tell your guitarist what strings or pick-ups he should choose, right?
 

Johnny Cat

New member
When I had another band where I played guitar and sang, my friend Chris, who was the drummer, got into the habit of playing rimshots all the time. It got to the point where he couldn't hit the snare without doing one, even when he tried, and to be honest it got pretty annoying at times. And this is coming from someone who's a drummer first. It really didn't help when he switched to the Chad Smith snare. It got very loud. When he was doing rimshots you could barely hear anything else on his kit. Very distracting.

Anyways, I guess my point is that it was interesting hearing the rimshots from the other side of the kit as a guitar player, and how annoying I found it at times. So now I only try and use them tastefully on a song where they really help drive the backbeat. Well placed rimshots can really put a band over the top when there's so much energy going on.
 

drummert2k

New member
dont play rimshots all the time. the band doesnt revolve around your snare drum and even if you think its funny to see people cringe everytime you hit the drum (i personally enjoy that myself) your snare has to blend in the mix with the rest of the drums. you wouldnt want a guitar player telling you his rig sounds better when he has it turned up to 11! besides, if you're playing rimshots all the time then on parts of the music that really need to drive and you need to lay into you're not going to have anywhere to go volume wise. as for it sounding better and fuller, try differant head combinations and tunings or even snares. if you have to do rimshots to make your snare sound good then its time for either new heads, a good tune up or maybe a new snare. but as for rimshots, use them sparingly as needed. remember, too much of a good thing takes away the effect! talent and playing ability isnt measured by volume.
 

Shalaq

New member
Yeah, I went to this show and there was a "famous polish drummer" and he played a rimshot for almost every hit- the toms also. I though " I wonder what he'll do if he needs something louder. Besides, this whole rimshot thing on his toms totally killed the sound and the drumset (DW) sounded like cardboard boxes.
 

Rob Crisp

New member
Thanks for the replies guys!

As it happens, I've found myself now playing tip to centre of the head when grooving and for those songs which need a really solid backbeat playing rimshots.

Infact after our gig Sunday I had another band ask me to play for them and another drummer asked me how I got such a good sound from my snare! My Tama Starclassic snare still hasn't arrived, was just playing an old Pearl Export.

It was a good night!
 

wolfendenstate

New member
I personally only use rim shots occasionally when I'm playing a beat, but I think it sounds ace to throw one in here and there on snare rolls.
 

FunkyDrummer

New member
I'm all for playing rimshots on backbeats because I think it makes the whole groove more stable. As for breaking sticks... dude check out some hickory sticks they last a couple of months granted I play rimshots a lot!
 

racefan33

New member
Rob Crisp":2gmm27r3 said:
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.
 

top drummer

New member
I agree with racefan33 - it's your sound and getting some ear protection is a good idea not only for us drummers.
 

quikstang2

New member
I rim shot for volume and to get a different sound out of the drum. I usually try to use two snares so that I can save the rim shots for volume but if I only have one I'll just play the rim shots meant to change the sound softer than the volume rim shots.
Like some people mentioned, you don't want to rim shot all the time. I used to but then I started using different heads, different snares and I changed up my tuning until I found the right combo for getting different sounds at different volumes and then having killer rim shots on top of that.
Once you do all that then you're safe to tell your band to shove it when they say stop playing rim shots.
 

Brazilian Drummer

New member
I use rim shots whem I find it nessesery, however..I don't play just lowd rim shots, I think we can use dinamics with rim shots also, not jsut to play loud, but to get a difernt sound out of the snare, and depending on the music some soft ping shots fit realy nice!

but thats just me....
=]
 

Bebopdrummer

New member
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.
Lick :wink:
 

razor_chris

New member
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
 

Rob Crisp

New member
racefan33":2pukmpww said:
Rob Crisp":2pukmpww said:
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!
 

Dale

New member
Rob Crisp":iyxi0owr said:
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.
 

stevo

New member
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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