snare problems live

Metropolis1021

New member
ok this is a weird one. at practice, my snare drum head feels great to play on but when i play live it feels like it's too tight and it rebounds the stick so much that i have hardly any control over my snare rolls. any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Dale

New member
Metropolis1021":3hiw0jw4 said:
ok this is a weird one. at practice, my snare drum head feels great to play on but when i play live it feels like it's too tight and it rebounds the stick so much that i have hardly any control over my snare rolls. any help is greatly appreciated.
It sounds to me like the problem exists within your technique. Usually my batter on the snare is table top tight. The more response the better. You are probably just tensing up during live performance.

All I can recomend is that you practice your wrist and finger technique with much dedication. It is essential that a drummer can play on any surface and the surface not affect his playing.

Pick up any of Joe Morello's master studies books and knuckle down and work on your hands.
 

Metropolis1021

New member
interesting, i never would have expected an answer like that. i actually, not to be cocky or conceded or anything, think my technique is fine, but i don't really check at gigs, i find the less i play out, the more uncomfortable i am live. you think it could be due to getting nervous and throwing all technique out the window?.as for the books, i'll look into it, thankyou very much.
 

Dale

New member
Metropolis1021":mm1yhqe7 said:
interesting, i never would have expected an answer like that. i actually, not to be cocky or conceded or anything, think my technique is fine, but i don't really check at gigs, i find the less i play out, the more uncomfortable i am live. you think it could be due to getting nervous and throwing all technique out the window?.as for the books, i'll look into it, thankyou very much.
Yes, in my early experience I went through a similar thing. But I found after speaking with my teacher that the more work I put into my hand technique, the more relaxed my hands became when in contact with the sticks. I was then, over time, able to get my hands to the point where I was simply able to point the stick at anything and the technique required would simply happen naturally.

It's important not to have to think about anything regarding playing when on the gig. This also includes breathing and relaxation. The only way to get to this point is through more and more practice. The more sure one is, the less chance there is that one may tense up.

One way to learn how to relax is to hold folded magazines under your arms while playing. Try not to think about them. Just allow your elbows to remain relaxed and at your side. Once this is happening, your shoulders should also feel loose. This in turn helps remove tension from the forearms, wrists and fingers.

After speaking with my teacher, I then began to practice a great deal with my hands keeping the above information in mind. I would spend at the very least 6 to 7 hours a day on hand technique alone. On a good day I would put in perhaps 15 hours. Now I find that my hands are always relaxed and I never have to think about sticking unless on purpose.
 

Dale

New member
Of course having said all that, you may have incredible chops but then just get nervous. In that case I'd advise you not to worry because worry will not help you. Just try to focus on enjoying the gig. :)
 

Jaki

New member
It might be becuase when you play live you have adrenaline pumping through you.... You hit your snare drum harder in some cases. When I play live if u keep relaxed then everything is all nice and fluffy and sounds great. Don't pressure yourself and kick some serious ass.

keep on rocking dude
 

Dale

New member
Jaki":2yp1zm1o said:
It might be becuase when you play live you have adrenaline pumping through you.... You hit your snare drum harder in some cases. When I play live if u keep relaxed then everything is all nice and fluffy and sounds great. Don't pressure yourself and kick some serious ass.

keep on rocking dude
Yeah, I agree. I found that once I began thinking "That felt weird!" I'd then focus even more on my hands. This snowballed and after a while I'd begin thinking of my feet, cymbal placement...everything! This just made me more uncomfortable and really stiffled my playing.

That is why I offered such a lengthy explanation. It's not that I have made a decision regarding the posters own playing or a judgment. It's more to help any younger reader who may have a similar problem and reads this thread.
 

Metropolis1021

New member
well thankyou very much i appreciate all of your help.
i'm only 16 and still have a LONG way to go as a drummer.
i'm just here to be the best drummer i can be, and i beleive not only you guys but every drummer on this site or wherever has something to give that can help someone out. that's why this site is so amzing!
Prog on!
 

Dale

New member
Metropolis1021":l80lkz1m said:
well thankyou very much i appreciate all of your help.
i'm only 16 and still have a LONG way to go as a drummer.
i'm just here to be the best drummer i can be, and i beleive not only you guys but every drummer on this site or wherever has something to give that can help someone out. that's why this site is so amzing!
Prog on!
Well, just try to enjoy the gig when you play live. These sorts of problems all work out in the long run. My advice is to be patient with yourself and understand that even if you make a mistake, that is not such a bad thing. As long as you are enjoying yourself, people will see that and it will communicate the enjoyment to others.

Just make sure that when you practice you try to include everything. Don't just play along to recordings, spent time working on your technique, groove time etc. If you don't know your rudiments and want to expand your hand technique, you can begin here: http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments.html

Also play these with your feet. As you get better, try to play one set of rudiments with your feet and another with your hands. Start simply using singles, then doubles and paradiddles etc. As you progress add more difficult rhythms.

You are right. This is a great sight. No flame wars here. Unlike many others.

Good luck. Dale
 

locster99

New member
As far as playing live goes it is an interesting situation...I tend to play harder which in turn sends just one of my tenision rods to loosen so I'm constantly tightening just one its a pain in the ass and I've practiced playing in different high pressure instances but still the same result...and I cant keep that damn rod tight with anything... any suggestions?
 

Dale

New member
locster99":sngo9996 said:
As far as playing live goes it is an interesting situation...I tend to play harder which in turn sends just one of my tenision rods to loosen so I'm constantly tightening just one its a pain in the ass and I've practiced playing in different high pressure instances but still the same result...and I cant keep that damn rod tight with anything... any suggestions?
Have you tried lug locks? If they do not work, it may be because the insert is old and the thread is no longer as tight as it once was.

That said, if playing loudly I often have had to fine tune between songs.
 

phee

New member
It seems very simple to me. Too much rebound? Loosen the head. If that doesn't work, try a more top-heavy stick.

If your head feels like a "table top" like Dale, chances are the drum sounds terrible. Everyone has their tastes and I'm not saying "I'm right!" It's just that technique and tight heads work great in the marching realm, but on a drum kit you should just do what feels and sounds right. I compose and instruct for marching drum lines and I did the DCI thing for a little while too. On the other hand, I've never taken a single lesson on drum kit but I think I'm much more of an "expert" on the ladder.

I tend to think drum kit is 70% feel/expression and 30% technique. This is why there are no "bests" when it comes to drum kit. In the marching scene, it's 100% technique. Because of that, you can easily spot whom is better than whom. I feel like a lot of young drummers get the two ways confused.
 

Dale

New member
phee":3top484j said:
.

If your head feels like a "table top" like Dale, chances are the drum sounds terrible.
Actually, my drums sound superb.
:) :p

I've tuned many many drums, from snares to toms, congas, zambumba, repinique, repique de mao, djembe and a whole host of others. I used to tune and fine tune drums for recording sessions all the time.

Of course if the song called for it I would detune a drum so as to fit the timbre of the song and instruments. I've been tuning drums for over 25 years. While table top tight is a good way of describing it on the net, my drums are never choked. ;)
 

Metropolis1021

New member
iv'e actually tried loosening it to the point where it's too loose and doesn't sound the way i'd like it to. i do agree with the marching aspect where you can tell whos better. i've been in the school band since 7th grade and this is my second year in the marching band, but i'm in pit. i find the 16th note runs up and down the keys a lot more challanging than anything the drumline has to offer.
 

Dale

New member
I really think this is just your being too tense. If the snare isn't tight at rehearsals but is on the gig and the tuning remains the same, it isn't the drum.
 

G-Rad

New member
I have a Tama Nickel Snare with a Kevlar head for my batter. I keep it pretty tight and it is pretty fkn loud.

I've noticed myself, that when I am playing live, my fingers/hands have a different feel from my snare.. My primary thing I do si rimshots for standard. I like a Hit toned snare with a little resonance, for live performances.

I think alot of it has to do with the fact you're hyped up and ready to play and perform for a crowd. It tends to keep you from thinking straight. For my kicks, it's the other way around, I do better lifve.Haha.
 

zen_drummer

New member
One of the things that I think has not been mentioned in any of the replies is the difference in the room that you're playing in. Usually when you're at practice, you're in a pretty small area and you hear your drums reflecting back at you from all the walls and the ceiling, you are used to hitting the drum and producing a certain volume with that amount of effort.

At the gig, you're in a bigger room, with fewer near-field reflections and you'll hit the drum harder. The harder you hit, the greater the rebound.

Marching Band drummers should be VERY familiar with this scenario. When you're learning the parts in the band room, everything sounds really alive, then you may move up to a gymnasium where it sounds entirely different, then suddenly, out on the field you hit your drums and NOTHING reflects backat you. The sound gets sucked up by the ground and the sky and you have to WAIL on your drums just to feel like you're playing them at all. Technique goes out the window until you learn how to regulate the situation.

I feel the reality here is that playing in an unfmailiar situation and mainting the technique that you have spent so much of your time developing is truly one of the things that every drummer that plays gigs must endure. It's all part of learning your craft and the guys that have played the longest can testify that no two situations will sound the same, and the best thing you can do is be prepared for any situation.

That being said, the advice dale gave is on target. Work with the books and get your technique together so you can deliver a good performance using solid technique that doesn't change from situation to situation. The rudiments are the same whether you're playing a "table tight" snare drum in a phone booth or a slack headed rope tension civil ware drum on a battle field. Playing with correct technique will carry you through nearly ANY situation. (I think playing under water might have it's issues, but anyplace else you should be good to go!)
 

dave lynch

New member
As far as a snair drum sound live...When you play live there is a chance that the bass or other instruments will cancel out some of you drum tones on stage..that may make you think that your drum sounds thin...try it before all by itself and then after with the band and I bet you'll hear a loss in power..Your head shouldn't be tighter unless there's a temp change...try getting the bass player to lower the volume and if that won't work..LOL..well have trust in you and your drum/PA..Sure you'll play a little harder but that's part of the adapting to the situation..Good Luck !!
 

dave lynch

New member
Playing live in certain places allows other instuments to cancel out some tones in your drum sound..this means your snair may sound thin..trust the PA or try to get the other band members to lower thier volume a tad..it also may just be the room you're playing in too..sometimes you may want a different snair for different places..shallow, deep, metal..hard to say sometimes....Good luck !!
 
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