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Why Do Cowbells Sound So Good?


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I'll assume for the sake of discussion that you're not being facetious :D

 

Most cowbells are made from the same stuff. It's the combo of size and shape, along with care in manufacture, which makes one sound great while another sounds like cowdung. Plus, one which sounds great in salsa music might sound terrible in a rock setting - so context and technique also matter.

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If I'm not mistaken that would be JCR in the Bronx. Great bells, though ya gotta be picky with them.

 

Originally posted by JimmieWannaB:

I heard a great piece on NPR about a year ago on a small family business in NY that specializes cowbells. According to the story, the hand made cowbells were vastly superior to the ones stamped out the larger manufacturers.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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:D I think they sound OK, but they're a little light on bass. Does anyone make a cowbell subwoofer? I'm sure that if it's in standard (non-proprietary) format that the market will accept it with open arms. I'm thinking that it would be a good idea if the manufacturer of said cowbell subwoofer packed in some Peanut M&Ms and a case of beer. Then these things would fly out the door! Of course, if concert ticket sales are down then drummers can't afford many of the larger cowbell subwoofers. They certainly would be purchasing only ONE cowbell subwoofer instead of TWO, which makes placement in the room kind of challenging. Can you give a bit more description of the various cowbells one has to choose from, Mr. Wewus? Post a picture of yourself and a cowbell please!

 

;)

 

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Originally posted by Hanshananigan:

Originally posted by TheWewus:

What is the allure of a great cowbell?

It signals the libido of lonely cowboys. That's why they call'em "cowpokes." :D
Just FYI, "Cowpoke" is a slang term for the ranch hands that heard the cows into the pens using cattle prods, NOT cowboys. Cowboys take offense at that term, because they're skilled workers, unlike the unskilled cowpoke. ;)

 

I've got one of the LP ridge-riders on my Ludwigs. That's a great sounding cowbell. :thu:

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Does anyone know the best way to retrofit a Floyd Rose onto a vintage 1967 Pasture Prattler with minimal change in tone?

 

Also, if i add Dimarzios to replace the Horsehoe pickups, will the value of my bookmatched brass BigBell be lost forever?

 

I need a response ASAP!!!

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Fwiw, at the studio I managed before going independent, we had about a dozen different sounding cow bells. The wrong cow bell played wrong can be the most annoying sound in the world and the right one played right on a particular song can be a match made in heaven...

 

Same with tambourine, we had all sorts & sizes available - everything from tiny toys to vintage and space age models. Big difference when you get it right.

 

Simple instrument's aren't always easy to apprehend.

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Seriously, I think the allure of the cowbell has everything to do with the fact that it barely rings at all and lacks sustain. It's the contrast of that to most bells and chimes that sustain for a considerable time, making it more difficult to use repeated hits without the sound ending up garbled.

 

Just my opinion.

 

(Oh, yeah... you can beat the living daylights out of most cowbells and not hurt 'em! :thu: )

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Not to wander off topic much more than we already have... :rolleyes:

 

I cannot STAND for someone who doesn't know how to play a tamborine TRY to play it. :mad: I have had people get their hands on these and RUIN a perfectly good song! I know of very few people who grab a tamborine and can actually ADD to the music instead of detracting from it.

 

Cowbells aren't found quite as often just lying around. Somehow, when the lights are low, tamborines find a way to reproduce. And then, some fool walks in, turns on the light, and FINDS IT and has the GALL to try to play it!

 

So the next time you're in a jam session and somebody's Mama comes in off the street, walks in the room, turns on the light, and picks up a tamborine... JUST SHOOT HER!!! :mad:

 

Ummmm, kidding guys. :rolleyes: Don't shoot her. Just rough her up a bit so she'll remember not to do it the next time! ;)

 

:cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by bluestrat:

Originally posted by Hanshananigan:

Originally posted by TheWewus:

What is the allure of a great cowbell?

It signals the libido of lonely cowboys. That's why they call'em "cowpokes." :D
Just FYI, "Cowpoke" is a slang term for the ranch hands that heard the cows into the pens using cattle prods, NOT cowboys. ...
Thanks, strat. That's what I love about this place- always something new to learn! :)

 

BTW- what "sounds" do various percussion instruments make, starting with the cowbell? does a cowbell clong? does a gong gong? does a snare thwap? Does a chime chime? I suppose a crash cymbal crashes, a splash cymbal splashes, but what does a ride cymbal do? :confused:

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Prior to the age of amplification, many methods to enhance the cowbell experience. Mere acoustic cowbells could not cut above the cannons during the "1812 Overture", so the Cowpera brothers set about improving the projection qualities of the standard stamped instrument.

 

If you find a tri-cone chrome engraved cowbell on a curve-back stand in your grandpa's attic, man, you are set up for life. You may decide to test the market with this baby. Do not use eBay to handle this transaction. Allow me to be your agent. Performance rights negotiable.

 

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He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.

 

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