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Playing drums rather than bass most of Dec...


Gruuve

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The main drummer in the worship band just kind of up and left. "I feel called to go check out this other church. I may return in the beginning of next year...". That message delivered on a Monday when he was scheduled to rehearse on Tuesday and play on Sunday. I couldn't help but send him a note back essentially saying that I support him in whatever he chooses, will miss playing with him, but think he should show his fellow musicians the respect of giving more than a few days notice, especially if he expects to return. No reply. Go figure.

 

So, I'll be playing drums rather than bass most of Dec, I'd imagine. Probably every weekend, since this drummer pretty much played every weekend. It'll be refreshing for a few weekends, but I'm sure by mid-December I'll be itching to get my bass back in my hands.

 

There's a good thing coming out of this though...I've had my old Premier Projector kit (one of Premier's two high-end models in the late 80's/early 90's) up in the attic for almost 5 years now. I've finally decided to bring it down, clean it up and make any necessary repairs, and set it up in my music room if it'll fit (it's a physically quite large kit). Going to sell the Yamaha/Pintech electronic kit...I've played two acoustic kits recently (worship band rehearsal yesterday and my nephew's new/old kit over the weekend), and even a $500 used acoustic kit plays better than a $3000 electronic kit (but an electronic kit sure is easier to record and produce). If the Premier's don't comfortably fit in the available area, I'll likely sell at least the drums themselves and replace them with something smaller. I think I can pack 'em in there, especially if I leave out one of the two kick drums and configure the rack with fewer pieces. Anyway, one thing I'll certainly say...drums sure are a good instrument for venting frustration.

 

So, there ya go. I don't have multiple personality syndrome, and neither do I.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Thanks guys. Actually ArwinH, I started off as drummer. Electronic drums do SOUND great, even with little or no production at all. They are studio samples, after all. The issue is how they play moreso than how they sound. For instance, if you hit a trigger pad too softly, then it doesn't trigger. OK, not a big deal there, since a soft note can be left out without detriment. However, hit a trigger pad too hard, and guess what...it doesn't trigger! Now this is totally counter-intuitive...how often to you hit an acoustic drum or cymbal too hard and it makes no sound at all? (Answer: never). So, you have to adjust your playing to work well with electronic drums. And some of that adjustment is really annoying, particularly if you do lots of very subtle things that set your playing apart from others (which I generally do).

 

Anyway, at least electronic drums are really easy to record, and in most cases, reproduce live as well.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I play a little bit of drums myself. I think it's cool that your filling in. I wouldn't want to give up my bass playing on sundays but you were unselfish enough to take that role. With your drumming background you'll do great. Hope all goes Well.

"All things are possible through Christ." (Matt 19:26)

 

My band: http://www.purevolume.com/fadingsilence

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6 years ago my church had an all-electronic set. It was an older set, not nearly as cool as what is on the market today. Piece by piece it got eliminated and replaced by an acoustic set.

 

We had huge troubles with double triggering, especially in the bass, and after repairs and replacement of the trigger. That may have been a part of what you sais about hitting too soft or too hard - I think the drummers were trying too hard to play it like an acoustic set.

 

I rather envy you. For about 6 months I babysat a set for someone who couldn't keep it in his apartment; it was in poor condition but certainly fun to have around. One day I'd really like a nice fusion set... one day.

- Matt W.
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LOL.

 

Surprisingly, playing bass has made me a better drummer. Sounds strange I know, but true. Actually, I guess I should say that playing bass has made me a more *musical* drummer...less all-out chops and more groove. I'd also like to believe that having originally been a drummer has helped me be a better bassist as well. :freak:

 

Playing electronic drums versus acoustic drums is akin to playing your bass line on one of those keyboard controllers that you wear like a guitar. You can play the bass line fine on keys, but the same level of expressiveness simply isn't possible. E-drums vs. A-drums isn't *quite* that drastic, but you get the idea.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Dave,

 

that's funny. The old drummer (before I came) of my church also left. He was replaced by one of my best friends on the drums. After playing for about 1 year, my friend stopped coming to church, stopped returning his friend's phone calls, and ... yeah, havn't heard from him in over 2 months.

 

I was thinking about taking over drums and dropping bass for now, but we only have those Roland electric pad drums. They're pretty good quality-wise, but I don't like how the setup is all focused on a flat pad. I also have people telling me that bass sounds great, and not to ever stop playing it there. So...

 

 

What's with these drummers?

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My church gig is also as a percussionist. (Yes, handbells are percussion.) I'd rather play bass than have to juggle a half octave of the biggest bells, but then again, it does do wonders to bang some bells every so often. (Especially the big ones. ;) )

 

When I joined there were 12 of us, and I only had something like the lowest 2 bells, and those weren't even used on every song. Quickly our numbers dropped to 10, which is really the right number to complement the bell set we have. Things were good. Then we went to 9, then 8, now 7 (last one is out temporarily for medical reasons). We actually did masses with only 7. :freak: We have a sub for Christmas, and after that we hope to have our regular 8th back. Could still use 2 more ringers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just thought I'd post an update here. Still doing drums in church for now. (Might get a chance to play bass in a few weeks!) "Sold" my electronic kit on Ebay, but the buyer disappeared before paying, so I guess I'll relist it. I've set up, cleaned up, and repaired everything but one part that needs replacing on my old acoustic kit. Just recorded something with them over the past few days...man, these late 80's solid birch Premier Projectors sound awesome...big drums = deep sound and birch equals lots of attack...in a nutshell, these are deep and LOUD drums. You can actually feel the 24x18 kick drums. Still annoyed that my old kit is so physically large (all over-sized drums), so I've acquired a slightly used Gretsch Renown Maple 5-pc shell kit (another awesome sounding kit!) as a smaller-sized replacement, should have them by mid next week. (Ie. good thin maple shells = warmer, rounder sound vs birch...even though all the sizes are 2" smaller and 2-3" less length, they will sound very similar to the bigger birch drums, just not as blatantly loud, which is actually good.) I will be selling the Premier shell kit (and should get a decent price out of them...these were around $2K new, although I didn't buy them new), but I'll keep the rack, cymbals, and other stuff. Will eventually replace two rock crashes (LOUD!) with more easy-to-shimmer studio crashes or similar, and replace the current ride cymbal with a heavier, "pingier" ride...something with less wash and a more articulate "ding" to it.

 

I actually played some bass with the music I was recording this week, so that sure felt good! Surprisingly, even when you go through periods of time where you don't get to play or practice regularly, most or all of the finger dexterity, etc., really seems to stick (although things like raw speed are reduced, etc.)

 

I've been playing drums enough consistently that some of the old chops are starting to re-appear...that's a good thing. It's been near 15 years since I've seriously played drums, so I am actually enjoying this. Just wish I had enough time in the day to spend some time doing both drums and bass!

 

Happy New Year to everyone!

 

L8r,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I've been playing drums for a year now in anticipation of our main drummer leaving the worship band. And I'm really loving it. I alternate between playing drums and bass on different sundays and this suits me fine. I happen to love the latest TD12 Roland kit. I really like the compactness of e-kits and the fact that you can feed in direct to the PA. Sounds like your chops are returning nicely. It's taken a whole year for my left hand to approach my right hand in terms of control.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Davo, I had no idea you also played drums. Do you find that the two skill sets build on each other? (I certainly do.)

 

Yeah, I kind of like the alternation as well. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say (if I could ever figure out who "they" are). Electronic drums certainly do have some benefits, but IMHO there's still things that you can do on an acoustic kit that you simply can't do on an electronic kit. It's the equivalent of playing your bass lines on a keyboard rather than on a bass guitar...there's limitations that impact your expressiveness with the instrument, and there's really no way to work-around those limitations. So, I'll be thrilled when we finally get into a permanent building and begin using an acoustic kit (that's certainly what I'll be pushing for, regardless of which instrument I'm playing at the time).

 

Until this week, I held the opinion that electronic drums record easier than acoustic drums, but now I'm not sure that's true. Here's a church arrangement I was working on earlier still week...still needs some guitar (I've just done bass, drums, midi piano, and vocals up to this point), but the drums on this mp3 are my acoustic kit with only a kick drum mic and a single overhead. I'm thoroughly surprised by how good of a drum sound I got with that simple setup. Check it out...

 

Sing To The King - Dave\'s arrangement

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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"It's the equivalent of playing your bass lines on a keyboard rather than on a bass guitar...there's limitations that impact your expressiveness with the instrument, and there's really no way to work-around those limitations."

 

Sure, but your analogy is too extreme IMHO. I wonder what we will be saying in 10 years time.

 

As for improving my bass playing. I'm sure it is but how? It helps me to think differently in terms of extact placement of bass notes and groove. But really, and this will sound rude, I want to play with myself to fully explore the groove. (Benny Hill is just resting). I also hear things that I didn't hear before, such as on one of Justin Timberlake's songs the drummer just fractionally opens up the high hat on the second snare beat of each bar (4th beat), creating a micro-splash and a fantastic groove. So I think it has primarily broadened my view and given me a greater appreciation for drummers. I've only been playing a year and so time will tell on this one.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Davo:

 

Nothing rude about that at all. I totally agree. It's funny...when I'm tracking something like this, I find that I have to concentrate to play really well with myself (ie. in terms of tracking drums with a bass line or vice versa). When I don't nail it the first time I always think "man, I suck...I can't even play with myself!". But, a couple or three takes (ie. warmup), and I usually have it nailed. But, it always drives home to me the importance of listening to the other instruments when you are playing.

 

It always surprises me how hard it is to play drums to existing tracks (even with a click track going). With drums you make a lot of noise around yourself, and it requires a serious conscious effort to actually listen to and jive with the other instruments. I've learned a lot about when not to do fills as well. Like I said once before, playing bass has made me a more musical drummer. (And playing drums has made me a more rhythmic bassist.)

 

If you haven't already, start really developing your independence. For instance, try playing straight 8th's on the hihat and 2 & 4 on the snare while playing 8th note triplets on counts 1 and 3 with the kick. Not only is this a great independence exercise, but it actually sounds good!

 

I don't actually agree that my analogy is too extreme though...if you haven't already, spend some time playing an acoustic kit. To me, they are totally different instruments that just happen to be set up similarly. I won't go into details (unless you want me to), but that's just my own opinion. Like I said, there certainly are some niceties to electronic drums.

 

Keep up the good work, Davo...

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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A friend was at a John Patitucci clinic at LAMA in the Summer. One thing John mentioned was the imprtance of learning drum rudiments to improve any instrumentalist's playing. His drummer, Nasheet Waits demonstrated some exercises that would be useful for all to learn on kit.

I'm envious of you guys, I should learn to play a drumkit one of these days. I spent a year or so studying African percussion in London and that definitely had some positive effects on my playing.

I keep playing drum videos to my four year old son, endeavouring to spark an interest.

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Trying to spark a musical interest in children, is sooooooo frustrating. I've given up on the direct approach. I just let them see what fun I have with other musicians etc and hope that that will spark something.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Hey folks:

 

Thought I'd post some pics of my old drums, which I'll be putting up for sale soon...late 80's Premier Projectors. You can't tell from the pics, but this kit is physically quite large...the kicks are 24x18 and everything else is similarly "power-sized". This one loud and deep sounding drum kit.

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/forsale/Drums_PremierProjectors01.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/forsale/Drums_PremierProjectors02.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/forsale/Drums_PremierProjectors03.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/forsale/Drums_PremierProjectors05.JPG

 

I hate to sell it, but I've already snagged a smaller fusion-sized Gretsch Renown Maple kit...very nice, I'll post some pics of it soon. I'm keeping the same rack, cymbals, etc., and just selling the drums only. The Premier Projectors were about $2K new back in the late 80's and these are in surprisingly good condition considering all the gigs they've seen, so someone will be getting a nice kit...

 

Enjoy the pics!

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Annnnnd now...some pics of my new (well, slightly used, but new to me) drum kit...Gretsch Renown Maple, fusion-size kit, laquered cherry burst finish, all maple shells, die cast hoops, sounds fantastic and records really well! Check it out...

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/pics/Drums_Gretsch01.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/pics/Drums_Gretsch02.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/pics/Drums_Gretsch03.JPG

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/pics/Drums_Gretsch04.JPG

 

Like father like daughter? Here's Geneva's kid-size Pacific kit. She isn't old enough to hold a bass yet, but when she is...

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/pics/Drums_Genevas.JPG

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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