YOUR KIT AND CYMBALS: YOUR SOUND
DRUMMING TECHNIQUES, DRUM TIPS, AND ADVICE FOR DRUMMERS
See all Steve Rigg advice for drummers
YOUR KIT AND CYMBALS: YOUR SOUND
One thing is just as evident in drumming today as in so many other parts of modern life -fashion. And it does very little to help us develop a greater sounding set up. So I am here to try and give you the best advice so can so you end up playing a superb sounding kit.
It is very simple - do not become a fashion victim! Now I, the same as many of you, like to have cool finish on my kit that I love. And that is totally fine as rarely does that affect the way your kit sounds. What I'm talking about is buying a certain drum make, setting your kit up a certain way, using certain cymbals- all because it is what everyone else is doing. That is an insane way of getting your set up -there are two major factors when buying gear and how you set up: the music you are playing and your physical comfort when playing. What on earth is the point of having just a 12 inch and 14 inch tom because a known drummer uses this set up, perhaps because the 1960's set up is in fashion. If you play, for example, in a heavy metal band you will need more drums just for starters, to do justice to the music. And vice versa. And, for example, what is the point of a rack of ten toms when you play straight ahead simple pop?
But it happens all too often. Impressionable drummers well set up in a certain way simply because it looks good or is how it should look according to what is ‘vogue’. Then they find that in the demanding environment of a gig they cannot reach a cymbal or it hurts when they reach for a tom. And consequently the look far from fashionable - they looked awkward and sound terrible! Still want to be fashion led?
And then there is the snobbery in manufacturers’ labels. Drummers are bombarded with adverts and articles that convince them they are less than human if they do not buy the most expensive cymbal they can afford, which of course, must be top range and a recognized make. And then they wonder why their cymbals do not sound musically integrated, and do not work with the music are playing.
Do not be fashion led! Buy cymbals that sound exactly how you want, regardless of make and cost. It is exactly the same with drum kits. By the sizes and specifications you want that sound how you want and are appropriate for your music.
This is even more important when you are a drummer who plays different genres. Choosing gear that is a happy medium within your musical style is vital.
Now we all know that under a certain price range, the build and manufacturing quality will be of a lower standard. There is no getting away from that. But even then, if you find a drum or cymbal that has the exact sound you are after - by it!
What is the result of all of this then? It is a massive - if you play a kit that sounds and performs exactly as you want, you will play with far, far better feel and musicality. When you are really inside the music at that gig that is going superbly, when you hit that drum or cymbal and that perfect sound you searched for comes right back at you, you will not care what it costs,or how it looks in that moment - you will be getting high on how good you sound, how good you make the band sound, how good you make the music sound and the reaction of the audience who are loving it too!
Fashion gives you none of that! Follow fashion and be a drumming sheep- the same as everyone else! Or follow the sound you want, the ease of physical playing you want and you will sound fantastic! And of course, play so much better!