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Has It All Been Reached?

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26 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:13 pm

I have heard many a 4 pc solo over the years. And solos on the kitchen sink set-ups. The thing is if I hear Bozzio on his kitchen sink set-up or on a 4pc (like the Larry Londin tribute video) he sounds like Terry Bozzio without all the pitches. More drums are just more pitches to work with. That is why Max went 5pc. That is why Elvin went 6pc. But they both sound like Max and Elvin on 4pc sets because of their individual voices.

I don't begrudge anyone playing a cocktail kit. I just like my fruit salad.

That is something that is certainly maxed out - big drum sets. I don't see anything increasing there. Not unless humans develop six foot arms.

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27 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:24 am

If you can't make any music work on a 4 piece i don't see more drums helping you. if you can't take an interesting solo on a 4 piece then you're relying too heavily on your instrument rather than your ability.

Nail hit square on the head with this one.... I agree with this 200%!

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28 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:27 am

Kenny, I would like you to break these down if you would, please>

1. "kind of depends on the musical situation and other members contribution to the music."


2. "I think you should be able to make meaningful statements with a 4 or 5 piece kit."


3. "if you're playing more progressive melodic music then more notes are more essential."


4. "If you can't make any music work on a 4 piece i don't see more drums helping you."


5. "if you can't take an interesting solo on a 4 piece then you're relying too heavily on your instrument rather than your ability."


My first exposure to drums as a melodic instrument was Ginger Baker. You can sit him at a 4pc and you still know it is him because of his voice. But the idea of doing things melodically as well as rhythmically increases as you increase instruments. Obviously Baker was not the first to play melodically. He's just the first I heard do it. I have heard drummers like Jeff Hamilton play melodic solos on a 4pc. Actual tunes, I mean. There are great drummers who were/are wonderful accompanists and beautiful players rhythmically, but not necessarily great soloists. No amount of drums would help them craft a nice solo. On the other hand I would rather hear Bozzio on his big set than a 4pc.

But I wanted you to put some "meat on the bones" of your statements because I believe you are making some good points. I do seem to see some gaps, though.

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29 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:22 pm

Ouch i just erased my whole response here goes a second try!
1. "kind of depends on the musical situation and other members contribution to the music."
what does the music consist of? How dense is the sound already? How well do the other players improvise and keep it interesting? I can play a jazz trio with a hi hat, snare, bass, rack tom and a ride and never be bored. I'll make sure the music works and then some. If i'm playing a balkan dance I already have 2 trumpets playing harmonized melodies, accordion and guitar playing rhythm and melody and a bass holding down the melodic structure. i can play a barrel drum with 2 pitches and make the music full. Or i can play a cocktail drum and have more at my disposal or a full drumset and play even more fills and more melodically if i like. But the basic groove for the dance is right there in any case. And the musical embellishments are done in each case because i know the embellishments to put on the rhythm. I play the drums they don't play me. Of course the larger set offers more options but it's not necessary for the music to function, it might even be overkill. My Bulgarian friend told me how when they play a long dance gig , out of boredom, will each super impose a different odd meter on top of the odd meter and then finish it out at the end of the measure with the amount of notes required to fill it out. Without first discussing with the others each member may do their own strange improvised polyrhythm. It's about knowledge of rhythm and not number of pitches to choose from that makes rhythm interesting.

2. "I think you should be able to make meaningful statements with a 4 or 5 piece kit." because i've been able to study 20 yrs. with west Africans i know more with 3 pitches then i will ever need. My angle is rhythm. It is always melodic with 2 or 3 pitches. It's as powerful as it gets if you know how to make it happen. That background gives me all that much more to be creative with and take it to where i see fit for it to go. 3 pitches all i need


3. "if you're playing more progressive melodic music then more notes are more essential." If tuned toms is your thing than sure that adds a depth. But you can still make it all work rhythmically with a small kit and be melodic. Maybe not as melodic but still it should be happening!


4. "If you can't make any music work on a 4 piece i don't see more drums helping you."


5. "if you can't take an interesting solo on a 4 piece then you're relying too heavily on your instrument rather than your ability."


My first exposure to drums as a melodic instrument was Ginger Baker. You can sit him at a 4pc and you still know it is him because of his voice. But the idea of doing things melodically as well as rhythmically increases as you increase instruments.

Ginger played on 7 to 9 piece. What he played was jazz and blues combined with Nigerian polyrhythymic concepts from an ancient culture, I always felt there was power in his rhythm and not the fact that he had alot of drums.

of course i would love to play on terry bozzio's kit at every gig. but it's just not necessary to what i do. I'm happy with 3 pitches! 4 or 5? hoo doggies!

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30 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:08 pm

You know, much of the time Kenny and I don't see eye to eye.
But I'm really liking what he's saying here as it makes a whole
lot of good, practical sense.... Man, Kenny, I'm even starting to
like you a little. affraid Who said a snowball doesn't have a chance
in hell?! Twisted Evil

For me, big kit, small kit, whatever I use it's always piece specific.
Each drum, each cymbal has a specific purpose and they're not
there just for the sake of having a large setup or for looking
impressive, or even to satisfy me emotionally

Terry uses this same concept and that's why EVERY single piece
of that monsterous kit works with what he does because each piece
has a designated, sonic purpose.

I wouldn't know where to start with a kit like that because I
simply wouldn't know how to make each piece function as a
whole. 3/4 of that thing I'd never even see!

It goes without saying that there's a difference in what needs to
be said and what one WANTS to say. I can always say what needs
to be said with a minimal amount of voices. Anything after that is
icing on the cake. In either case, like what I believe Kenny is saying,
I find that I'm never bored because of the number or lack thereof of
drum pieces I happen to have.

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31 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:18 pm

For me, being a frustrated chromatic instrument player I tend to hear things in that format when I play. I tend to play drums as though I am applying bass notes more than being a time keeper, addressing things rhythmically. It's just how I hear things inside. So for me playing a four piece set is limiting. Now, like Kenny says, depends on the music. Backing a pop/jazz singer in a small club, sure, it's about lyrics and focus. Basic things, fundamental things work fine, though for me ... it would not be a fun gig, per se. It would be a job gig.

Our coming CD, it was recorded at the guitarist's studio. He asked if I would play and record on his five pc. When I went to tune them up lugs broke on the 13" tom. So, now I was down to a 4pc. I recorded the session, but all the way through I was very frustrated with hearing things in my head I could not execute on the drums. The music is fusion oriented. In listening back and getting over the frustrations of the day it became obvious this was a good session to begin our recordings with. And people listening would not know I was frustrated with everything. I ended up renovating the set, and added a few roto toms in further sessions and a dble pedal and felt much more at home. With the transition to my place and the big set I just real feel free. I can play what I hear inside.



Last edited by Asaph on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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32 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:44 pm

Asaph wrote: Backing a pop/jazz singer in a small club, sure, it's about lyrics and focus. Basic things, fundamental things work fine, though for me ... it would not be a fun gig, per se. It would be a job gig.
You might be surprised and enjoy it. You can be as creative as you want to with the right people. Like bill bruford said in that video just relax and enjoy the music and you're there. I actually really enjoy playing a small kit. As long as the drums sound good like a gretsch catalina, that is all i need. I never brought a floor tom to a gig for years just 2 rack toms. That being said, when i started bringing 2 floor toms along i realized just how much i love the power of that as well. But that is for a certain music like fusion. But fusion didn't pay many bills. santa tell you the truth i don't like lugging all the gear if it's not absolutely necessary. BTW i don't get paid to play music it's for lugging all the equipment. the music is free. jocolor
Don you hound dog!! affraid

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33 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:28 pm

"BTW i don't get paid to play music it's for lugging all the equipment. the music is free."

cheers



Last edited by Asaph on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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34 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:25 pm

For me, being a frustrated chromatic instrument player I tend to hear things in that format when I play. I tend to play drums as though I am applying bass notes more than being a time keeper, addressing things rhythmically. It's just how I hear things inside. So for me playing a four piece set is limiting. Now, like Kenny says, depends on the music. Backing a pop/jazz singer in a small club, sure, it's about lyrics and focus. Basic things, fundamental things work fine, though for me ... it would not be a fun gig, per se. It would be a job gig.

I guess it's all in one's point of view. For me, the fun part is
not in the amount of pieces I have but my ability to manipulate
and draw meaningful sounds and patterns out of whatever I'm
sitting behind. Of course there are times when I'm playing a
smaller kit and an idea arises that I can't execute because of it.
But then the challenge becomes okay, what else can I do with
what I have to work with that will make it as equally interesting?

Therefore, for me, the limits are not in what can or cannot be played,
but rather in the one who's playing it.

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35 Re: Has It All Been Reached? on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:12 am

"Therefore, for me, the limits are not in what can or cannot be played,
but rather in the one who's playing it."

This will be the future challenge to see what can come next. Is it all maxed out, or can totally new and innovative styles emerge? Time will tell.

Because I play A TraKat and all, and go to edrum forums, a lot of people think electronics is the next wave to catch. I don't. But they will certainly continue to be seen and heard. In the end it is still one, two, or three strokes.

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