Deconstruct Yourself - Part 1

Let’s look at breaking out of the drum set cliches that most of us are stuck in. The 1st place to start is the snare drum. The snare drum comes from western military drumming—it is a marching drum. By attaching 1st gut cords, then coiled wires, against the bottom drum head, a short, snappy sound is created. This has become the ever present 2 & 4 in popular music and drum set playing. But is it always needed? Why not go for something else…
  • The 1st thing you can do is turn off the snares—a simple idea, but few people ever choose that option. Better yet, take the snares off of your drum so you won’t be tempted to turn them back on. 
  • Cover your snare drum with a towel/canvas/thick padding to change the sound.
  • Lay some small cymbals/Gongs/metal pieces/junk on the snare head to change the sound and give you different striking options. Johnny Rabb is a good example of someone doing this in a rock context with his Drumbal cymbal.
  • How about replacing the snare drum with some other type of drum? Take the snare drum away!!! Try using a djembe instead, like the great Swiss drummer, Pierre Favre:

  • Or use bongos, like the great British drummer, Tony Oxley:

Does Tony swing any less without a snare drum?

  •  Use all toms, like the great Italian drummer Andrea Centazzo. Not only is he using just toms, but all of his drums are very shallow REMO tunable frame drums, even the bass drums! Who needs a snare:

Don’t be afraid to be different! You might discover something that will propel your drumming to some amazing, uncharted territory!

In Part 2, we'll take a look at Bill Bruford and his history of deconstructing things…
~ MB


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