Topic: Billy Ward's article on MD last issue  (Read 17778 times)

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Offline James Walker

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For what it's worth..........
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2004, 10:48 PM »
I was referring to the lower tuning as professed in this thread, as well as my current preference.  It's not impossible that I missed a tangent that renders my previous post ill-thought, so I apologize if that's so.  

I realize we're talking about Billy Ward's approach, and specifically the idea of something other than the snare drum having the highest pitch of any drum on the set.  Maybe I misunderstood the reference myself - I'm thinking of all the toms and the snare drum, and perhaps you're just talking about your snare drum and your highest tom.  My apologies if I twisted things around inadvertently.

(Still, I really like the idea of a set with 8" and 10" toms, and a 15" snare drum...maybe a 16" bass drum, and Bermuda's 30" Sabian ride for good measure...)  ;D
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

dannydrumperc

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2004, 06:29 AM »
As the originator of the thread, I must say that I'm not still convinced about lowering the tuning of my snare, but I'll check if it is too high. I completely agree with Jojerjkny about high tunings for 6.5 x 14 snare drums because you can achieve the best of both worlds.

I use my 6.5 x 14 mainly for marching-like purposes, so I need it to be as articulated as possible. But I also want it to sound deep. I think I may achieve this by changing its head (maybe the Emperor-X from the other thread). It is currently wearing brand-new 42s (from another thread too), so snare response wont be an issue.

Also agree with Jokerjkny about the shallow 13-inchers, especially if it is going to be used as the only snare drum of in the drum set. I acquired one recently (from another thread, again) and it sounds very nice when tuned low, but I want it to be an effects drum and I need it to be high tuned. It also sounds great that way, but not as versatile as when tuned low. Ill try to change its heads ASAP to dry it a bit too.

I think Mr. Wards approach works better on medium sized snare drums, such as 5 x 14, than in bigger ones, IMHO.

Thank you all guys :-* for your time and interest. This discussion has certainly broadened my conceptions. And sorry for summarizing and concluding my last 4 or 5 threads in this one. Them were all related (at least to me) and peple involved were almost the same. :)

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2004, 06:46 AM »
I've never tried having my first rack tom higher in pitch than my snare, but I do tend towards fairly low pitches in my toms.

I have, however, used the octave-between-the-toms thing, but not because I wanted that specific interval, but because that's where each drum happened to sound good. I usually use either a 10 and a 14, or a 12 and a 16, and often find they end up being either an octave or a minor seventh apart.
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

dannydrumperc

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2004, 07:02 AM »
And what about Mr. Ward's snare tuning suggestions? JW  and Chisso have already stated their points of veiw and you are another of our snare drum topics most trusted consultors.
 ???

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2004, 07:04 AM »
And what about Mr. Ward's snare tuning suggestions? JW  and Chisso have already stated their points of veiw and you are another of our snare drum topics most trusted consultors.
 ???

I haven't read the article yet. Which issue is it (who's on the cover)?
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2004, 07:09 AM »
I don't typically use very loose snare tunings, unless I think a specific song calls for it. But I enjoy fat, colorful snare tunings - Steve Jordan is one of my favorite drummers, and he uses an AMAZING variety of snares and tunings, some of them quite low and dark. Check out his playing on Amanda Marshall's CD "Tuesday's Child" - great stuff!

I recently bought an old 6.5x14 wood drum (see avatar) for the purpose of emulating some of those Jordanesque sounds - I'm trying it out for the first time at soundcheck tomorrow. Don Henley is another guy whose low snare sounds I often dig.

But for general purpose, play-the-whole-gig drumming, I use snares tuned medium tight on top, and very tight on bottom. They feel better and cut through live music more effectively, in my experience. I recently posted examples that show how my snares typically sound - let me know if you can't find the thread.
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

felix

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2004, 07:47 AM »
For my new years resolution I'm going to hide all my drum keys except for one regular and one sonor key.  Then I am going to see how long I can go without tuning any of my drums and take that time to practice.  I'm going to do this for a year.  If I have a gig, I will take a drum key and give myself 30 seconds to tune *maybe, depends how much flack I get from people*.  If I break a head *probably won't* then I guess I'll have to change it out.  Then, when January 2006 rolls around I'll start tuning again.   I need to keep away from mainstream thought, at least for awhile.  Remember when your drums always sounded like ca ca and you couldn't tune to save your life but just played?  I want to get back to that for awhile.

Offline Billy Ward

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2004, 09:05 AM »
Hey!  Well, I've finally joined up here at the Cafe!  Tried last night but couldn't figure out the registering thing.  Somehow today it has worked!  (yes, I'm an idiot!) :D

felix - I LOVE your attitude here.  Be sure and do that!  Sometimes we have to go to extremes to get somewhere - and certainly, if you've been tuning a whole lot in the past, don't do it for a while!

jokerny - Do you HAVE to trumpet EVERYWHERE that you don't like my sound?  :D  just kidding.

Even though a thing like an article is "written", I think that it is important to remember that "nothing is written" (Lawrence of Arabia) when speaking of musical matters!
That said, I write from my own personal perspective in those articles in the hopes to at least light some fires of thought.  Obviously, this article did that!!

Some things to remember:
-there is no accounting for taste (mine included)
-when speaking of tuning drums or the sound of drums there are a million factors:  Some are the drum/the drum materials/the bearing edge/the room in which the drum is being heard.... Also, snare beds are crucial with snare drums as well as the choice of drumhead.  I like Evans heads because of how they sound on my DWs - doesn't mean it should be a law, but there are certain brands of drums and heads that perhaps won't work with what I've written.

I have to get into my day soon buy I will pay attn. here and try to participate in this discussion.  To quickly try to answer some....
If I have a two tom kit - my snare will be the highest pitched
the pitch difference from my 8X12DW to my 13X15 DW is usually betw. a 6th and an octave.  If I set up four toms - I go for as extreme a tuning range as is possible.  Therefore, when John Good picks a ten inch shell for me, he knows that I will be tuning it high - much like others might tune an 8" tom.  I hope this helps -

Also i agree with the idea that the deeper drums don't go as low as the 5 inchers and such.  I mostly have 3-4-5 or 6 inch deep snares, but on the couple of 6 1/2s that I do have, it seems they will go where they want to go and that's it.  But, as i said in the article, I believe that a drum with a flexible tuning range is one of the qualities of a fine instrument and n interesting test for the more expensive snare drums.

This would be easier if you  could visit my discussion forum at my website.  But i will hang here - This is great forum, that's for sure!  I'm happy to get to know you all.

Thanks to JeepnDrummer for alerting me to this thread.  I'll check back in tonight or tomorrow - thanks
-Billy

Offline James Walker

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2004, 09:35 AM »
Way cool.  Thanks for joining the fray, Billy!  :D
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline JeepnDrummer

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2004, 09:37 AM »
Billy, it's good to know you were finally able to access the forum.  Speculation can be neat and spawn additional ideas, but sometimes it's nice to get the straight poop.  ;D

Offline Billy Ward

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2004, 09:45 AM »
Thanks!  more connections to our pals!!!

I don't know if I said this in the article (I hope so!), but one thing that I've noticed is that I tune my bottom head loosser than most every snare I ever encounter.  DW has a gentle slope on it's snare bed that allows this.  Can't say it will work with those radio king style grand canyon beds!

dannydrumperc

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2004, 09:55 AM »
Thomas Lang is on the cover. The new issue with Louie Bellson is now on newsstands. It might be hard to find. Try on any drumshop

Offline Chris Whitten

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2004, 10:06 AM »
Thanks Billy.
Info....nay FACT straight from the horses mouth....so to speak.  ;D

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2004, 10:08 AM »
I'll read the article tonight. But now we're lucky enough to have the genuine article right here with us, so he'll be able answer your question far better than I ever could!

A big DC welcome to Billy Ward!

 ;D
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(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline James Walker

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2004, 10:22 AM »
A big DC welcome to Billy Ward!

 ;D

"S-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-LUTE!!!!!"

Oh wait, sorry...that's Hee-Haw.  Never mind.  ;)
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline Billy Ward

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2004, 11:35 AM »
thanks guys.  James - that must've been ALOT of work changing all those snares!!!  :D
They DO make a big difference.  My DW Craviotto walnut 4 X15 has radio king snares on it - UNBELIEVABLY GREAT.  I'm also fond of any of the old Rogers' snares.  To be honest, I haven't had any time to check out the new "boutique" snares like puresound for instance.  Looking forward to trying them all some time.

Offline Ian

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2004, 11:51 AM »
I don't think James considers it work.

To quote someone else about James "snare drum" Walker (sorry, I can't remember who said this):
"So... you really like snare drums"

Welcome to the Cafe.

dannydrumperc

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Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2004, 12:07 PM »
HIJACK! (this is my thread ;D)

First of all: welcome, Mr. Ward! It is an honor to have you here discussing this with us.

I've enjoyed many of your articles at MD, but I'm having trouble understanding your tuning method.

I'm not sure if I have heard your work. I'm Puertorican and I don't listen too much to American music (at least not new). I would appreciate further explanation of your method and suggestions of recordings.

As I said in one of posters, maybe I have the tendency for tuning low my drums and never realized it (therefor having troubles for lowering them even more) ???

Any help will be appreciated :)

Offline James Walker

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2004, 12:35 PM »
I don't think James considers it work.

To quote someone else about James "snare drum" Walker (sorry, I can't remember who said this):
"So... you really like snare drums"

That was deadtrooper - I had it as my "signature" for a couple of months.

BTW - Billy, the "snare wire comparison" project is something that has been going on-and-off since April.  I think I've collected all the wires I'm going to collect - the next step is to record some of these wires "in context" (with some backing tracks) on a number of different drums.  So many wires, so little time.   ;)

I've been thru a building phase (continuing, but waning), a snare wire phase...now I'm in a tuning phase - and your MD article is feeding my current time-consuming addiction.  ;)

(Hopefully, one of these days, I'll get back to more of a practicing phase, followed by a gigging phase...) ::)
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline Dave Heim

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Re:Billy Ward's article on MD last issue
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2004, 03:24 PM »
I'm also fond of any of the old Rogers' snares.

I finally badgered, er... convinced, my kid brother into parting with his old Rogers Dynasonic.  It'll need some TLC to get it back up to speed, but I'm looking forward to playing it.  It always sounded great.
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