Topic: “Top-Heavy” Playing  (Read 5205 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 734
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2008, 11:06 AM »
The fact that most of us internally use the HH - Ride part (at least at first) as a sort of "common denominator" type glue that the rest of the pattern is played against gives the part more importance in our head than it serves musically.

That's me.

And Chris, despite my cyborg joke (I was just ribbing ya'), your chart has been in my head since yesterday.  It's a great approach for describing and analyzing one's internal kit dynamics.

Offline Bart Elliott

  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Posts: 15093
  • Founder & owner of DrummerCafe.com
    • bartelliott
    • bartelliott
    • w w w . B a r t E l l i o t t . c o m
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2008, 11:07 AM »
Maybe it’s an durability thing.

And maybe, just maybe ... a little marketing?

Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 734
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2008, 11:16 AM »
And maybe, just maybe ... a little marketing?

Well, yes!  But he does actualy use the cymbals -- or said he does.

BTW: Kenny hits extremely hard!  Not exactly a newsflash, I know, but I was pretty amazed.  He uses huge sticks and holds them very low on the shaft.

Offline NY Frank

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 2712
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2008, 11:23 AM »
IMO, only the weakest of players need a 'rock' crash, or 'projection' crash.

I nominate this for quote of the month.    :)

I happen to agree, although I have at least one drummer friend who would want
to hurt me if I said that to him.    :)

No doubt some players migrate towards this notion that
Very Hard and Very Loud = Very Good.

I personally would have zero desire to play a Projection crash. 
+
Frank
Just play

Bionic Ankle    "... we can rebuild him ..."

felix

  • Guest
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2008, 01:13 PM »
Very informative chart Chrisso.  Actually, it's one of the most useful bits I've seen here at the cafe in quite some time.  Obvious to some maybe; learned the hard way in my case and golden information for those not hip already.

It only makes sense, as lower frequencies require more power to generate as well as to stop.

Good thread.  We had a drummer come in about a year ago that was going to fill in for me a few gigs.  And he played just flat out LOUD with his arms but had no power on his kick.  I play pretty much the direct opposite of that- not that I'm a gifted genius on the drums by any stretch, but I do indeed like to mix myself as I play-  Try to anyways.

What happened was the groove suffered, vocals and guitar get buried and the sweet effects get muddied up.

So the moral of the story is "Don't play top heavy!"


Offline Mark Schlipper

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 6671
  • drum + hand
    • chock full o' creamy goodness
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2008, 03:47 PM »
The band I play guitar in had to find a new drummer a while back. 

At first, before we'd written any material with the new guy, we worked on old stuff.  It soon became very evident that our first drummer was a bottom up player, while the new guy was a top down player.  And it made some of the old material sound so drastically different that it was pretty much pointless to bother with.  In fact only one of our old songs survived the transition. 

Now that we've been working a while, we have plenty of new material, and while it still sounds like 'us', his playing has steered us into a new direction to be sure.
Making bad art.  Saying stupid things.  Implimenting my master plan to be forgotten when I'm gone and forgettable while I'm here.

The Luna Moth
me
Perish the Island

Offline eardrum

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 1754
  • It's not too late to get better!
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2008, 03:58 PM »
Mr. Crigger and Mr. Whitten...  those responses are golden! Smitty - thanks for starting this one and thanks to everyone else.  I feel like better drummer already ;D (ok, yeah, I better go put it into practice darnit).  I'm going to print out this whole post and cover my music stand with it....

Offline Nathan Cartier

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 696
  • Cooking, Gaming, Drumming
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2008, 04:30 PM »
I have an 18" "Saturation Crash", does that make me a bad person?

Seriously, are we really basing our opinion of a player on the type of cymbal they buy?  Didn't Bermuda just do an entire interview talking about why he can't wait to try out the Sabian APX Solids?

Steve's comment is more about playing balanced than it is about the overall volume of your drumming.  If you play loud rock music, you might need loud crashes.  You will also need to make sure that you are paying attention to your hands and feet.  If I'm slugging out heavy rock, say a Rage Against the Machine song, I want my cymbals to match the intensity of my hands and feet. 

That doesn't mean that I beat the tar out of them, it just means I want them to fit the style of music that I'm playing.

Nate

Offline Chris Whitten

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 6445
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2008, 07:15 PM »
I have an 18" "Saturation Crash", does that make me a bad person?

Seriously, are we really basing our opinion of a player on the type of cymbal they buy? 

No, not at all.
When I said 'weak' I meant someone whose cymbal playing doesn't project and therefore needs all the help they can get.
I wasn't using the American-English term - weak meaning not very good.
Regarding the Aronoff quote....
I presume if he records with the projection cymbals, he loves the sound of them, not so much the volume. Volume from a cymbal is something you rarely need.
Don't forget Kenny is one of the very best and most experienced studio players in the world. I'm confident he can handle those loud crashes properly and not over play them.
For the majority of the rest of us, I don't think loud cymbals help us when we struggle to control our dynamics.
Ask any live sound engineer, or record producer. I'm sure their biggest bugbear is drummers with loud cymbals.


Offline Chris Whitten

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 6445
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2008, 07:22 PM »
If I'm slugging out heavy rock, say a Rage Against the Machine song, I want my cymbals to match the intensity of my hands and feet. 
That doesn't mean that I beat the tar out of them, it just means I want them to fit the style of music that I'm playing.
Nate

Intensity doesn't necessarily equal volume.
That's exactly my point.
And your bit about the cymbals matching the intensity of your hands and feet sounds slightly off too. You want your cymbals to match the intensity of your snare and bass drum, without over powering them.
If you rock out hard on your brand of loud cymbals, you'll often be drowning out the bass drum (the root of all rock).
You can rock out on quieter cymbals with intensity, and guard against over playing the harsh, bright sounds on your kit.
That's the core of my advice, take it on board if you wish.
 ;)


Offline Nathan Cartier

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 696
  • Cooking, Gaming, Drumming
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2008, 12:51 PM »
Chris - I understand you better now.  I'll post more tonight, I gotta get moving.  Block Party gig this afternoon, on the beach.  8)

Offline Eskil Sæter

  • Silver Member
  • Posts: 490
  • Musician and geek
    • 874135262
    • naigewron
    • About.Me
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2008, 06:08 AM »
This thread has been bookmarked  ;D

I must admit that overpowering my hihat hand is something I've never given any thought in the past, at least not in such an analytical way. I have noted on several occasions that my kick has disappeared in the mix, so to speak, but I must (shamefully) admit that I haven't put in the effort to analyse why.

I've got all A Customs on my kit, and while I absolutely love the sound of them, they are definitely pretty loud (the hihat in particular can be deafening). Keeping my hihat/ride hand in check is most certainly something I'll try to do. As a very groove-oriented rock player, the kick and snare are definitely where my power should lie, and I think that subconsciously I've just tried to get them to match the hihat, instead of making the hihat match the kick and snare. I'm guessing this might be a dominant hand issue.
- Eskil

Offline Nathan Cartier

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 696
  • Cooking, Gaming, Drumming
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2008, 01:26 PM »
No, not at all.
When I said 'weak' I meant someone whose cymbal playing doesn't project and therefore needs all the help they can get.
I wasn't using the American-English term - weak meaning not very good.


Okay, that was my misunderstanding.  You make much more sense to me, now.

Offline Chris Whitten

  • Honorary VIP
  • Posts: 6445
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2008, 04:28 PM »
It was only a throw away line anyway.  ;)

My advice still remains though, check out some quieter cymbals, especially if and when you record.
But it's only advice, not a rule.

Offline Nathan Cartier

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 696
  • Cooking, Gaming, Drumming
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2008, 07:05 AM »
Yeah, that's advice I DO take to heart.  I've been slowly collecting a set of quieter, more expressive cymbals, and they usually don't come out to gigs with me. 


Offline Robyn

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 1209
  • I love the Drummer Cafe!
Re: “Top-Heavy” Playing
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2008, 11:03 PM »
Wow--great thread--thanks!

Larry Lawless was here visiting this past Tuesday (brought a passle of kids--we all had a great time!)  and we of course talked drums. One positive that I told him that I'd learned from playing an e-kit, was that I was hitting the hihat pad too hard, and this caused a LOT of pad noise, which is pretty annoying to other band members, and even audible among the listeners.  So to help remedy this, since I was hitting harder b/c I couldn't hear the hihat, was to put the hihat/ride on another channel, so I could turn those up in my headphones. The louder they sounded to me, the softer I hit those pads, which has helped me to learn not to strike them as hard. That's transferred over to the acoustic set as well.
 I also like Chris's chart, and the discussion that the kick and snare are the focal point of rock/pop drumming. I will feel freer about really laying into the kick drum now! ;D And I sure do like my massive kick---whooom whooom!

robyn
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.           ~Mark Twain

 

Drummer Cafe RSS Feeds Drummer Cafe on Twitter Drummer Cafe on Facebook Drummer Cafe on YouTube Drummer Cafe on Pinterest Drummer Cafe on Instagram
Click HERE to LEARN MORE!