Topic: Can you only play your own drums?  (Read 3954 times)

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Offline Johno Fisher

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Can you only play your own drums?
« on: March 10, 2013, 05:27 AM »
Hey guys

Just wondering if its the same for everyone else.I am terrible at adapting to other people's kits on kit share gigs. Played fusion toms last night. Sticks were rebounding through the roof and heading into space? I feel like I can only play my kit! Anyone share this?

Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 03:09 PM »
Be happy they're letting you play their drums. There may come a time they'll have to play yours. I'll play anyones drums. Different heads and tunings makes you realize what works for you.  Be warned, spending follows.  :)
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Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 05:56 PM »
I think all of us are most comfortable playing our own kits, set up the way we prefer.  However, I also think it's important to be adaptable so that you can jump on a foreign kit and still be able to play effectively.

When I first started playing on shared kits, I was very uncomfortable.  As I got more experience, it became much less of an issue.  Since then only once did I encounter a significant problem.  I was asked to play a set on a gig.  The drummer's kit was in horrible condition, poorly tuned, ergonomically a disaster, and the bass drum pedal spring so stretched that the only way to get the beater to the head was to lift my entire leg and stomp on the foot plate.  Even then, it barely hit the head with any force.  You just have to adjust.

After asking and obtaining permission, the only things I might adjust are seat height, snare drum height, and maybe cymbal stands, usually when following some really tall dude.  ;D

Offline Jon E

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 09:17 PM »
I don't mind playing other people's kits.  It's a fun challenge sometimes.  I've even say in a left handed kit once!

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 02:31 PM »
Sitting in on another person's kit separates the wheat from the chaff; if it still sounds like you, even though the toms are wrong, the bass drum sounds weird, or there are too many cymbals, then you're doing well.

Offline MOUSE

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 04:56 AM »
Been in a few situations where using another's kit, and they do crop up at shows, jam nights, etc. My biggest struggle ( or two) are i am short in the arse and most kits i find set up for 6 ft giants so reaching the toms and pedals can be a hassle. Worse are kits set up by non drummers- nightmare stuff.I don't like altering others people kits around, and hate it when people alter mine without asking first. Couple of ways around it i have provided my own throne and ask the owner if i can lower the snare and hats, and then keep it simple in playing. Other is to just lump it and do your best. Secondly some kits are diabolical to play on. Iv'e struck ( well haven't ) toms out of reach, hi hats and kick that move off, snares that are aweful, out of tune-rattle-  and dread playing them, cymbals so heavy you cannot play light strokes on to get any music, etc,etc. Often I have taken my cymbal bag to jump on nights.

Preferable to stick to my own where ever possible, a bit fussy, but certainly play better in the comfort zone I have ergonomically developed over the years.
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Offline Travis Maurer

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2013, 09:13 PM »
I also have problems adapting the majority of the time; played on my friends set the other day, hit every rim at least a dozen times, though I got better by the end of the first song. definately didnt feel as comfortable as when I play on my own kit. But hey, playing on someone else's drums is a LOT better than not playing on any at all.

Offline Carl J. Pankowski

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 04:43 PM »
Sitting in on another person's kit separates the wheat from the chaff; if it still sounds like you, even though the toms are wrong, the bass drum sounds weird, or there are too many cymbals, then you're doing well.
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 07:03 PM »
I can adapt pretty readily to another drum kit, but I found out recently that my band mates cannot...they get used to hearing the sound of my drums/snare/toms/cymbals and it does throw them off when they don't hear what they have become accustomed to hearing. I had never thought of that until I played a gig this past week using a house kit, and no one could hear what I was doing back there. The tuning and projection were just miserable. Bob.
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Offline Mark Counts

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2013, 05:10 PM »
I feel like I can play anyone's configuration. What I have noticed bothers me the most is tuning. I donated a 7 piece Star Classic Kit to my church. I do the maint. on the kit. Replace the heads and try to keep them tuned. There are about 4 or 5 different drummers that play them. I come in at least 15 to 20 min. early because I know I am going to have to tune them. This morning, the second tom was so far out, someone had to have just tweaked it up big time. G2's don't just drift all over the place. Anyway, I have gotten used to it. If you are sitting in on someones kit, you may not want to start changing anything. You have to live with what they have. OK, my .2 cents.
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Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2013, 07:47 PM »
I feel like I can play anyone's configuration. What I have noticed bothers me the most is tuning. I donated a 7 piece Star Classic Kit to my church. I do the maint. on the kit. Replace the heads and try to keep them tuned. There are about 4 or 5 different drummers that play them. I come in at least 15 to 20 min. early because I know I am going to have to tune them. This morning, the second tom was so far out, someone had to have just tweaked it up big time. G2's don't just drift all over the place. Anyway, I have gotten used to it. If you are sitting in on someones kit, you may not want to start changing anything. You have to live with what they have. OK, my .2 cents.

If you are sitting in on another drummer's kit (as in he has provided backline so that you don't have to schlep your kit to the gig) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER change any tuning on his drums. Ever. They're not your drums, they're his; he did you a favour by providing them, you can return that favour by playing well and respecting his gear.

Offline Scot Holder

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Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 10:56 PM »
I would have more respect for a drummer who wouldn't let me use his drums at all vs a drummer who would put several usage parameters on me playing his drums - ie don't change anything!

I've been in the fortunate position for most of my musical life to play/perform with musicians that are more talented than me. When I hand them my guitar/bass/drum sticks I'm thinking "I'm going to learn something " not  "I hope they don't ruin my stuff!"  Stuff is just stuff.

I used to play golf, alot. One day, I was just ON - you know - I was making shots I didn't ordinarily make. I was playing with a guy I had just met that morning, and he had a sweet persimmon head driver. The ninth was a par-5, and after we had both hit our tee shots, he said "will you hit my persimmon driver? I want to see what you can do with it."   I happily agreed and proceeded to crush a drive strait, true and long. My point is that he did not say "grip it this way, be careful, don't scuff it..." 

If your going to let someone play your drums, let them PLAY your drums.

Offline Joe

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 12:03 AM »
The honest answer is -- I can't, really. At least, not as well as I could with the snare properly angled and the cymbal heights just right. I really don't give a crap about head tension anymore, unless ghost-buzz-roll type things MUST be played (and even then I'll just go near the rim where it's always tight)...I seem to smack them with just a bit less force than Liberty DeVitto, and I've lost a bit of my "proper technique", if you like...all that is there is enough to prevent damage to my body and the drums.

The golf analogy made me think, but I'm willing to bet that the guy either 1.) knew that you wouldn't hurt his club, given your game that day and that the game in general, however rife with its share of duffers, is more soaked with an adherence to etiquette than Christmas fruitcake, or 2.) he simply was rolling in it, and would write it off. Neither is the case with the large majority of musicians! It's with that in mind that I balked recently, almost to an insulting degree, at sharing another drummer's cymbals. I grudgingly did it once, then resorted to changing them out since. I will NOT be liable, whether in theory or not, for a 400-dollar pair of hats, two crashes that each cost half that much, and a ride that trounces the lot in value.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

Offline Scot Holder

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Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 09:17 PM »
Joe, I would not want to be liable either. If my golfing partner that day had put a lot of stipulations in the use of his club, I would have politely declined.  And I don't believe that he was wealthy. In many years if playing golf at municipal courses, I never met any millionaires.

So, your other option is intriguing. What makes amateur golfers more honorable than musicians? 

Offline Joe

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 11:11 AM »
Offhand, I'd say that music is more democratic, when combined with golf and each as a whole.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 12:03 PM »
I would have more respect for a drummer who wouldn't let me use his drums at all vs a drummer who would put several usage parameters on me playing his drums - ie don't change anything!

I've been in the fortunate position for most of my musical life to play/perform with musicians that are more talented than me. When I hand them my guitar/bass/drum sticks I'm thinking "I'm going to learn something " not  "I hope they don't ruin my stuff!"  Stuff is just stuff.

I used to play golf, alot. One day, I was just ON - you know - I was making shots I didn't ordinarily make. I was playing with a guy I had just met that morning, and he had a sweet persimmon head driver. The ninth was a par-5, and after we had both hit our tee shots, he said "will you hit my persimmon driver? I want to see what you can do with it."   I happily agreed and proceeded to crush a drive strait, true and long. My point is that he did not say "grip it this way, be careful, don't scuff it..." 

If your going to let someone play your drums, let them PLAY your drums.

No. If you sit in on my kit and attempt to "tune" them to your liking, I'll pull the drum-key out of your hand. Chances are, you're the opening act in a smallish venue if you are using my kit, so don't make my life more difficult because you must have things "your way". If you want your tuning to be perfect for you, then bring your own kit and you deal with the stage manager or soundman. I don't have a problem with height adjustments on cymbal stands or whatnot, but changing the pitch of another person's drums is verboten.

And I'm not worried about people breaking my stuff (you are using your cymbals, pedal, and snare in this case, so go nuts) because if you should break a stand, it's coming out of your band's pay for that night.

I can't imagine sitting in as the opening act, as an example, on Mr A's kit, and the first thought that I have is to whip out the drum-key and screw up *his* tunings; if this was true then I certainly could not call myself a professional. And you know what? I'd play his toms in the spots that they are; to use a golf term, "play it as it lays". I've learned more by playing on set-ups that were out of my comfort zone than I'll ever learn by ruining the headlining drummer's night.

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 03:35 PM »
This is only an issue if I know the other drummer and he knows me. In any case, we both know how the drums will sound and how they are set up, because we've seen each other play.

I always bring my pedals, snare, cymbals, and stool... even if I'm playing someone else's kit in a club.

If we don't know each other, then we haul and play our own.  :)

Offline Steve Phelps (Shoeless)

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Re: Can you only play your own drums?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2013, 12:37 PM »
Its a learning opportunity. You find out really quick where your slop is, because all this time its been hiding within the sounds your kit makes and you've gotten used to it. Maybe his ride doesn't wash the same way yours does, so your strokes are much crisper and you realize that pattern you've been playing doesn't quite groove the way you always thought it did. Maybe because of tunings and tensions that killer tom/kick triplet fill is a little brasher or duller and forces you to compensate to get the right sound. Maybe you find that if you tilt your snare the way he does you get more effortless rimshots or a better line of sight with the highhats or first rack tom. The point is, you want to sound like yorself as much as possible so it makes you adjust to achieve that, and that make you a better player. Before you know it you'll sound like yourself with any kit you sit behind, and you learn how to make even the crappiest kits sing!
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