kind of drums do you play?
a beautiful set of Premier Signia's-- Cherry Wood finish-- in all
their British glory. My kit consists of 6 power toms, 8",
10", 12", 13", 14", 15", 2 floor toms, 16" and 18" and a 22"
bass drum, as well as a 6 1/4" x 14" Ludwig Maple snare, a 3 1/2"
x 13" Pearl Brass snare, and a 5 1/4" x 14" Gretsch Aluminum snare.
do you look for when you are shopping for a drum?
look for resonance-- I like a long decay. Second, I look for
a wide tuning range. With these Signia's, the shell is undersized
a bit to achieve just that-- a wide range of tuning possibilities.
I also like the warmth and attack of a maple shell, and lastly
I look for a natural wood finish. With a natural finish, the
wood can't hide-- you know that you are getting an almost perfect
piece of wood for your shell, not to mention the pure aesthetics
of a natural finish!
do you look for in a snare drum?
the snare is the meat of most modern Western rock drumming. It
can be many voices in the drum choir, and there are available many
different types to suit these voices. There are now piccolo
snares, soprano snares, and many other specialty snares to choose
from. I use three different snares. I have a deep natural
maple Ludwig that I use in most of our songs, I have a Pearl brass
bell Piccolo thiat I use in a couple of songs as the main snare
and as in effect in yet other songs, and I have a standard 5 1/4"
aluminum Gretsch snare that really cuts through, which I use occasionally
also. I like a snare that I can really "ghost" on, which requires
a tighter snare strainer. In some songs, like "Devil's Advocate"
and "Wounded", I like a lot of tone, which is the hallmark of the
maple snare. On other songs, like "Time Out" and "Spiritual
Animal", I am going for a real tight snare with no intrinsic tone,
hence the brass piccolo, which works really well for this application.
What are your thoughts
on tuning drums?
In the studio, we tuned
fairly high, especially on the last few songs that we recorded,
such as "The Climb". When recording, I have to respond to
the fact that my drums are under a microscope, so to speak. Any
buzzes or excess overtones must be dealt with. Initially we
had some problems with the larger, deeper toms sounding a bit too
tympanic, but with a great deal of patience and tweaking of both
heads, we got these drums sounding excellent.
In general, I try to
tune the drums to the drum shell's intrinsic sound and not some
specific note. I tap softly on the head at each lug until
I get an even note across the head. I tune the bottom head
to get the desired sustain and over-all tone. On snares, I tune
the top head high and the bottom head for ample snare sound, with
no choking of the snares
plans do you have for the future, as far as your acoustic kit is
probably get two more toms, 9" and 11" as well as possibly some
ethnic percussion. If John had his way, I would probably have all
kinds of extra acoustic percussion, which would be fine if he would
help me carry it [laughs].
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