Monthly Archives: April 2012

Drum Cymbals (hopefully everything you will ever need to know)

In this post I will be looking at lots of different aspect to do with Cymbals from playing them correctly to giving them the best possible chance of survival and set-up (but not placement)

Cymbal Anatomy

Ill start with a little pick detailing the anatomy of a cymbal.

I will predominately be referencing Zildjian as that’s the make I use and know the most about. But there are plenty of others out there for you to try.

Cymbals are the most delicate part of the drum kit. They can be easily damaged if not cared for or played properly. Im going to attempted to show you the correct mounting of your cymbals and the correct way to strike them. With the main goal of extending the life of the cymbal. Ive been playing drums for over 20 years and never once broke a cymbal (touch wood) these things will last you a few decades if you treat them right and play them how they were designed to be played. As we all know cymbals can be very expensive. With the top ranges from each manufacturer fetching between £100-£350. So better not to crack one. Read the rest of this entry

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A little Challenge

Morning all.

This is a little challenge for all you budding drummers out there. I have recently challenged myself by learning some linier drum fill patterns. What is meant by linier I hear you say. Basically no two notes fall on the same count. So everything is played separately, and you can get some super crazy results from this. Below are two exercises that Ive put together for you. Please play close attention to the sticking as sometimes you will be using the left hand lead. The idea behind this is once it’s moved around the kit. You start to get some awesome patterns and combinations starting to form.

Exercise 1 is based around 16th notes. This is a simple pattern just to get you mind working.

Exercise 2 is all about 16th note triplets. With some awkward sticking and patterns, including a double stroke in the last bar. It might be a good idea to break it down and lean it bar by bar first.

The ideas behind these is to get you thinking outside the box and to give you an example of what you can do. Once you have it down on the snare and kick your next progression it to start moving the pattern around the kit. Believe me its a lot of fun  You can place rests in there as well to increase the challenge..

Drum Tuning +

In this article I would like to talk to you about different types of equipment you can get to aid drum tuning. Talk a little about External Dampeners and share a few little tips Ive picked up along the way.

Drum Keys.

Ill start with the topic of Drum Keys. There are lots of different types out there to help AID drum tuning. There are NONE out there that will do the job for you. You will always have to put in the hard work and time to actually learn how to tune your drums properly. That been said they can and will help speed up the process. The main 2 types im going to look at here are the “Drill Bit Drum Key” and the “Evans Torque Key”

Read the rest of this entry

My Thoughts on Tuning your Drums. (Part 5)

Things you may need: Guitar Tuner

In this issue of tuning your Drums I will finally get around to looking at the last drum on most peoples kit. It is of course the ever elusive subject of Snare Drum Tuning. The snare is by far the hardest drum to tune. What makes it hard I hear you say? “Snare Buzz” I will hopefully try to give you some tips Ive picked up through my years of drumming to help you eliminate this Problem and I will attempt to do this without the use of any dampening. As I believe this to be cheating and if a good kit is tuned properly this shouldn’t be needed anyway for a live sound. But saying that obviously there are instances when recording that you might need some external dampening but I will be looking at this in my Drum Tuning Extras addition. Read the rest of this entry

Replacing your Snare Wires

Things You’ll Need

  • New set of snares
  • Two pieces of snare “rope” or plastic “strips”
  • Drum key

How to Replace Snares:

  1. Remove the old snares by loosening the lugs (screws) on the snare clamps with the drum key. The clamps are situated at the bottom on both sides of the drum. When the snare clamps are fully loosened, lift the old snares off the resonant head.
  2. Place the new snares across the resonant head. Line them up with the clamps. The new snares will come with two pieces of thin “rope” or plastic strips. These are for securing the snares to the snare clamp
  3. If you are using the rope, thread one piece through the two holes that are pre-drilled into the end of the snares. Repeat this on the other end of the snares. Take the ends of the rope and insert them into the clamp on the side of the drum. Tighten the lugs and clamp the rope in place. Repeat this on the other side, pulling the snares tightly across the head. The clamp on this side of the drum is usually attached to a “throw-off” mechanism, also called a “strainer.” This allows the snares to be lifted away from the head when the lever is dropped down. When securing the ropes to the clamps, make sure that the throw-off lever is in the on position. And that the Knob is situated at just below the half way mark.
  4. If you are using plastic strips to secure the snares, insert one strip into the slit at the end of the snares. Fold this strip and insert it into the clamp. Then stretch the snares across the drum. Insert the folded strip at the other end of the drum into the clamps. Pull the snares tight across the head by the strips and tighten the lugs, securing the snares in place.
  5. The strainer also features a round knob at the top. This is used to further tighten (or loosen) the snares. To tighten the tension, turn this knob clockwise. To loosen, turn counter clockwise.

Do not over-tighten the snares. This results in a “choked” sound and can damage the snare wires.

Any questions please feel free to email me at info@ajbennett.co.uk