While there are many small drum manufacturers today, there are many unique needs for all of the different styles of music people play. The truth is that you need different tools for different jobs, and some companies make drums that are really great for some styles of music, while others may have strengths in other styles. However, we all know that high end instruments can be expensive, which often forces drummers to settle for less than the best. And, when you need multiple kits for different kinds of music, you're starting to develop a pretty demanding burden on yourself.
A few months ago, I reviewed a book by David Phillips called "A Drummer's Perspective." Now, David is using Kickstarter to fund his sequel project, "From the Riser: A Drummer's Perspective II."
The book features beautiful, full color photos of the drum sets played by today's drum legends. Not only does it show their drum sets, but it shows the audiences they play for, as would be seen from the stage while the drummer is performing.
Recently, I have been focusing on a style of music which was only brought to my attention a few years ago: progressive metal. I started traveling down this path after a friend sent me a link to the Disperse album "Journey Through the Secret Garden." Being a huge jazz fusion junkie, I immediately found myself immersed in the complexity of the syncopated guitar, bass, and drum parts, and fell in love with the variety of guitar tones, combined with often esoteric keyboards.
Nick Pierce is a master of fast, synchronized double bass drum playing. I love the power he projects, and the precision with which he executes the parts. Very few drummers achieve this level of control of the instrument, especially using all four limbs at this tempo. The Paiste Rude's sound amazing, too (as does the Tama kit).
The video below is a detailed explanation of his tracking techniques for Breath of Nibiru.
It is not often that I feel obligated to use the term 'masterpiece' to describe an album. However, when I do, it's always exciting.
Bilo 3.0 is truly a masterpiece. By this, I don't just mean that the songs are good, the playing is amazing, and that the production is excellent. Instead, I mean all of those things, but to a higher level.
Although it's impossible for me to hear all of the great material being published today, I'd like to share my favorite drum performances of 2013. Some of these are videos of concert footage, some are instructional DVDs, and some are albums which were released this year. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a suggestion which I have forgotten. I present these in no particular order.
Gavin's ability to respond and blend with music creates a very natural feel in the opening track of Antoine Fafard's new album, "Occultus Tramitis". What I love about this song is the how the beauty of the composition is supported by the complexity of each layer - the two bass parts, the guitar part, the violin lead, and of course Gavin's playing.
I recently switched to Mapex Falcon hardware, and the double bass pedal came with weights to place inside the beater. These double bass counterweights come in 10 gram and 20 gram variations. I decided to ask Ryan Bloom what he thought about them. After reading his book Double Bass Drumming Explained, I knew he would be the right guy to ask.
Here's his response.
Today, many musicians have their own home studios. It seems as though much - if not most - recording is done in home studios. Because of internet technology, music can be recorded and sent to other places before it's finished. Tracking drums from home seems to be the most economical way to go, too. But, just because it fits the budget, it doesn't mean that there is a loss of quality.
I'm not usually a big fan of heavy hitting rock albums. But, when I listened to "Rememory" by Bear Language, I had to make an exception.
Because I like a lot of complexity in music, most rock albums just put me to sleep. Even if the energy level is high, I just can't get into it unless there is something I find *interesting* happening. This is why, at first glance, I didn't think I was going to really enjoy this album much.