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Why dont all drummers know how to do that snare "rim hit" trick?
Old 6th May 2005
  #1
Why dont all drummers know how to do that snare "rim hit" trick?

Some songs just need that rim hit - on every stroke, you know what I mean - when the drummer hits the stick evenly accross the drum head AND the rim HARD - to make a harder CRACK sound.

Some drummers ONLY know how to tap the drum stick on the centre of the drum - and thats not the best for a LOT of rock songs..

it's an art to get it consistant...

Why dont drum teachers teach it?

Old 6th May 2005
  #2
JKL
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I'm sure there are plenty that do teach the technique. Could be that nowadays it's hard to emulate the sound one hears on a recording when sitting down at the kit because it's been processed so much it's near impossible to recreate in an accoustic setting. Listening to older recordings could help. Also, I know I incorperated rim shots into my playing out of necessity... having to play quietly at a gig and hating how whimpy the snare sounded. By using rimshots, I didn''t have to play loud to make it sound like I was smacking the snare.

Grab a snare Jules, and experiment. It's probably easiest to get the sound by hitting the drum with about 4 inches of stick (4 inches from the rim towards the center of the head). Keep laying the stick flatter (parallel to the head) until you start catching the rim every time you hit the drum. Like I said, you don't have to smack the crap out of the drum to get the effect (although I basically do nowadays 'cuz it's part of my playing).

Learn it, then YOU can be the teacher. heh


Jon
Old 6th May 2005
  #3
ha!

Good suggestion, but the bind I find myself in is the setup time for a session often isnt inough time for a new drummer to master it well enough to use on a recording... not all acts through here get pre production...

Old 6th May 2005
  #4
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Good Question Jules.

I recently recorded a really good drummer who just like you said, taps the center of the snare drum.
It drove me crazy, because otherwise his playing (Timing, Parts) were all quite good, but the attack needed in that context was always lacking.
And obviously cymbals are being bashed. lol
Some drummers lay off the kick drum too. Then BOOM...one random loud hit.
Drives me crazy.
Drummers should practice dynamic techniques.
Old 6th May 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winey
Good Question Jules.

I recently recorded a really good drummer who just like you said, taps the center of the snare drum.
It drove me crazy, because otherwise his playing (Timing, Parts) were all quite good, but the attack needed in that context was always lacking.
And obviously cymbals are being bashed. lol
Some drummers lay off the kick drum too. Then BOOM...one random loud hit.
Drives me crazy.
Drummers should practice dynamic techniques.
Yep - a kick drum BOOM (or more like CLACK) say, at the start of the choruses, that ends up being thiner than all the other kicks.. tutt
Old 6th May 2005
  #6
Like this guy.... he knows how to do it right..
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Old 6th May 2005
  #7
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If they don't know how to do that, they aren't professionals, it's that simple. A drummer not being able to play a rimshot is like a saxophone player not being able to play a Db. Inexcusable.

What's tougher is convincing the drummer's that *do* play a rimshot on every backbeat to STOP doing that in specific places.
Old 6th May 2005
  #8
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That is SO ingrained into my technique, I have to make a very conscious effort NOT to do it, when inappropriate...

Just comes from decades of trying to be louder than dual SVTs, Marshall stacks, etc. I always break sticks in the middle and they look like a dog has chewed the center out. I will sometimes even do this with toms (for effect).

Maybe it's just me, but I'm always surprised at what a light 'touch' so many of these 'metal' kids have, these days. It ain't jazz; Hit it like you mean it, you little girly man!
Old 6th May 2005
  #9
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I like rim shots a lot. (when appropriate)

There is a really simple way to teach the technique. The guys who teach for me have found great success with this method. As oppossed to trying to hit the skin of the drum and the rim at the same time, simply focus the hit through the drum, kind of like hitting to the floor, just making sure that you connect with those areas of the drum. A subtle difference in thinking - but very effective!

Give it a try - could save a tracking session!

Si
Old 6th May 2005
  #10
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Well... IMO playing a rim shot on every stroke is boring. Rim shots are way cool and they can really be a great dynamic accent, but if you do it all the time it's kind of like compressing a recording to be as loud as possible all the time. heh You have nowhere to go from there, dynamically speaking. There may be some individual songs where that's appropriate but I certainly wouldn't castigate a drummer for not wanting to do that. Drummers DO learn to do a rim shot if they take lessons but they are not taught to do it on every stroke - that's usually not considered very musical, though some come to rely on it at live gigs to cut through a lot of loud distorted guitars in the mix. That's not necessary in a recording, so they likely prefer to hit in the center because that's where the drum is tuned to be played... it brings out the most resonance.
Old 6th May 2005
  #11
Riffer
 
lflier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winey
Some drummers lay off the kick drum too. Then BOOM...one random loud hit.
Drives me crazy.
Drummers should practice dynamic techniques.
Maybe they HAVE practiced dynamic techniques, but they just don't play the way YOU want them to.

Maybe I'm spoiled because I work with a great drummer, and you can bet that if there is dynamic and tonal variance (and there almost always is), he intended it that way. But this insistence that all kick and snare hits in rock and pop be perfectly consistent just seems like musical suicide to me. Dead, flat and boring, compared to what drums and drummers are capable of. I think it is non drummers (and often even non musicians) who are responsible for this trend, too, because of the prevalent use of drum machines, click tracks, triggering, quantizing, soundreplacement, etc. Drummers themselves don't tend to think any of that is very musical, and I agree with them. Let the drummers play music, not be forced to be machines.
Old 6th May 2005
  #12
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Well the issue, Lee, is control. Dynamic consistency is not the same thing as robotic monotony, and you can vary the color and tone of rimshots just as much as head strokes. I agree that varied dynamics are vital to exciting music, but I think a lot of drummers (especially young ones) lack the ability to make a choice and execute it.

The thing about playing the center of the head is that it's success is dependent on the drum being very well tuned. The center is not always (and, in fact, rarley is) the most resonant area on any given drum. Hopefully it's the spot where you can most easily access the fundamental, but often it's the overtones you're looking for, and they reside off to the side a little.

Thoughts:
1. John Bonham, rimshots. Jim Keltner, on the head. Both had, uh, pretty good tone. I fell in love with the sound of an off center rimshot when I first heard Bill Bruford (Roundabout). He played 'em because he wanted to be heard without breaking drumheads and drummerhands.

2. When was the last time you worked with a young rock drummer who practices on her own? Not if they're in a band, they don't!

3. Uh. Was there more? Sorry for rambling.
Old 6th May 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKL
It's probably easiest to get the sound by hitting the drum with about 4 inches of stick (4 inches from the rim towards the center of the head). Keep laying the stick flatter (parallel to the head) until you start catching the rim every time you hit the drum. Like I said, you don't have to smack the crap out of the drum to get the effect (although I basically do nowadays 'cuz it's part of my playing).
It also helps to have the snare up higher, and to play "through" the drum.
Like Jon said, its possible to have the same sound regardless of volume.

My .02

Rob
Old 6th May 2005
  #14
Riffer
 
lflier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitgong
Well the issue, Lee, is control. Dynamic consistency is not the same thing as robotic monotony, and you can vary the color and tone of rimshots just as much as head strokes. I agree that varied dynamics are vital to exciting music, but I think a lot of drummers (especially young ones) lack the ability to make a choice and execute it.
Yeah I'm sure you're right (like I said, I am blessed with mostly working with and recording really really good drummers, and no doubt am not aware of all the bad ones out there). But I'm equally sure there are engineers and producers who insist that drummers should sound like robots, and this being an engineers' and producers' forum, I'm just issuing a caution about that! The older drummers can slap the younger ones around on drumming forums. heh

Quote:
The thing about playing the center of the head is that it's success is dependent on the drum being very well tuned.
True, ergo it's important to know how to tune drums and have fresh heads on them. IMO, if the drummer has little recording experience and doesn't know how to do this, the engineer should. I took it on myself early on to learn how to tune drums, stop rattles and squeaks in hardware, etc. because many drummers bring in kits that are more suited for gigging use than recording.

Quote:
The center is not always (and, in fact, rarley is) the most resonant area on any given drum. Hopefully it's the spot where you can most easily access the fundamental, but often it's the overtones you're looking for, and they reside off to the side a little.
Oh definitely. I love drummers who vary the tone by playing in different places on the head (the drummer in my band is a master at that!) But assuming the drum is properly tuned you ARE going to get more sustained resonance (in relation to the attack or transient) by hitting in the center. You can get a biggest transient with rim shots.

Quote:
Thoughts:
1. John Bonham, rimshots. Jim Keltner, on the head. Both had, uh, pretty good tone.
You betcha. But it's not as if Bonham played all rim shots all the time either.

Quote:
I fell in love with the sound of an off center rimshot when I first heard Bill Bruford (Roundabout). He played 'em because he wanted to be heard without breaking drumheads and drummerhands.
Yeah, another drummer I work with often is a big Bruford fan and he plays the off center rim shot a ton for the same reason. He's great, but it does drive me a little nuts at times and he admits that when I encourage him to vary that sound when recording (where being heard won't be an issue), it's more interesting.

Quote:
2. When was the last time you worked with a young rock drummer who practices on her own? Not if they're in a band, they don't!
Heh... like I said there seems to be a preponderance of great drummers in my life, cuz they know I love 'em. So I do know a couple of younger guys who practice on their own and take it very seriously. I don't doubt there are a lot that don't, though, judging by a lot of the terrible musicianship I often see in live clubs the past few years.
Old 6th May 2005
  #15
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rynugz007's Avatar
 

one way to get better rimshots is to keep the snare completely flat (no angle) and you could try using the butt end of the stick. That combination yields a pretty loun and phat rock n roll sound.
Old 6th May 2005
  #16
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I had to laugh when i read that!

For years I've struggled AGAINST drummers with that lousy habit of hitting the rim on every snare hit.
(and I'm not the only one)

It's a habit they develop by playing live to simply make the drum cut louder... but it's rarely if ever better for recording (when you can make the snare as loud as you need)

Al Kooper talked years ago about having to angle the drum extremely with some drummers in the studio so they physically couldn't hit the rim!

I can't believe you WANT it, Jules!
Old 6th May 2005
  #17
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toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lflier
But assuming the drum is properly tuned you ARE going to get more sustained resonance (in relation to the attack or transient) by hitting in the center.

I would have to disagree re: sustained resonance from centre hits, look to the edges of the skin for more sustained resonance... Skin strike position is always a trade-off between attack and sustain (amongst other things) anyway. Rim shots also do not have to be loud, AT ALL. And I would like to echo another post which highlighted the fact that rimshots can have ENORMOUS variation in tone strike to strike..
Old 6th May 2005
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcatdigi
That is SO ingrained into my technique, I have to make a very conscious effort NOT to do it, when inappropriate...

Just comes from decades of trying to be louder than dual SVTs, Marshall stacks, etc. I always break sticks in the middle and they look like a dog has chewed the center out. I will sometimes even do this with toms (for effect).

Maybe it's just me, but I'm always surprised at what a light 'touch' so many of these 'metal' kids have, these days. It ain't jazz; Hit it like you mean it, you little girly man!

Agreed. it is an addictive spot because to me it feels so nice!!! that point on the drum where the middle and the rim connect with the stick!
Old 6th May 2005
  #19
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Like this guy.... he knows how to do it right..
Notice! Classic grip! He might be a jazz musician! heh
Old 6th May 2005
  #20
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutmeg II.
Notice! Classic grip! He might be a jazz musician! heh
OOHH, the HORROR!!!
Old 6th May 2005
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
I can't believe you WANT it, Jules!
I think it is just a 'stylistic thing', Mr. Wittman. IMHO, it evokes POWER. Not volume. I can see NOT wanting that for other styles.
Old 6th May 2005
  #22
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcatdigi
OOHH, the HORROR!!!

Yeah, like Stewart Copeland- He uses the classic grip, & we all know what a crappy drummer he is....
Old 6th May 2005
  #23
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lflier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid
I would have to disagree re: sustained resonance from centre hits, look to the edges of the skin for more sustained resonance...
Hmm, well that's news to me and pretty much every drummer I know, which is a lot, but OK...

Quote:
Rim shots also do not have to be loud, AT ALL. And I would like to echo another post which highlighted the fact that rimshots can have ENORMOUS variation in tone strike to strike..
I agree! I was referring to the specific type of rim shot that Jules says he wants. As others have mentioned, that specific sound was mainly developed to cut through a mix in a live setting, because it is loud! And it also tends to choke off the sound of the snares quite a bit, limiting the character of the drum.

I agree a rim shot doesn't HAVE to do that, but in that specific case it does.
Old 6th May 2005
  #24
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lflier
Hmm, well that's news to me and pretty much every drummer I know, which is a lot, but OK...
we must be having a terminology mix-up - if you hit a snare in the centre you produce a drier sound than hitting it near the edge....thats all....I'm sure we are talking about the same thing.

peace!
Old 6th May 2005
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcatdigi
That is SO ingrained into my technique, I have to make a very conscious effort NOT to do it, when inappropriate...

Just comes from decades of trying to be louder than dual SVTs, Marshall stacks, etc. I always break sticks in the middle and they look like a dog has chewed the center out. I will sometimes even do this with toms (for effect).

Maybe it's just me, but I'm always surprised at what a light 'touch' so many of these 'metal' kids have, these days. It ain't jazz; Hit it like you mean it, you little girly man!
I come from the exact same school digi!

Old 6th May 2005
  #26
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chadly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lflier

But assuming the drum is properly tuned you ARE going to get more sustained resonance (in relation to the attack or transient) by hitting in the center. You can get a biggest transient with rim shots.
I believe that if you hit slightly off center, you get more resonance. The toms "sing". I've seen research on it, and all of the drum corp types play slightly off center. (It applies to set as well) I've always found that hitting a drum square in the center makes it sound dead! (Which can be exactly what you need at times)


EDIT: (I just realized there was a followup, mea culpa. I'm not trying to troll)
Old 6th May 2005
  #27
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've seen session drummers trigger a sample using a pad!

I'm with William, it isn't usually what I'd like to hesr at all.
Old 6th May 2005
  #28
I'm with Jules.... This is rock and roll not some love fest. Excite the room, hit your d*mn drums it "feels" more powerful. I can deal with the tone, I want vibe.

For the record I am like the others above. I play rimshots all the time on every hit. I know a cat who is a great drummer but he sounds bad in every recording he has ever done and he has been recorded by a few different studios and many different engineers. He sounds small and boring in every recording and he never plays rimshots. Even he does not like the sound of his playing recorded.

He is a much better drummer than I (but I am really a guitar player first so fuuck ) but when I play his kit it just sounds better. This is not me talking up my playing this is from others in the room including members of his band.

Pete Townsend once said "there is energy and power in volume" and he was right (too bad what all the volume did to his ears but you get the point).
Old 6th May 2005
  #29
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly
I've always found that hitting a drum square in the center makes it sound dead!
If you play from the wrist, it's very easy to 'choke' the drum dead center...

Lots of folks here complain about wimpy drummers hitting their cymbals too hard; I come from the school of hit EVERYTHING extra hard, except the cymbals...

I'd MUCH rather ask a drummer to back off, than to suggest they dig in. I think THAT really IS somewhat the crux, here.

(...And c'mon, Bob.
After all that time over at MW's, hasn't it grown on you? Not even in the chorus?)

Lee- You must see Barry Borden play in town sometime and let's discuss. Or hire him for a session!
Old 6th May 2005
  #30
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

I can't believe theres even a 'rim-shots are bad, center hits are good' debate going on!!!

rim-shot when its cool to, don't when its not....

sheeesh
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