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What percussions can I use for quiet/soft music?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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goom's Avatar
What percussions can I use for quiet/soft music?

What are my options? Doesn't matter if it's physical, synths, samples, whatever.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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s wave's Avatar
Believe it or not I like finger tapping on cloth and different materials. Thick textiles with drum brushes experiment changing what you are using behind the material soft pine, rubber and things like carpet. Just some low tech/household ideas.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
S wave has a great suggestion.

I have an LP Soft Shake shaker. I really like it for ballads and quiet stuff.

Scott
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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For these kinds of questions, the answers are out there in the music that already exists. Find the right reference tracks to help steer you in the right directions.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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s wave's Avatar
I believe in this song King Harvest used toilet brushes (of course sticks are in there too) but really well done with a low tech household item. The story goes that when they were making recording (in France) the drums were waking people up in the apartment building - so they did the last tracks with the brushes. I think there is a real good mix level on them too. Less is more sometimes. One other thing that I like on ballads is using a bass guitar for the drums - you can really shape it well with so many choices. I will often add a bit of a soft transient to them - like recording the edge of balsa wood with a drumstick etc. or a denim wrapped 1" board or muted cardboard box stuffed with towels. (plucked/muted string instruments violins ukuleles, acoustic guitars - finger tapping on an acoustic guitar body a la flamenco) pillows and drum sticks - I have heard nice little sounds from soft and hard cover books with sticks or clave (2 wooden dowels hit together or scraped). "Dancin... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMc8naeeSS8
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
I have some plastic medicine jars filled with different amounts of seeds (how did those get there?) I use as shakers. I've used various ribbed articles as fish (scratchers). It was a notion I picked up from a percussionist/drummer pal of mine, Kurt Schnyder, who has now gone on. One of my favorite of the instruments I inherited from him is a tambourine on which he replaced the skin head with a stiff, kind of celluloid material. It turned out to give the thing a big, 'hollow' sound -- not totally unlike one of those metal sheets they used to use for thunder sound FX in plays and on radio.

Steve Hodges (Tom Waits, Mavis Staples) used to sometimes bring a big shop blanket rolled around various metal and other objects he used for outsider percussion in jams and backing up artists like Jonathan Richman in live performance. Waits sought him out for his anvils, as I understand it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

I think the only real thing to ask here is... what genre?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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goom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
I think the only real thing to ask here is... what genre?
Anything on the softer side of Charmin toilet paper.*

It's like most drum samplers are made to rock and or roll.

*Maybe I should hit a pillow or toilet roll with a drum stick.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
jazz drummers can play very quietly using things called Brushes.

happens all the time....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
These are all great side suggestions, all pointing towards "everything is an instrument."

Another thing to try is percussive elements from the instruments already in the song. For example, guitars can make a huge number of sounds without touching the strings.

Really, anything physically soft or organic when recorded will also sound soft or organic when played back.

Longer transients have lower impact, both in physics and music.
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