Does brand make a difference?
Is it the sound, look, make or representing artists that make us choose what we like or not like to play?
Is it really all that important about the “gear”, does a price tag make a difference or are we just sucked into the whole advertising world and how its presented to us?
I am a self confessed drum gear junkie, or at least I would be even more so if my family allowed it!
There is something special about our favourite brand or model of drum paraphernalia, we all have our reasons, yet at the heart of the issue is playing, whether in a band on on our own. Personally I agree that technique has a lot to do with sound, and this is echoed by many players, teachers and artists. Sure there are certain brands that perhaps have a better projection, deepness, decay or whatever but there is more to this than just Labels.
It is important to remember that behind many great players and all the shiny drums and dazzling stacks of cymbals is someone who has worked and improved their technique over many long years of practise. This is no coincidence, and this is nothing new. Many people take lessons to drive a car but this doesn’t mean we can drive Formula 1 cars and compete in races!
Developing your skills and “chops” takes a lot of work, combining muscle memory, fitness, stamina and control; its not something that happens overnight.
As much as our principle makers of drums and cymbals is an identity and important to us, its also important to remember that having plenty of flashy stuff is great but if it takes away from performance its a waste of time. I learned to play from having a Snare drum and Hi hats only and had to wait to add a full kit in time. Though this wasn’t a conventional way to learn, it not only helped me appreciate individual drums more and what they do but also an important lesson on what you can do with just 2 drum/cymbals (as well as the financial obligation with buying a drum kit).
Having a drum kit is more affordable today, an electric set up even cheaper, but as long as those core foundations are set early we don’t loose sight of the important goals; what our job is and how we interact with other musicians.
I have been playing with other musicians for years, I have been in bands since I was 13 years old and have gained experience that takes many years to achieve. Having fun and playing music is one of the best feelings and one of the most satisfying experiences, being a drummer is a big reward and its still the best seat in the house!
Lessons can open doors, they can teach you and the teacher more important styles and disciplines that could otherwise be overlooked. I have had lessons and enjoyed the time greatly, through commitments with work and family those lessons tailed off but I’m never far away from what I was taught and will hopefully pop in for some catch up lessons down the line.
So, there’s no time to loose, contact your local school or teacher and get out there and get learning! There is much work to do but its not a chore when its something we have passion for.
There’s no time like the present!
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