Drummers topic

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
First of all, who is playing drums here?

@SixesAlltheway
@SinisterMinisterX
@Lego

More I forgot or don't know about? Please join the club!

To kick this off, I've been wondering about something and I am curious if you guys have any experiences with this.

If you need to play a set of, let's say an hour and you're playing intense music and there's this one song that you're a bit worried about because it requires a fast hi-hat pace that tires your arm. And 4 out of 5 times, near the end of that song you can't manage to keep up the same speed. If you've had a say in it:
Where would you put it in the set? I am not sure really.

More in the beginning because then I have more energy left.
Possible downside A: I am not warmed up well (or well enough) yet. (Although after two or three songs I certainly might)
Possible downside B: After this, there many intense songs left, not per se as arm-tiring as this one, but there's still quite a lot to go. Is that smart after a tiring effort?

More near the end because then I am warmed up more.
Possible downside: I have less energy left.

Of course, in the middle sounds like a compromise, perhaps the easiest solution, but perhaps you think beginning or end is better?

Another aspect:
Would you tend to put slow and calm songs before and/or after it? I'd say after is pretty nice, because it gives me time to rest a bit before more intense material looms ahead. But how about before?

Thinking about Maiden, they often did fast songs in the beginning didn't they? Then again, Nicko probably warms up a lot before a show, and I am not doing it like that. Usually, there's no time and place (and kit!) for it.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Cool topic. This subforum could use more activity.

I don't play drums regularly but I'd like to spend more time on them. Will be following this topic closely!
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I've only had access to a drumset once in my lifetime. It was quite fun. It's the top instrument I wish I could have. (I live in a flat, also can't afford it).
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
Hmm, that is a tough call. Ideally, it would be less a question of reordering the set, and more an issue of pacing yourself and your playing.

I used to gig fairly often with a progressive black metal band, and their tunes are all 9-12 minutes long. We'd usually do a 3-4 song set, and the last piece had a lot of very lengthy, high-energy blast beat sections.

Sure, I'd get tired, but I think knowing that I had this monster of a tune coming up helped me stay aware of exactly how much energy I was expending earlier in the set. By keeping relaxed, not hitting quite so hard, and keeping tempo in check, by the time you get to that tough song, no matter where it is, you'll make it much easier on yourself.
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
No problem! :)

There's a great bit in this interview: http://www.thehighwaystar.com/interviews/paice/ip199812xx.html with Ian Paice (Deep Purple) where he talks about force vs. technique, and how after a certain point, the harder you hit, the more you choke the instrument. I'm a big believer in this, and so is Nicko (he talked about Ian's technique in a 2006 interview with Modern Drummer magazine).

AB: Is that a case of technique over brute force?
IP: Yes. It has to be. I'm not a particularly big guy, but I play forcefully. I play with nothing like the aggression and the power that some of these young guys put into their kit. I can't do it: I'm not built that way. But I'll be just as loud as they are. It's all about the velocity of the stroke and how perfectly the stroke hits the drum. That's where the volume comes from. You can only hit so hard before the drum won't get any louder. What happens then is you choke the head, or you break the head, or you take the tone out of it. There's only so much you can get out of an acoustic instrument. You can pound away for all you're worth and it won't get any louder. That's when the technique comes in.
AB: When did you figure this out?
IP: When I was a kid I wanted to be the loudest drummer in the world -- not only did I want to, I had to try, because in those days there were no mic's on drumkits. The only way the audience heard you over these huge Marshall stacks was if you pounded. But it didn't take very long for me to realize that when you're pounding that hard you can't actually play anything. You can play time, but it's very hard to play anything that means anything. Al you have to do is drop back fifteen, twenty percent, and it's still loud, but you can play stuff. You can use the finesse of your wrist and your fingers and your ankles to play instead of using your shoulder and your forearm.
Less force = less energy used = more stamina and control!
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Interesting. I'm not playing that hi-hat loud in this song. But probably the technique can be improved to make it less tiring.
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
What type of beat are you playing?

I'd try rehearsing just that part, repeating it for 5-10 minutes, and focusing on taking deep, regular breaths and keeping your wrists/hands/arms relaxed. You'd be surprised how much easier it will get!
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Drums are a hobby for me, not a live instrument. A comparison to bass that came to mind is the Guns 'n Roses song "Paradise City". I joined a band which typically played this song in the middle of the third set. The fast section is an absolute killer on bass, especially after most of a night gone by already. I told them: we have to move that song to the end of the set, because it wears me out enough that I'm not playing another song after anyway.

Putting the exhausting song at the end also has the advantage that, knowing you're done after, you can leave it all on the stage. Leave nothing in the tank. It may be hard to play, but you are free to go for it because you don't have to conserve anything.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Thanks to both of you! SMX, this song was not in every gig but when it came on it was often in the 2nd half. I am afraid the other members won't have it as last song, but the idea is interesting.

Lego:
Now you've said it, I notice that I don't continue breathing well (holding it at times). Thanks for the exorcise! The beat is 4/4 (hi-hat in relation to snaredrum (on 3), the bass drum is a bit different but the hi-hat is the tiring problem).
Its tempo comes near Flash of the Blade, but Nicko plays on hi-hat on bass and snare (2/2). Perhaps I should do that as well, but sounds less cool with the riff.
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
Drums are a hobby for me, not a live instrument. A comparison to bass that came to mind is the Guns 'n Roses song "Paradise City". I joined a band which typically played this song in the middle of the third set. The fast section is an absolute killer on bass, especially after most of a night gone by already. I told them: we have to move that song to the end of the set, because it wears me out enough that I'm not playing another song after anyway.

Putting the exhausting song at the end also has the advantage that, knowing you're done after, you can leave it all on the stage. Leave nothing in the tank. It may be hard to play, but you are free to go for it because you don't have to conserve anything.
Which is why Maiden should start ending every encore set with Alexander The Great, so H can really nail that mind-bending solo. :D
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Jokes aside... having recently covered both the bass and drum parts, I can say Alex is much simpler than I had thought it was. Aside from the speed of Nicko's right foot, it's an incredibly easy song. In fact, my opinion of the song has gone down significantly in the process of learning it ... sometimes we're better off not knowing all the secrets. Alex works better when you don't know how simple it really is.
 
Jokes aside... having recently covered both the bass and drum parts, I can say Alex is much simpler than I had thought it was. Aside from the speed of Nicko's right foot, it's an incredibly easy song. In fact, my opinion of the song has gone down significantly in the process of learning it ... sometimes we're better off not knowing all the secrets. Alex works better when you don't know how simple it really is.
This applies to literally every track on SiT.
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
Thanks to both of you! SMX, this song was not in every gig but when it came on it was often in the 2nd half. I am afraid the other members won't have it as last song, but the idea is interesting.

Lego:
Now you've said it, I notice that I don't continue breathing well (holding it at times). Thanks for the exorcise! The beat is 4/4 (hi-hat in relation to snaredrum (on 3), the bass drum is a bit different but the hi-hat is the tiring problem).
Its tempo comes near Flash of the Blade, but Nicko plays on hi-hat on bass and snare (2/2). Perhaps I should do that as well, but sounds less cool with the riff.
No problem mate! :) I used to have problems with breathing inconsistently as well, especially with the faster, blast beat-type stuff. Once you practice it enough, it becomes habit and does wonders for your stamina! I'd also stress practicing with a metronome as well, to help you internalize the tempo and keep it consistent.
 

Lego

Shadows in the stars, we will not return!
Jokes aside... having recently covered both the bass and drum parts, I can say Alex is much simpler than I had thought it was. Aside from the speed of Nicko's right foot, it's an incredibly easy song. In fact, my opinion of the song has gone down significantly in the process of learning it ... sometimes we're better off not knowing all the secrets. Alex works better when you don't know how simple it really is.
I agree, but I like how simple the drums are though, it makes it easier for me to just lay back, groove and enjoy the tune, rather than focusing on technique.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Yes, the simplicity of the song works wonders. You can always tell, when you don't even find the simplicity until you dissect the song. :smartarse:
 
Not at all. For instance, both CSIT and HCW are harder than they sound. (Speaking to the bass part here.)
The problem's I have with something like CSiT is just remembering/learning Dave or Adrian's solo(s) --which are pretty long, as solos go. I know what you mean though: some stuff sounds hard, but ain't; some stuff sounds easy, & is a little more tricky. I have a sort of similar issue when watching musicians too; guitar players in the main, in my case. I've listened to stuff & thought "whoa, that's so fast & difficult sounding". I then see the guitarist playing it & think "eh, that's not really as hard as it sounded". And, of course, the opposite too. I think it's more a case of my imagination running away with me when I'm listening to music though.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
The sound of a piece doesn't tell you the physical requirements to play it.

For CSIT, it's purely an issue of speed and stamina. The song would be easy if it were slower, or half the length... but that speed for that long is a killer when you are asked to gallop over it.

For HCW, it's left hand stretching. The bassline under the guitar solos requires holding an extended position (covering frets 5 thru 9, not 8) for a long time.
 
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