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    • Hard Hitters vs. Smashing?
      Okay, so as not to hijack the Devin Townsend thread, I thought I would start this one. Is there a difference between the way drummers played a generation ago versus today, in regards to the force they place upon their drum sets? Aside from manufacturers making 2.3 hoops because players began denting typical 1.6 hoops, and thicker cymbals, and thicker sticks, and thicker drum heads, and sturdier bass pedals, "heavy duty" everything from spurs to snare stands to tom mounts as reason enough to know that drummers began playing with more force, we can just watch the drummers. I have seen comments from people saying some of the jazz greats were hard hitters. Watching Billy Cobham, or Tony Williams, or Elvin Jones, even Buddy would show you players who knew how to use velocity to create strong notes. Tony was often accused of playing too loud. Tony's response - Drums are loud. Tell a trumpet player to not sound so brassy. Telling a drummer to not play loud is foolish. There is an obvious truth to his philosophy. All that said, yesterday versus today. Is there a difference? John Henry was considered one of, if not the hardest hitter of his day. The brick layer. Idols like Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, and Max Roach, great jazz drummers, molded his playing. He starts this classic solo (with congas off to his left, before kettle drum use) with 'The Drum Also Waltzes' by Max. He was young, Zep was bursting onto the scene, and you can see, despite using some real arm work in his playing, he derived most of his power from his wrists. His Ludwig, single braced stands did just fine. He did not hit the drums as hard as people usually state, in saying he was the hardest hitter ever. I have no idea who this guy is. The "music" is as different from Zeppelin as big band is to Deep Purple. He's trying to place the aggression of the music into his playing. It's obvious as a train wreck, yet he doesn't really appear to be hitting all that much harder than any typical rock drummer, and if you pay close attention to the comments you can see that is the case by observation of others. You can just see he is conscious of his force upon the cymbals.   Let's try Mr. Barker and see what observations can be made - For a guy whose technique is pretty rigid he gets around the kit pretty quick. An interesting quote from Travis - “I just try to keep moving forward. Some people may go, ’He overplays, he hits his drums too hard,’ [but] it’s what I do.” – DRUM!, December 2006 I have read where he has fractured bones the way he plays. Not surprising, watching his technique. Unnumbered thousands of kids emulate his style. Another quote from DRUM!: “Someone who comes down on both crash cymbals at once as hard as they can. Someone who’s constantly breaking things and kick pedals snapped in half. That’s the type of drummer I want behind me.”’ Dave Grohl, DRUM!, March 1996 Grohl was mentioned in the yt comments above, apparently with good reason. And judging by the comments, this style is considered by many fans to be from the best drummer in Rock. Grohl claims his use of force was derived from learning to play on pillows with big sticks. When transferred to the drums he just ended up slamming them hard. Even that is really not what I refer to when saying today's drummers play with a ferocity not seen a generation ago.   Shannon Larkin. Godsmack. In watching him I feel I am watching someone intent on busting something. I literally could not watch it all. This represents what I see in so many of today's drummers. This is not the style of a Bonham or Moon (as crazy as he was), or Paice, Baker, Ward, Powell, Appice, or any the icons of rock. Kenny Aronoff and Stewart Copeland "hit hard." Chad Smith hits hard. Vinnie can hit hard. Bozzio. Donati. All drummers can hit hard. But, this is a savagery developed by the ferocity of the 'music' around it. If Punk started this, where does it go? Seriously.   I am not saying these people are not good at what they do from the viewpoint of moving around a set. I just don't get the cave man, sledgehammer attitude. Well, considering the music, I do. So, let's say I don't get the "music" either. I think it's frightening to think about where the last 50 years has taken music compared to millennia before it. What is all this anger and aggression all about? This stuff makes Alice Cooper seem like Top40 Pop music, and he shocked the world (intending to do so) with his stuff back then but, it was designed to shock. It was designed to be so over the top it would simply stun people. Today, it shocks not trying to do so. It's dark, angry, volatile, even violent. Why? Why is this entertaining? Should it be?      
    • K series
      Wow. '58. I was a toddler when you bought it. That has to be the longest single-owner cymbal I have ever heard of. You could certainly answer an oft asked question. Has the sound of the cymbal changed with age?
    • What Can You Do With a Pringles Can?
      Oh, oh, oh. My mind was totally back at the Pringles cans. Yeah, thanks for the encouragement.  It's an odd place to be at this stage of life, for sure. My wife saw it coming. I didn't believe her instincts were right. She knew. Today, packing time begins. I'd as soon have a garage sale and sell it all. All except my drums, of course.
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