I've almost got my kit together (to a comfortable 'resting' place). Today marks 26 months since I began studying drumming. For upgrades to the original starter kit - I chose to focus on Cymbals and Hardware (and snare drum). Very happy with the Sabian (Freq series) pack I got last year - but it was always on my mind to get a pair of 16" hats (and move the 14" Sabians to the auxiliary [open] position). The new 16's are Zildjian K 'Sweet' Hats.
I adjusted the angle of the ride to get the quickest punch out of it (as a crash)... but I'm ready for a real crash cymbal in the open position. I'm awaiting a Zildjian K 'Sweet' 17" for this. About the hardware - I'm attempting to get two cymbals in the closed position and two in the open position... using only two cymbal stands.
I splurged a little for a Ludwig 'Black Beauty' snare drum. I don't regret it. -- Our cymbals and snare drums are what we carry to gigs - and they're what any audience hears (before they decide to listen to anything else). When it comes to these items -- my philosophy is: Don't settle for anything less than what you really want.
... a unique challenge...
Hi-Hats on eighth-note... making it feel more like a 2:3 polyrhythm (instead of 4:3).
This is an Afro-Cuban rhythm called 'Mozambique.' It was made famous around the world by Steve Gadd. Also - I got that 'Black Beauty' today (just had to do it) -- mounted it to the bass drum... for now. It's a straight-ahead heavy cowbell... perfect for that monotone drone-tone.
Attempted some Bonham triplet stuff today. Going to add these things to shuffle studies.
I splurged a little for this 'LP ES7 Timbale Bell' -- Of course, I had to hear what it sounds like with my recording set-up first thing. lol. It's buried behind the toms (mounted to the kick). I can already hear (and feel) it will have to be moved further to the open position of the kit. Thinking I might get a more 'simple' bell for the bass drum mount in the future (... when 2 bells are being played - the contrast is enough - I think -- and something like a 'Black Beauty' may be more versatile for rock stuff). --- On a side note -- I can feel my 'rimshot experiments' settling down a bit... beginning to understand the formula between velocity and power. That being said -- I think it will always be fun to get funky and wild with the snare.
I picked this groove up a couple days ago -- It seems to lend itself naturally to beginning fills on the offbeats (e's and a's) with the left hand. I'm calling it 'Black Beauty' because I came across it watching a demo of a Black Beauty Cowbell. lol.
... worked on three things today -- the first two were new to me... the third is one I'm continuing to explore (and hone). All three are worthy of much exploration (to me). The first - I just call 'Stevie' (a 16th-note full-time shuffle) -- the second - I will call 'Purdie' (my intro to half-time shuffles) --- and the third I've come to refer to as 'SS Fusion' --- I revamped (retuned) my snare drum today.... trying to get it to 'pop' a little... while still maintaining a low-medium tuning.
I love this thing -- taking it apart - experimenting with it - building on it - using it to practice and explore...
Expanding on SS Fusion -- Today - I was able to pull off a 6-stroke-roll (as a fill) while maintaining the pattern. I've worked on this (off and on) for a while... today was like Christmas! -- Still need to settle the left hand down with a more specific technique... but still experimenting with so many choices with tradidional grip. Getting closer!!! -- The first 40 seconds of this video is 'other stuff' from RDM 'Shuffle' Concepts...
Isolating 'Off-Beat Triplets' and 'Bonham Triplets' as fills in a 'Texas Shuffle.' -- (the 'Bonham Triplets' allow for concentration on swinging 8th's with the Bass Drum). Also - added the 'Quadrant Four' pattern at the end...
... new cymbals today! --- I went for heavier, darker, and more complex than I'm used to... Sabian AAX 'Freq' series (the heavy version of the AAX line). -- The Zildjian (ZBT series) I've been enjoying are very easy to play (and I recommend them for anyone - they still sound great to me - and I'm keeping them). -- In this vid - the 14" hi-hats - and the three cymbals closest - are the new Sabians (16", 18" & 21"). The fourth cymbal (moving around from the hi-hats) is a Zildjian 'A' Custom 20" 'Projection Ride' (another heavy cymbal). And the last one (in the open position) is a 20" Zildjian (ZBT series) crash/ride. -- At this point - this medium/light ZBT and the new hi-hats are the only ones I'm comfortable with.
Finally moving on the Samba ostinato (the feet feel ready to give it a go). Also - more six-stroke-roll stuff today...