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Topic: A question for drummers

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  1. #1

    Question A question for drummers

    Hello,

    I am currently using JABB for a song where I need the drummer to switch to brushes from "normal" sticks. Of course, Jabb does it very well. Now I want to know how fast a drummer can change sticks in the real life. Is it possible without breaking the drumming flow ? Or are 2 drummers needed ?

    Thank you in advance,
    Pierre Laroche

  2. #2

    Re: A question for drummers

    Depending on the tempo, the drummer can make the switch in a measure or two. He/she can continue playing the bass drum and hi hat during the transition.
    Serge

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: A question for drummers

    Thanks Serge. I will try to make my drum track more "real" by not switching from "normal sticks" to brushes in half a millisecond !
    Pierre Laroche

  4. #4

    Re: A question for drummers

    This may sound corny, but mime along with the music and pretend you have to make the switch. How long does it take you? I sometimes do that with woodwind switches to make sure there's enough time to make the change comfortably.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: A question for drummers

    I keep a stick bag right beside me when I play (attached to the floor tom on my right). I generally keep it there for when I lose sticks. I can grab a new stick and only miss a most two full beats. This, however, is because I always seem to through away my right-hand stick. So, I just reach by my right side for a new stick.

    But if a stick change was part of the set and with the left (snare) hand, it may take a bit longer. Your "drummer" could use a stick holder directly on the snare, but it would still take a bit of time to put up the stick currently being use since "he" isn't just throughing it away.

    The best thing to do would be to incorporate some type of small one-handed fill during the stick change. Since there is a need to switch sticks, there is probably some type mood change in the song. So, a fill would be appropriate. You could keep the hat going with the left foot, bass with the right foot, and the right hand could hit any combo of toms/cymbals (as long it is not too intricate) while the stick change occurs with the left hand. A one-bar fill would be adequate.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

    Re: A question for drummers

    Quote Originally Posted by bmdaustin
    This may sound corny, but mime along with the music and pretend you have to make the switch. How long does it take you? I sometimes do that with woodwind switches to make sure there's enough time to make the change comfortably.
    Quote Originally Posted by michaeldyaeger
    I keep a stick bag right beside me when I play (attached to the floor tom on my right). I generally keep it there for when I lose sticks. I can grab a new stick and only miss a most two full beats. This, however, is because I always seem to through away my right-hand stick. So, I just reach by my right side for a new stick.

    But if a stick change was part of the set and with the left (snare) hand, it may take a bit longer. Your "drummer" could use a stick holder directly on the snare, but it would still take a bit of time to put up the stick currently being use since "he" isn't just throughing it away.

    The best thing to do would be to incorporate some type of small one-handed fill during the stick change. Since there is a need to switch sticks, there is probably some type mood change in the song. So, a fill would be appropriate. You could keep the hat going with the left foot, bass with the right foot, and the right hand could hit any combo of toms/cymbals (as long it is not too intricate) while the stick change occurs with the left hand. A one-bar fill would be adequate.

    Good luck!
    Thank you all for the explanations. It really makes sense. Now I am ready
    Pierre Laroche

  7. #7

    Re: A question for drummers

    If you're switching back and forth a lot during a given section, say in a musical or something, there is such a thing out there called a duplex mallet, having a snare tip on one end and a wire brush on the other. These are also available in a snare/felt combo. However, being a compromise, the response and feel often leave something to be desired.

    If the stick section isn't too long, sometimes the drummer just flips the brushes over and uses the butt ends to play stick-like fills on the toms and snare.

    Depending on style and context, it sometimes makes sense to use a heavier sounding brush than plain wire. Things like bundled thin rattan or various thicknesses of nylon are available, producing a sound somewhere between sticks and wire brushes, in which case, the whole piece can be played with these mallets, even though the part may actually call for switching between sticks and brushes. Just because you ask the drummer to switch, doesn't necessarily mean he will.

    Back when I used to play a lot of set, I would usually switch out one hand at a time. I'd keep the ride going while my left hand switched and then play something with the left hand while the right hand changed over. A variation of this is to get the left hand holding a brush and then exchange with the right hand in between beats, followed by the left hand reaching for the second brush. All of this takes a little practice, but there are drummers out there who can change mallets in what seems like an instant (only because they planned ahead), though it can get tedious switching back and forth a lot, hence the utility of a duplex mallet.

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