Guess the snare drum I used in this video. You’ll be surprised. Change a drum or cymbal and change the groove, open up new ideas!

In my last article/video I suggest you break the rules and swap out a drum or cymbal or two. Can’t afford it? Then switch your drumset configuration. Put something on the left that used to be on the right. 

But first, What snare drum am Footnote to my last video “comfort, change, breaking rules”, I’ve placed a mystery snare drum. Try and tell me something about it, at least one criterion: say, the head diameter. Shell material, etc.

When I tell you in a subsequent post, you will be surprised. You’ll wonder, Did that drum produce that rimshot backbeat tone?

I come from this perspective: The mic’ doesn’t laugh if it sees a piccolo snare drum and everybody’s expecting a big, fat ol’ snare drum backbeat. It’s the sound that matters. Similarly, the mic’ doesn’t scoff at a 12” riveted cymbal trying to pass as a 22” thin crash-ride sizzle cymbal. It’s all about your touch and the tone and people’s perception.

Meanwhile, you’ll notice, in my playing and yours, that sounds dictate their own technique. Put half of the proponents of the “thin, wobbly-edged jazz ride” behind a thick bronze plate weighing 8.2 lbs (or 3700 grams, if you’re a pixel counter) and one of two things is gonna go down: The drummers are going to sink—choke and find themselves stuttering on the unfamiliar, unforgiving surface—or smile at the new feel and the patterns it elicits.

If I had no loot

Guess the band that inspired that title while you’re guessing my snare drum.

As a drummer who, from age 20 to 40, grew up in a studio environment I get a chuckle when I hear young drummers espouse adamantly one ride cymbal or one best snare drum. Meanwhile, I’d be trotting 6 or 8 of them to a gig hoping at least one would serve the track. Next week I’m doing the same. Old habits die hard. Jeez, maybe I ought to bring one drum and make it work for each track on the upcoming album….It would certainly cause me to approach the drum in a different manner. Not a bad idea, actually.

About that session. I’m shifting vehicles, buying a used van, meaning that I’ll have more room to carry extra drums, cymbals, etc. But more to the point, as with changing a drum for another unlikely choice, I’ll approach driving differently. The road will sit more distant, relative to my old VW New Beetle (speaking of which, if you see one cheap…if your eye falls on a bargain…don’t pick it up!). I’ll adjust my steering, breaking, etc. Same with the snare drum I used in the video, which you’re going to identify.

If you wish you can write to me at the following email address with your choice. Maybe I can find a prize to give out. My prize was playing a little edgier but then you be the judge of that…and of the snare drum.

Use my dear friend/colleague Mr Southgate’s address please (also People Will Talk Media, Ottawa/Edinburgh…little plug, there). More room in Halley’s inbox:

You don’t need to buy stuff at premium prices. Put any cheap, or expensive, cymbal up there—ditto with snare drums. Just ensure it’s not the same-old same-old. Place it/them where your sacred relics usually sit.

Your comfort level will be disturbed, your rules broken—and your groove and feel will change for the better. New patterns will emerge. Having breached your defenses and penetrated far into your comfort zone, you will, in fact, get feeling more comfortable. And more creative. So what’s the snare drum in the video? Leave a note, if you wish, in Halley’s mailbox (above).