Any drummers or percussion people want to start an "Ask me?" thread?

Based on this thread, I figured it was about time to ask.

I don’t know anything about drums or percussion instruments and have questions. However the fact that I know so little means I don’t even know where to start on my questions. With an “ask me” thread, other people would also be able to ask and so I’d have a starting point.

Anybody wanna make one? Anyone?

Do you want to learn to play? Might as well ask your questions here, seeing as you’ve begun the thread. If you want to start, it’s pretty simple, you can get sticks for $5-10 and hit pretty much anything, see if you like it, then start with a snare or buy a basic set.

The biggest drawback IMO is that drums are freaking loud. I’ve avoided this with an electronic set, but they can be costly.

No. I want to know:

Why do drums sound different? Eastern drums, Indian drums, African drums, they all sound different. I vaguely understand it’s because of what you make them with and what skins you stretch over them, but that’s all.

How do you make a drum?

Why do they sometimes have powder in them?

Why do some people hit drums with sticks and others with their hands? For that matter, why are some drums made to be hit with sticks and others by hand? Which is harder/easier? How are they made differently?

What exactly does “percussion” entail?

That’s it for now, but I know I have more, I’m just completely clueless.

You can also buy practice pad kits for a lot less than an electric kit. I would suggest just some sticks and one practice pad and start learning your rudiments (preferably with the help of a teacher). People often skip this step but it is essential in becoming a decent drummer/percussionist.

On edit I didn’t answer your questions but I’ll leave it as is.

I’m not a drummer but I’m married to one. Here’s what I can tell you.

Drums and percussion are not equivalent. While some percussionists play the drum set and most drummers play some percussion instruments professional musicians usually are dedicated to one or the other, not both.

Even the percussion instruments can get specialized, like a professional conga player.

I can probably answer some basic questions about the drum set and playing a drum set just by virtue of living with someone who has dedicated his life to being a professional jazz drummer.

There are a lot of things that effect how a drum sounds. The size and shape of the drum, the materials used to make the shell and head and how it’s played all make for different sounding drums. You can also add a snare to change the sound (add a buzz) or in some cases (talking drum and timpani) devices are added to change the pitch.

have you been able to do any research? I would suspect that Wikipedia would be your friend.

Drums and percussion are some of the earliest instruments - how long did it take for primative man to beat on a log to scare a beastie away or something, to realizing that there was a rhythm to it, to seeing the benefit of rhythm (i.e., pleasing to listen to, synchronizing movements, etc.) to choosing to make specific instruments designed for drummer vs. using whatever was around?

Drums evolved based on their intended use - some must be big and loud, so striking with something is preferable vs. using hands. Some work better smaller and with more subtle interpretation, so using hands make sense. Another key factor is the materials available…

It’s a start…

The sound a drum makes has to do with the vibration of the head (the part that gets beaten) resonating within the body of the drum. The vibration changes depending on the material the head is made of (animal skin, plastic, nylon) how tightly the head is secured to the drum (tighter head = higher pitch and a faster vibration) and the size and shape of the body of the drum.

Depends on the type of drum. But basically a drum is a wood shell, usually round, with some kind of material stretched tightly across one or both ends. That’s very simplistic and I’m sure there are many exceptions.

I have no idea, I’ve never seen a drum with powder in it.

Some drums are traditionally played by hand and some with sticks specifically for the sound that comes out. It’s really all about what sound you want a drum to make.

Once again, to get a certain sound. Specific types of traditional music might call for a drum played by hand that, if you tried to play the same music on, say, an american drum set, would sound strange.

They are different techniques and like playing any type of musical instrument are unique in their difficulty. To be really good at either you have to practice.

this might be a good subject for a Google search.

Percussion from Wikipedia

I’m a drummer, but strictly a rank amatuer and have no business dispensing anything that could be construed as accurate. Basicly, I suck and just make a lot of noise. Just because I can afford a nice kit doesn’t make me a drummer! :smiley: Therefore, I will not attempt to answer any questions other than what color my drums are or what kind of cymbols I like. They are black. I like Zildjians.

RE: Powder in drums. I suspect someone was hiding thier stash of coke in there. :wink:

I’ve never asked any of my drummers - gotta do that. I assume it has to do with condition the skin of the drum heads - keep the correct tightness and/or moisture content or something…