The Black Crowes are considered one of the most impressive live bands in the world. Adding the fact that they have been at it since 1989, with 11 studio releases (over 35 million sold), multiple live albums and DVD’s, and countless world tours; the broad spectrum of sights and sounds that they have been sure to experience over the course of their 24 year history is sure to be mind boggling.
So, how do you impress a band that has seen and done it all?
Bring them to the Memphis Gong Chamber!
Memphis Gong Chamber proprietor Jim Pettit explains the visit:
" [Drummer] Steve Gorman visited Memphis Drum Shop last year to help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary. He absolutely loved being in the Memphis Gong Chamber and told me his number one goal was to make a return trip, only next time he wanted to bring the rest of the band. When they arrived, I placed them on the floor of the Chamber in a circle head-first – the lights dimmed and I played the gongs in a 360-degree movement with the 84” Paiste Symphonic being the tone center of the sound. When the sounds ceased, it took several minutes for everyone to come back to normal and then they started to describe the trip they just experienced. As you can see from the photo – a lot of good vibes was had by all.”
Check out the Memphis Gong Chamber for more information, including pictures of the visits by other artists and celebrities, as well as a wide selection of gongs and accessories available for purchase.
Also, be sure to keep up with the latest news and releases from The Black Crowes.
Snare drums are easily one of the most significant changes a drummer can make regarding the sound of his or her kit. Many drummers develop a “signature” sound that is in direct correlation to the snare drum of their choice.
Can you imagine Dave Brubeck’s classic song, “Take Five” with anything other than Joe Morello’s light and airy snare echoing through it? How about any classic reggae tune without the sharp, concise upbeat of a piccolo-style snare leading the way? Drummers like Stewart Copeland of The Police, Chad Sexton from 311, and Phil Rudd from AC/DC, among others, all have their own snare sound that can be immediately identified by any fan of their music.
The snare drum sound is one of the most important components to any drum set. Knowing some of the common differences of what is available on the market can go a long way into helping you find the right snare sound for your kit.
Wood VERSUS Metal!!!
Some people like to pretend that there is a big rivalry between snare choices, as if it is a professional wrestling heavyweight title match.
"In the red corner… manufactured from a variety of tree species grown all around the world… it’s the master of lacquer and the sultan of stain… the one and only, the Wood Snare!!!
And in the blue corner… forged using multiple forms of metallic elements mined from deep beneath the earth’s crust… it’s the wood grain assassin and the pillar of projection… it is…. the Metal Snare!!!”
In reality, there is no battle. The truth is that both types of snare drums can work in most settings. Like anything else, it just depends what your own individual taste prefers and what the music you’re playing calls for. Wood drums tend to have a warmer, round sound while most metal drums are more cutting and have more ring. Many drummers that play heavier music choose a metal drum to cut through the thick crunch of the guitars while softer styles of music prefer the warm crack of a wood snare.
But once again we are reminded that there are not necessarily any rules that must be followed when it comes to art, because many jazz players who use brushes want the sensitivity and volume that a metal snare can provide where a wood drum may just not cut it. So if you’re a heavy metal player that wants a wood snare, you can be sure there are plenty more out there like you.
Also, the different types of woods and the different types of metals all have their own characteristics; such as sustain, fundamental note, and volume. Some metals like aluminum and copper; and certain woods, like birch and walnut, tend to sound drier than others like brass and steel or maple and ash, which ring more openly. Drums that commonly have a lower fundamental note are brass, bronze, African Mahogany, and bubinga where some with higher tuning ranges are aluminum, steel, wandoo, and birch. A steel or brass drum is what you want when a high volume drum is what you’re looking for.
Lastly, most people would agree that although there are many metal drums that can come very close to mimicking the sound of a wood drum, there is nothing that brings a sharp crack like an actual wood drum. For some reason, metal can’t give drummers the distinct sound of a tree branch breaking.
Hmm, I wonder why?
Those same people may also all agree that although there are wood drums that can mimic the tuning range and projection of a metal drum, there is nothing like the bright and responsive power and wonderful ring that an actual metal drum can bring.
So while both the wood and metal drums can claim the popular wrestling moniker of “often imitated but never duplicated” in their own ways, there is enough room in the ring for both types. This is why most studios around the world will have a large variety of both wood and metal snares to choose from.
The diameter of most snare drums fall within the range of 12”-15”. Of course, the most common is 14” so we will focus on this diameter for the most part. As we learned with any drum shell configuration, the size of the diameter and the depth will affect the note of the drum; the larger and deeper the drum is, the lower the note will be. This is why a high-pitched piccolo snare is normally a 13” x 3” and a big and powerful snare drum would be something like a 14” x 8”.
The depth of a snare drum will effect the sensitivity of the drum as well. A depth of 5” will be more sensitive than a deeper drum, so a drummer who does a lot of brush work or light stick articulation may want a shallower snare. Those who want a versatile size that is both sensitive and has a little bit of projection may want to go with a medium range depth of 6” to 6.5”. Of course, if you are a drummer who wants to feel the power of a strong snare, depths anywhere from 7” to 10” or more exist for your cause as well.
Research is the Key!
There are plenty of other variables that can go into achieving the sound of your snare drum; such as drum head choice, snare wires, hoops, and of course, tuning. However, most of those decisions can come after the fundamental choice of what kind of drum you want is made. It is important to remember to not get discouraged, though, because it can take some time to determine what you like and want. Do your research and listen to as many drums as you can in order to find out what characteristics you like best. Memphis Drum Shop has video samples of most of the snare drums that we carry, expertly played in multiple tuning ranges, and recorded with no effects or video tricks so that you can hear the snare represented naturally, as if you were playing it yourself.
Some people are looking for one “workhorse” snare drum that will do everything that they require and once they find it, they will be happy. Others will keep adding more snare drums to their ever-growing collection to fill every void that they could possible find.
It is possible to do both and neither person would be wrong.
Give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to help you on your journey of finding your signature snare drum sound!