Kit Percussionists

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by matt, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. matt

    matt New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I was just wondering how much demand there is for percussionists that play kit. Do bands want percussionists who play tuned and untuned percussion who are generally all round and will have a go at anything, or is there a preference for specialist players. e.g. Tuned and Kit being two completely different instruments implying different techniques.

    Especially Championship Section Bands, What are they after??


    M. :roll:
  2. Richard_oldman17

    Richard_oldman17 New Member


    I'm a percussionis in a 3d section band, but our old conuctor plays in a chapinon section band and i found out that bands are looking for all round percussionists eg tuned, untuned, glock etc.
    BUT be warned if you make a mistake in a concert eg drop a stick or dont deaden a timp when you are meant to, then you will be told to leave before the end of the concert. As there is always someone else to take your place.
    That o.k
  3. GurCriSt

    GurCriSt New Member

    Re: Answer

    That is insane.. I know some conductors who's done it and I have _no_ respect for them. Wouldn't want them to conduct my band even if he has a Ph.D. Musicmaking is bound to have errors. Learn from the mistake and try not to let it happen again... It will happen again tho.. but not that frequently ;)
    I think it is insane that adjudicators remark them in the comments aswell.. "A really good performance. The band sounds fantastic, tho the ending totally collapsed when a stick fell to the ground. 91 points." Those kind of adjudicators/conductors don't have any ideas what musicmaking is in the first place and should be sacked...hehe
  4. matt

    matt New Member

    Kit players.

    I have to disagree, I have come across so many tuned "Percussionists" who claim they can play the kit well as well as tuned, and they have no idea at all on basic concepts and techniques. Have any of you ever looked at guys such as Dennis Chambers, Gregg Bissonette. How did those guys get to that level, by studying just the kit! nothing else, so those who claim they can should think again, on the issue of dropping sticks that is utter rubbish. :x
  5. GurCriSt

    GurCriSt New Member

    Re: Kit players.

    I agree to some extent but I'm pretty sure that these guys did more than just the kit. Tuned percussion is very much about phrasing and that is also something you'd need on a drumset. Studying just the kit would prolly narrow your way of looking at music. What about harmonics? What about jazz/rock etc theory? Isn't that essential to become a good drummer?
  6. matt

    matt New Member

    Kit players

    Ok i see your point, but i used to play a brass instrument up to grade5. so i do have knowledge of what its all about, and as for theory, theres so many styles to apply different theory to on the kit, theres to much to learn on that side of things. as for weckl, chambers etc, dennis cant read music at all, but has the most incredible musical memory technically there is nothing like him, dont tell me youve seen a brass band drummer ever play like that, because it cannot be possible.
  7. GurCriSt

    GurCriSt New Member

    Re: Kit players

    I wasn't talking about brass band drummer in particular. Just on a regular basis. Dave Weckl can't do the stuff William Kraft can do on the snaredrum either.. just to turn the table a little.
  8. matt

    matt New Member


    Eventhough weckl has a great snare drum technique as it is. and is such a great kit player. he is so versatile. all i was after was whether championship section bands like specialist players you wouldnt have a cornet player trying to play Eb bass surely. Well isnt it the same for tuned and kit?
  9. GurCriSt

    GurCriSt New Member

    True dat.
    I just wanted to point out that Weckl isn't used to phrasing the "classical" way like Kraft does. Therefore if he learned the classical way of playing the snaredrum, he prolly would benifit from it. (Ok.. I don't know if he had classical tutoring.. I'm just trying to make a point )
    Anyways.. we're starting to get somewhat offtopic here but hey... I love to discuss ;)
  10. matt

    matt New Member

    lol :)

    All i wanted to make a point is that, to play kit to a very good level takes a lot more than people think, and it shouldnt be ignored as a sepearte instrument, yes part of the percussion family, but different to tuned in some quite distinctive ways. I see your point on the classical side for William Kraft, but weckl is a true kit player.

    Yeh getting off subject!

    :eek: :eek:
  11. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Re: Answer

    Oh No there isn't ..... we;ve been searching for percussion players for months ..... and no luck ..................
  12. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    As a kit and tuned percussionist when I'm not flugelling, doing unmentionable things to string instruments and drilling teeth, I can safely say that kit playing is very definitely an art form - try patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time! You have to be able to split your brain into loads of different parts and even then it takes a lot of getting used to.

    Having said that - a good kit player is like gold dust and if you are one then you're very popular!

    Rach x
  13. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    Hmmm being a persecutionist myself I personally think that what's needed is an all round player. A good drummer is all well and good but not much use (being JUST a drummer) in some of the test pieces that are doing the rounds at the moment. By the same token, there's not much use in you being Just a tuned player if you're playing some of the older pieces, you know the ones where there's just a snare drum and bass drum part and tuned percussion were reserved for orchestras.

    With regard to technique, I'm probably not the best person to ask!! I'm not the best player I know by any stretch of the imagination but I do enough to be able to (just about) cope with (or bluff through) anything 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th section have thrown at me so far, I'm also VERY loud!! But, for what it's worth, I think to be a good tuned player, one of the most important abilities you can have is to know when your timps are exactly in tune with the band. The amount of times I've been to contests (where perc is supplied) and been told the timps are in tune only to find that they're not at all. On a personal level, if the timps are even slightly out of tune, it grates on me in the same way it would grate on a brass player to have someone playing slightly off key down their ear. Also, the ability to do fast rolls on timps at whatever dynamic is an absolute must. A lot of people can roll fast when they're playing loudly but when they get quieter, you can almost pick out the individual beats!!

    Anyway, that's my opinion!!

    Mr. Puss
  14. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    none of our percussion are natural percussionists, as this is what happens sometimes in lower section bands!
    we have had to train them ourselves from scratch! fortunately my brother is an excellent all round perc player(kit , tuned etc) as well as our solo euph! so he teaches them. we also have 3 budding players in the training band where they swap instruments so hopefully they will become proficient on all of them! (thats the idea anyway :wink: )
  15. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    Interesting discussion this, although I have to say that the chance of any percussionist would be a great thing, we've been on the lookout for one for ages. Why is it they appear to be so hard to come by? :cry:

    From a conductor's point of view, it doesn't half restrict your choice of pieces to play. There is a great deal of repertoire out there that we can't play through lack of a rhythm section. We have been fortunate to be able to borrow my brother (Principal Percussionist of Leyland Band) on occasions which has been a bit of a luxury, but its by no means ideal as he has big commitments with his own band.

    If there are any percussionists out there that would like to join us (and we don't care how noisy you are) please get in touch.
  16. jfenwick

    jfenwick Member

    percussion stuff

    In my band theres me and another percussionist. I'm untuned and shes tuned. We can both play the opposite and sometimes swap in concerts and even though it's a third section band she's a hell of a player, OK shes no championship player but you give her any piece and she'll sight read it.

    As for telling players to get out that doesn't happen. she was telling me once about when she did a concert she made a wrong entry on the timp and the conductor screamed no and pointed at her at the top of his voice. (She never made a wrong entry since)
  17. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    she sounds brill!. the conductor needs to live. a conductor should never 'shout' although they need to be able to discipline!

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