One Size Does Not Fit All!
Buying Your Next Kit
or Building a Drumkit Resource Centre?
By Dan Bodanis
One Size Does Not Fit All!
Are you locked into limiting belief systems? Do you think you can only play your bass drum pedal with a certain pair of running shoes, or Kung Fu slippers? Do you ever change your setup, or the number of drums you use, for different gigs? Do you find that you will only play with a 4 piece or a 5 piece Drumkit, even though the music might require more or less drums? Do you have to sit really low, and find you can’t play any other way?
As drummers, we are a very unique group. Other instrumentalists do not band or bond together like we do. Yet when we get together and share our perspective; that is where the differences arise, and that is where our “drummer dogma” rears its ugly bark! (If you’ll pardon the play on words!)
What does this have to do with picking out a new Drumkit from DC California?
Let’s suppose you were all set to make the investment in a custom-crafted DC California kit; you’ve selected the number, size and color of the drums and you’re just about to order them. Whether you’re a “metal-head” or a “jazzer;” you are probably not thinking beyond the immediate musical situation you are currently playing in.
Why should you? You’ve played this type of music on the same number of drums: the same set-up if you will, for eons and you’re not about to change! This is where you’ve got to “neuter your dogma!” Throw that limiting belief right out the window and follow the tremendous lead that Iki Levy and the incredible design engineers at DC California drums have created!
When Iki and company decided to go into the ultra-exclusive high-end custom drum market, they immediately realized that they had to make a break with the past and create a different drum. This drum not only had to be different it had to be better, period! They bought into the concept of eliminating the “Theory of Insanity,” which in essence dictates: “Insanity is: doing the same thing over and over, in the exact same manner, while expecting a different result!”
Iki and the DC California design team have engineered so many improvements and “points of difference” into each drum; they have literally made a much needed “break with the past!” Remember, there have been no significant breakthroughs in drumset design in almost 100 years! Talk about limiting beliefs or archaic dogma!
So here you are on the precipice. You are about to take a leap into a world of refined perfection, as it relates to drumset construction, and composition, and you still have the handcuffs on! “Handcuffs you say, what handcuffs?”
Stop and think for a moment. You are a dedicated Tony Williams fan. You live, eat, drink, and sleep any of the jazz that Tony played with Miles Davis, and if you could have your wish, you would be able to play like “Tony Williams at warp 10!”
You know that DC California has a yellow color that is remarkably close to the same kit that Tony played, same number of drums and everything, and as a testament to the respect you have for your hero, you preclude your upcoming gigs and the sound requirements, and you duplicate the past.
You are a “die-hard speed metal freak!” It’s all you think about. You workout with weights, you run 5 miles a day, you eat sensibly, you don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs, you practice “pushing the envelop” on accelerating your technique past the point of insanity, and you hit harder than any of the icons you worship. As a matter of fact you trashed your last three kits into oblivion, even though they were the same kits your hero used on his last world tour.
Whether you are a jazz drummer or a heavy metal drummer, be careful. Being married to the past is a type of “comfort zone” or “handcuff to the past,” that will keep you getting the same type of gigs, for the same pay, with the same type of players. In the corporate world, there is no more: “womb to tomb” employment; no more “paycheck from the same company, every week, for 30 years!”
In the world of drumming, you can no longer build a career just playing one type of music or one type of drum set up. In this day and age, that would be considered insanity! You’ve got to be able to “stylistically diversify;” you’ve got to be flexible and most important, you’ve got to be able to walk into your future with the complete expectation that you are fully prepared for any possible opportunity that music may present to you!
To effectively make a break with the past and remove any limiting anchors that hold you handcuffed or paralyzed in inertia, you have to begin to allow yourself to think differently.
As an L.A. studio legend, Iki has always had to think differently; to “think ahead of the curve,” and always be one step ahead of the competition. That is why his career as one of L.A. ’s premier studio musicians, has endured for decades. Years ago, Iki became aware of, bought into, and implemented an idea that is only beginning to take hold today.
Most people have no clue that this idea exists, yet, they will go out and blindly buy a drumset, while being completely ignorant to an incredible concept. Now, I’m not saying that Iki invented this concept through the thousands of major recording sessions he was contracted to perform on, but I will say he was definitely one of the earliest adopters!
Here is the concept: do not buy a drumkit: invest in a “ Drumkit Resource Center !”
A “ Drumkit Resource Center ” is a place you can turn to for any type of drumkit you might need, now or in the future. A “Drumkit Resource Centre” consists of any number of drums that you may need now or in the future, for any gig that may present to you as an opportunity.
You’ve probably heard the old clichéd question: “When opportunity comes knocking, will you be ready?”
Opportunity can present in any variety of ways. You go to hear a band on a regular basis, one night the drummer doesn’t show up to the gig and you get to sit in. You develop tendonitis playing speed metal; you take a gig playing soft ballads behind a beautiful female singer and suddenly she becomes an international superstar and you’re flying around on private jets, or your jazz gig got cancelled, you take a job as a bike courier, you deliver to a recording studio, mention the fact you play jazz drums, and a local rock drummer decides to make an example of you by asking you to sit in. You totally “smoke him” and you end up playing steadily and making great coin with a rock band that has a recording contact that also tours the planet! Opportunity can present in more ways than you could ever imagine!
Back to: the “ Drumkit Resource Center …” Your “ Drumkit Resource Center ” is the place you go to for any drum kit configuration you could imagine. Get used to the future now! The only guarantee about the future is this: The pace of change will only get faster! You may be playing a five piece kit one day, a little 4 piece jazz kit the next day, or a monstrous 4 piece oversized kit the day after!
With some smart planning, a good budget or maybe even a bank loan, and the advice of an L.A. studio legend, you could effectively prepare yourself for the accelerated pace of change the future is sure to bring, and be ready for any gig that comes knocking!
A “ Drumkit Resource Center ” will always have these elements: 2-3 snare drums, at least 2 bass drums, and several tom toms of varying sizes.
In accordance with the experience Iki has gained in the studios of L.A. , here’s why: You walk into a recording session and quickly find that your 6” brass snare isn’t cutting it. It’s got too much “crack” and not enough warmth. The engineer suggests you need the warmth and sound of a wood snare! You pull out your 5” wood snare made from the finest maple money can buy. He says: “It’s good, but not quite “fat” enough.” You then pull out your 8” maple snare drum, and bingo, he says: “that’s the exact sound I had in my head,” and you then proceed to successfully lay down your track.
The same principle applies to bass drums. Toward the end of his career, even the legend himself: Tony Williams was using different sized bass drums. Do you ever remember seeing him perform with that 24” yellow bass drum? This is after he influenced several generations of jazz drummers to play 18” bass drums! Many of the drummers he influenced are still “stuck” using that one bass drum size, several years after Tony went on to a different plane! Like Iki, Tony was way ahead of his time, utilizing the basic tenants of the “ Drumkit Resource Center !”
To know how it is we arrived at the present, as serious drummers, we must become intimately familiar with the past. In essence, we must be part historian so as to understand how it is we arrived here; and part explorer in search of where it is our future will lead us! The good news is: “You don’t have to be stuck in the past and you don’t have to learn how to re-invent the wheel!” One of my good friends used to refer to people that were stuck in the past, as: “Charter Members of the ‘Flat Earth’” Society!”
The new wheel is the “Drumkit Resource Centre!” Today, professional drummers, at the top of the game are all moving toward, or have already adopted and adapted this great concept; the “Drumkit Resource Center!” Just imagine, going to that special place you store your drums; standing there, looking them over, and custom selecting all the right drums for the gig you are playing that night. This is how the top pros are doing it right now and so can you!
When you place the call to Drum Connection to custom-order your “ DCC California Drumkit Resource Center ,” the very able and adept staff will ask you a lot of questions about the type of drumming you do today, and the direction your playing may take in the future.
When they have collected enough data, they summarize it and present it to the master himself: Iki Levy. From that point, you will have discussions with Iki about the most effective way to construct your “ Drumkit Resource Center .” The beauty of it stems from the fact; with Iki’s guidance, your “ Drumkit Resource Center ” will be as unique as your DNA!
Where does this leave your 5 piece kit, the one you have always played? Right back where it belongs, in the hallowed historic halls of the “Flat Earth Society!” Do not pass go, do not collect $200, and most important never again buy a drum set “the old way!”
Invest in a “Drumset Resource Centre!”
Call Drum Connection right now! 1-818-783-8058
Go ahead, pick up the phone and ask them about custom-crafting a “ Drumkit Resource Center ” for you today! You will not be buying a drum set; you will be making an investment of significance, in both your musical future and your personal drumming history!
Need more perspective? Let me break it down for you the way it was broken down and thought through for me. With Iki’s help, we decided that my requirements would include a total of 2 snare drums, 2 bass drums, 3 rack toms, and 2 floor toms. The nine drums would literally cover the spectrum of every possible setup I would ever need; effectively creating my very own “ Drumkit Resource Center !”
Here are the sizes of my drums and a little further down, I will share just a few of the endless possible “mix & match” combinations from my DC California “ Drum Resource Center ,” that literally cover everything that I would ever play!