CYMBAL BUYING 101 with SABIAN
Hey Guys and Gals!
As a drummer, as some point you will be facing the task of purchasing cymbals. An instrument very important to "your" voice! Whether it be a single cymbal or a whole set of pies...cymbal selection is very important. This process can be a fairly serious financial commitment as well, so when searching - be sure you have a clear vision of what you want. Research the web, view YouTube videos, etc. Ultimately, the best scenario is to get in a store and actually try various models out.
In a typical cymbal set-up, you will have a hi-hat, ride, crash and possibly splash cymbals involved. Depending on your style of music and drumming, you might require heavier hats with medium crash's and a bright "pingy" ride. Or, you might need just bone crushing volume and projection from every cymbal on your set. So, it's not unusual for most drummers to have a combination of variety sizes with thick and thinner cymbals in the mix. In addition, its just as common to have a "studio" set of pies and then a "live" set of pies...the playing environment changes therefore gear changes - but, this is not always the course. I personally play live and record with the exact same set up with Seventh Rize...it just works!!
My entire professional career has been spent playing Sabian. I feel the are the best on the market...the perfect sound, great durability and always look nice! Sabian has many, many different models from beginners to the elite. Don't let the "level" of the cymbal line fool you. I personally use several B8 Pro models (known as more of a beginner model) and they project and perform just as well as the AA's or HH's (in my opinion). I perform live and in the studio with B8 Pro's with great results! Again, just another testament to the dedication and work that Sabian puts forth into their products. Not to mention, Sabian has some of the best people on the planet working for them!
Speaking of Sabian, below is a link to a handy "cymbal buying guide" by Sabian that will be helpful. As usual, shoot me an email if you have any questions - always happy to help! 'Till next time...hit'em hard and play every day like it's your last!!
Welcome to my first installment of The Music Biz Corner. My small, small part on the web where I will share my toughts, ideas and offer advice on anything related to the music business. My career has been spent wearing numerous hats - drummer, producer, tour manager, drum tech, band manager, booking agent, etc. All of these experiences bring their own unique wealth of knowledge - things you simply cannot learn from a book or classroom! However, the ONLY way of attaining these experiences and advance in this fickle business is to "GET MOVING"!!
So many times in this industry, you hear stories of certain musicians being referred by another musician for a potential gig...that musician lands the gig...all is peachy! Well...that doesn't necessarily work for everyone! For every one musician that gets that referral and ultimately gets the gig...there are thousands of musicians left out of the mix. I went through such a scenario years ago...I won't name names or artists (to protect the guilty and innocent), but I was referred by a friend for a gig I really wanted. I was called in to audition...played my ass off...and was later told they would keep looking. They ultimately hired another guy. A hard pill to swallow! However, I ended up in another gig shortly after that was proved better for me...plus, through that process I became friends with everyone involved - a friendship that last to this day...something I cherish deeply! In fact, I have since worked with this particular artist and have had a blast doing so!
The point behind my little story here is simple...you must create opportunities for yourself. In order to do that, people must know who you are! It does not matter where you live - you can promote yourself and/or your band from anywhere. Every single day, make time for your "craft"...whether it be your band, you as a solo musician, whatever it is - you MUST dedicate yourself to your craft daily! Some days will seem more productive than others...but never stop...Rome wasn't built in a day! Be studious in your endeavors and make sure that all avenues have been addressed. Have a professional, functioning website that is up-to-date...have clear pictures and clean sounding mp3's listed for review...commons sense stuff that does get overlooked! On the opposite end, expect for things to not go your way initially. However, be respectfully persistent on your journey...keep a detailed list of everyone you have contacted (and for what reasons) and send follow-up emails and/or calls a few days later. Keep your name in their line of site! Ultimately, the wall will start to crack - you will start getting responses and a relationship will start to come alive!
In closing, there's a ton of ego and "deceiving" self-promotion in this business. Unfortunately it's not a surprise to see musicians on the internet whom haven't achieved half of what they claim...and most can't play their way out of a wet paper bag. They may be great promoters - but don't spend enough time in the woodshed! The internet is easy to attain...a website can be easy to attain...BUT, a genuine musician perfecting and promoting their craft is a rarity these days. The cream rises to the top...keep focused, stay true to your beliefs and challenge your work ethic every singe day!
Remember, this industry can seem like the 800 lbs gorilla on your back - that's ok...shake it off and KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
LEADER OF MEN
I recently wrapped up some video production work for The Drum Corner...in completing this material I was reminded of various jobs I have held at different points in my career. I began performing "professionally" (as a paid musician) at the age of 14...so, around 1988. Since that time, the shear number of hats (job titles) I have worn within the music profession are many and vast...some with fantastic results and some with less than stellar results...either way - I had a job to handle and everyone I worked with was dependent on me doing my job. This being said, I have titled this entry "Leader of Men"...there are various jobs within a band unit...ask yourself which of these jobs works best for who you are as a person...your work ethic...your goals - let's explore this broad topic!
Do you want to lead or do you want to be apart of the pack? Either answer is completely admirable as long as you are true to yourself. By nature, I prefer to lead. I have always enjoyed being in the "boss's chair"...steering the ship. However, with that comes a great responsibility. I have heard throughout the years from various groups that they vote on all decisions and so on...folks - this simply just does not work in most cases. Whether it be a 3 piece, 4 piece, or 10 piece group...there must be one person in charge of the pack that keeps everyone focused, motivated and moving forward! As a leader, it is important to listen to your fellow band members - get their ideas - listen to their concerns, etc...utilize all of that valuable information in order to make the best decision possible. Another important aspect of being a productive leader is the proper use of delegation. There are far too many tasks for one person to handle in a working, productive band. A few examples - I would find out which member was most meticulous and possessed the greatest attention to detail - that member would likely be in charge of logistics and/or show advancement. Possibly issuing performance contracts and dealing with the local promoter, etc. If a booking agent is signed on, I would have this member be the contact for the agent regarding band performances. If I have a member that is very physical and organized but doesn't really show interest in the "business side" of things - I would have him in charge of planning and coordinating band rehearsals and handle stage management duties for shows. Whomever in the organization is the most "people person"...someone who thrives on meeting and greeting folks and can speak on the bands behalf in a professional manner - I would have this member handle interviews, meet-n-greets immediately following a show (while other members are finishing up their other tasks for the evening), etc. These are examples that I have used with great results! The most important factor here is that in all of these cases - I spent time meeting and talking with each member about their individual jobs and making sure that if they required any help, I was there.
On the flip side, if you are more of a "session" type musician...performing with various groups throughout the year...I strongly advise that you learn your spot. Know exactly where stand within the business model of the groups you work with. If you are hired to play drums...then play drums and make sure your job is perfect. Show up on time, have your kit clean, tuned and ready to go...and know the songs backwards and forwards. The guy in charge will greatly appreciate you handling what you were hired to do! Simple idea...but I have seen this get screwed up so many times. If you enjoy handling road management or merchandising duties - let the boss know of your interest and what experience you have with those fields. Chances are - you will end up handling a few different jobs...but, never forget - you were originally hired to play your instrument!
To finish this entry out...look at the situations you find yourself in and see where your assets are best used. If you are leading your own band - be sure you have a pulse on all aspects but allow space for your members to handle their jobs. If you are a session musician (or hired gun) - be sure to handle your particular job professionally and offer help when needed. These simple steps will go a long way in advancing your journey!
At various times throughout the year, Sulli will share his thoughts and ideas on the music industry. He will also answer any questions sent via email...check in often - should be interesting!!