This was a fun day with my dad cutting logs. I miss that old man. Here is the video of the last log we cut as a team! The pain is still here. This old saw mill was a place Dad and I loved. It was our time together that made it so special. We would always get so excited to see the logs turn into boards. It was the anticipation of the next cut. He would look for the perfect grain pattern for his bowls as I was looking for the perfect cut for drums. Often, we would fight to see who would get that perfect board. I would get so aggravated when I would go out to the shop and see my perfect cut of wood claimed by my Dad for his bowls. He would just look me in the eye and pull rank as my Dad and take what he wanted. You can’t say no to your Dad! However, I did have a secret hiding spot in the rafters that I knew he would never think to look in for those awesome cuts of wood. Wonder what he would say if he knew that I hid the best wood? I bet he would get a good laugh. I would give anything to hear that laugh right now.
One question that we get asked a lot is what snare drum is best for a particular genre of music. This is sometimes difficult to answer for several reasons. First, music and sound is a matter of personal taste so pinpointing one drum for an entire genre is impossible. Second, we make unique one of a kind drums out of woods that no one else in the industry is using so the sounds made from these woods are unique and not always found in a particular genre. Many things go into making the sound you get from your drum such as drum heads among other things. We are concentrating on the wood that the snare is built out of because wood drums it what we do. That being said we are still going to try to answer!
Country music: Country music is interesting because drums were not an original part of country music culture. In fact bands that incorporated drums were considered “impure”. Drums were introduced to country around the 1960s. Country drummers like a full bodied “fat” sound for ballads in older country songs. The newer style of country music plays a lot like rock. The 14×7 maple or birch/maple is a good pick for country. Heart pine is also a good pick. It carries close to the same characteristics and tones because of the tight growth rings in the lumber. This vintage lumber was some of the virgin trees grown in Georgia in the days of our founding fathers.
Rock music: Rock music drumming is a broad area that incorporates lots of different styles like punk, classic, and heavy metal. Drums have been the backbone of rock music since the beginning of the genre providing a solid beat and rhythm to the music. These days with the advancement of drum sets they provide tonal, melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic shading. Black walnut provides a bright, high pitched that is great for this genre with the loud speakers and amp heads. Cherry works well for this genre as well. The harder the wood on the janka scale the better sound you will achieve for rock in our opinion.
Jazz music: Jazz drumming is a mixture of different cultures and their influences over time to Jazz music most notably the African influence. This influence was mostly about improvisation. Oak works nicely for jazz sounds because of the sensitivity of the snare sound you get with oak. You want a wood that will reflect the ghost notes in this genre. Oak is porous and works well for these sounds.
These are a few genres and the drums that we feel do well in those genres. This is by no means an all-inclusive list and as every musician knows bearing edges, shell thickness, drum head type, and size plays a role. The musicians and listeners personal preference also plays a big role. Leave a comment, Tell us your favorite drum for your genre and why.
Have you ever noticed what type of shell your drums are built with? If you are like most drummers, as long as the drum sounds good, you don’t care what it’s made out of. However, here are a few tips and some information to make you more aware of what you are buying so next time you go to the music store, you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
There are two main types of shells: 1) Ply Shell, and 2) Stave shell. Ply shells are more popular than stave shells because of the more affordable pricing options mainly due to the price of the wood and speed at which they can manufacture ply shell drums. Essentially, the way a ply shell drum is built is by taking a long sheet of wood (almost like a giant sized roll of tape except there is wood instead of tape), which is then measured and cut to fit the size of the drum to be made. From there, the builder has to stress and steam the wood to be able to manipulate it and bend, fold, and mold the straight wood into the circular drum shape you see it when you purchase it. A downside to this method is that all that stress on the wood impacts its sound and if not done carefully can produce a canned sound rather than letting the wood breathe and speak for itself.
Now on to stave shells! This is a much more time consuming process and as a result is more costly than ply shells, but the sound you get out of stave shell drums doesn’t even compare to ply shell. Stave shell building includes taking small square pieces of wood and gluing them together piece by piece until the drum is finished (see picture above for segments in the snare drum). There is no stressing or manipulating the wood giving you the most natural sound straight from the heart of the drum.
Outlaw Drums has been building stave shells drums from the time it started, but is proud to recently present you its new affordable ply shell drum line! Both ply and stave shell have their pros and cons but lucky for you Outlaw Drums offer both types of drums at the highest of quality and will work with you on the price to find the drums of your dreams!