Drum Forum - Drummers Forum

Drum Forums => Drum Forum - Drum Talk - Drum Techniques => Topic started by: patafla on March 22, 2009, 07:08:24 AM

Title: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: patafla on March 22, 2009, 07:08:24 AM
Well actually multi-rods are not brushes and Im not shure why they are associated with brushes. You cannot sweep with them and you cannot perform any of the brush-functions with them. They are simply sticks that can be used at low volume.

I never use them but I will probably use wire brushes more in the future since I have worked on them quite a bit. One thing about playing with brushes is that one has to listen to great brushwork. When I was growing up I listened a lot and thats really the most important thing, to listen. Not reinvent the instrument ignoring what has allready ben done but get into whats allready out there for the past 60 years and take it from there.

Title: Re: Are wire brushes passe?
Post by: KenSanders on March 23, 2009, 10:37:21 PM
For all of you who use and enjoy multirods, I think that is cool if you think it is cool.

Personally, I realy, really, don't like them.  I don't like the way they feel, nor the way they make my drums and cymbals sound.  However, PLEASE.......do not take that as a negative remark directed toward any other drummer that thinks multirods absolutely rock. 

I wish, I had heard the Booker T. performance that cosmodrum heard.  That's because I haven't heard anyone use multirods yet, when I truly thought that multirods sounded better than sticks.

That's what makes drumming intersting.....everyone has their own approach to sounds and the way they like their drums to feel.

Title: Re: Are wire brushes passe?
Post by: Carthage on March 24, 2009, 05:24:58 AM

       Can anyone out there picture Buddy Rich using multi-rods?  Or for that matter Joe Morello, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Gene Krupa, Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Tony Williams, or any of the other truly great drummers that have shaped and defined the drums.  I can't think of one them that has.

       There is a new breed of dummer out there that to me is completely absorbed with pure chops and the stick twirly obsession that is absurd.  Every time I see one of them I conjure up Barnum and Bailey and look  for the bearded lady.  Somehow, good solid playing and taking care of the band so it can play it's best seems to have taken second place to circus tricks.

      I mention this because it seems to go hand in hand with all these new doodads that don't add one iota to helping make the band groove.  A good pair of sticks or brushs have been doing that ever since fire was discovered.  In my opinion if you can't make it happen with those two items then it's time to go back to the drawing board and start over.  Somewhere along the way people have gotten caught up in hype instead of reality.  They are following examples that aren't worthy of being followed just because of some tricky fast roll around the drum that takes the place of good drumming.

       So, as you can probably tell, I don't like them either.     

Title: Re: Are wire brushes passe?
Post by: patafla on March 24, 2009, 06:12:09 AM
In my opinion there is some great drumming happening today but sometimes it bothers me when a drummer plays one bar of time and then a drumfill throughout the whole song.

However it was not my intention to put down multi-rods and if people like them by all means use them. I have tryed all kinds of brushes including plastic rock brushes and I could not use them either so mabey Im a purist.

I grew up listening to jazz albums from my mothers collection and there was a lot of brushes in that music. If you can create the sound and feel using a different instrument instead of wire brushes thats fine, but multi-rods are not brushes but rather a semi-stick first and foremost designed for playing at low volume.

Title: Re: Are wire brushes passe?
Post by: KenSanders on March 24, 2009, 12:08:05 PM

Multirods rods are a bundle of small dowell rods tapped together.  They make a very specific sound and have a feel that is, in my opinion, rather sluggish compared to sticks.  On on ride cymbal they just don't work at all for me.  :P

They do, of course, exist and seem to be popular......some people use them and really do like the sound options they offer.

As stated before, when I play soft articulate passages I use small maple sticks, and control the volume with my technique.  If the tune requires a airy swish effect, then I use brushes.  For louder playing I use hickory sticks, as well as, size appropriate drums and cymbals.

My point is that I can can control my volume, and unless a producer wants a special type of  sound made by bundled dowell rods, then I see no reason for me to use them.  Now, I've had producers to have me play with marimba mallets, my fingers, and even a wooden ruler....but that was for the gimmick sound they wanted.  To date, no one have ever asked me to play with multirods.

Like I mentioned above, I am totally cool with drummers who use multirods because they want to, and because they like the sound. 

Title: Re: Are wire brushes passe?
Post by: KenSanders on March 26, 2009, 11:00:55 AM

Although I am being redundant, "I am totally cool with drummers who use multirods because they want to, and because they like the sound."

I have often stated in post on the DSA website, play whatever rocks YOUR world.
I play what rocks my world, but multirods is not included in that category.

There is nothing wrong or defective about  multirods, nor do I have some "purist" attitude that I am displaying.  Guys, I just don't like the way the sound or the way they feel.  So I don't use them.

As far as volume control concerns, I have the chops and technique to do that with sticks.  And I much prefer the sound of my drums with sticks.  So there you have it

If you like to use multirods, I am all for you doing that and wish you complete success and satisfaction with every musical endeavor that you might use them to perform.

We all have have preferences whether it is drum sizes, drum heads, drum sticks, cymbals, etc.

Brushes and multirods certainly fall into an "it's my choice" category.

I'm going to split the multirods discussion into a seperate section, becasue the origninal topic is about wire brushes.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: Tomm on March 26, 2009, 05:33:53 PM
It seems to me this thread is actually a rod bashing one.  Not that it really matters much, but I did enter a few pro comments about rods that weren't transfered to the "Rods" thread. 

I'll bow out of the subject after I just make these points.

I believe, and have always advocated that the more you can learn about the "art of drumming" the better drummer you will be.  Learning to make use of different implements, instruments, and accessories will be  important to anyone who wants to master the art.  I have realized that working with rods here recently has strengthened my hands, and made me use my reflexes to their max because of the lack of re-bound action of the rods. 

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about rods, I just feel that we can't leave any stone unturned for our younger peers to evaluate, and make their own decisions.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: KenSanders on March 26, 2009, 07:15:48 PM

You certainly did have some good comments about '"rods" in the original thread about wire brushes.  I left the posts in the wire brushes thread that seemed to deal with brushes more than they dealt with multirods.

I separated some of the posts to this new thread so the multirod discussion could continue as a seperate one from brushes.  Maybe, in retrospect, that wasn't the right thing to do, but they are two somewhat different drum striking items. 

I certainly do not intend for this to be a "bash" thread, but rather one where drummers can freely share their opinions and observations regarding multirods.  Obvisouly some drummers like them......some drummers don't.......and for some drummers it doesn't matter about brushes or multirods.

I can certainly see your point about strengthening your hands, as well as, learning to utilize alternative implements for expanding your aresenal of drumming skills.  I agree with you about those points.

Here on the DSA Forum we truly appreciate and value everyone's opinion, and that most certainly includes yours.

Frankly, I hope you will  NOT bow out of the multirod discussion, since you have found a place for them in your drumming endeavors.  I think forum readers would like to hear more about your applications and the way you decide when to use them.

Once again, I simply split the orignal thread so that the brushes discussion and the multirods discussion could continue as two different discussions.

I started the wire brushes thread, so I claim the responsibilty to make that decision.  However, please advise me, if you think that I was wrong in doing that.  Constructive criticism is always welcome. 8)

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: pacrat87 on July 17, 2009, 01:36:52 PM
This is an old thread but I will put my 2 cents in anyway.
as with all your equipment there is a time and place for multirods and brushes (no matter how well you control your volume) each are usefull for a spacific sound, I use brushes for country music in small jambs,
I use multi rods for bigger rooms when play alot of fills (you get more drum tone with less of the attack from the stroke.)when you are playing loud rock you need good sticks.


Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: KenSanders on July 17, 2009, 09:23:24 PM
Good comments Pacrat87.  As I've already eluded, there are many drummers that DO use multirods and make good use of them.  You seem to be one of them.

In addition to multirods, there are many other options available today as an alternative to sticks.  In producing unusual drum sounds that fit the music you are performing.....there are no rules....only lots of options.

I urge drummers to develop their own indivual approach to interpreting musical textures.  If you like using multirods to do that......then I am super cool with it.  However, they are not an option I like for my work.  But it's the different techniques and abilities that make drumming interesting now isn't it?   8)

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: Tomm on December 19, 2009, 07:36:22 PM
Ken, I really like the term "musical textures" because it is an accurate perspective when discussing different implements that can be used and their effects in music production.  Impressive insight.

Merry Holidays to all.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: KenSanders on December 20, 2009, 11:17:36 PM
Happy holidays for you and your family as well Tomm. 

Musical textures has been as way I've descibed that particular aspect of our drumming sound choices for quite a while.

Obviously, various tympani or marimba mallets have a unique result on the sound of our drums and cymbals.  So do brushes, multi-rods, slap sticks, and the endless types of drum sticks.  We all pick out whatever we prefer to use in defining our aresenal of useable sounds. 

Plus....I think it would be very boring if we all used the same equipment and played the same things with the same striking implements.  So basically, I use what I like to use because that's my preference.  And I'll insist that every other drummer should use whatever they like.

I like listening to other drummers who play differently than me...and most likely with different equipment choices.

Don't you think that one of the refreshing aspects of drumming is you can express your indivduality through your playing style(s)?

Rock On!  ;)

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: Tomm on December 22, 2009, 10:33:24 AM
All very good points.  I know I have been doing this for over four decades for many of those same reasons.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: vista1868 on December 25, 2009, 11:06:36 PM
If the music sounds better with rods, by all means use them. But to use them just because seems foolhardy. If my playing ( wether it be stick, snare, mic ) doesn't enhance the song then I'm not being an artist. If you're not an artist, then you're just a musician. And there truly is a difference. I liked what Ken said, he has techniches that allow him flexibility, and that's artistry. He didn't say he wouldn't use them, just that he didn't prefer them. That's what I love about this forum, keeping it real.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: KenSanders on December 28, 2009, 05:32:52 PM
Just to follow up a bit more with VISTA1968's discussion.......

Everyone certainly has their own approach on how to play what they think a song needs. I think that is totaly cool.   8)

For me, when a song requires my playing to be "soft" (less loud) I don't automatically pick up brushes.  I would typically just change to some lighter sticks and use my technique to control my strokes. 

NOW, if the song NEEDS that very disticntive brush swish sound (which I think of as "playing in the spaces") THEN I'll use my brushes.  I actually carry two pairs. One pair has regular gauge wire and the other pair has heavier gauge wire.  I hardly ever have a need for the nylon strand brushes nor for blasticks or multi-rods (although I do "have" them, they're usually only for the "Nashville train beat" stuff).

Some drummers may perform songs where brushes (or some other type beaters than sticks) sound good on their tom fills or their cymbal work.  That typically doesn't work for me because I can't get the TEXTURES and SOUNDS I really want  to produce..  So, I just don't do it that way unless I am required to do so by the producer or band leader.  And I'm cool with doing that if that's what is desired.

But that's what makes drumming interesting......we don't all have to play alike or sound alike.

My clients hire me for the way I play and for the sounds I get from my drums.  I'm sure a lot of us fall into that situation.

Your equipment, tunings, techniques, "striking implements", your attitude..... and ability to apply them within the context of a song.....are all elements that define your own sound.  Applying those talents to different kinds of music is part of what makes you a more complete musician.  A regular practice dicipline helps expand on what you have to offer.

Play.  Enjoy.  Make music that rocks the house.  And whenever possible do what rocks YOUR world too.


Title: Re: Multirods - An alternative to sticks.....sometimes
Post by: KenSanders on May 31, 2010, 04:47:25 PM
I had a "first" this week.  I had a performance where the band leader (whom I had never met, nor worked with previously) specifically asked me to play with multirods.  I, of course, complied with his request.

After the first hour of the engagement, he mentioned that neither he nor the band, could hear my ride cymbal patterns at all.  I asked if I could try using sticks for the next set.  He agreed.

Thereafter, he told me everything was perfect.  I didn't want to imply that his request had caused the problem, so never asked he why he requested multirods be used. But I suspect that drummers he had used before didn't play at the volume he desired when using sticks. The rest of the engagement went fine, and at the end of the evening he complimented me for the sound of my drums, as well as, my control of the marked dymanics. He especialty liked my bass drum sound, and commented that it had a beautiful tone even at a moderate volume.

My drums, when tuned for when playing moderate volume, have more musical tones played with sticks. However, I do not have to play hard to produce those tones.

In this instance, the band leader's concern was all about volume control.  And I agree that some drummers would use multirods to achieve his desires. Once again, Tomm....I'm not bashing multirods......it's just that I think we should use them for the unique sound they make.

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: vista1868 on June 02, 2010, 12:47:12 PM
Professional is what professional does  ;D

Title: Re: Multirods - Split topic from "Are wire brushes passe?"
Post by: Tomm on June 03, 2010, 09:52:32 AM
 8)WORD 8)