[Elfsea] drumbs

S.McFarlane tanwyn at flash.net
Sat Oct 6 09:17:37 PDT 2001

You go Sluggy!....

"Sluggy!" wrote:

> Ctopher069 at aol.com wrote:
> > I am looking at starting to learn how to drum and I was wondering what
> > would be a good low cost drum to get to take to events with me.
> Welcome to our obsession! :)
> There are probably almost as many opinions about drums as there are
> drummers, so bear that in mind as you read my opinions below.
> Music stores are good places to try out drums first and I like to
> support such places when I can, but part of the drawback to them keeping
> it on their shelves is that they cost more.
> If I'm buying one locally, I prefer to support any of the several belly
> dance studios in the area. Some include Crescent Moon, Desert Dancers
> and Isis studios in Fort Worth. They don't usually have a large stock of
> drums, but they can order anything you want and a goodly number of them
> are SCA active. Most of them also offer drumming lessons. I have taken
> quite a few from Cresent Moon, but expose yourself to as many drummers
> and styles as possible.
> You can also look around on the internet, especially for Mid East
> Manufacturing in Florida. Don't forget eBay. Search for doumbek,
> darbouka, djembe, etc.
> Now that we've talked a little bit about where, now we can talk about
> what kind of drums :)
> Drum names are funny. You can generally refer to any open bell hourglass
> shaped drum as a doumbek, but most drums have a formal name. Sometimes,
> the drum owner knows it, sometimes they don't :)
> As I see it, there are three or four main designs that are prominent
> amongst SCA drummers.
> Probably the most common are cast aluminum drums, typically called
> darbouka. These things are just about indestructible and are unaffected
> by temperature or humidity. The heads on them are usually mylar,
> replaceable and tunable. Because the body is aluminum, mounting straps
> and other convenince hardware is pretty simple. They have a bright tone
> and always turn heads, especially in competant hands. Expect them to
> start at about $80 online, though some nicely decorated ones can get
> real expensive real fast.
> Next most common is the brass sheetmetal drums. They are often nickle
> plated and have replaceable/tunable heads, usually a synthetic skin.
> Sometimes, they do have natural skin heads, which can be sensitive to
> humidity. Natural skin will often have to be kept warm and dry to keep
> them from absorbing enough moisture to stretch (and thus detune). In
> extreme conditions, you may not be able to keep up at all. These drums
> tend, in general, to be deeper in tone that similar sized drums of other
> designs, making them really good anchor drums. Anchor beats are easy for
> beginning drummers to play and feel confident with, so having a bass
> drum that can be heard makes the drum circle more fun for everyone.
> Probably next are the ceramic doumbeks. These are my personal favorites
> for their sound. They have bright teks (the high pitched tone from the
> edge of the head) like a darbouka, but still has a deep doum (striking
> the middle of the head). They have synthetic heads that are not tunable,
> but they require only a light touch to play. Their main drawback is that
> the body is made of ceramic materials and are thus a bit delicate. Mine
> has been broken twice, once before I got it and once at this last Elfsea
> Defender. I carefully fitted the parts back in, applied duct tape and
> drummed away Saturday night. I now need to disassemble it and epoxy it
> back together again. I need to cover it noew because all these cracks
> are beginning to show :)
> The next most common drums in my meager experience are Remo drums or
> similar drums. Remo is a manufacturer that makes light weight fiber
> composite drums with synthetic heads that look natural. They look more
> modern than most of the other drums, but they sound great and are very
> durable.
> Remember also that drums are the basic instrument, but not the only one.
> A riqq is a kind of tambourine, hand cymbals are called zills, and there
> are various other hand drums, bells, rattles and cymbals.
> I think I have rambled on long enough....
> Sluggy!
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