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Thread: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

  1. #1

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    Default What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    So my drum teachers in the past have always preached to never bury the beater into the head of the bass drum. That is, they always taught that you should let the bass drum beater rebound just like a stick. But then I recently watched videos of guys like Jojo Mayer and Eric Harland playing on various size bass drums, and guess what they were doing? That's right, they buried their beaters into their bass drums. So what's the big deal anyhow? Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    Welcome to Drum Chat rthmjohn!

    The idea of not burying the beater is to let the head resonate. Some prefer a resonant bass drum, so not burying the beater would important to someone who likes resonance. Some prefer a more thuddy sound from their bass drum, and in this case, burying the beater wouldn't be as much of an issue. The bottom line is that if you are burying the beater, and you are getting the sound that you want from your bass, then you have no worries. On the other hand, if you are burying the beater and you aren't getting the sound you want, then it just might be a problem.

    Ok, now let's talk about speed on the bass pedal. If you get used to burying the beater, it will limit your speed on the pedal, because you are not working with the natural rebound of the beater. It is not much different than the speed issue on the snare, or the toms. At some point, to go faster, you will have to learn to work with the rebound, rather than against the rebound.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat rthmjohn!

    The idea of not burying the beater is to let the head resonate. Some prefer a resonant bass drum, so not burying the beater would important to someone who likes resonance. Some prefer a more thuddy sound from their bass drum, and in this case, burying the beater wouldn't be as much of an issue. The bottom line is that if you are burying the beater, and you are getting the sound that you want from your bass, then you have no worries. On the other hand, if you are burying the beater and you aren't getting the sound you want, then it just might be a problem.

    Ok, now let's talk about speed on the bass pedal. If you get used to burying the beater, it will limit your speed on the pedal, because you are not working with the natural rebound of the beater. It is not much different than the speed issue on the snare, or the toms. At some point, to go faster, you will have to learn to work with the rebound, rather than against the rebound.
    Well said.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by rthmjohn View Post
    So my drum teachers in the past have always preached to never bury the beater into the head of the bass drum. That is, they always taught that you should let the bass drum beater rebound just like a stick. But then I recently watched videos of guys like Jojo Mayer and Eric Harland playing on various size bass drums, and guess what they were doing? That's right, they buried their beaters into their bass drums. So what's the big deal anyhow? Any ideas?
    Burying the beater can be used for loud thumping accented notes that can compliment the groove and really bring out the "rebounding" ghosted notes. It all depends on how you play. I change technique to whatever feels best in a song but I am never burying the beater at all times. That's just my take on it but then again everyone is different.

  5. #5

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    I always buried the beater. I've been working on not doing so. It's tough to unlearn that after doing it for so long. Is there anything wrong with it? Not necessarily, as PB said above. Just something I wanted to work on.

  6. #6

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    I use both techniques. If the dynamics of a song require a very low volume, I bury the beater to quell any boominess that might ruin the moment or if I want to switch to boom to thud to create some movement in the piece of music.

  7. #7

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    I always bury the beater. As a heel-up player I find it easier, and I think it just sounds better.
    - Zack

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I use both techniques. If the dynamics of a song require a very low volume, I bury the beater to quell any boominess that might ruin the moment or if I want to switch to boom to thud to create some movement in the piece of music.
    ^ This exactly. As an example, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant song. If you bury the beater, it sounds robotic.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I use both techniques. If the dynamics of a song require a very low volume, I bury the beater to quell any boominess that might ruin the moment or if I want to switch to boom to thud to create some movement in the piece of music.
    That's what I was going to say and I think you'll find that with most pro players unless they've made a conscious decision to always play one way. The solution is to be comfortable with both so that you can pull them out of your bag of tricks at random. I bury the beater most of the time but when I'm playing swing, I don't like to as you don't want that kind of sound with that music. You want the bass drum more open sounding and ambient.
    - Tom

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  10. #10

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    Same as someone above, I play heel up and bury the beater, a few songs require a quick lighter foot so I let it bounce for those.
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    Your teacher, and rightfully so, probably wanted you to practice this so you could learn control, dynamics and gain speed. Burying the beater is all good but you won't achieve as much dynamics and speed. It's good to learn to play both. I'll bet that most professional drummers that bury the beater can very well play very nicely with finesse, control, dynamics and speed using the "rebound" technique.
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  12. #12

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    I don't always bury the Kick but when I do I make sure everyone knows it happened

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    I don't always bury the Kick but when I do I make sure everyone knows it happened
    Haha...Good answer!!
    TAMA- '99 Starclassic, '86 Granstar, '88 Granstar,
    '93 Rockstar
    Gretsch- late 50's Round Badge
    Zildjian K & K Custom (with a couple A's and a Wuhan China)
    Evans
    Remo
    Vic Firth
    Speed Cobra double pedal
    Starcast mounting system (including floor toms and snare)
    Hardware- TAMA and Gibraltar
    Snare Drums- various TAMA, Gretsch, Ludwig, Leedy, Wurlitzer

    "How can you impress the chicks if the chicks can do it themselves?!!" ~ from: kay-gee

  14. #14

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    There are different sounds that come from each style. If used in an interesting pattern, you can even create variation on your kick drum pattern, giving a unique sound to your playing. With jazz tuned kicks especially, you get a higher pitch if you really bury the beater vs let it rebound (blame Peter Erskine for me knowing this one).

    I personally prefer to have a consistent kick drum sound, so I don't bury the beater. An engineer that I was talking to complained about when drummers buried their single kick strokes and so the drum sound totally changed when they played double kick patterns. So I make it a point not to bury unless I'm going for the buried sound.

    The only two constants I have are DW and Zildjian.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by xweasel View Post
    I always bury the beater. As a heel-up player I find it easier, and I think it just sounds better.
    Same. I do play off the head when playing jazz though. When I bury the beater I never have any problems with the beater buzzing, do you?
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  16. #16

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    I work the BD whichever way I need it for what I want to do and the sound I want.

  17. #17

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    Wow, so many great ideas! Thanks a lot, you all. This really helps.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    ^ This exactly. As an example, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant song. If you bury the beater, it sounds robotic.
    Oh yeah, but with songs with faster footwork e.g. Immigrant Song or Good Times Bad Times, it's just easier to let the beater bounce rather than to bury it.
    - Zack

  19. #19

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    Work smarter not harder.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat rthmjohn!

    The idea of not burying the beater is to let the head resonate. Some prefer a resonant bass drum, so not burying the beater would important to someone who likes resonance. Some prefer a more thuddy sound from their bass drum, and in this case, burying the beater wouldn't be as much of an issue. The bottom line is that if you are burying the beater, and you are getting the sound that you want from your bass, then you have no worries. On the other hand, if you are burying the beater and you aren't getting the sound you want, then it just might be a problem.

    Ok, now let's talk about speed on the bass pedal. If you get used to burying the beater, it will limit your speed on the pedal, because you are not working with the natural rebound of the beater. It is not much different than the speed issue on the snare, or the toms. At some point, to go faster, you will have to learn to work with the rebound, rather than against the rebound.
    On this video, the drummer seemingly buries the left hand on the snare @ 3:15-3:20 marks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e19-qmLXA7o

    Presumably, if you can bury the beater for these reasons, you could bury a stick for these reasons too - correct?
    Last edited by Rickkus; 11-21-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickkus View Post

    Presumably, if you can bury the beater for these reasons, you could bury a stick for these reasons too - correct?
    Burying a stick (so to speak) is an option but results in a muted sound. While that muted sound is often desirable in a bass drum, it is not usually desired in a tom sound. This is cultural of course but it speaks to "desired sound" specifically. A lot of us (myself included) like the muted/muffled "thump" of a bass drum but are not as keen on muted tom sounds. That said, some drummers still like the muted tom sounds of the 70's so to each his own.
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  22. #22

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    I notice too that burying the kick beater on the acoustic kit influences tonality/sound, but on my electronic kit this means of expression is missing - once a trigger is executed the sound wave plays until the next beat - making control of tonality impossible.

    It's sorta like pinching a cymbal - just stopping the vibration, or closing the high hat, for that matter I guess.

  23. #23

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    Yea, electronics is a whole different animal. You can't approach it the same way.
    - Tom

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  24. #24

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    you will get buzzing if you don't use internal dampening (AKA pillow)

  25. #25

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    Default Re: What's wrong with burying the beater anyway?

    It's all good. Music is best played in the moment. There's a time for rebounding and a time for burying.

    all the best...

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