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Alternatives to drums as percussion in a band setting

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Hi All,

Any ideas on alternatives to drums as percussion in a band?

I saw this video a while ago which made me think that maybe there are other options.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9xk_TzoQK4&feature=plcp&context=C3d3196dUDOEgsToPDskL41_6oOxcmJ0KEjeGbTAkS

Don't get me wrong, I love playing with a drummer on a full kit, its a great sound but recently drummers have seemed hard to find and the hassle of moving and setting up a full kit has made me want to consider other options.

Anyone playing with a different percussion set up?

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It really depends on what you're doing. That sort of setup works really well for quiter acoustic type bands but is not really suited towards anything heavier. The issue is that even if it's not a full drumkit, you'll still need someone to play it. I don't think it would be any easier to find someone who's any good on that type of setup than on the conventional drumkit. If anything it would probably be harder.

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[quote name='EdwardHimself' timestamp='1328893112' post='1534529']
It really depends on what you're doing. That sort of setup works really well for quiter acoustic type bands but is not really suited towards anything heavier. The issue is that even if it's not a full drumkit, you'll still need someone to play it. I don't think it would be any easier to find someone who's any good on that type of setup than on the conventional drumkit. If anything it would probably be harder.
[/quote]
mmm, probably true.

[quote name='leftyhook' timestamp='1328893242' post='1534534']
sounds like someone kicking a dustbin down a fire escape to me!
[/quote]
It is admittedly a terrible recording. I was just using it as an example of a different set up.

Does anyone have any better ideas?

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[quote name='Monckyman' timestamp='1328892953' post='1534524']
A Jam sandwich
[/quote]

I do like jam. This is now an option I will be considering ;)

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I've played in bands featuring congas, bongos, timbales, guiro, shakers, tambourine, qweeka and so on but you're looking at four or five people right there. The point of a decent drummer is that he can cover a lot of ground and produce a lot of sounds without having that back line of percussionists! :)

Edit: I realise that the key to this is finding a 'decent' drummer. Easier said than done. ;)

Edited by discreet

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Lots of bands are using a cajon instead of a kit these days, it takes up less space in tight spots and it's much easier to carry and set up.
It does need micing up unless it's a very quiet acoustic set up, but It can sound just as good as a kit for some genres in the right hands and there are lots of examples on youtube.

Here's a good example:
[url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/165036-a-new-take-on-superstition/page__hl__superstition"]http://basschat.co.u...l__superstition[/url]

Edited by redstriper

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[quote name='leftyhook' timestamp='1328893242' post='1534534']
sounds like someone kicking a dustbin down a fire escape to me!
[/quote]

Still sounds better than our drummer though.

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[quote name='leftyhook' timestamp='1328893242' post='1534534']
sounds like someone kicking a dustbin down a fire escape to me!
[/quote]
Of course, that is another alternative, but I wouldn't want to have to set up the fire escape without a road crew.

Edited by EssentialTension

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[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsJtVi-5H8U"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsJtVi-5H8U[/url]

:D

A

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JOHN OTWAY CLIP.....absolutely hilarious!!!!

I remember seeing Otway and Barret pn the Whistle test that night when he fel off his amp. I was a teenager watching it in bed.
I woke the whole house up with my fits of laughter.
Comedy/music at it's best!

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[quote name='leftyhook' timestamp='1328893242' post='1534534']
sounds like someone kicking a dustbin down a fire escape to me!
[/quote]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htsj9tIvIcg

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Band called Orgatronics used a cajon, worked well IMO. Not their best song but the only live one I could find
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA577VySPak

For a good portable drum kit without compromising the sound, look at the Yamaha Hipgig stuff. Real challenge is still finding the player though.

The Bellowhead percussionist is great, but his set-up's not exactly a compact alternative to a full kit!

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I find I really miss the hi-hats and ride cymbal when a cajon is used on its own. One drummer I play with likes to busk with snare, hi-hats and a bass pedal hitting a suitcase, which it all packs inside.

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Thanks everyone.

[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1328896824' post='1534621']
Edit: I realise that the key to this is finding a 'decent' drummer. Easier said than done. ;)
[/quote]
I feel this may be the major issue. :P

[quote name='apa' timestamp='1328953182' post='1535148']
:D

A
[/quote]

Those triggers John Otway uses in that clip look interesting. Does anyone know what they're called or who makes them?

[quote name='pete.young' timestamp='1328963474' post='1535316']
Check out Bellowhead and their amazing percussionist.
[/quote]
Wonderful band and great player

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1328999996' post='1535996']
I find I really miss the hi-hats and ride cymbal when a cajon is used on its own. One drummer I play with likes to busk with snare, hi-hats and a bass pedal hitting a suitcase, which it all packs inside.
[/quote]
mmm yeah that can sound great. I love the idea that part of your gear is the case for the rest of it.

[quote name='LawrenceH' timestamp='1328991952' post='1535863']
For a good portable drum kit without compromising the sound, look at the Yamaha Hipgig stuff. Real challenge is still finding the player though.
[/quote]

Yeah they look good.

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A good cajon and hand cymbals are fine normally. The guy who plays with Ryan Sheridan is a beast.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKLJrf9iUOc[/media]

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Acgv7zzj8&feature=fvwrel[/media]

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[quote name='charic' timestamp='1329234654' post='1539268']
We program our drums for this very reason :)
[/quote]

Yeah, SR-16s don't forget the rhythmn and always play in time! You can also fit one in your gig box and you don't have to buy it drinks which is more than you can say for a drummer ;)

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[quote name='musophilr' timestamp='1329930798' post='1549966']
Yeah, SR-16s don't forget the rhythmn and always play in time! You can also fit one in your gig box and you don't have to buy it drinks which is more than you can say for a drummer ;)
[/quote]

Sounds good. A lot like this, in fact:

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We use a Cajon as the core percussion instrument in Braziliance but it is supplemented by congas etc. The cajon is the main instrument for some pretty intense flamenco stuff and noone has ever really transferred that intensity to a Rock setting so now is your chance!!

There are also beatboxers, an under explored options for bands. We have all seen the amazing youtube clips of solo beatboxers but why couldn't a properly amplified beatboxer not be part of the core rhythm section of a band? Frame drummers are another option (look up Trilok Gurtu). And, of course, there is the drum machine route.

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I've gotta agree with the cajon, I built one and I play it at church. It's a beautiful sound and I've put a pair of tambourine cymbals on the front with a wingnut so you can adjust whether it's on or not, it's also quite easy to add another snare (guitar strings etc) as the tapa (the front) is screwed on. I don't play it much anymore as I play bass, so I'd be willing to sell it if anyone's interested.

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