As drumming has progressed over the years, so has equipment.
In the early days a drum kit consisted of a kick (bass) drum, snare drum, rack Tom, floor Tom, hi hat and 1 or 2 cymbals. Kits started to expand to 2 kick drums (or a double kick pedal), multiple toms, and numerous cymbals and percussion instruments including cow bells, shakers, wood blocks and so on.
The next big evolution came with electronics including triggers, loops, samples, electronic kits, drum pads and drum machines. These options became common place in recording studios and so the great debate began-man vs machine. While some viewed this as a natural progression in the evolution of drumming and an opportunity to enhance the drummers performance, others took the view that it was now programmers and not musicians making music. The truth probably lays somewhere in between.
Many drummers have embraced the technology including Alex Van Halen (Van Halen) who incorporates electronic toms into his acoustic kit. Some drummers even had 2 kits on stage (Steve Negus-Saga). Electronics are routinely used in live performance to help re-create a studio performance or to fill out the sound. Often electronic shakers are used as a click track to help the drummer stay locked in to the tempo.
Some interesting variations on the drum kit include Terry Bozios’ (Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck) monster drum kits, Bill Brufords’ (Yes, King Crimson) drum wall, and the percussion station (Pink Floyd) played by a second drummer.
As equipment and electronics continue to advance one topic is not up for debate. Nothing will replace the energy, power and visual impact of a live drummer. Our goal at Power Drumming Canada is to coach beginner, intermediate and advanced drummers to be the best they can be.