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TheRealThing
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:57 am
Posts: 1142
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:12 pm 
 

As I'm listening back to a set that my band played back in May, I started wondering about playing Doom and being creative with the drumming. Now, we aren't a "Doom band" of any sort. We channel post-punk, hardcore, noise rock, black metal, drone, doom... whatever. However, some of our songs slow to a 50-90BPM crawl. I often wonder if I'm being creative enough with drumming at that speed. I love all kinds of doom, but sometimes the drums are hella boring. Winter, in my opinion, is the best example of being interesting at dirge-like speeds.

So my query here is this:

What are some great examples of quality drummimg in a slow environment? What do you do/drummers you've worked with done to not stagnate at those speeds?
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 474
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:24 pm 
 

I'll list a few things I found worked for me - my last doom band was very Electric Wizard influenced, and I'm playing in a post-metal band that's got similarly slow tempos.

Timing - playing slow is much harder than playing fast. If you can play slow and keep the time as near to perfect as you can, it'll sound good. And that extends to making sure that you don't play things too fast, which I find is quite common live - when you have to deliberately reign in the tempo, it can make it a lot heavier. Pretty obvious, but combining that with...

Intensity - for the slowest part of my old doom band's set, I'd crash on my ride cymbal, and generally batter the shit out of my kit. I'd stand up when playing it live, just for more of a visual impact as well. And just hit the drums as hard as you possibly can, make the snare sound like a gunshot. Aside from being louder, which is good for doom, it also makes the drums sing a bit more, which is always nice.

Space - if the basic beat is pretty simple, you can get creative with fills. Especially if the riffs over it are simple as well, you can start doing longer fills, displacement, double/quadruple/more time, triplets, whatever. Go mad. See what works.

I found that a combination of the three helped me. Might work for you, might not, you might already do it all. But yeah, that's my two cents.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12162
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:06 pm 
 

I came to state basically the same as Awl.

Save your more tech playing for huge rolls and fills that are more sparing that way you don't actually distract a listener from the huge riffs the song would have and the overall feel of the song. It takes more talent to play to the song that using it as a backboard to show off all the fancy bullshit you know which is basically like taking a shit all over that construction.
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TheRealThing
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:57 am
Posts: 1142
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:10 pm 
 

Thanks for the responses. I tend to do most of those things, especially bashing the shit out of my drums. I have an '86 Tama Granstar, so that thing really sounds like a fucking tank when I lay into it. I could try to do more with empty space though to really emphasize the fills.
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Pfuntner
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:33 pm
Posts: 1096
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:48 am 
 

First off, shouts out to another drummer using the Granstar line. Second, I would be wary of the urge to try and write clever drum parts for slow sections. I'd say that its more important to do the right thing for the song than to do something particularly unique. If doing the right thing means bashing the shit out of the quarter notes on the kick and snare with no extra fills or frills, then you got to do it. However, on the flip side, if a part needs some extra flavor, follow your muse. Find an accent that the rest of the band isn't really hitting and fill that space, or use your cymbals for melodic touches instead of just time keeping. When things get slow and open, the sky's the limit, but more than anything you shouldn't get in the way of the vibe you're trying to convey.

Hope that helps!
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slaynsoldat
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:43 am
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:02 am 
 

http://youtu.be/QpjRXkDt-Qo

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TheRealThing
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:57 am
Posts: 1142
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:12 pm 
 

The Granstar line is excellent. The only thing I'd trade it for is an Artstar! That's some good advice. Thanks. And slaynsoldat, that video was stupid.
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givemegrave
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:18 pm
Posts: 3
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:49 am 
 

I give a lot of respect to doom drummers. They can be some of the most patient guys out there. They need to play to the song more than themselves and don't get a lot of chances to be flashy. To be creative in that department is even more impressive. My brother's doom project has some creative drumming from him. Track 2: The Tower has my favorite drum parts on the album. While interesting, it doesn't take away from the song at all.

http://sorcererspledge.bandcamp.com/

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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
Posts: 5855
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:27 am 
 

The way I approach drumming to doom metal is to mostly just follow the song and add my fills on the fourth measure of any given section, and only if the music really calls for it. There is a song on the new Blacksoul Seraphim disc that's been written where I intentionally did the most basic drumming I possibly could do. This meant one kick, no rack toms, no fills, and only using the floor toms for an accent or two. I used my regular cymbal setup, two chinas and all, but never in a way that wasn't just following the click. It was a great challenge, and I mean that in a positive way.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6119
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:03 am 
 

Not much new to add here, just that there's much to be said for just increasing the vastness of the song. I tend to apply a similar approach to doom drumming as I do to playing it on guitar, ie a very textural approach. By that I basically mean mallets, haha. But yeah, it's certainly cool being able to squeeze in a heap of fills in the weird places and over strange parts of a bar that only slow tempos allow (without being a total freak, anyway)
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 474
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:32 am 
 

Oh aye, something else you could try.

Limit your setup. I guess the "standard" doom setup would be kick, snare, one rack tom, one floor tom, hats, ride, and two crashes. But try cutting down on that. Use a single pedal instead of a double, if there isn't much need for it. Get rid of some of the crash cymbals. See what you do without a rack tom.

I find that I need to get a lot more creative when I have less, especially with fills - it's not like I can just roll around the toms, if I have no toms - so I need to think of how to use what I do have to make interesting and varied sounds.

Also it's nice to be able to set up in a matter of seconds rather than a few minutes.
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The Ardbeg Wizard
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:57 am
Posts: 230
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:13 am 
 

I love drumming sludge, doom and slow stuff in general. It hides my incapability to blast and do fast fills, plus it puts my qualities in drumming underneath the spotlight, which is timing and intensity, haha. Have you ever listened to the band Eagle Twin? That's a very good example is creativity in low-tempo drums.
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kale100
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 3:28 pm
Posts: 302
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:57 pm 
 

With total and complete honesty...I find pretending to be a fat guy very helpful. Doom is thick and chunky, so should you be! :P

Basically following the fat guy philosophy I guess, getting the most out of the least amount of speed and movement.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12162
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:26 pm 
 

Only that most of the fat drummers I have seen...esp the more well known ones are known for their insane speed. Not lack thereof. Hell the drummer in my power violence band is like 300lbs and rips it up single foot style.

your weight has nothing to do with your drumming style.
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http://www.cavepaints.com <--Horrid art and musics.
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Nameless_Rites
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:21 am
Posts: 196
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:46 am 
 

TheRealThing wrote:
As I'm listening back to a set that my band played back in May, I started wondering about playing Doom and being creative with the drumming. Now, we aren't a "Doom band" of any sort. We channel post-punk, hardcore, noise rock, black metal, drone, doom... whatever. However, some of our songs slow to a 50-90BPM crawl. I often wonder if I'm being creative enough with drumming at that speed. I love all kinds of doom, but sometimes the drums are hella boring. Winter, in my opinion, is the best example of being interesting at dirge-like speeds.

So my query here is this:

What are some great examples of quality drummimg in a slow environment? What do you do/drummers you've worked with done to not stagnate at those speeds?


Spend time listening to the first three Saturnus albums, the ones with Jesper Saltolft on drums. That man is the final word on creative doom drumming.

Or play rudiments between the ride bell and hi hat, while opening the hat. Play some "tribal"(ugh) tom driven beats, a buzz roll here and there etc

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DarkWhatever
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:12 am
Posts: 42
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:31 am 
 

I like to play around outside the time signature a bit when I'm drumming doom. Something simple like a fill in 3/4 time while the rest of the band is playing in 4/4, or something even weirder that sounds off and then catches up on the next note. There's a lot of space to be creative but its easy to overdo it. Mess around with common fills like the standard snare bass tom bass alternate 8th notes. You could accent the kicks with a cymbal or add flams.

I honestly struggle a lot more with super fast bpms because its hard to create fast fills that are interesting with enough clarity. When I'm trying to throw cymbals in between rolls sometimes it's like "great, that's a super interesting, technical fill. Too bad its a blur of noise."

Check out EyeHateGod's ex drummer, Joey LaCaze (R.I.P). There are way slower bands out there than EHG, but it's a good display of how to make minimalism interesting.

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