Drums can't be tuned -- Buddy Rich

Discussion in 'General' started by Vistalite Black, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Vistalite Black

    Vistalite Black Ludwigs in the Basement

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    Who's going to argue with the great Buddy Rich?

    "I don't tune them, I tension them. There's a great difference. If you tune a drum, that means you're looking for a note. If you try to tune to any given note, as soon as the audience comes in, or the weather changes, or it gets hotter or colder or damp, the heads go down. They can't be tuned. You can only tension them."

    https://www.moderndrummer.com/article/january-1977-buddy-rich/
     
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  2. Pimp-a-diddle

    Pimp-a-diddle Very well Known Member

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    Stickler.
     
  3. bigbonzo

    bigbonzo DFO Master

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    Whatever...

    Like you can't tune a tympani....

    What an idiot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  4. sksmith-1

    sksmith-1 Well-Known Member

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    Technically, I think he's correct.
    Unless you are tuning to a note, you are tensioning a drum.
    With tympani's, they are tuned to notes for the key of the song.
    Steve
     
  5. jtpaistegeist

    jtpaistegeist Very well Known Member

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    Tell this to Terry Bozzio.
     
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  6. bellbrass

    bellbrass DFO Master

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    He has a point.... a small one. Every musical instrument produces overtones, even if "perfectly" tuned. Drums are worse than most instruments for this. You can still tune a drum to a note, and make is sound musical and pleasing to the ear. Just tightening them will not do this. I know; I did it the wrong way for many years.
     
  7. Tornado

    Tornado Very well Known Member

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  8. jptrickster

    jptrickster DFO Master

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    Now get off my bus!
     
  9. Tornado

    Tornado Very well Known Member

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    This is one of the greatest drummer interviews ever.

     
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  10. multijd

    multijd Very well Known Member

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    Everything he says has to be taken with a grain of salt (or maybe a whole shaker). He was a fabulous drummer and from all accounts could be a warm person. But he also had an arrogant streak and could be downright nasty. He also talked a lot of b.s. including his rants against country music, matched grip and written drum parts for which he has been disproved many times over. Personally I wish i could have met him and hung out with him for a few days.
     
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  11. Tornado

    Tornado Very well Known Member

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    Well, Terry does this for sure. I think you have to keep in mind how Buddy would talk about almost everything. Broad generalizations that were true in 99.9% of situations. I think his real point was that even attempting this is useless and even futile for almost everyone in almost any situation.
     
  12. Radio King

    Radio King DFO Veteran

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    Well said. I believe his arrogance was part of the ingredient that made him so great. He WILLED himself to push the envelope, much like Muhammad Ali did in the ring. It also contributed to him contradicting himself. I believe he was the type of guy that would sometimes choose to see white instead of black, just to be a contrarian.
    As to his warmth, there are countless stories about his kindness and loyalty towards friends and family. Complex and fascinating man.
     
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  13. bigbonzo

    bigbonzo DFO Master

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    Does anybody plan to change how they speak because of Buddy Rich? (tune vs tension)
     
  14. jptrickster

    jptrickster DFO Master

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    lol! Hell no but I’m getting a tension headache
     
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  15. gwbasley

    gwbasley DFO Veteran

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    Buddy's statement about the weather and room conditions is very revealing. Even though he now uses mylar heads, his mindset is from a calfskin head perspective. Environmental, (especially humidity), changes have a drastic effect on skin heads and I would bet that Buddy's early experiences playing on them influenced that answer....my$.02!
     
  16. anthony marquart

    anthony marquart Very well Known Member

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    He didn't have Tun-Bot.. you most definitely can TUNE a drum..
     
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  17. Marquisjohnson22

    Marquisjohnson22 DFO Veteran

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    No need to care about what he says or feels about "tuning or tensioning" a drum just because he is Buddy Rich; no matter how great he was at playing the drums. I still feel exactly the same as I did before I read his quote as I do after I read it LOL.
     
  18. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member

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    Me too. I'm a huge Buddy Rich fan. Absolutely love his playing! And his snare drum, bass drum, and even floor tom (as sparingly as he used it) I thought always sounded great. But his rack tom to my ear sounds pretty narly in some of the videos. I've always gotten the impression that he didn't spend a lot of time tuning... excuse me, "tensioning"... that drum. LOL Anyway, it doesn't take anything away from his phenomenal (unparalleled IMO) playing. I just think, especially with today's drums and some of the tools we have, drums can be "tuned" and made to sound really nice.
     
  19. cutaway79

    cutaway79 Well-Known Member

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    Just because he was a good player, doesn't automatically mean he knows $|-|!t about anything else. I've met great drummers that don't even know the proper sizes of their drums. I've read multiple Buddy Rich quotes over the years that just sound like the ramblings of an egotistical jackass.
     
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  20. wayne

    wayne Very well Known Member

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    Maybe BR meant to say "personally desired tension"...it is a personal thing I assume?
     

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