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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Drumming > Side / Snare
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Side / Snare Pipe Bands or Solo - if it relates to Drumming...

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Old 11-02-2006, 11:39 AM   #1
dhask
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Default Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

The basic format of the pipe band side drum is a direct descendant of the "British Guards Pattern" Military Side drum. The 14" x 12" size was arrived at as a compromise between sound and "march-ability": the 12" depth means that the bottom rim sits just above the average knee, the 16" or 15" of continental (German or Swiss) drums makes for a bigger thing to lug about so over about 100 years the 14" came about and became an universal snare drum standard. Current pipe band drums until very recently were all still 14" x 12". The depth of a drum makes a big difference to the pitch - you can get 4" piccollo snares that sound very sharp, but to march with them without a contraption like a harness would not work (though the German army hip-hooks can make such drums usable). Top snares were popular in English drums through all genres from the 1920s and became usual in pipe band side drums from the 1930s, but are they really needed? Plastic heads continued technical progression from the 1950s without many design issues emerging until the woven Kevlar heads required extreme engineering to get a good pitch from a thick material. This has meant crippling weights but still a horrible thick dull sound.

I propose an engineering competition which would take as its starter the brass-shell British Guards Pattern Military Side drum at 14" x 12" which is remarkably light, and to produce something as good to listen to, as light and that fits in with the music. I play and hear modern pipe band drums and I have to say that compared the the excellent drums in the kit or popular music area they sound really, really bad most of the time, and sound NOTHING like the drums I first played in pipe bands in 1960. The pipes still sound like pipes, but we as drummers have gone down a wrong road and it is time to turn back.


Cop an earful of this lot - nice drumming but a nasty sound:

http://www.gusweb.org/index.php/2006...drumming-2006/
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:49 AM   #2
Eric Knudsen
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

OH BOY.......
Can't wait to seewhere this goes......
My prediction: over 200 posts
5 pages
then mod shut down
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:58 AM   #3
mike o
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

Interesting take....Eric is probably right you're going to get flamed. The thing is pipes dont sound like they did in the 60's. The pitch of competetive pipe bands has come up a lot in the past 45 years. I assume us drummers followed the high pitch. I personally thought all the drums on that link were pretty cracking. But your entitled to your opinion. I would like to see some new ideas as far as pipe band drums. I see Doug Stronach has taken a step in trying something innovative and my hats off to him for that. I also might be mistaken but has anybody heard of a new prototype premier being tested?????
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
Mark Harris
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

Quote:
Originally posted by dhask:
Cop an earful of this lot - nice drumming but a nasty sound:
The top drummers in the world are "this lot?"

I'm thinking there will be mod intervention way before 200 posts....

Still, though, it is an interesting topic if approached with a little less *ahem* zeal.

I do disagree about the pipes not changing. I have seen threads here dealing with the changes in pitch trends, and a lot of outcry that they are going to high.

cheers,
~Mark
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:16 PM   #5
Dubh
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

With any luck it'll be a great thread.

I'm not satisfied with the weight of the new HTS's either, but I love the sound we get from them, (although sometimes a bit too "thin" for the sound of the pipes in my opinion).
The only major change we've seen in them in the last 5 or 10 years is that made recently with respect to the depth, which by the way and with all due respect I hate the look of.
And I'm not the only one that feels that way, I know they went over petty big here on the forum but out in the real world I heard nothing but comments such as; "That ain't right.",...sorry.
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:21 PM   #6
Pete Walen
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

I know of several Premier Super Scots that the current owners may be willing to part with. There are also some Royal Scots floating around if you want a wee bit older sound.

Both of them had notably different sound than the rod-tensioned drums of the 1920's. These, in turn, had similar sounds to the rod-tensioned drums from the 1880s, however, most of those I have seen were slightly shallower than 12".

My favorite for projection are the 1760-1790 style field drum monsters - make yer teeth rattle with a full-throated roar.
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
Dubh
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Walen:


My favorite for projection are the 1760-1790 style field drum monsters - make yer teeth rattle with a full-throated roar.
I've got one Pete, and we've used it with the band for shows, it sounds awesome! Everyone loved it!
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:40 PM   #8
sidedrummer
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

I think that without change things become stagnant. The days are long gone by where we as drummers used such archaic contraptions as the 1920's or 1930's. I personally think that the sound of HTS 700 is a wonderful compliment to the pipes and mid-section. The sound actually needs to reach the judges and with such an old design the sound would not travel as far and the judging would in effect have to change. With the inner circle no longer being the place to play and with that they would then have to restructure how close they can get to the drum corps. Such a giant step backwards would be senseless and not well taken by many drum corps.
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:58 PM   #9
dhask
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

To sidedrummer:
"I personally think that the sound of HTS 700 is a wonderful compliment to the pipes and mid-section"

have you ever played an HTS200... probably 10lbs heavier, sounding MUCH better but simply unusable due to weight hence the HTS700 with lighter honeycomb castings and a consequently soggy dull sound..??

I am proposing a radical rethink.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:14 PM   #10
Mark Harris
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Default Re: Where on earth is the stupid pipe band side drum going?

I have to agree there; the 200 does have a better sound than the 700. I don't think it's 10 pounds heavier, though. Our band still has a couple of the 200's and I wish we could outfit the whole line with them.

cheers,
~Mark
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