Bill: Bass Drum Afficionado

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A few weeks ago we looked at cymbals. Today – the Bass Drum. Bill has posted a highly entertaining and heartfelt tribute to the Bass Drum called Bass Drums Anonymous. In it, the Bass Drum speaks of the sadness of towels and other mutes that curtail her resonant undampened sound, the lack of respect for tuning, a litany of disrespect for this often-ignored instrument.

These issues are addressed in Bill’s two workshops: Concert Bass Drum Performance and Teaching Total Percussion. Concert Bass Drum Performance is an interactive discussion/demonstration that talks about setting up and tuning the bass drum before playing and while playing, how to strike, how to dampen.

Teaching Total Percussion : (Stressing The Fundamentals : Getting a Good Sound with a Relaxed Technique) is a 60 minute workshop. The section of this workshop that concerns the Concert Bass Drum deals with set-up, tuning tips,  producing the normal (resonant) Concert Bass Drum sound, and appropriate “shading” or muting. If you follow the highlighted links above for Concert Bass Drum Performance and Teaching Total Percussion, you will see Bill’s outlines of these various concepts.

Also available on our website here are two articles about the historical Bass Drum. This past summer, Bill participated in the 59th Annual Deep River Ancient Muster  and his article features some wonderful photos, a link to a video, and an interesting in-depth look at what Bill calls the “Connecticut style” of drumming. Check it out here.

Bill also had an opportunity to visit Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, NY, where the fort’s museum has a room devoted entirely to drums, fifes, and bagpipes. Follow the link to see what he discovered. He also managed to see a performance at the Fort on the “Scottish” Bass Drum (with a shell depth greater than its diameter).

Follow us on Facebook where, later this week, I will be posting about thes tunable Bass Drum that Bill created.

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