As much a die-hard Ludwig fan I am who once loved Tama drums (and still have a soft spot for them), I have always been impressed with the quality of the drums that the Yamaha corporation make across the different price points. I have been fortunate to play many different models of Yamaha drumkits over the years, from the entry-level Stage Custom to the top-of-the-line Recording Customs, both on stage and in the recording studio.
The Recording Customs, which have seen a reissue a couple of years ago, are everything you could ask for in a drumkit: extremely well manufactured shells, uniformity and consistency of tone, dynamic range, quickness of response, incredible clarity, and ideal projection across all the drums.
Then enter these Yamaha Live Custom Hybrid Oak drums…The Yamaha company has outdone itself again! They took the same shell construction method of their now discontinued Phoenix (PHX) line of drums and came up with these incredibly fine sounding instruments, which history will judge them to be among the greatest drums Yamaha ever made.
Watch the demonstration in the link above. I’m sure you’ll agree with me! PS: That Japanese drummer has the most pristine single stroke roll around the kit. His groove is happening too.
Here’s an excellent review cum demonstration of these drums:
This review by Drum Center of Portsmouth (US) is probably one of the best I have seen on YouTube comparing similarly priced drumkits of different makes.
Having owned two Tama kits in the past and currently a Ludwig, this review hit home for me.
I like the Ludwig sound better, which is why I decided to play Ludwig drums for life, but Tama is by no means a slouch in the quality and great sound departments. The Ludwigs, however, have that certain “snap” that I do not hear in other brands. The response and sensitivity is so immediate with a Ludwig kit, even at the entry level.
Both kits reviewed go for under USD 800. Swee Lee music in Singapore carries these two brands – for those looking to upgrade from their entry level kits, or even for the uninitiated looking to invest in their first acoustic drumkit, and are willing to fork out abit more cash for a kit that you will have no qualms about using for live gigs and recording.
I just re-read a feature interview from the October 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine with the legendary drummer from Deep Purple, Ian Paice. He’s a huge hero of mine.
Here’s what I think is a great piece of advice for younger drummers that he shared, given his 50+ years being a professional musician in one of the iconic Rock bands of the world:
“If you like playing drums, do it because it makes you happy. If you can find a few friends around you, form a little band. If it goes somewhere else, treat it as a bonus. When we started, we never thought that it would be our careers. We were just kids having fun, and that was enough. For the few of us who had it and had the luck, it became something else. I’ve said before, success is a strange thing. You go chasing it and you won’t find it. But if you stay true to yourself and enjoy yourself and make yourself happy, you might find that success taps you on the shoulder from behind. But you can’t force it.
There are some fantastic young players around the world, and it seems that the industry’s against them. They can’t be pigoenholed; they can’t be put into little pockets of music. The industry doesn’t want to be bothered. Play what you like, play what makes you smile, play from your heart, and just keep on doing it and enjoying it. And if you never leave your garage – if your drums stay in your garage and you just batter the crap out of them – the very least you can do is make yourself smile, because you still have something that most of the world doesn’t have or understand.”
– IAN PAICE, DRUMMER FOR DEEP PURPLE, AND ROCK LEGEND.
This instalment of “Wise Words” features an excellent quote from the game-changing Stewart Copeland, who once drummed for a mega Rock band, The Police, and is one of my all-time heroes.
Here he talks about the mechanics of playing successfully: Playing the music and not worrying about your technique or the mechanics of your instrument.
“You once talked about “playing outside your instrument.” When did you come up with this idea, and can you speak about what it means to you?
“It came to me when I was playing polo – you ‘play outside your horse.’ If you’re thinking about your horse and your equestrian skills, and things like proper riding and hitting the ball, let alone playing the game and putting your horse in the right place on the field…
“See, you shouldn’t even be thinking about the horse. You have to be outside the horse. Your body and horse are one. You shouldn’t be thinking about riding. You have to think, ‘Here’s the ball. I need to get it there. I need to stop that guy from getting to the ball. Uh-oh, there’s a pass and that’s where I gotta be.’ When you do that, you’re thinking outside your horse. You’re playing the game.
“Put this to music: The mechanics of playing an instrument should be furthest from your mind. You’ve got to think outside your instrument, play outside your instrument. You’ve got to think about the music: ‘What is the music? Where are the other players are? What’s going on? Where’s the groove?’ – things like that. What drum you’re hitting, what your technique is – that should be completely subliminal.”