“Mo Tucker”

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Most folks know I’m anything but “traditional” when it comes to drums from my set-ups to my videos. Lately I have been entertaining the idea of turning my bass drum over into an upright position to be played with my sticks in conjunction with my toms. I feel I can create some very interesting rhythms by treating the bass like a primary tom. The inspiration for this setup comes from Maureen Tucker from the Velvet Underground. According to her bio “Tucker’s style of playing was unconventional. She played standing up rather than seated (for easier access to the bass drum), using a simplified drum kit of tom toms, a snare drum and an upturned bass drum, playing with mallets rather than drumsticks. She rarely used cymbals; she claimed that since she felt the purpose of a drummer was simply to ‘keep time,’ cymbals were unnecessary for this purpose and drowned out the other instruments. Rock critic Robert Christgau said of Tucker, ‘Mo was a great drummer in a minimalist, limited, autodidactic way that I think changed musical history. She is where the punk notion of how the beat works begins.’” Here is a diagram I put together depicting this unique setup. You can watch Tucker perform with this configuration at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbryJqOFxOs.

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