Peter Szendofi is one of the most talented professional drummers, composers and most frequently employed musicians in Hungary, whose reputation as an educator crossed the Hungarian borders long ago. He teaches at Galileo University Guatemala, North Karelia University Finland and Drummers Collective, New York. He is also a member of the Drum Set Committee of Percussive Arts Society. As a musician, Peter has played on about 130 albums, and has performed with Loop Doctors (with Gary Willis and Brandon Fields), Fusio Group, Trio Ricardo, Subjective Symptom, and Eastwing Group, among others. He has also done a video for the widely popular Drumeo channel.
Peter is busy conducting drum clinics, workshops, courses and master classes all over the world. He has also visited Poland with those in mind, one of which was organized by us – www.beatit.tv. We invited him to Poznań, Poland, to do a drum clinic at the Republika Rytmu music school.
We took the opportunity to interview the man in-depth so that our viewers can also get at least a tiny bit of this great drummer’s knowledge and experience. In the first part, we talk about the drum kits and snare drums he currently owns and uses.
Peter Szendofi is is an international artist endorser for Tama Drums, Bosphorus Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Regal Tip Sticks and Humes&Berg Cases.
Peter Szendofi talks to BeatIt, Pt. 4
I have two Tama Starclassic kits. The first one is a maple one and it has a more dry, sharp, high frequency-oriented sound, also in terms of the kick and the toms. The configuration is: 20”x22”, 7”x10”, 12”x14”, 14” x16”. The other one is a birch/bubinga, which gives a fatter type of sound. The sizes on that one are more typical, i. e. 18”x22”, 8”x10”, 14”x14”, 16”x16”. Each kit has a totally different sound and character and both are great. I also have several snare drums. A 6.5”x14” Tama Bubinga with a 12-ply shell and power hoops. Really heavy and really loud! Actually, it’s 30-40% louder than a regular maple or birch/bubinga snare. I couldn’t believe it when I first got it. I also have a Tama S.L.P. snare drum, which is 13” by 7”. It’s a 10-ply maple shell with power hoops. The sound is dry and really loud. It perfectly fits into a rock recording, if you have to play a slow tempo and a simple groove. When pitched down, it sounds great because of the depth. If I pitch up both heads, it’s perfect for any kind of drum and bass. The snare contains a really high frequency and the really deep ones at the same time. It doesn’t require two mics – one for the snares and one for the top. A simple Shure SM57 and that’s it.
The kit I’m using tonight courtesy of Avant Drum Shop is a Tama Starclassic, too. It sounds totally different to my kits, but I love it. It’s a walnut one and it’s absolutely great. The rack tom shell and the kick drum shell are thin. I see four plies, maybe five. The sound is really clear. The articulation, even on the floor toms and the kick drum when I play really fast things, is totally clear. This kit is difficult to play fast. If you make a mistake, it will be immediately heard. But it’s a great drum set.
It’s the first time I’m using a Tama Kapur snare and I must say it’s great. The shell has nice overtones and it’s really powerful. I don’t like snare drums which don’t have enough volume.
I’ve tried out some old drum sets in the States. I played at the Nublu club in New York with Loop Doctors. They had an old DW kit and a really old, 1950’s Slingerland. They also had some snare drums. One of them was typically old-school looking and I decided to check it out. The batter head was really worn, all brown. I hit the snare with my hands and the slap was huge. I took my sticks and it was so loud! I flipped it over and it was a Slingerland. Great drums have huge volume, even those old school ones. Then, you can decide if you wanna play soft or as loud as you want. I’ve had many cheap drum sets in my practice room just for teaching. Even though the sound was good, I couldn’t play too much because the volume level could only reach so high. That’s not inspiring. I really need volume, just like a heavy metal guitarist has a volume knob.
A lot of those great jazz drummers hit very hard. Check out Tony Williams. He had muscles, he played from above his head. Gary Novak, too. If Tony Williams was to play something more subtle and deep, he would do it beautifully too.
Drummers and Drummerettes! Here is Peter Szendofi in the fourth part of an exclusive interview for www.beatit.tv!
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