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Douglas Best

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Sounds

    Communication, Industrial Design


    a Drummers story:

    Lets get some points on paper.

    Age 14 owned a drum set, had the drums, had the hardware, no cymbals.

    without cymbals, finally owning a drum set, I wanted to play, the experience was incomplete.

    In my basement and desperate, I found some aluminum sheet metal...

    I drilled holes...

    I made cymbals.

    ok , they sounded like shit, but I had a hi-hat to hit, and a ride cymbal to drive with...

    Here is that muscle scenario. No pleasant sound, but the opportunity to hit something, in a designated place.

    Becoming a drummer I learned about ergonomics. Positioning drums and cymbals in ideal locales to play without overstraining the body.

    Developing a thought


  • Tookamed_177_

    Douglas, I hope that my suspicion is correct, that you are thinking about developing a new kind of musical instrument as your thesis project. There is some interesting work going on now that considers how technological developments create new possibilities for making amazing new devices for playing and composing. Take a look at New Instruments for Musical Expression. This group is mainly looking at electronic devices, but I believe that you could develop an instrument that relies on other techniques for producing and shaping sounds. Also take a look at this new instrument from Yamaha. By the way, I have a Yamaha electronic drum set, and it is one of the best designed products I have ever owned. You can tell that it was developed by drummers. I sent you a link to a video of me playing my drums. steven

  • In response to New Instruments for Musical Expression, posted by steven landau,
    in the thread Sounds

    I got your Video. Very cool. You have a technological setup there...and that song is funky...

    I wasn't aware myself that I was heading down the road of inventing an instrument....

    Perhaps thats what I've been thinking about.... the new instruments link is interesting....the body music suits look cool....

    That triggered a thought .... in terms of music therapy....and creative aggression ... or creative destruction....

    While looking into drumming therapy I read that drumming circles are good for the body for a couple has to do with brainwaves, and vibrations, some readings spoke of increased morphine levels....while playing....that made sense to me because I know from experience while playing with a group, and being really into my playing, sometimes you get hurt while playing....for example you slam your finger on the rim doing a rim shot, or you slice your finger crashing a cymbal...I often cut myself and find out only after blood spills on my drums....then I stop realizing I've injured myself....I guess with the adrenaline you have higher tolerance to create beneficial chemicals in your body while playing...and the sound waves vibrate every cell in your body....i'm poorly paraphrasing things I've read on drumming therapy....

    Thinking here about creative destruction/ creative aggression ...

    not sure what good this is right now.

  • In response to S O U N D Suspicions , posted by Douglas Best,
    in the thread Sounds

    Glad you liked the video. I have only recently started recording myself playing, because I felt that I was not improving that much, so I figured if I watched myself play, I could see things that I wasn't aware of while playing.
    I totally agree with you about the therapeutic benefits of drumming, but I believe that it is not helpful to just tell someone who doesn't know how to play to just start banging. Someone told me about a technique for calming very agitated emotionally disturbed children that has to do with moving their limbs in different complex patterns, where each arm is doing something different. Apparently, there is some benefit to be had from synchronizing ones limb movements in particular ways. I find that when i am playing well, and all four limbs are moving in related but independent ways, and when I don't have to consciously think about what I am doing, that it is possible to reach a kind of nirvana. It would certainly be interesting to study this phenomenon is a quantitative way, and to maybe try developing some kind of product based on this.....

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My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design