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When I was younger, I had a cowbell clamp that I fixed to the top of my bass drum hoop. I wouldn't dream of doing that today. I have tried setting up a percussion array with my cowbell and woodblock, both located over the back rim of my snare. But this doesn't feel natural to me (The cowbell is a rock ridge, and I feel like I have to whale on it to get a good sound)

So I've been setting up percussion items to the right of my rack toms (I'm a righty drummer), above the back-left edge of my ride.

So my question is this:

What do any of you do for cowbell, woodblock, etc.? And how do you do so it's easy on setup/breakdown?

  • 1
    We don't have a lot of songs that feature the cowbell. I'd be doing my self a disservice if I didn't perform the Hell out of this. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 16 '14 at 14:19
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It depends on how you want to use the cowbell. I usually attach it to the top of the hihat pin or the ride cymbal, when I use it as a substitute for the ride, hitting it on every quarter/half note, for instance. Many drummers use this location for various percussion instruments such as tambourines.

Woodblocks follow this pattern: they are often used where a snare drum would otherwise be used, so people attach the woodblock to their snare drums. By doing this, you don't need to change your position behind the drum kit to adapt for the change in your setup.

(If you have an large array of percussion instruments however, this answer will probably not be very useful to you. It's not always possible to attach everything to some part of your drum kit, in which case you'll either have to kill your darlings, or use a separate percussion rack.)

  • That's a good idea wrt the woodblock. I don't have many percussion items right now; just these two. As far as the cowbell, I have this need to suspend it on its own, somewhat elevated. Like I said, I feel the need to get some leverage on it, get it to cut through the mix. I don't think I would put anything more than a lightweight tambourine on the hi-hat stem. I always worry about damaging anything. Thanks for the ideas. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 15 '14 at 8:44
  • The weight (and the fact that you might be hitting it pretty hard) could indeed damage the hihat pin, if you place it too high up. I've always attached it right above the hihat's top cymbal, and never had any problems that way. – Lee White Oct 15 '14 at 8:51
  • Another issue wrt the cowbell: I don't like hitting it cross-handed. When it was over the snare, I felt like I was coming across my body to hit it, as well as invading on my left arm playing the snare. No likey. So for me, I think it needs to be on the right side of the set somewhere. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 15 '14 at 8:54
  • I think that the woodblock would do well over there, though. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 15 '14 at 8:54

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