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Triggering Riffs

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One pad does a quick 16th note triplet bass drum run.  Or it plays a straight 4 hihat for a whole measure.

These 'cheats' make playing ZD easier and more impressive.  But is it still playing the instrument, or is it being a DJ or an operator?

It's using the tools you have to their fullest extent.  That's just smart, not cheating.  The Zendrum is all about possibilities, and they are endless.  I can trigger an entire plethora of sounds,percussion and otherwise, with one instrument.  I have sounds at my disposal that  I never had before, and for me it increases my abilities as a creative musician.  I'm the one that has to figure out how and what to do...there are no classical formulas or instruction for playing the Zendrum.  it's not a drumset, it's a unique instrument that allow me to stretch my creative wings.  I do have to practice (a Lot) and therefore I'm not just spinning someone elses music, or operating a machine that does it for me.  It's outside the box, but that doesn't make it any less of an instrument to be played and mastered. The new keyboards have arpeggiators that play it for you, but just hitting those keys doesn't make you a musician, it's what you bring to the table. 


I agree with Raven. You have to be willing to use the tools given to you. I remember when this ugly thing called a drum machine came out. Many drummers were livid but the ones who learned to use them found out that drummers could program them better than keyboard players. They can be very useful tools. It still requires skill and practice to use them. That's a fact. A LOT of practice.


I'd call it triggering a sample.  Whether that's playing the instrument or operating a control I'm not sure, but personally I think it's still playing the instrument.  The situation you posit reminds me of some of the stuff Tony Verderosa does.  I've seen him trigger samples and riffs and such from one pad strike... does that make him a drummer or a DJ?  Granted, the title of his first VFX album was subtitled "The DJ Drummer", but I think the point still stands.

I think anyone with as much access to tech as Zendrummers have to be careful that the tech doesn't get away from us, but as long as it's apparent that we're the ones playing the instrument, it's all gravy.

retro surfer:
Not cheating at all in my opinion and definately playing music not that DJs don't create music of their own most do and are musicians in their own right. The Zen drum like any MIDI instrument it is only as good as the person playing it other than that it's just noise.  I play the guitar as my  primary instrument so allot of people think the ZD is not a instrument I just smile and pass it over to the doubter usually that's all it takes to show everyone it's a true instrumant and only as good as the person playing it.


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