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Tome On The Range

Give The Drummer Some: The Instruments Of Jaki Liebezeit
The Quietus , January 25th, 2020 07:28

In an exclusive extract from his new book, Jaki Liebezeit: Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Drummer, Jono Podmore takes us through the instruments that contributed to the former Can drummer's unique sound and playing style


Together with Drums Off Chaos, Jaki developed a system to fix skins to drum shells based on traditional methods using rope. The idea is to use durable plastic Remo skins and put holes in them to make a railing around them, onto which another rope can be fixed to achieve the correct tension across the whole skin. In this way any piece of tube that fits a Remo skin can be made into an effective drum.

Birgit Berger remembers: ‘When we were in the hardware store Jaki would always go over to the rope section and discuss the qualities of different rope. He could be there for hours.’

Often using brightly coloured nylon rope, the appearance of these drums have become a part of Cologne culture, as not only did Jaki make and customise many of his own drums, but he taught the technique to anyone who took the time to visit him and take part in the drum club.