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Q&A with Sabian Artist Jason Summers

Today we’re sitting down with regional Sabian artist, Jason Summers, and getting his scoop on cymbals, the local scene, and his advice for younger drummers.

When was the first time you played a Sabian cymbal?

Probably back in 1993, I had a AA ride (heavy metal cymbal).

Whats type of music do you play?

My background was in rock and metal. I have played pop, rap, country, and progressive rock as well.

Are you an educator and/or performer?

I have been teaching for 8 years and have 57 students in the Columbia area. I also play in 2 local bands Hey Johnny Park and JagerTron. I get a lot of fill in shows from artist such as Lenny Cooper and many others.

What series of Sabian do you play and why?

I have a mix of multiple series of cymbals. Since I do so much fill in work I like to have the cymbal for the sound, even though any series works for any music. I have 13′ HH Fusion hats (crisp and cut, great for country), 21″ HH Raw Bell Dry Ride (great, distinctive bell, nice and warm on the bow), 20″ HH Thin Crash (for smaller rooms and controlled sound, use for a crash/ride on a 3 piece kit only with hats, great cymbal mixed in with the other lines), 18″ AAX Xplosion crash (powerful, heavy, cuts), 19′ Paragon Crash (heavy with a darker sound), 19″ AA Holy China, (if you want a china that can be heard for great accent parts, this is the one), and a 20″ Paragon China (for a darker, more quiet, and not as much punch, has a very warm strike).

What is your favorite cymbal and why?

Probably the 20″ HH Thin Crash. The diversity in that cymbal complements a lot of different styles. I can really lay back and play it as a crash/ride for gigs with only hats supporting and it sounds fantastic. I can also throw it in a rock gig like Hey Johnny Park and it works great for that punk-ish aggressive feel. The Holy China is a really close runner-up.

How has your experience with Sabian as an artist been?

First let me say how honored I am to be a representative of Sabian. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be part of such a great company. My top drumming idols play Sabian. They have been extremely supportive and have answered and responded to any question I had. My rep, Rick Murrey has been over the top about supplying me with anything I need, along with Sims Music. They have been so helpful. They have made me feel comfortable about my style…”BEAT THEM LIKE THEY OWE YOU MONEY.”

What is the most special moment you’ve experienced as a drummer?

Wow. That is a very tough question, because I have opened for a lot of touring national bands. I was playing in 88 rewind and we did the pre party for Def Leppard and Journey at the Colonial Center. I have opened for Skid Row, Ratt, Big Wreck, Tonic, Crowbar, Stuck Mojo. I have also been in some very popular local bands, Chick Flix, which have done parties for radio stations on New Years Eve, Viva la Vista, Shaw Air Show… the list goes on and on. It’s too hard to answer. Best crowd response, Hey Johhny Park at the Filmore in Charlotte where there were over 1200 people singing every song at the top of their lungs.

What are your goals as a drummer/musician?

To share my love of music with others, to be the best instructor and motivate students to love playing. I have also started a coaching business to help music instructors achieve their full potential as a teacher. It is off to a good start, and I hope to be prosperous in that field.

What advice would you give younger drummers out there?

Keep at it. Don’t get frustrated. Slow down when learning. Learn to feel the instrument instead of playing it. It is a extension of your art, passion, and love… feel it! You get what you put into it.

What are your thoughts on the music/drumming community of South Carolina?

This has changed several times in my playing career in Columbia. I used to think it was terrible, but that is because I had the mindset of a metal drummer in an original band wanting to get a record deal. In Columbia, with a few exceptions, you don’t typically have the scene to be seen and play in bigger events. Now switching views to a paid musician, I can make good money in Columbia playing cover songs, corporate parties, and wedding receptions.

We are super thankful for Jason for taking the time to hang with us and let us in on the drum scene in Columbia and his go-to cymbals. Don’t forget, now through June 3, 2017, for every purchase made in the Sims Music percussion department, you are entered to win a Sabian HHX Super Set. A purchase of any Sabian cymbal earns you five entries. Click here for more information, and be sure to check out our new online shop!