Let’s Talk Gear | Tone Talk with Jae Jackson

Photo Credit @yes.clarisse

It’s Women’s History Month and we wanted to talk to some of our favorites about their gear and tone setup(s). If you are not familiar with Guitar Girl Magazine’s “Tone Talk” series, this is where we dive into what makes the tone of different musicians’ setups unique to them. We unpack their likes and dislikes and what makes their setup perfect for them.

If you like what you read, check out Jae’s Tone Talk on our IG page where they walks through some of her favorite gear.

Jae Jackson has always been fascinated with instruments and the amazing way performing can touch each and every person. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she started her gift at a very young age of two. As she attended Southern University and A&M College, she played for many groups, artists, and choirs throughout the Southern states. Upon graduation, she returned home to focus on her music career more in depth. 

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?

My definition of tone is the perfect pitch and sound of the snare drum, toms, bass drum and cymbals. Everyone has their own unique sound, and definition of sound; that’s what sets every drummer apart. There are a ton of tones, and ways you can tune your drum to a specific sound; for example, every gig or show you do will have a different tone depending on what genre you’re playing. As I’ve grown in my career over the years I have sampled and used so many tones to fit all genres that I play (and that’s a lot of genres lol). 

       Photo courtesy of artist

Which drum kits and cymbals are you currently using and why?

Right now, I am currently using my PDP by DW all maple shell kit, my Yamaha Stage Custom Birch shell kit and, my Tama Cocktail Jam Kit. All three of these kits have a divine purpose, and are used for different reasons. The cymbals I am using are, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals. I love these cymbals because they are so versatile so I find myself using them for recording, gigs, and touring. 

What about sticks, hardware, etc?

The sticks I am currently using are, Vic Firth 7A Manhattan. I’m currently waiting on a contract for a stick endorsement-fingers crossed. For my hardware, which is; cymbal stands, snare stands and pedals, I use DW and Tama. I have been using these brands since I was a kid playing in church-mainly because of the quality and how durable each piece is. I can go years without changing my hardware-which I try not do, however; these bands can last forever! The pedals I am using are DW 5000, I love the chain on them and the way it makes my foot feel when I hit the bass drum. I also use my Roland SPD-SX sampler pad when I want to patch in different sounds for a certain show. To further help my sound, I am endorsed with RTOM Corp-they are a moon gel/practice company.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

I just tune my drum to a specific pitch and tone of my preference which is typically a warm lounge sound with a little bit of a reverb. I mic each drum, and take off into space! 

How do you keep your sound consistent on stage?

I have a check list of every piece of gear I use, so before every show or gig I do I run through that list to make sure all sounds are geared in for that specific show.

What does your practice consist of?

My practice consist of first warming up around the kit for about 15-20 minutes. Then I move on to playing different paradiddles and combinations. After that, I move on to playing to a click and different songs. Each day, my routine is different however, I try to at least practice speed and time on a daily basis.

What is your advice to young women who hope to work in the music industry? 

My advice for young women that’s trying to have a life in the music industry-Don’t let anyone discourage you from your passion and gift! It’s really hard being female in an all-male dominated industry. It’s not easy (especially for girl drummers) and some people you meet along the way will make it hard for you. That’s when you have to be strong, confident and willing to get hit at every angle but continue on your path. That’s going to set you aside from the rest and you will get the respect you deserve. Just remember to stick with it, and have those daily affirmations. HAVE FUN TOO! 😉

Follow Jae Jackson on IG @drummer.jaestix

Check out Jae’s Tone Talk here

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Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force. She is the Diversity Editor for Guitar Girl Magazine and the Board Chair for Girls Rock Asheville. http://www.txlips.com