A small bass drum, two toms, a snare drum, a ride cymbal, a crash cymbal and a high hat.
That’s all there is to Johnny Pfaff’s drum kit.
Compared with the monstrous 30-plus-piece kits, Pfaff’s jazz setup was among the smallest found Sunday at Woodstick, the annual drum exhibition and fundraiser for Groove Music for Youth, held at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.
As Pfaff, 29, sat waiting for the show to begin, he played quietly on his spartan set, using brushes instead of sticks.
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“You’ve got to change it up, keep it interesting, man,” said Pfaff, a Kenmore resident attending his third Woodstick. “Take what everybody is doing and do the opposite.”
This year’s Woodstick and its 235 participants raised about $10,000 for Groove, which helps buy musical instruments and provides scholarships to student musicians. The charity, which is supported by Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County, has helped three Pierce County schools form drumlines.
Tanner Stiefel, 12, of Gig Harbor took part in his first Woodstick. He’s been drumming for almost a year, picking up the sticks to follow in his father’s footsteps. He said his dad had a college music scholarship, but didn’t take it to put his family first.
“That inspired me to play the drums,” Tanner said.
Michael Hamilton’s drum set dwarfed that of Pfaff. The 32-piece kit included two bass drums, nine cymbals, a small tambourine and a cowbell, and it took 45 minutes to set up.
Hamilton, 46 and sporting a salt-and-pepper minimohawk, usually keeps the kit in his Olympia garage, where he plays with friends, but he gladly packed up for his third Woodstick.
“It’s just fun to show off the drum set, and see what other people have,” Hamilton said. “It’s kind of like a car show for drummers.”
Drummer Alan White, who was among the 12 celebrity drummers performing Sunday, was named the inaugural inductee of the Woodstick Hall of Fame. White played with the band Yes as well as with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ginger Baker.
After accepting his trophy from Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, White gave a quick acceptance speech, saying this was his ninth time playing at the event.
“I love you all,” White said with a thick English accent. “Anyone who plays drums, I love you.”