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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Shredder Drummer Syndrome

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BbendFender
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Nov 6th, 2017 08:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Over 40 years of so, the drummer slot has had the most changes. I can think of about 10 drummers we have had. We don't play much these days but we do have a drummer that is solid in his spot. Only thing is he is almost totally deaf (with hearing aids) and he does not watch the band closely enough. He lowers his head and it is impossible to get his attention when we need him to speed up or whatever. He also never uses his high hat. He uses his big ride cymbal for everything. I'll stop there.

I also say new drummer, especially if you band plays a lot.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

I'm not as clever as my dog thinks
Nov 6th, 2017 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I would add if this is a longer term drummer who had more discipline in the past and has suddenly lost some finesse then maybe something medically/mentally is going on. If this has been the norm, then I wouldn't waste my time trying to teach an old dog to sit when all he wants to do is run weaves and jump hoops.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 6th, 2017 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Before giving him the axe you might try as a band really watching your tempo. It's not always the drummer who is at fault. I play drums as well as guitar and sometime it's hard to bridle the band. I'll hit harder and try to drag it back slowly but sometimes the band just doesn't listen.

As for the crashes and fills some guys are just not tasteful. If he was in the past and has changed there is a reason. Try to have a meeting and have everybody except some responsibility. If that doesn't work It's time for a new drummer as above.

littleuch
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Florida

I'm not as clever as my dog thinks
Nov 6th, 2017 10:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The best drummer I ever played with could play along with a drum machine and match the meter so close he'd almost make it disappear. He came from the double bass drum/big hair circuit originally, so had the chops to wow the drumophiles. When I played with him we called him "the bus driver". Meter was not a band democracy, he owned it. Most members respected it and watched it. Our keyboard player could have the propensity for going off the rails on some wild boogie woogie stuff, but the bus driver would just stay the course with the reset of the band. "I don't know where you're going, but the beats back here".

I can't say this is a working solution for every band or genre, but it worked for us.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Nov 6th, 2017 12:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

He probably doesn't think it's that bad. You need to prove it to him. Record your rehearsals, and play them back for him. Set a metronome to the beginning, then go to the end, and show him how much faster he's going.

SO many drummers speed up, and don't think they're doing it. Look at Steward Copeland of The Police. He would argue to death with Sting that he wasn't speeding up, and then would STILL speed up.


Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Nov 6th, 2017 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Maybe he got excited, or was out-of-practice, seeing as how it was your first gig in 4 or 5 months?




Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 6th, 2017 12:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Friend of mine's daughter is quite a steady and accomplished drummer at age 13. Her teacher says "She's got a good clock." I like that phrase.

ecwanab

MoJo, Minnesota

Jump in and hang on
Nov 6th, 2017 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

...and I think you either have that clock - or you don't. Time for the "We think you'd be happier with a different band" talk.

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Nov 6th, 2017 05:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for all the replies and insights. first, ditching him is not an option because the truth is we are just a serious hobby band and nothing more. Still, it looks like we might be booked 2 nights a month all winter long and we approach it as being in a good "Working band" so we do have to keep working at it.

Tele 52's clip is dead on! The second example in that clip is our guy almost exactly! The bassist and I have played with a couple of other good drummers but they're either busy or not interested. Our guy is the first to admit he only has 4 basic beats and he is challenged to spice them up so everything won't sound the same, I get that!

Juice Nichols observation about speeding up after coming out of rolls could be the cause of most of our tempo problems so now I'm going keep an eye on that and coming out of other changes and solos as well. Recording will help. It's really hard to pin down but I do know playing live will add an element of anticipation or excitement that ends up in the mix, I'm not a drummer so I don't know how they go through working things out but I do know you can't play blues or a reggae song at 170 bpm and so should he!

(This message was last edited by scott-s at 07:41 PM, Nov 6th, 2017)

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 6th, 2017 08:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

One of my biggest gripes is drummers that can't begin and finish a song at least *near* the same tempo.

I understand we're all human, but the two best drummers I've ever played with both used a Tama metronome as part of their kit. (and both pro drummers)

It has a blinking LED that shows the beat. Neither one of them was "glued" to it, but they could keep their time in check with just a glance. (as well as training their brain)

To me, it's a no-brainer that a person would use whatever tools are available to get the best possible result.

I've had drummers that were insulted when asked if they can play along to a metronome or click track.
That's usually where the conversation ended...

edit to add link:
for 90 bucks, it could save a lot of headaches

FDP sponsor link

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 10:33 PM, Nov 6th, 2017)

scott-s
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Nov 6th, 2017 10:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Mick, you know its really helpful to check in here every once in a while I learn all kinds of stuff from you guys!

Dolemite

What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Nov 7th, 2017 06:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great band + lousy drummer = lousy band
Lousy band + great drummer = great band

Life is too short to play with bad drummers.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Fear the Klinkhammer
Nov 7th, 2017 07:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

TE 52,

That video is gold!

acplayer

MA

Earn while you learn
Nov 12th, 2017 07:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a musician I feel that over the course of a dance tune the tempo should go a click or two faster as a song evolves.

I have listened to many bands that use tracks (with the drummer playing to a click track) lack energy as the their tunes go on... The band sounds sterile.

Now, loud cymbals smashing through all of the time...Is he a drummer or a musician that plays drums?

A musician that plays drums plays with taste...

My classical ensemble

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 12th, 2017 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I guess it was about 25 or 30 years ago I realized I was in charge of keeping the beat. I’m the bass player. It’s all I ever wanted to be, though I do putz around with guitar and ukulele.

Most drummers I’’ve played with are fairly easy to keep on track. The last one was only around for 3 months before he took a gig that was working more than we wanted to, we got lives, he was young and had twins. His tempo was so rock solid it was sterile, I couldn’t move him, he was always complementing me on my timing and I tried to explain slight tempo shifts were part of the palette and dynamics of a tune, the critical part being always knowing and returning to the set tempo. He was starting to get it when he took the working gig.

I always put myself in a position were I can physically interface with them if needed, to get them back on track.

I always assumed it was part of my job and I was doing it naturally even before I figured out what I was doing and why.

We don’t use drummers anymore. Though the mandolin player in some ways uses his instrument in a percussive fashion, I’ve noticed this among most them.

I really enjoy playing with a good drummer, it gives me more room and less work. My experience is that the really great ones have phenominal control in volume and tempo, it adds so much to the music in color, texture and emotion. Many of these get buy with minimal set ups, the smaller footprint is also a big advantage.

I’ld recommend a foot operated electronic dog collar if you plan on keeping this guy, one shock for to fast, two shocks for too loud ”o)

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
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South Florida

larryguitar
Nov 12th, 2017 07:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think tempo is fixable. Somebody said something about recording. I agree.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 12:10 PM, Nov 13th, 2017)

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 13th, 2017 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been playing a lot of drums lately. Getting calls for fill-ins and with the three piece electric band.

From a drummers perspective, we have our gripes too. The thing that turns me off the most is a guitarist who starts a song with a guitar intro too fast or too slow then begins yelling at the drummer after the band comes in that he's too fast or too slow. I had a guy do this to me twice in the first set a few weeks ago. So wrong for so many reasons. We had a nice "chat" during the first break.

2nd gripe is busy bass players. Too many notes as if trying to play a solo throughout the entire piece of music. Every piece of music. Yikes!

themaestro
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Nov 13th, 2017 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a bass player, I don't play as many notes as I used to-- and I never was a bass shredder. I outline the changes, accent what makes a song recognizable and accent what makes people move to the beat.

If I am playing with a busy drummer, that becomes even more important. I have had more than one person tell me that I appear to be the real timekeeper in some of the bands I have played in. It was meant as a compliment.

It might be that a simple part is all that is required, even if it is simple eights or four-on-the-floor. If I am playing for a country two-step, it is the one and the three with a simple walk to the next chord here and there. That is what the dancers are listening for.



hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 13th, 2017 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"2nd gripe is busy bass players. Too many notes as if trying to play a solo throughout the entire piece of music. Every piece of music. Yikes!"

I know. Both the guitar thing and the bass. One of the reasons I like to record rehearsals, it's as much about the spaces as it is the fills.

I'm not even going to mention harmonica players "o)

Every instrument has fundamentals that can bring out the worst and best in the musician, when it come to service to the song. It is up to that player to rein in the weakness.

In deep dark Africa the drums stopped beating, the missionary looked to the guide and asked "the drums stopped, it that a good sign?" the guide says no, very, very bad." the frightened missionary asks "what does it mean" the guide says "bass solo" "o)

Another saying out if Africa is "It takes a village to raise a child."
You know what else it takes a village to do?


Tune a banjo! "o)

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 13th, 2017 12:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'm not even going to mention harmonica players "o)"

I will! H101's general rules for harp:

Do not play it during a verse or a chorus unless there is a signature part in the original recording. Give the singer his space.

Do not blow that thing during a guitar solo, at least not during my guitar solo!

When you are called for "your" solo please go around the progression twice like you were taught at the blues jam.

Turn down the FX! A bit of delay can be good, so can a bit of reverb but dude, this song does not call for surf harp!

Try to leave your body parts alone while waiting for your next opportunity to play. You are not playing football and the audience doesn't need to see your "adjustments". The drummer does not need to see you pick your shorts out of your butt.

Space truly is the final frontier with a band. When the band has that sound that you can hear clear through.....every part, every instrument, without straining to do so. Bliss on stage and in the audience. It makes good bands sound great.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Shredder Drummer Syndrome




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