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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Shredder Drummer Syndrome

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

North Florida

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

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)

Contributing Member

South Florida

Nov 12th, 2017 07:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

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)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Nov 13th, 2017 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

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!

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

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

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.

Contributing Member

North Florida

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

"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)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Nov 13th, 2017 12:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

"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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