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Drummer/best friend thread

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BassLift, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. BassLift


    May 3, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    After jamming with someone who has come to be one of my best friends for a bout 2 years now, we've formed a band with a keyboardist and guitarist. We sounded good enough at first, playing dancy, jamband music. We played about 18 shows from february to june, and they wen't well. Now after a brief hiatus and some time to reflect, myself, the keys and guitarist have come to realize our potential, as well as our current limitations. We know we can sound better with a real drummer, not just someone who plays the drums. My dilemma is that I know we can grow into something incredible if we had a drummer we didn't have to fight and could rely on to nail the changes, fill the space and hold down a simple groove as the music calls for. We're sitting down with our drummer tomorrow to have "the talk" we want to give him the chance to step it up, but we all know it's just not there. I don't want to lose one of my best friends over this but i sure as hell don't want to continue working a crappy retail job my whole life because a drummer held us back...

    What are your thoughts?
  2. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    All I can say is what I would do in this situation, and you can judge for yourself if it's worth taking as advice:

    After I had the "band" discussion, I'd make sure I had an opportunity to have the "best friend" discussion. I figure anyone who is told they're not cutting it is going to be hurt by that. They might do their best to hide that fact in a band environment, so I'd give them the opportunity to open up a bit more in a one-on-one setting where they know they're just talking to a good friend. I'd let them vent. I'd ask them if they were pissed, at me or any other member, and I'd tell them that I understood their position. I've found it's much more likely somebody will understand MY position, if I make it clear to them that I understand THEIR position. Above all I'd make sure I communicated to them that the friendship was extremely important to me, no matter what transpired with the band. Plenty of friends have differing opinions in any number of areas and manage to disregard those differences, there's no reason this situation has to be any different.

    You clearly have empathy, which is really the only prerequisite to making it work IMHO.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    When I fire a drummer, and I like him as a person, I am as honest as possible. You may hurt his feelings. You may lose a friend. If he was a real friend, this wouldn't be an issue. A real friend will stand by you, even when they don't agree with everything you do. Surely a guy can tell he's just not cutting it! I sure could.

    I'm a pretty decent player, but if I was in a prog band, or a fusion band, or something that required badass chops, I wouldn't be that surprised if I didn't cut it.

    You can see if he can work with a metronome; practice harder at the type of thing you want; overall make up for lack of ability with hard work, but ultimately, that just might not be realistic, and everybody should know that, including him.

    Good luck. Nobody ever said a thing like this was easy.
  4. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Give him a chance to improve. If he continues to improve let him stay. If not...
  5. Has he ever taken a real drum lesson or is he self taught?
  6. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    I bet he feels the same as you. Chances are, if he's a real friend he'll understand.

  7. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    1.) True friendship can survive band expulsion. As long as people aren't jerks about it, understanding and honest critique should be par for the course.
    2.) sub par drummers are not the root cause of continuing in a crappy retail job one's whole life.

    I realize that was a bit of sarcasm in your post, but it's worth considering:
    Day jobs are rarely obsoleted by band success, more often by getting a better job/career/education.
    If you really want to pursue a life of gigging and playing, simultaneously pursue a 'parallel' career that will augment that.
    Something that's not soul killing,that allows time, flexibility and funds to dedicate to music.
    bonus points for axuilliary music trades like sound engineering or promotion that will also build your network.
  8. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    My short answer is "you know what you gotta do." It's YOUR happiness that's on the line.

    I'm in the same boat... I brought a buddy into my band when the old drummer quit. Now that we're out playing gigs, my buddy's primadonna tendencies are surfacing. He blew up at a gig on Saturday and pulled the "i quit" routine. The problem is, we have gigs lined up and we don't have a replacement. I didn't work my butt off for a year to get this band off the ground for it all to fall apart because of one guy having a fragile ego. He came crawling back a day later, but I'm going to make it clear that I'm not putting up with his cr-p any more -- either he can show up on time, know the material, and treat us with respect, or he can hit the bricks.

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