Drummer leaving on work trip

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by b to g is yummy, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. My band's drummer informed us he is leaving the province for about 4 months due to work.

    Should we attempt to get a temp drummer for these 4 months? We're a baby original band (no records, a few shows) and things had finally been looking really up due to some lineup changes.

    How long should be expect it too take a drummer to learn our songs? We're still constantly working on them, but we have a good base for them. I know it'll depend on the drummer's skill, but I'm curious as to whether you think we'd be better off just practising drummerless, or trying to gel with a new drummer and making use of the summer season.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    How long can a band member be gone and still be considered part of the band?
  3. Everyone will have their own ideas.

    Mine are, if you've got gigs lined up then yeah, get a temp. Otherwise, you risk opening up a hornets nest with a replacement drummer, especially one you intend to collaborate with musically on original material.

    Good luck, it's not a decision I'd want to make with an original project of mine :)
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Get yourself a temp.

    My drummer may be going to Europe for a month or more next year on a mini tour with one of his old guitar players. I imagine my brother will fill in on drums until he comes back.
  5. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Yorktown, VA
    I'd say get a temp if you have gigs lined up already.

    Otherwise, use the time to explore new musical ideas (sans drums, of course). This way there will be plenty of new ideas for the drummer to work with when he gets back.

    Or work on new band artwork.

    Or research band business contacts...venues, agents, etc

    BTW: 4 months may seem like eternity, but it's not that long.
  6. Thanks for the words so far guys.

    A few more things i should mention:
    1. we practise at the drummer's house :) while he is gone I believe 2 teens are going to be living there, so he's cool with us still practising at his home.
    2. our music is kinda coldplay-ish, we're not very drum driven ( i think ) for the most part, more keys and guitar
    3. We haven't done a gig for over half a year due to our lead singer quitting, and the recent switch of our guitarist to lead vox and the very recent addition of another guitarist (we're a 5 piece..2 guitars,keys,bass,drums) We have a gig July 5 and 7, our drummer delayed his departure so that we can fit in these gigs with our 'new' band. Other than that, no gigs planned. Of course, this summer was supposed (we were hoping) to be the time we really get things happening...ie do all the shows we can find and record ( a demo or ep) in maybe october...so it's kinda annoying but drummer has a right to his own life too i understand. he is a big part of the band, and i know he is planning on coming back cuz he loves this band. They say 4 months, that's it, not staying longer. But...i know how that sometimes works...ppl move somewhere, love it, stay a little longer, a little longer...forever..so I think it'd be wise to at least be prepared in case the 4 months turns into a year.

    Our new guitarist still has a lot to learn, and he also has a lot to offer, being more experienced than the rest of us, so I know we could use some more time to gel more musically, but 4 months of doodling seems like a long time, although we could definitly use more songs, right now we're at about 10 originals.

    Hopefully tomorrow night at practise one of us can ask him how HE feels about us looking into getting a temp, and I'll get back to you guys about his response.

    p.s. another cause of friction/hesitation may be the fact that our former singer was drummer's brother...me and our keyboardist were very instrumental in having him kicked out of the band (for good reasons) we let him back in then due to his brother and father sticking up for him, but nothing really changed, and a couple months later he quit and got engaged. I think our drummer knows we like him, but history may concern him that he's getting the axe too.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    What if he has to leave for 4 months sometime in the future (after this trip)?
    Is this a one time thing?

    Sure he has his life, but you and your band members have lives as well.

    Does he still live with his father? If it's his house, who will be in charge of the teens moving in while you practice there? I'd be concerned about my equipment.
  8. This is supposed to be a one time thing. If it happens again after he gets back i think we'll get concerned

    And about the house, it's his. He's married (the only not single guy in the band) And about the people moving in, I'm not worried. They are people we know and can trust :)
  9. 2lim


    Feb 25, 2007
    You got some demos recorded? If you have demos of your stuff, just need a temp, and have a kit lying around, I will do fill in work for ya. I am in london BUT if we do one full rehearsal before a show, then the show, and I can hear the stuff ahead of time, it will be no problem!

    Otherwise, check fiveonenine.com for drummers, and let them know the situation.

  10. 2lim, No spare kit lying around. Also, we'd want somebody local that we could regularily rehearse with. Thanks for the offer tho.
  11. eotpr


    Jun 25, 2007
    If you get a fill in MAKE SURE HE UNDERSTANDS THAT HE IS A FILL IN. BE UP FRONT. I hate playing without a good drummer. I have done fill in jobs and been fine with it. Also make sure that your current drummer knows that you expect him to return. You might even try to do a meet and greet if you find a drummer before he leaves.
  12. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    If you plan on gigging in that 4 months, get a temp, but make sure he knows that. You don't want any awkwardness at the end of the 4 months when the temp gets the boot when the original drummer comes back.

    If you're not going to gig, personally I wouldn't bother. If the music is something that you could do acoustically, perhaps playing new drumless versions may actually be fun and give you a different experience.

    How many songs do you have? I'm the new drummer in my band, which I joined in February. At the time I joined we had about 35 songs and it took me maybe a month to get adequately comfortable with them. Now having me and the band all gel together on those songs, even if I knew them, that took a little longer, and we're still working on some things. But as far as my knowledge of the songs being enough so we could just get by for the moment, it only took about a month. But every drummer is different.
  13. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Get a temp. Some drummers would prefer to temp, or play just occasionally. No crime in asking or looking.
  14. We've got about 10 songs right now, not quite 35!
  15. I finally got the nerve to ask our drummer how he'd feel about this idea tonight at band, and he was cool with it. I didn't expect a 'sure' with no hesitation! I guess we'll look into the drummer pool around us, and see what turns up, and if anything works out.