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Drummer question

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mike o, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Exactly. You by yourself trying to school him will not work. Many people, over time, need to drill this guy on what he needs, and even that may not work. Worth one good shot with your band, but don't hold your breath.
    Seanto and two fingers like this.
  2. i havent read the whole thread but what I do when I run into this (I am lucky to play with great drummers!) is record it. I prefer audio only so we arent competing with other senses. Listen back to the tape (ha, tape!) with everyone there. Unless the guy is clueless/useless this should do the trick.
    Mr_Moo likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    Try talking to him. If it doesn't work, fire him.
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build and modify basses
    That's a lot of problems … chances are you can't fix all of them …

    But for fluctuating meter I find that by playing more staccato I can sometimes force the drummer back into a good time ...
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  5. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    A quality used drum machine can be had for $100.
    joebar likes this.
  6. bobalu

    bobalu Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    Bingo. I have never had an experience in a band where a loud, hard hitting drummer learned to tame it down. I have also never experienced a "seasoned/played a long time" drummer with poor time really improve much. Certainly not saying it can't be done, but in all our cases we had to move on with a new/replacement drummer. My opinion....don't waste your time with that drummer.
    BassGuyFL and mike o like this.
  7. jmon


    Jan 27, 2002
    Jax Fl.
    I didn’t have time to read every response but I’ll agree somewhat with the folks who have said talking prob won’t work. Asking someone to change who they are is basically saying “Your personality sucks” That’s prob just who he is as a person. If you wanna try you could....

    You could just ask him “You think you could lay back right there to add some dynamics?”
    “I can’t seem to lock in with that part. Would be willing to do this?”
    “I can’t feel the pocket on this part. Would you be willing to do this?”

    Basically put it on yourself. Then he may feel like he’s helping you out. If he’s a good guy it might work. Then if he does that get the other band members and/or fans of the band to compliment him. “Wow that song sounded better than it ever has” ect. Played to his ego instead of attacking it. Good luck!
    SoCal80s, Jimmy4string and mike o like this.
  8. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I call guys like this selfish musicians and grand standers. They never change. Move on
  9. madbass6

    madbass6 Banned SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    Why is it always the drummer!!!
    Can't teach an old dog new tricks! Time for a new drummer!
  10. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    +1 on recording.. Very euh - educational to hear practices/gigs back..

    I also used to have a metronome with me (or app on phone) with the tempo. Then, after song is over, play metronome and you'll see if the train sped up or not.. That's perhaps a bit more confrontational than just recording but still a good method. You can ask for feedback without specifically calling out Mr drummer. Ofcourse changes of success may be lower that way if he's a bit of a knucklehead :)

    mike o likes this.
  11. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    It only takes one player who doesn't listen to completely tank a band. Only one.
    joebar and mike o like this.
  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    You are listening and trying to lock to him.

    He is not listening to you.

    Seriously, tape him. Play it for him. When he makes an excuse........

  13. Consider or ignore at will. Your call....

    I would suggest try the following before you go full spider monkey on him:

    A. Record part every show for a while. Preferably vid.... That catches the not paying attention stuff. Watch the vid all together. I would say things in general like 'we're pushing here' or 'we're dragging here'.... Also, 'we're too loud, no dynamic contrast' here and there.... Make it general at first and see if he starts paying attention...

    B. At rehearsal, don't rehearse mistakes. Stop and fix em. Nicely. Same type comments as above... Don't be an ass, just say 'our meter is all over the place and we need to listen to each other better and work on that'.

    Each note has a window of time. We try to center the window collectively. A soloist can use the whole window for certain things selectively and judiciously but the rest should hang center... A soloist should be able to throw a five or seven in without the tires falling off the train...

    When he begins to push at rehearsal, don't follow, and if necessary, bass can briefly lean back just across the line into the back half of the beat/notes but maintain tempo, trying to pull him back...and hopefully meet back at center... If he doesn't pull back with everybody else, then he is not listening to anyone but himself. Only HE can fix that...

    If he spontaneously buck wild rushes, everybody hang right on center and see if he picks up on the fact he's winning the race that ain't no race...

    Nobody likes to get lit up, none of us do, so avoid lighting him up....at first... If it is getting to be an untenable situation, then it is 'fish or cut bait' time...

    If the situation can be salvaged, it could actually improve things within the band. Otherwise, it will be about like swimming upstream......in a lava flow... It will get worse and eventually could go full DefCon 1 and take the band down...

    Again, your call...
    ELG60, Ross W. Lovell and mike o like this.
  14. mike o

    mike o Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Monroe, GA
    Almost too easy. After agonizing on how to handle this situation I dropped an email to our drummer last night and asked if he was open to using a click track. He said sure. Hope this fixes the meter/tempo problem. Will report back on progress in a few weeks!
    Mr_Moo, edro, Tubthumper and 3 others like this.
  15. Very cool! I hope it works out!
    mike o likes this.
  16. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Sounds good however I can't help but wonder whether a guy that does something as fundamentally incorrect as rushing fills and other issues you've described knows how to actually use a click.

    The two seem mutually exclusive, and I've seen guys like that "use a click".... they were as clueless how to do that as they were about their fundamnetal errors. They just made the same mistakes with a click going.

    Again, best of luck.
  17. mike o

    mike o Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Monroe, GA
    Time will tell!
    bassdrummer, Kelloggsy and StayLow like this.
  18. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    in my experience, poor musicians rarely improve much just by being talked to. He is who he is. either live with it, quietly and cheerfully, replace him, or quit the band. that's your options
    Kelloggsy likes this.
  19. Kelloggsy


    Dec 9, 2018
    Too old to learn. Move on.
  20. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    You’d think-
    As a drummer or a bassist, that one of the first things you learn is how to keep time and groove. When I started out I intuitively knew this had to cemented where it would never be an issue later on.
    I have all but given up on drummers-
    If they have dynamics, then they’ll lack in another area; if they time, they have no taste, if they have taste, they have no tone and the list goes on.
    I know if I applied myself, I’d be better than most of them because I know what the drum seat needs- but I have no desire.
    The best gigs I play these days are without drums.
    We live in the technology age; I’d rather play to a programmed beat than deal with guys playing Tupperware.
    Either you have a good clock, or you don’t.
    The worst musicians are the ones who don’t have a good clock, but think they’re great anyhow
    Kelloggsy likes this.

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