Firing bad drummer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bentem, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    For a while, my band had been looking for a drummer, and when we finally found one, We invited im in without hearing him play(mistake). Well, it turned out he did indeed suck, and now we found out that one of the guitarists is better at drums than he is, so he agreed to play drums.

    Now, i havent talked to the drummer for a while and feel very bad about it. He might of taken the hint, but im not sure. Do you Have any suggestions of what to do?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Don't hesitate to tell him straight up that you are not going to play with him. Be honest, firm, and don't get drawn into the 'feeling bad and giving him another shot' thing. Good, heartfelt, constructive criticism will help. Tell him the things that you feel he should work on to be the kind of drummer that you're looking for...

    I just recently left my band, (on excellent terms), but one of the things that bugged me was that they were trying out drummers and then not getting back to them when they didn't fill the bill. Just kind of ignoring them, hoping they'd go away. I was on my way out and didn't feel that it was my place to be interferring... They finally hooked up with a great drummer, but I don't feel too good about that either :) ... That's a whole other story!

    Delivering bad news is never easy, but it one of those things that is best not to be left for later... IMO/IME

  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Do what i did, since no one had the balls to.
    Call him up "Yeah, you, and the band, it aint working, sorry buddy, see ya around". Mean? Maybe. Is he gone? Yes, yes he is.
  4. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    Whatever you do, don't tell him he's being replaced by a guitar player. That will really give out the effect you are looking to avoid. Best bet, let him know that you and the band are looking for a "different style" of drummer and you think you have found him. Tell him "no hard feelings" and that you are looking forward to seeing him play in another band. But whatever you do, don't tell him he's being replaced by a guitar player- that will kill him...

    Telling someone in a band that they got to go is the HARDEST of things I have had to tell people. I can think of only a few other things in which I myself would be so reluctant to tell a bandmate, but I stress few. If it makes YOU feel any better about it, then you have to look at it like a job: this employee ain't doing what he was hired to do. If you had a bussines in which your livelyhood depended, you would not ask advice from anyone- you would just do it- he's out the door- seeya, goodbye.

    There are 3 ways this could turn out:

    1- he gets pissed at you and the rest of the band. That will probably happen anyway, but he WILL get over it and he might decide to become a better drummer in spite of it.

    2- he takes it well and BECOMES a better drummer because of it

    3- he gets pissed and decides he will never play drums again. This is not YOUR particular problem because if that's the way he wants to be about it, then he should not have become a musician- pure and simple.

    Out of all those 3 paths he could take after hearing the news, they are not your concern. There is nothing you can do about it. How HE deals with it is solely up to him...

    Well, there IS one OTHER solution I forgot to mention:

    You tell him nothing. You and your band will just be miserable.

    Hope this helps...
  5. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    The only problem is that he was a good friend before i realized he played drums and ivnited him in, and i dont want him pissed at me forever, but ill try it, im pretty sure he'll take it o.k.

    Ill let you know how it goes
  6. Spineless, utterly spineless IMO. :(

    This just happened to me, after the band ummed and aahhed for weeks, hoping that i'd make the move myself (it didn't worry me that they decided that I wasn't "the one", even after 3 years with them...I just wanted them to come out and say it like adults).

    In the end it was a 3-minute phone call with one of the members - they didn't even have the balls to tell me to my face.
  7. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    I had that happen to me recently. But they also added a little more insult to it. I had to call them to get the news (after hearing "we" had a show that weekend on TV,) and I got it from a member who didn't play an instrument (she just sang, didn't write either.) I don't think I'm the world's greatest bassist, but I think I, and anyone who joins a band for that matter, deserved the decency of getting kicked out in person.

    I say call him up, meet him somewhere, and tell him he's not the right drummer for the band. Don't tell him he's a bad drummer, or that a guitarist is replacing him, just that his style doesn't fit with what the rest of the band wants. Ignoring him and hoping he goes away is a sure fire way to make an enemy.
  8. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    Well, he found out, but i talked to him and straightend things out, and he was ok.

    Now the guitarist who wwas going to p[lay drums is getting hesitang in buying a drum set, and saying hes not sure he even wants to play drums, and all other kinds of bull****.

    To add to that our practices are useless, and the lead guitarist is backing out, he's saying that we cant do anything untill we have drums, while leaving me to do all the work. Theyre saying that were not a real band, and it seems im the olny one who wants to keep the band going Im not sure if it is even worth it anymore.

    Sorry for ranting, i needed to vent. I cant stand guitarists
  9. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    Sounds to me like those 2 guitar players need to have a little chat with one another. Maybe you could arrange it? Just tell them both that the only reason things are looking so grim is because THEY are making it so. Then, walk out of the room.

    Bands can be frustraiting. Hell, can you name any other activity where 3-6 people from different disiplines, influences, and styles get together for colaborative effort, volunteering their time for the 1st year and getting no immediate gratification?

    It's NEVER easy- it's just variations of hardness when you think about it...

    Good Luck
  10. You have to take the stand and say to him .. "We really should've heard you play beforehand.. We had an idea in our minds when we went in search for a drummer.. and your style and ours just don't jive... Sorry, but we are going to have to look for another drummer... Sorry for wasting your time....
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Why not, "You're a great friend, but as a drummer, you're a great chef."
  12. I think I may have to use that line on the weekend. I've decided that if my band doesn't replace the drummer, I'm going to quit the band. Enough I told you so's from everybody but I've come to the conclusion that playing with lousy musicians really suck. I think that when one advertises for a "band for fun", it's implied that the fun comes from playing music and not getting drunk/stoned and pretending that you're a musician.

    Definition of lousy: No talent, cannot/will not learn songs, gets drunk and stoned, blows off your very "subtle suggestions for improvement" with the line "oh, I'll just play sober next time"...and then he plays drunk next time.

    I think I can get my best friend on board (and he's an ace drummer) except we practice at the drummer's house. I'll knock off Osama as public enemy #1 at that place if I kick the drummer out. Looks like I'm out of the band...because the drummer can't play...that totally doesn't make any sense... :confused:

    Sorry, I hijacked your thread but I had to rant and Munji's line was too good.
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    It is a wonder bands like the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith have stuck together for so long. Band politics have probably broken up more potentially excellent bands than any other reason. Either good musicians leave because an inferior one has a lock on his position (because he is the vocalist's brother or the keyboardest's husband, etc.) or the band can't agree on the band's direction--one wants to gig more often, another one just wants casual garge jams, a third wants to ante up money to record a CD, while the others don't want to spend the dough.

    It's endless. It's a miracle any bands stay together even a year. In every band I was ever in, there was always an "odd person out." I have been that person, too, on one occassion. No fun.
  14. I'm trying to get a band together... Me and my fiancee have wanted to start one for a while now... I'll be playing bass as well as singing and she will be playing E.Guitar the only problem is no drummer... My best friend is an amazing Drummer but after he grads he is going to be moving to Victoria.. So that does'nt work.. and I don't really even talk to him that much anymore... And even if we were to all get together..

    I am waiting for my tax return so that I can pay off the rest of my 5-string.... And I know my fiancee is in it for the long run.. But sadly my best friend would be moving away in less then a year.... There's a drummer that lives in the same house as my fiancee... But he is really immature... and my girlfriend is pissed at him right now... And she is calling him an ******* right now... And both me and my gf don't believe taht if we started a band that he would even be serious.. He is a skid and likes to skateboard alot.. as well as hang out with the most retarded people... SO now we are just back to square one...

  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Could you advertise for a drummer? Put up an announcement at a music equipment store or run a small classified ad in the newspaper. Be sure to state the style of music you will be playing and whether or not you plan to gig soon, etc.