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Frustration with drummer.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bumperbass, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    OK. So, some friends of mine going back to the 60's-70's wanted to try to assemble a new band.

    The good:
    1. Awesome female singer who also knows harmony parts, is actually sane, and can really draw in bodies that wiggle.
    2. Scorching, tasteful guitar player who doesn't play too loud, sings great, and can harmonize instantly.
    3. Decent keyboard player who can sing some harmony.
    4. Great songlist.

    The bad:

    We agree on 4 tunes to go over. I really dissected all the bass parts and got my $hit together. I was psyched.
    The drummer had a good reputation around here.
    So, at practice, all my work goes out the window simply because the drummer did not bother to play
    the bass drum parts correctly.
    I don't understand this at all. The same thing has happened in the last 3 bands I've been in.
    The FIRST thing I do is listen to the bass drum when I learn my parts. Even I know the bass drum parts.
    This one thing is a total show-stopper.
    Any ideas on how to handle this? Since his bass drum parts are incorrect, his timing is way off concerning BPM.
    What would you do? If this isn't fixed, I can't play with this lineup.
    I simply refuse to play in a band with bass drum parts incomplete/missing/sloppy. I just can't deal with it.

    How would you guys approach this? I am so irritated, I don't think I could be anything but blunt about it.
    It doesn't seem like anybody else noticed, but I haven't spoken with anybody yet.
    All I know is, I play the parts correctly with the BPM ingrained in my head.
    MCF, Peter Lufrano, getrhythm and 7 others like this.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You should practice until you can play songs at different tempos.

    If people wanted to hear a carbon copy of the original recording they would listen to the original recording.

    Then try taking a song that was written in 4 and play it in 6.
    PillO, Donzer, 123Nil and 9 others like this.
  3. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Try playing Lie To Me - Jonny Lang, Runaway - Bonnie Raitt, The Fixx - Saved By Zero, or Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues without the correct drum parts.
    All these songs have a definite groove and will not sound good without a decent drummer.
    edit: also Bonnie Raitt/Bryan Adams - Rock Steady.
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    1) Learn to play drums, and show them all how it's done. You'll probably get more work as a drummer, anyway.
    2) Listen to what the other musicians are actually playing, and lock to that.

    You can maybe all rehearse to a click track, but I promise as soon as you hit the stage for a live set, you'll be playing everything faster, internal metronome or not...
    What is the common factor in all 4 of those projects?
  5. If the drummer is all that good he should know he was all over the place. See what he says. If he can't be bothered to shape up it's going to be you or him.
    Mr_Moo, HardNHeavy, strat59 and 5 others like this.
  6. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    A drummer who hasn't got the time to commit.
    cerrem, JaseyT, Gaolee and 2 others like this.
  7. Chango Malo

    Chango Malo

    Apr 8, 2017
    so is it that the bpm isn't what you want to hear or that he's not playing the drum lines exactly as is on the recording you listened to?
    Mr_Moo, GBBSbassist, Mike.C. and 4 others like this.
  8. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    The bass drum doesn't sync with my parts. I am not saying I can feel any difference in 102 vs. 106 bpm, but if I'm playing a certain rhythm and the bass drum isn't with me on the notes, I can't do the song justice. I can tolerate a change in the song as long as it is learned correctly, but to not have the feel in the first place is not acceptable.
    hintz, Mike.C. and TNCreature like this.
  9. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    B-Lo, BooDoggie, BazzaBass and 3 others like this.
  10. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Take this song for instance:

    The bass drum is playing bum, buh-bum. Total groove.
    6tzguy, ziosensei and Fretless1! like this.
  11. So none of the other band members have noticed this, except for you. And this the fourth band you’ve been in where this has happened. Have you brought this to anyone’s attention? If you’re this irritated over it, and it’s that important to you, you need to say something. If you say nothing to the guys in the band, you can’t really complain. Communication is everything!

    What songs are you referring to, anyway? EDIT: I just read where you mentioned the tunes in question
    HardNHeavy, JGbassman, hintz and 3 others like this.
  12. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    He was all over the place with this one, too. It's almost the same bass drum rhythm:
    6tzguy likes this.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    All those songs can be played in a variety of ways, both in terms of tempo and feel, that are different from the original but not wrong and don't indicate a bad drummer.

    You have to listen, negotiate and adapt when you play with other people.

    Is the drummer being inconsistent? Or is he making choices that you don't like?
    Mike H, HardNHeavy, Guiseppe and 21 others like this.
  14. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    I don't want to play them "in a variety of ways". They are extremely danceable the way they are.
    6tzguy, hintz, Mike.C. and 1 other person like this.
  15. Chango Malo

    Chango Malo

    Apr 8, 2017
    so I take it that it's that he's not playing exactly what's on the recording then.

    If the drummer is playing with good meter and a solid backbeat on either of those tunes then you should be able to find the pocket. Perhaps it's not the drummer that's the issue. FWIW those two kick drum patterns aren't the same.

    I don't think this is the band for you. Dead simple tunes like that are not the ones many people are going to get pedantic about covering.
  16. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    They aren't exactly the same, for sure, but they're so simple and are pretty close. IMO, if you've got good vocals and have danceable songs that aren't on everybody else's playlist,
    that's a positive. That's why I decided to give this a go. I'm tired of the same old songs that everybody else plays, and that I've played a million times.
    6tzguy likes this.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    If someone called a song in a different feel on stage at a gig could you adapt and play the song? Let's say Journey 'Don't Stop Believing' as half time reggae.

    Assuming you had been playing it as recorded at previous gigs, could you hang with this and make it work?

    Or would you complain that they were doing it wrong?
  18. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Of couse I could play it. If you want to be in a cover band, then do the cover. If you don't want to be in a cover band, then don't be in a cover band.
  19. Was this just the first practice?
    Maybe he's still working on the songs. (I would prefer to be as prepared as possible from the start, but not everyone is me, in fact only I am)

    You could see how the next practice goes, then bring it up. You can't expect perfection from everyone, but it's got to be close enough to keep the feel of the song.
    Good luck!
  20. As someone who’s been playing professionally for over 20 years, let me offer you some advice.

    1. If you’re the bandleader, aka you are PAYING me, then I’ll play whatever the hell you want.

    2. If you’re not paying me or the pay is very low, I’m going to fulfill my role as the bassist but i’m going to do it...slightly...more my way. For example, My Girl has a very specific bass intro. But I’ve NEVER played the exact James Jamerson transcription from beginning to end EVER and I’ve done that song on countless wedding gigs over the decades.

    If your band is a democracy, then everyone has a voice. And if you’ve got a specific idea about what YOU want, you have to communicate it with the band weigh it against what EVERYONE ELSE wants. Are you the bandleader? If not, do you have a bandleader or is it a team of equals? If you aren’t the bandleader then your opinion can be voted down. And keep in mind this whole “I have a problem with what you’re doing on your instrument” thing goes both ways and you should be open to hearing criticism about yourself.

    I ask again, have you ever brought this issue up with your bandmates?

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