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Get better, - get a better drummer!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by carl-anton, Jun 1, 2001.

  1. Hi There!
    Yesterday we tried out a new drummer, and he was great. Both the guitarist and I felt we played alot better than we use to. I've never tried playing with someone who actually made me play better before. It was not just that things sounded better, we really played better: Hard to descibe what actually happened, but I hope you understand.
    I wonder if any of you guys tried this before?

  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Its called synergy; when the result is more than the sum of the componant parts.
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Most definitely. A drummer's sense of time, enthusiasm, and overall feel can affect a band more than any one single component, I think. If the drummer isn't "on", then it's really hard for the other musicians to be "on" because they don't have anything to tie them together.

    I play in a couple of different groups that have drummers. Both drummers are very, very good but they have different styles (one is funky, one is more straight-ahead rock style). I sound almost like a different bassist between the two. I've had other people comment on that, and I've heard it on tape myself.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've played with a new drummer here in Atlanta and she definately makes me play better.
  5. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    and the opposite is also true!
    After you've been playing with a good drummmer, trying to play with a sub-par drummer will drag you down. I'd rather not play than play with a crappy drummer.
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Yes!! That is the ultimate goal when playing music!
  7. It's great being an amateur and still be able to play with such people! It's not so great that you have to earn your money doing something else!

    Anyway, this drummer has a very jazzy way of playing, which means he will abandon the regular drum rhythm now and then, but when he does that it's like he passes the rhythm-feel of the song that he's 'supposed' to play, over to us guys with the strings. He somehow makes the rhythm play itself, when he plays something else. I'm not trying to be a mystic here, I just can't explain very well what it's like, but you've hopefully tried it at some point, and know what I mean.

    The sad thing is that you've come to a strange limit. No matter how good you are yourself, you're dependent on the other guys. It's good in one way, for sure, but it's also weird to get to a limit you cant cross by practicing some more on your own. Even though I felt I played better, and not only we, I can't practice it at home.

    OK, I'm rambling ...!
  8. Yeah, why shouldn't we as bassists be able to lead a band to play better!!? But, erhm Ed, do you think the trick lies in being right on time, steady as a clock, or is it more a dynamic thing, so you 'control' the band by 'showing' the way by how you 'pronounce' the themes in the music.
    (I don't mean leading the band, I mean being the (main-)source of the synergi, like I felt that new drummer was)

  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...there's NYC "bad" & BumF***, Va. "bad".
    'member your story about the chick singer who "modulated" each chorus to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"? There's drummers down here who do a fill & will not be where they're supposed to be...& they're not consistent with it, either; I can work with "consistently" off. ;)
    BTW, is that Susan B. Anthony or Susan Anton?

    ...anyway, Carl-
    I can relate to what you're sayin'; some drummers are content with playing 1&3/2&4 backbeat all night long. Other guys, like Vinnie Colaiuta, William Kennedy, Hamid Drake, Cornell Rochester, Billy Kilson, Billy Drummond, etc(to name but a scant few)will play more "open" & maybe allow YOU, the bassist, to carry one possible rhythm while they "play around" with YOU.
    And it's just NOT a Jazz thing-
    Funk? Check out a guy like Mike Clark of The Headhunters' or David Garibaldi of Tower Of Power...their approach, IMO, is waaayyy above the typical Funk wannabe drummer.

    Maybe it's me...I'll always contend the drummer can never have an "off" night.
  10. This new and very good drummer has actually been teached by Vinnie Coulei.. Coljy... Cu.. - Vinnie Toyota, and he even bought a snaredrum from him (nice..). He certainly must have learned something there! But he has also been teached by one of the best jazz-drummers here in Denmark, Alex Riel, so he actually have a jazzy thing to his playing, but I agree it's doesn't have to be jazz just because the drummer plays around with you. Our 'old' drummer does that, and does it with a rock attitude (ironically, his big hero is Vinnie Colaiuta), and it's a different feel than with the new one.
  11. Damn,
    You guys are pouring my heart out.
    Our band is in the midst of talking to our drummer.
    We feel we have steadily improved while he has not.
    What to do?
    He is also a friend and we don't want any hurt feelings, but we must do something.
    Any suggestions?
  12. I've found that most problems with musicians playing poorly isn't caused by lack of technique, but rather by lack of dedication. I think to reach the kind of musical understanding we are talking about here you have to rid you self of psychic obstacles rather than technical ones. One of the best ways not to reach this goal is having a bad consciousness, and when one bandmember is lacking in dedication, he will (almost) certainly have one, and this becomes a downward spiral for him. So, in short, talk to the guy and try finding out if he's got a bad consciousness, and try getting him to make a conscious choice whether he really wants to play or not. I've tried this with two drummers in two bands now - one split and one wants to stay (but he's up against that good drummer I talked about in the thread-starter post, and he's moving away in a year or less.)

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