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Helping out the drummer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Hullbert, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Hullbert


    May 17, 2007
    Okay, here's the situation:
    Our band had been without a drummer for a few months when the singer's brother (who had been playing drums for a few years) offered to join our little group. Personality wise, he's a great match. We've all been friends for years and enjoy each other's company.

    Here's the catch:
    Our new drummer has very little experience playing in a band setting, and practically no experience playing in a band with a lead singer. In other words: His foot is going crazy on the kick and I didn't think it was possible for a human being to jam that many fills into a single measure.

    I think he could be a solid drummer with work, and I don't mind having "rhythm section practices with him" on a daily basis if that's what it takes. Here's the question: What sorts of exercises or instructions would the folks here a Talkbass recommend?
    I've already told him that we'll be breaking out the metronome for our practice tomorrow, but is there anything I can do to help break him of his fill penchant and inconsistent kick?
  2. It's going to take a bit of time for him to get used to playing in a band setting. Just give him the benefit of the doubt. If he's been playing a while then he'll know that his timing is out and will be more concious of it the next time. How about doing some covers to start off with just to get him used to playing with you guys and the band atmosphere as a whole?
  3. You might try working with him on rudiments and groove fundamentals. Working on these areas with him will make both of you ,together, tight and focused. Also he might check out some stuff on youtube.com from other drummers, going back and learning who all the great drummers are and their styles.Let him know to play in a band is about listening to everybody and holding it down. Good luck!!
  4. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    IME, a good bass player ain't any better than the drummer he/she is tasked to play with. There is such a huge relationship there.

    A good drummer can make a competent bass player sound really good. A bad drummer can make even a gifted bass player sound really bad.
  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Record the band and ask him to listen to what adds and what distracts.

    Give him a bunch of James Brown records and have him absorb those grooves.

    Post the article about groove killing from bass player mag (resent new bohemians player) Behind his kit. Make him kiss it before every time he sits down.

    Listen to Reggae and figure how to set up a different beat than one.

    All that and figure how to say all that tactfully and keep it fun for him.

  6. Hullbert


    May 17, 2007
    Thanks everybody for the suggestions! I think I'm going to try a two pronged attack on this situation--Half of our practices are going to be devoted to learning the basic structures of our band's songs (where the changes are, what the basic groove is, etc.), and the other half is going to be devoted to fundamentals and working together as a rhythm unit.

    I have started recording our practices, so we can have a review of what's working and what's not.
    There's definitely a fine line between being helpful, and being the evil music teacher that sucks the fun out of this process--so I agree that I've got to be extra patient and keep this as fun as possible.

    I'm not familiar with the article in Bass Player magazine, do you have a link or know which issue it was in?
    Thanks again!
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I can scan it.

    Another Idea is make sure he has a clear idea of the pattern that he's drawing from for variation. The less focused the pattern is in his mind the more the likely hood of randomness.

  8. get zen. Try and challenge him to play beats that are as minimal as possible. If he's not into James Brown, listen to the descendants, the two instrumental Beastie Boys albums are perfect for this.

    It also may be just a matter of physical practice on drums, I know when I first started drumming my kick foot was either 'on' or 'off,' there was very little rhythm :D
  9. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

  10. I agree, Brad and AJ!

    I have a fill happy drummer at the moment, but he is an amazing drummer and it works for my current band, so no complaints. Someday I hope to get back to the bassics, though :D

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