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Last gig with drummer - what to expect?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lo_freq_geek, May 1, 2010.

  1. I play in a blues, rock, funk trio. Our current drummer just informed the lead player (but not me) that he's done after next weekend's gig. He says he's just not "feeling it" anymore. Meanwhile he's bailed on at least 4 rehearsals since new years, seldom practices on his own, and does not deal well with constructive comments about his playing. Worse is that he cannot remember arrangements - not just beginnings and endings but will often switch beats in the middle of a 12 bar pattern. I'm not sad he's quit, we were giving him one more chance as it was, but I'm not sure he has enough integrity to play his best one last time. I would try to get a sub but it is an outdoor benefit for mental health awareness; no pay but potential great publicity with media and 100+ crowd.

    Any of you dealt with the "one last show with a disgruntled band member" scenario? Any tips?

  2. I assume you have started the (grueling, especially with drummers) audition process? If not, you guys are way behind.

    If you have begun auditions for his replacement, what better opportunity to have your candidate(s) show up and hang around for a bit, just to see how things go. Disgruntled slacker drummer gets a wild hair up his butt and decides to spoil the party, give him the hook and let new guy have at it.

    In fact, even if old drummer is behaving, I would still be tempted to let audition candidates (that you've already jammed with and know they can play, of course) have a try.
  3. sirmike75


    Jul 16, 2009
    It sounds like he is not into the music or someone in the band ....i have gone through this....and ill tell u in our situation....after 5 drummers noone can fill his shoes....and it was a mistake that we didnt fight to keep ....however.... maybe you all should sit down and talk to him and find out whats going on....thats just my opinion
  4. beatlesfan64


    Apr 11, 2010
    this happened to both the band I was in, and well, with myself actually...

    Our drummer was exactly as you described, plus, ALWAYS complaining...we went thru the exact same situation, and replaced him with a pretty lousy drummer.

    That is when things got bad, the drummer was TERRIBLE, and the band just wasn't the same...no gigs, poor money, and I was traveling at least twice the distance everyone else was. We also had a huge problem with everyone showing up on time and doing the equal amount of loading/unloading, but despite this, even those who showed up literally 5 minutes before we went on (or in one case, late) and did not load/unload got paid just as much as I did (when I drove extra distance, showed up on time, and was usually one of only two out of 5 who unloaded)

    Eventually, I said enough was enough too, but no one really blamed me at that point...I had the reasons above, and I wanted to go back to school, and I left when there were no upcoming gigs

    Sorry to hear it, I hope it works out for the best!
  5. kdel


    Feb 24, 2010
    San Diego
    If there is no pay involved, I'd either cut him loose now and go with a new drummer (another poster basically said you should already be auditioning) or, if that is not desirable or a possibility just go with it and have as much fun as you can. In a way you deserve it for putting up with him, but soon that will be over, so have fun, move on and look forward to how good you can become with a dedicated drummer. For the gig, play some of the drummer's favorite tunes (or the ones he plays the best); I've even let someone in that position pick or suggest the set. Whatever you do, unless the guy is a complete jerk (doesn't show up or throws a tantrum on stage) don't let your frustration show. That will only make things worse on stage and for the audience. If things don't go well musically, some won't notice and you will just have to go out and prove to the others that you're better with your new improved line up. Good luck, and celebrate when the gig is over.
  6. "I assume you have started the (grueling, especially with drummers) audition process? If not, you guys are way behind."

    He quit yesterday, started posting ads an hour later. We will try to audition this week - hopefully we'll get some decent candidates. I guess my main worry is that the outgoing drummer will either sabotage the set by playing poorly or (shutter) not show up at all. Not much we can do. If we did find someone suitable I would put him on next weekend without hesitation. Not hopeful - it took 3 weeks to replace our last drummer with this guy.

    Maybe we expect too much? ie. commitment, talent, etc.
  7. I don't think it's a matter of you guys expecting too much. Your drummer "doesn't feel it." He wants out, end of story. Clean break, part friends. Cut him loose and audition his replacement asap.
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    It seems to me that if he wasn't going to show, he would have just quit then and there.
    He doesn't stand to gain anything by saying he'd do the last gig if there's no pay anyway, so he'll probably show. (Of course, I don't know the guy...)

    Based on what you're describing, it sounds like you should expect more of the same: He'll show up, but he won't be into it and he'll be under-prepared and do the bare minimum to get through the show. Just like recent rehearsals.

    That's what I would expect... maybe I'm being too trusting? Does he have any reason to sabotage the show? It sounds to me like he just wants out and wants to get this last show that's on the books over with.

    It won't be great, but you'll get through it.
  9. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Call every drummer you know and line up a sub. No luck with that, cancell or punt the gig to another band.

    Why stress?
  10. Are we sharing drummers? :meh:

    Seriously if he has an ounce of professionalism in him he will show up and do his best. Whatever that may be.
  11. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Tell him "thanks for being a pro" and "you hope that you can still be friends" - that should make him think about "how" he's gonna play on that last night.
  12. My recent experience has been that, when somebody is not happy/committed in a band, once the decision to quit has been made then relations tend to improve - probably because the pressure is off.

    "Last gigs" with a departing person mostly turn out well for this reason. Though, perhaps i've just been lucky to work with musicians who are also good people :)

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