My drummer is poo and I don't know what to do?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Where do I start. Well you need a background of the situation. Me, my bro, and best friend started a band about 15 months ago. We had a drummer he never showed up so we converted the keyboard player to drums since he played drums years earlier. He has been a friend for over ten years to all of us. Well, he sucks! I got him lessons, my buddy got him lessons with some of the best drummers in Detroit, free lessons I may add, he never calls the guy or rarely practices what he is being shown. He still has tempo and transition issues. He rarely practices with a metronome and work on his weak areas. We played a gig in October where he completely mentally caved in and blew the show because the mix wasn't perfect like in our basement, in fact he blew every gig. I am a drummer too and try to help him but he thinks I'm bossy. Basically we rehearse every weekend, put a lot of money and time into this, and sacrifice a lot of our personal lives for the band. There are a lot of things we want to do but we always revolve our actions around his inabilities and he is holding us back. To me, he is mantally weak, unorganized and unfocused to where and what he needs to do, fails to correct the same problems from week to week, month to month. And emotionally draining because we constantly need to coddle him and reinforce him. He has invested a lot of money in his kit, and like I said he is a good friend but a bad musicain. If we fired him it would damage our frindship and he would be crushed! I have tried everything to the point where I think he is hopeless, his problems are himself. He wants to start singing and writing when he can't even keep a consistant tempo or get through a gig. I am so torn, part of this whole thing is about frinds and doing something you love with people you like and have a bond with. I feel he is letting us down and it's not fair since we put soooo much into this. I guess we need to decide which is more important, a friendship or a sucessful band. I just cant picture myself telling him it's not going to work out, but in my heart I know it's the best thing for the rest of us. Just wondering what some outside perspectives are, I am just so torn as to what to do? thanks :(
  2. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    He played keyboards originally, right? You could find another drummer and say to your friend that you really missed him on keyboards.

    Or as far as the direct approach, I can imagine it would be impossibly hard to be straight with him, but that may be the best thing. We all want our friends to be straight with us. Think of a gentle way to put, so not to hurt his feelings, then take him out for a beer and tell him you don't think things are working out and you'd like him to try a different role in the band.
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    This is tough. Have you read Of Mice and Men? (or seen the movie?) sounds like it's time to sit him down by the creek and tell him about the rabbits one last time :meh:
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    First of all, is this your opinion, or everyone in the band? Take a vote. Once the vote is done, accept the decision - either way.

    You say you put a lot of your personal lives into the band - sounds like he has not. Tell him the truth (with the whole band there) - simply, he is not cutting it, and is not practicing.
  5. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX

    Sorry... couldn't resist.

    There is no easy answer, though. It's a tough spot and you'll have to handle it in your own way. Many of us have been there, though. Luck to you in sorting it out...
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Since the drums and bass are inextricably linked, you are getting dragged into "the dirt" with him.

    You need to move on with a drummer who cares about how your playing is perceived.

    A true friend will remain a friend beyond the limitations you point out to them, because that's not the sole basis of your friendship.

    FWIW - I was in a band with a very good drummer/back-up vocalist who liked to put things in his veins too much and got loaded towards closing time as the s**t kicked in. Although he was the nicest guy you could want to meet, when he wasn't using, he only cared about his needs, not the fact that I had to lock in with him. When the junk kicked in, he always complained I was playing too fast because, the real problem was, he was slowing down.

    A good band member of any kind can't be so selfish. You have to surrender to the music.
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Thanks everyone..sorry for the rant but I know you guys can understand. Well the rest of the band wants to stick by him. So we talked last night and I didn't mention about wanting to kick him out because of obvious reasons. So I said "flat out you need to resolve this tempo issue, It's you responsibility and your letting us down"! He said well I feel your pushing me around. O.K. that's B.S. how can anyone push around the time keeper of the band, if I did (which I don't since I am a drummer too) it shouldn't matter, he needs to keep us in check. So we are both going to take the metronome and find the BPM for each cover we are doing and play as a band with headphones and the metronome untill he finds the pocket, and it will actually show me where the pocket is for these songs since I never been there yet, and hopefuly solve this problem! I told him also to work only on basics and tempo and transitions and to keep thing in perspective. We need to have a consistant tempo period! Wish me luck and I will keep you guys posted and thats for letting me vent and you advice.
  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    A good band member of any kind can't be so selfish. You have to surrender to the music. [/B][/QUOTE]


    That's beautiful Rick! :bassist:
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    You've got two problems...

    1 your drummer has to go

    2 the drummer is a friend 'we converted from keyboards'

    IMHO convert him back.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Question - the rest of the band wants to stick with him. Is it because they don't think he is that bad, or they aren't taking the band as seriously as you are?

    Sounds like one side (or the other) has to re-access priorities. Good luck dude.
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    They think he will be fine in time, my gut is telling me friendships aside he can't hack it. If he gets to the point where he can pass we will never meet our full potential as a band with him I feel. Theres 3 other guys, if 2 say stick by him I have to back it. They are very serious BD5151, this guy grew up with rap and techno (no real instruments at all) as his influences. I feel it has stunted his drumming since he never studied a human being. There is just so much going against him. I feel we are making a mistake. I'm in this for the longhaul as a musicain it's not about just this band. It's a learning process and my first band, if it fails so be it, I'll move on...thanks
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Good luck either way dude.
  13. Uh...that probably isn't the best way ;)

    Anyways. I was in your position a while ago (minus the gigs). We had this drummer who we are all friends with and he's a cool guy, but just couldn't keep a beat sometimes! Even some of the most simplest. One day we found a better drummer. The next day I had to tell him we had found someone to replace him. He was bummed but understood it was for the best of the band and that's what he wanted, the best for us. So it all worked out when I had to do it...
  14. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Just because he can't play drums doesn't mean you have to kick him out of the band completely. What is he good at?
  15. "And he said I get to feed the rabbits" *KAGOOGE!* :)
  16. Welp...I think you should tell him how you feel,be straight with him. G'luck.
  17. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    He came over last night and worked on a song. Man he is far away from being there. I just can't get the other guys to see. I think eventually it will come to a head. Unfortunately the only thing I can say is "I told you idiots" at that point! Thanks for your support and sympathy.
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    This calls to mind a Kids In The Hall skit:

    (from memory, editing where necessary)

    *Drummer walks in and sees a new guy playing his drums*

    DRUMMER: What is that guy doing playing my drums?

    GUITARIST: Well, we took a vote and decided that you should have an understudy.

    DRUMMER: Any understudy?

    BASSIST: Yea, in case you get into an accident and can't play..

    GUITARIST: Yea, or if we throw you out.. *counts off song* 1-2-3-4!


    GUITARIST: Well, we asked around and everyone agrees that the vocals and guitar are great, the bass is super fine, but the rest of the band really smells.

    DRUMMER: But..*I'M* the rest of the band

    BASSIST: Well there ya go!

    I hope SOMEONE remembers the skit I'm thinking of :) Then maybe it'll make sense to someone other than myself *lol*
  19. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    As a huge fan of KITH,..

    It was the guitarist they were kicking out,,,

    The drummer was the one counting off the songs with his drum sticks.