Off to the races!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Skokiaan, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    My band had a substitute drummer on Friday that made me wish we had canceled the gig.

    Nice guy. A bandmate had played with him from time to time for 30 years. We had a rehearsal with him earlier in the week, where he seemed to know the material well enough and played with steady tempos.

    At the gig itself it was a different story. He still knew the stuff well enough for a short notice sub, but his tempos were terrible. Many songs started too fast and only got faster. Even the ones begun at the correct tempo ended up as sprints. No pocket. No groove. Just off to the races.

    "Lay Down Sally" turned into a polka.

    It was embarrassing. At least it was only a bar gig and not a big club. Still, it was standing room only, and you never know who is watching.......or worse, posting video.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Hate when that happens. I try to hold things steady - but runaway drummers usually aren't listeners
    4-fingers, Mr_Moo and Beej like this.
  3. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    He was very much not a listener. I tried to reel him in. No luck.
  4. Oh my have you touched a nerve with this …. o_O

    One of the members on the DB side has sigged something like "it takes a really good drummer to be better than no drummer" and he is so right.

    I have dear musician friends who drum and there are only about 2 in 5 who have the golden 'tempo recall'... it is such a treat.

    If I could give every drummer a pill or spot them a $20 to achieve, it would be tempting... 'off to the races' never has and never will work /c: How do timekeepers miss that?
    Beej and filwitheneff like this.
  5. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    I can deal with a drummer who starts a song too fast. That's usually fixable with a discussion. "Whatever tempo you think the song is, play it slower than that."

    Bad timekeeping cannot be fixed with discussion. The guy needs to spend hours playing along to a metronome or click track until steady time is second nature.
    Mr_Moo and pablomago like this.
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    zon5string and McG like this.
  7. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    So many little time.
    charlie monroe and Oddly like this.
  8. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    I feel your pain. We had a sub drummer for a semi-acoustic gig. it had been rough enough before the old Ralph Stanley song Oh Death came up. It's supposed to be a slow dirge tempo. This guy played it snappy-peppy. :rollno:
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  9. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    I never work with drummers, due to the kind of music I play...however, you havent felt pain until you've had a banjo player turn St James Infirmary into bluegrass for you, or a fiddler decide that Star of the County Down is actually supposed to be a fast reel in 4/4.
    McG likes this.