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Should I stay or should I go?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Sublab, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. This question buggs my mind as of late. Me and the guitar player have a good musical bonding and we're on the same grounds playing anything rock, prog rock, experimental... But our drummer is becoming a problem for me. I play supportive basslines when the song needs it, and I'll play more complicated and countertime stuff when I feel the song could use it, and the guitar guy catches on and we usually find out what to play against each other in a matter of minutes. It works both ways between him and me, and it works, we make each other grow musically and technically. Our drummer fails at odd timings and I have the sneaky suspicion that he does'n do much of practicing outside of rehearsal. Yesterday I proposed a new riff for a song we had written. It isn't the most evident riff ever, but it has great rythm and melody and a lot of cool. It's my best riff yet! The guitar player takes a few minutes and whooha! he's ready to forge this riff into one of his own findings and hopefully blend it together with the parts of the song that already existed. The drummer, stoned again, sits behind his kit looking at me playing my riff as if he's looking at the biggest failure. He immeditaley votes a big 'NO' - the riff has nothing to do with the song he says. I say ok, no problem. This riff was not intended to be played for too long a time, just four bars, as a bridge to reenter the original riffs of the song. After a discussion about at least trying to play the riff on drums, he rolls another spliff, and tells me (as he has before!) that I should focus more on supportive bass playing...

    You guys know 'Children of the grave' by Black Sabbath? That rythm is just one of a few I've been trying to get him to play, but he fails, doesn't know how to and is not willing, apparently, to go 'that' far with his drumming...
  2. OriginalSnub


    Aug 19, 2009
    Dayton, OH
    Why not try to replace the drummer instead of quitting?
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    You stay. The drummer goes.
  4. I would not give up what you have with that guitarist because of a drummer with no direction. whatever you do, do not quit. no, do not quit. new box smasher.
  5. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    +1, and see if you can find a jazz drummer that wants to do some rock projects.
  6. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    "The drummer, stoned again". There is your problem.
  7. bigthor


    Jan 19, 2011
    Your drummer might have a point (in his own mind) or he might be just a negative stoner. A band is a team and if he shuts you down and makes you feel bad about playing music, remove yourself from his presence, or hang with you guitar buddy, who you seem to work well with, and kick the negativity out the door. Do it today and let the music live and breathe.
  8. He's not a negative stoner, but whenever he's stoned he plays like he's just starting to learn the drums. Timing is off, no inspiration whatsoever and unable to feel the rythm. He never takes the lead as I like drummers to do. He's position behind his kit is akward too: he'll sit faced to the hi hat with his shoulders tightened, almost cramped up. No loose feel whatsoever. I would never be able to play and sing if my body would be cramped up like that, let alone move my body to the rythm. The fact that he won't even try to get the rythm in his bones is an utter frustration for me, it even feels insulting.
  9. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I look like you're not doing what you prescript in your signature Sublab.....
  10. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic

    What, you would leave your guitarist with no bassist and a crappy drummer? :eyebrow: A guitarist you seem to like, with whom you bond well and is a good match for you??

    No, do not quit, have a band meeting and call him out on his poor behavior. Odds are HE will quit, then you and the guitarist can get a better drummer.
  11. Therefore.. there are other drummers in the world.. some even LOVE to play odd time signatures.. some can make odd time signatures feel even (those are my favorite).. that said, life is too short to put up with bad attitudes..
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Find a new drummer! He's more interested in getting high and being a slacker!
  13. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just want to note that for my own drumming, the body should be off kilter from the bass drum, not shoulders parallel to the head.

    Set down the throne. Set up the snare drum between your legs in a comfortable playing position. Put the hi hat pedal and kick pedal where your feet naturally fall. Build up the kit from there. Your torso will be "pointing" half way between the kick and hi-hat.

    Wow, here's the exact video I was thinking of. Bad copyright violation, but it's a great DVD just for the Andy Hess collaborations (bass content alert!):

    ward drum pedals - YouTube

    Billy Ward's "Big Time" DVD. A lot of talk about keeping time, BTW, also applicable to bassists.

    None of this is to add anything to the discussion of whether you should stick with these guys or move on.

  14. fep


    Oct 5, 2011
    San Diego
    For me it's impossible to answer the question without hearing the drummer.

    How about posting an mp3 of your group playing?
  15. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Just going with the situation as ou described in your first post, I would have a very direct no BS talk with the drummer about his behaviour and attitude and if after that if he still refused to get his act together I would fire him.
  16. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    It's not up to drummers, stoned or not, to tell you what you 'should' play on bass. You are a musician, and you have the right to be treated as a musician, instead of becoming the foil to someone's lame ideas what other instruments than their own "should" be doing. Unless he hires you, he has no right to tell you anything. Stand up for yourself and play what you want to play. It is his problem to solve, not yours. He can walk away if he doesn't like it.
  17. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    When you don't/can't click with with the drummer, something has to change. The drummer in my opinion in the situation you described.
  18. The best musicians are those that are most flexible -- it requires some technique but most importantly a lot of practice and playing different musical styles with different musicians.
  19. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    I'd talk to the guitarist about it, if he wants to do these more complex rhythms as well then great. I was in a band where our 2nd guitarist wasn't on the same page as the rest of us. We were starting to do some more complicated rhythms, chord voicing, and time signatures and he just wasn't putting in the time to even try. We basically sat down as a band and laid it out... said we liked him but he needed to improve his craft. We gave him some time to do that... he quit the next week. I'd go to the drummer with the guitarist and basically say "Hey, this is what we want to do. We need you to get on board and step up or step out." Odds from what you've said he'll probably quit on his own... if he doesn't and if he doesn't improve then kick him the curb and find someone else. Trust me there's a lot of guys out there that would love to be part of a group that will push them musically.
  20. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    My impulse is to agree with others that the drummer is the problem. It sound slike he's being lazy and unmotivated, based on your view.

    But I think It's worth considering: it is easy to be blinded by our own brilliance.Perhaps the drummer is being honestly critical, objectively listening, and considering if the music actually sounds good.

    it's probably not the case, but, if it were, would you react differently?

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