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Soft hitting drummer...AAAGH!!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Hevy T, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    How do you encourage your drummer to hit hard enough so that he can be heard?

    He is a good friend and we have talked to him about this 100 times already! He hits so soft that we can't hear him and I end up leading the song and then he ends up going off on his own. I keep asking him to maaaaybeee mic the drums, even just the kick and snare. He says he will but never does. I asked him last night and he said thr mics are coming!. Thing is I have no idea why this is even nessary when we are just practicing in a basement and not even that loud. I mean a 100 watt solid-state Roland bass amp is even overkill for how loud we play, but still he is playing like he's in a low volume lounge setting and we are trying to crank out rock!
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just mic him and see how it goes. Trust me. The other extreme is even harder on everyone. Let technology level the playing field. I would rather have to mic a drummer than have to wear earplugs due to a ridiculously loud drummer. (And, sadly, most of them are.)
  3. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    What he said.
    DJ Bebop, teh-slb, westrock and 4 others like this.
  4. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    There's the significant thing. Your drummer is following, not leading. He has to play softly to hear and follow. Not a rock-and-roll attitude!
  5. Maybe the rest of you need to turn down.
  6. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I know and I am constantly trying to coach him into it
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  7. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    We are not loud, he is just very lite
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. What is his background? Rock drummers tend to hit heavy and jazz drummers not so much. Jazz drummers also have often been coached that the bass is the tempo-keeper. Experience has shown me that it's hard to get a jazz drummer to play rock well. It's not impossible, but generally they've been taught all the wrong things for that genre (hold down the tempo on the ride, syncopated comping on snare and toms throughout, etc.)

    A lot of people here would tell you that a drummer who can play quietly is a strong asset and a rare diamond. But not knowing what kind of music you're playing, it's hard to say if this is just a mismatch or what. If you're metal, you probably need someone who wants to hit hard. If you have intricate singing and strong harmonies, you might need to tone that down in order for the singers to hear themselves.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  9. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    We once had a sub drummer who was known as a “finesse” player. Background was Jazz. He didn’t work out for our band, but was OK in a pinch. He was very focused, super steady, but really couldn’t get any volume out of his standard sized kit.

    I wish at times I could splice him to our drummer, who struggles at times with accelerating tempo and volume.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Light hitting drummers are rare. Send him my way!
    bassnat, BassGuyFL, Lenny JG and 38 others like this.
  11. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    Where do you guys find these unicorns? Send him my way
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    These things never end well.

    He's probably on the drum forum with a thread - "How do you get the bass player off your back?" I've ignored him 100 times, I keep jiving him about ordering mics, but he won't let it go. What do I do???

    On a serious note, I don't know why people keep trying to force a square peg in a round hole.
    Lenny JG, bignc, bassdrummer and 16 others like this.
  13. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    His background is actually country rock and classic rock. But not a lot of experience and is trying to lead the band. We are doing covers ranging from Eagles to Metallica
    LBS-bass likes this.
  14. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Who knows lol
    lfmn16 likes this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Training collar? You could put the control on a lanyard and buzz the drummer when they go too soft. It’s not cruel. It’s how drummers learn.

    Neo1, Charlie Tuna, bignc and 20 others like this.
  16. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    Ableton Live tutorials and product reviews for Computer Music magazine.
    Is any of it a confidence thing for him? How does he take to being recorded and listening to it back? And...who are his favourite drummers? Just wondering...
    OpposableThumbs and bassnat like this.
  17. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward! Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    I appreciate any drummer who listens and plays with dynamics - but have encountered at least one who just wasn't up for the downstroke.
    Iristone and LBS-bass like this.
  18. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    ill take him off of your hands.
  19. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    I m with all the folks who say "send him my way". I've spent my time with drummers who don't set up changes, hit real hard, speed up, slow down, spend too much time on the cymbals, etc. I'll take a soft drummer who does everything else right any day.
  20. It's a funny thing. A friend of mine has a band here and the first time I heard them they had a hard hitting drummer, but my friend's background is in metal and the band sounded really good with that drummer. That drummer left and they hired someone else, who had a much softer touch. The band still sounded good, but it sounded like a totally different band with the new drummer. Dynamics are important.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 7, 2021

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