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Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Adam Bomb, Apr 22, 2015.
Drummers don't usually visit here. I bet it's about a drummer. It's ALWAYS the drummer.
LOL OMG HOW DID YOU KNOW??!!!
Edge of seat...
Oh so does this mean I should share it?
Just spill the beans girlfriend!...........
Welllll....okay. It's longish.
So this is the first band I've done in years. The band before, which I had for a long time, was with two guys in LA, pro musicians, plus my sis on backups and percussion (she plays a mean castanet!). I am as noted, mediocre. So I was totally spoiled.
The newish band is also basically a power trio (the guitarist and I want to expand it -- we need something to fill it a bit and we need more backing vocals especially for my tunes).
It's a good band. Original music (his and mine) and some well-chosen covers. We get a lot of good response and there is room to play out quite a bit here, even if it's not terribly lucrative. Or lucrative at all! Lol!
The drummer: He can be really fun to play with. He’s smart. But OMG. He just goes off on these weird tangents when he drums that don’t serve the songs, and it’s because he always has to be Mr. Creative and pushing himself but it’s like, DUDE. You are not good enough to push yourself this way during a live performance (he can’t execute a lot of the stuff he tries), and more to the point, I wrote the songs and he needs to play them the way that I wrote them and stop serving his ego at the expense of the song.
I am trying to perform FFS, I am singing and playing the bass, which is not an easy thing to do, and I’ve never pretended to be superstar bassist either. But I learn my stuff, I practice and I execute it. And these are NOT straight-ahead, easy songs. They have parts, they aren't obvious patterns, etc.
He plays in a lot of bands, which is fine. But he doesn’t learn the tunes that well, he forgets a lot of stuff or he just decides he wants to play something different…because. The guitar player is always, “But he can be really good, and good drummers are hard to fine." True, that.
This guy actually told me after our last gig — it was his wife’s birthday, she came to the gig and was having a blast, and he had a few drinks before the show. He should not over-drink before he plays, because it really affects his playing (I mean, I'm like a half a beer to take the edge off and I save any additional fun for after I'm done).
I took all this in and adjusted my expectations. He played some weird stuff, but the energy was good and we had a good show. Great audience response. I wasn’t going to say anything about it.
Afterwards he says to me, “Yeah, I was going, 'let’s see how far I can push this before Lisa explodes.'” And, you know, I’m actually not a confrontational person and I’d just vaped some weed in my post-show relaxing mode, so I was…calm. I just kind of nodded and said, don't do it during a particular song which is one of our trickiest songs and still verges on a train wreck way half the time.
I thought about it after and then I was like…”What the literal F***? He's deliberately trying to make me mad? That’s really sh***y!”
Add to that the scheduling confusion between his family and a gig so that we had to cancel at the last minute (mistakes happen but...), and then tonight’s open mic, “what the f*** are you playing, dude?” moments, and I’m just sooooo over it.
My sis has played with us a few times when she’s been in town — we play some of those old songs from our previous band. And her reaction was, “He’s a really nice guy and he’s really talented, but what the f*** was he playing during your songs?”
I’m starting to think there’s some weird gender stuff involved (apparently he didn’t do this kind of thing when he and the guitar player played in another band that was all dudes, and it happened on another band with a woman playing bass -- they canned him because it's a show-oriented tribute band and he wasn't consistent).
I just want to use the baseball metaphor, “Simplify your approach at the dish.” Also, “Listen to what I’m doing and you follow me, because that’s my job as bass player and I wrote these tunes and I'm trying to sing them too.” I don't have the chops given the tunes and what I have to do to suddenly start changing things up, and I don't want to change things up in some weird random way that doesn't work for the songs in any case.
After last night, I told the guitar player, “Look, my hearing has gotten noticeably worse since I started doing this again, and I’m super-careful. (I wear earplugs when I’m in the audience listening to music, always, and I have for decades. I wear one earplug when I perform — I can’t sing wearing two — on the side where there’s the most noise). And it is not worth it to me to be losing my hearing for this kind of experience. If he can’t get it together I want to find someone else.”
We’re both interested in doing more and getting better. I gave up music years ago because I didn’t have the time to devote to it that it needed, and I was regressing instead of making progress. If I am going to do it now, I want it to be fun, and fun for me means working at it and doing a good job. Call me a freak.
Thus endeth my Most Mediocre Experience.
BTW, this is a song that I did with my old band -- not simple! And how good are those guys?! And...so little drama for so many years! I miss them.
OtherLisa it sounds like you need to kick that drummer to the curb & find someone in the pocket & on time.
@SRVoodoo he's jammed with some guys who told him to "Get back in the pocket!" I mean, that's the part I don't get. There's a level of self-awareness there. But he does it anyway!
I just read the rant thread at the top of the active threads list and one of the lines was: "Drummers...don't play fills over the lyrics. We've talked about this."
Yes, we have. Ad-freakin-infinitum.
(did I kill the thread? I was nervous about posting all that here...)
I told you it is always the drummers. Mines pretty cool. There wereissues with one sometime ago in a band far, far away, but they were personality flaws. His. Talkbass traditional advice is fire the drummer and then rage-quit.
Maybe he likes you and is "dipping your pigtails in the inkpot?"
Anyway, I'd try and find someone who can stay in the pocket, not a (sexist?) Keith Moon wannabe.
EDIT (And no, you didn't kill it. I was watching TV. It may be 42 minutes before I check in again)
The drummer in my old band downsized to a club kit because he is tired of schlepping all that weight. It sounds SO awesome and it's really nice to not be in pain from the volume (I've recently gotten together with those guys a few times after 18 years).
I would not have thought this current guy is sexist but...who knows? There's some kind of issue when a guy flat-out tells you he was trying to push you till you'd lose your temper.
Drummer is a tosser...toss him....
Nobody needs that type of attitude when it's already tough enough to me mediocre! I dunno, maybe I'm more mediocre than the rest but I sure as hell wouldn't want a drummer tormenting me like that. We're supposed to be glued together.
You did mention that he did this in another band with a female bassist, but not in the all dude band. Which, to me, kinda points that way.
The playing must serve the song not the player. I’d ask if he can control the overplaying; it’s really important that he does, because if he can’t, we’ll then it’s time to separate.
Well, you see, I'm only mediocre at reading tag lines!