The right drummer.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Droog, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    To begin with I have not been a musician for a long time, well at least I have not been playing with a band only about a year. So me and a really good friend started a band some time ago, mostly my friend just told me he want to be his bass player. We found a drummer and thought all was going to be well, but now it seems so skrewed up. Its like pulling teeth to make songs. When its just myself and guitar and vox its fun as hell. As soon as the drummer comes all the fun leaves. What the hell? We all get along, but the drummer is coming from someplace else musically. He wants to get over technical with the drum lines, but tells us we need to make the songs more straight forward, he says he's happy playing in the band and yet the practices are really nerve racking. I honestly don't see it working out, I don't think we can work around it. The songs are not coming together, its not fun to practice and my friend and I feel like we have to "write" for the drummer. We should have been playing out months ago and yet here we are.

    So thats my sob story. Hate to dump the guy, but goddamn I wanna play and have some fun. You guys have trouble finding the right drummer too?
  2. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    This is the age old delema with musicains... Creative differences. Well there's two ways to look at this. First off he is part of the group and his voice should be heard and considered and maybe you should develop some tunes to his liking, go out an play them and see how they go over. Or continue to develop the tunes and have him play along with you guys being known upfront you are the creative voice in the band. Being you are all starting out I found to have different people write creates diversity in the music and may allow you to appeal to more people when you finally get out there. I understand his frustration, i've been there on both sides of the fence. If he is a good guy, puts a lot into what you guys are trying to do that's worth it's weight in gold and is not very easily found these days. Being a drummer he is always reacting to what is wrote, he always has to put something to someone elses stuff so that's why he is frustrated and may be acting out because he can't give the music any direction from his point of view. The fact that he is upset means he cares! I can't stress that enough if you found someone like that try to make it work. You never know maybe with some of his ideas you can write some great stuff? I started off as a drummer now play bass too so believe me I see both sides of the fence. Communicate, sit down and talk about it. Maybe work with him on a tune or two just so you guys can get up there and let people hear your music and let them decide what style sounds good, chances are they will like aspects of all your songs. What kind of music are you currently writing? What style does your drummer what to play?
  3. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    You hit all the reasons I am glad to have him around. He is good and he does care. The problems I think stem more from personality differences. He comes from a spontanious and well maybey free form train of thought. The rest of us (myself and gtr/vox) are definately more methodical and believe in a more defined, pragmatic approach. He feels music is kind of an un-conscience or collective conscience and we are kind of catalysts for it. I just don't see it that way, the music that comes out of me is reflective of me as an individual and all the facets pertaining. I guess its kind of a philosophical problem. We all tend to like the same stuff, but all for different reasons. Communication barrier?

    We are a hard rock band for sure. Maybey a thow back to Soundgarden and other NW rock bands. Dare I say grunge? More refined, hints of classic rock and modern stuff, I don't know. When (if) we do demos I'll post them.

    Thanks for hearing me out. Gotta love a good discussion.
  4. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Well that's definately a different approach. So whats different the actual song writing process? Does he just want to go off in some jazzy improv thing during a song? I guess I need more specifics in differences, can you give me an example? The only reason I think I can help is I have been on both sides of the fence, play both instruments and I like your influences. This same crap still happens in my band to this day to some degree. It won't totally go away but we have learned to disagree but found common ground. We are all stubborn with each other, and I bet so are you guys. You got three strong willed guys it seems there. I'd hate see it go sour. After I responded the first time I browsed a little more on this topic, do you see all the topics that contain some sort of band drama? It's horrible, maybe we can get some input here not only from me but others, you can print this out and show your band. Your drummer may be upset with the "different drummer" thing at first but it just shows your dedication to see this to the end. He obviously feels something isn't right too. I did it with my band, posted a bunch of stuff I had a problem with on TB, got responses and showed the guys. They were PO'd at first but after they read the responses they understood why I did it. Now we are progressing as well but still have some bumps in the road, TB could be the ashphault.
  5. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I was going to suggest making him solo for as long as he can before each rehearsal/gig (tell him he sounds better with bigger sticks); he'll figure you guys think he's the best drummer ever. Then he can tire himself out and ride it out in simple mode. But if he's young and healthy I guess that might take longer than you've got...
  6. haha it's funny you should say that. When I rehearse with my metal band I always sit outside around 20 minutes before going into the practice space. The drummer lives in a dorm and doesnt get to play much so he goes nuts when he gets on a drumset and it's impossible to get the smallest thing done until he gets wore out. It kinda sucks that he doesn't have more respect for everyone else when trying to talk or tune but oh well.
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Whoever writes the songs should have creative control over how it gets put together. That doesn't mean input from others is dismissed, but unless it fits with the writer's vision of the song, then it should not be done.

    As alluded to previously, there needs to be some common ground where everyone can agree on the main feel of the song. But the song's originator needs to make sure it fits first.

    Find the common ground first. Then each member of the group can play around with their own part as to how it fits within the context of the song.

    Well, that is true (but the correct term would be "subconscious"). Where does music, or any art form, come from? It is a collection of abstract sounds and the feelings associated with those sounds.

    However, the person who wrote the song should be the one allowed to make the call on what fits. After all, it was his subconscious that gave birth to it. Yes, everyone in the group can put their mark on it, but they can't change the essentials the song.

    Think of a song as being a newborn baby. It would be like giving birth to a baby and then having other people change it's DNA. Yes, they would have a role in raising it. They would have a role in shaping it's personality and what to wear and how to think. But what makes that baby unique, comes from it's parent (i.e. - the one who wrote the song).

    I know of no songs that were "written" by a group. Everyone can't collectively have the same thought at the same time. A new song starts with one person, and others can make suggestions and try to add to it. Still, when a group "writes" a song, someone had to start it.

    One thing you might try is to have the drummer play something. Let him go for a while with this beat. Then the bass player adds something that fits, then the guitar. The drummer, is actually the one who "wrote" the song as whatever he came up with to start it is how the song "began" life. It was his drumming that sparked the creative process. The bass player had something to "feed off of", so to speak.

    This may help the drummer feel he is contributing instead only "adding" to an existing song. This has worked in a few bands I've played in that wrote our own music.
  8. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    Coming from an all family band. I saw us acting the same way at times. We just never quit and kept jamming together and ocassionally I the bass player had a one on one talk with the drummer and told him you know they aren't counting time right ( guitar players) but it is a song he wrote so you and I are here to play along and make it work like he wants it to sound. More and more practice we are now one united band. Hardly ever a one of us has anything to criticize about anyone's playing any more.

    Makes it more fun.

  9. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Well, its more like he is not "feeling" it. If he comes up with something just a bit over the top then will tell him to mellow abit and his response is often "its got to be interesting to me". I definately understand this (how many un interesting bass lines have you played?) but thats just is some times, its too interesting. The singer, who also is a drummer, says he (the drummer) is creating his drum lines "around" the song and not "within" it. I think that is the perfect analogy. We just can't seem to rein him in and still keep him happy.

    Sundogue: Your reference to babies and birth is exactly how we often describe this band. In the painfull birthing stage, the head has emerged, but now there seems to be complications. I like the idea of building off the drummer, I'll try and incorporate that next time, he will probobly dig it.

    Bands are not a democracy, I have come to realize this. The writer of the song having the creative call is definately agreed upon. However I know the drummer would flip if that was ever proposed. He feels it should all be communal, in fact I get the feeling he shuns stuff that is written out side of practice, though he would never say so.

    I think that next practice (also does not help that practice is pretty infrequent) I am going to force communication. I'll nut up and be the voice of the practice, I am getting impatient, there is no reason we should be dragging ass this bad. The mood of the song needs to be established and "all" must play within it. I want it to be voiced when some one is not "feeling" whats going on. I myself tend to be quiet about what is displeasing me, as do the other guys, and so when its finnaly said, there is all this drama, kinda like with your girlfriend:). No more, we have got to be pro's here. Gotta stop worrying about pissing people off for the betterment of the song, they (myself included) will get over it.

    I realize there are lots of threads with similiar stories, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks for helping out this novice.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI