Using Non-Genre Musicians in Start Up Bands

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by dtripoli, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    No, this is not another drummer bashing thread but when piecing together a band;
    First and foremost, get a drummer that lives, breathes and loves the genre you are playing.
    Too many times I have worked with drummers who take gigs playing in bands in a genre they
    don't really listen to or particularly like. I think they do this simply because they can and they do manage to
    adequately handle the material but the vibe/feel and passion is completely absent.

    And while I am on this subject, this holds true for all members of the band.
    So far here are a few musical clashes I have had using non-genre players:
    Straight DooWop cover band playing mostly '50's - '60's [1- 6m- 4- 5] stuff. Classic rock guitarist shows up with
    a modded Gibson SG and a suitcase full of pedals. I compliment him on his gear then proceed to tell him he won't need any of them except reverb because none of these FX pedals were invented when these songs were recorded. Plus we want to stay true to the recordings. Needless to say, he couldn't help himself and continuously clicked one or more on during every song and thus completely changed the tenor of every song and they all ended up sounding like bad metal/blues jams.

    R&B Cover band playing classic Stax/Motown stuff. Progressive rock drummer shows up with a kit that made Alex Van Halen's drums look like a basic starter kit. Drummer completely unable to hold a solid soul groove for more than 2 measures without introducing massive fills, accents or booming crescendos

    Female fronted band doing singer/songwriter songs from the '70's. Think; Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Association, Beach Boys. Old Timey Jazz guitarist shows up and after one song proceeds to pull out a Ukelele and starts doing a Tin Pan Alley type of strumming on songs. Every song turned into a beat of "Do-wacka Do, wacka do, wacka do"
    I'm sorry but there is no Do-wacka do in any '70's song except songs by Roger Miller.

    I could go on and on.....
  2. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Then again, Bill Bruford was under the impression that he had joined a jazz combo when he signed up for Yes.
  3. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Some people can play styles they don't like and others can't. I can do a good job of playing music that bores me to death, and I'll look a lot more passionate than guys who actually do like that style. I have limits, obviously, but on Tuesday I played some Edith Piaf covers and on Thursday I was doing Sean Paul and Alexandra Stan. You'd have a hard time telling which I like and which I don't.

    And it's not just me - my most successful band has a drummer who's pretty clueless about many of the styles involved. When he was DJing during the afterparty after a show, he had practically nothing except for songs in our playlist and songs on a pendrive that one of our singers gave him earlier that day. After a half hour we started furiously downloading more stuff to play so he wouldn't run out.
  4. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    Tiny Tim is always a hit with a Uke..............
  5. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    You do realize that players on the original recordings of most pop music from 1950 to 1970 did not grow up listening to that music (it wasn't around). The Motown guys were mostly jazz players. Beatles listened to Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly.

    While I've had the same experiences with various musicians that the OP states (and he is most correct in his evaluation of them), good musicanship requires a wide range of understanding of musical styles. And the creative musician is always able to take what is good from many things and make something new and interesting.
  6. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    True, but the OP seemed to be referring to coverbands. "New and interesting" feels to someone else's songs is not a risk I would be willing to take, given the effort you have to put in to a start-up coverband before you are even making $.
  7. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    In early 90's, was playing in a jazz/R&B/blues band in the Boston area, our drummer had moved away to Colorado. Auditioned this one guy who was just CLUELESS especially on the jazz side, his knowledge of jazz was limited to a rather basic swing beat that he couldn't even really hold together very well. Turns out he couldn't hold himself together very well either (drug use and not being exactly the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree to start with), needless to say, he got the boot.
  8. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    A Drummers Audition

    A drummer sits behind the drumset and the band leader says, "Can you play a samba pattern with your bass drum?"

    The drummer obliges with a quick "boom b boom" samba pattern.

    The band leader then asks, "Can you add a Mozambique cowbell pattern along with that with your right hand?"

    The drummer thinks to himself, "I can do that, no problem" and obliges, giving it his
    best Steve Gadd possible. He is then told, "Now add a 2/3 clave with your
    left foot on the hi hat."

    The drummer's struggling a bit with this one but finally works it out and stiffins his back, all proud of himself.

    Next he hears, "Now add a cascara pattern on the snare with your left
    hand." Years of studying Gary Chester books and listening to world music finally
    come to fruition and the relieved drummer finds he can play the whole pattern
    with no problem.

    Pleased with himself, he asks the band leader "There, I did it! So, do I get the job?

    "No " says the bandleader "that's why we fired the last guy!"
  9. +1 ^ ^

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