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What should I do with my Drummer?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by TjMetalhead, Jun 26, 2017.


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  1. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    Ah drummers, seems to be the never ending conundrum with Bassists (and bands in general). After years of trying to get my band together we finally got something going last month. We're a progressive speed metal band and everyone is hitting on all cylinders. It's a special thing when all the musicians gel. Now here's the issue; my drummer has two jobs and it's been making practice very difficult. His schedule can vary and his communication is lacking with I and our other band mates. I consider myself to be patient and understanding but all this waiting around is getting a to be a bit cumbersome. He's a great drummer, probably one of the best I've ever played with but I and the band want to move forward. Should we stick it out for him? Or try to find someone else with a more flexible schedule? Has anyone had similar experiences? I just need some advice.
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Is the drummer going to leave one of his jobs soon?

    What do you mean "wait for him"?
     
  3. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    I'm not sure if he is going to quit one of the jobs or not, and by wait for him I mean with the practice days. The last time we all got to jam was on June 3rd, It's been almost a month since we last played. I usually like to have band practice once a week.
     
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Band sitdown time. Set a procedure by which rehearsals and such are set. Let people if they fail to abide, they are gone.
     
    jfh2112 and Jimmy4string like this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    I suggest you talk to the guy.

    Maybe he doesn't really want to be in your band.

    If he can't schedule a few hours once a month, seems to me the decision is already made.

    What do the other band members say?
     
  6. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I can understand someone having limited free time juggling multiple work related endeavors, but in this day and age there is no reason at all for lacking in the communication department.
     
  7. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    Yeah, that was one of my thoughts because the last time we played we had a slight disagreement on how the drum parts should go. My bandmates are starting to get a bit impatient as well. My guitarists are coming over to my place tomorrow, so I'll talk with them then and see how they feel.
     
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  8. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    Exactly, the rest of my bandmates have great response time.
     
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    He may be great but you can't play with a drummer who isn't there.
     
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    If the guy can't schedule rehearsal, seems to me gigging reliably is out.

    If he couldn't commit to the next rehearsal at the first one, that was the sign that he was out.
     
  11. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    That was also a concern of mine, well I'll talk to the guys about it. I think what really bugs me the most on this whole situation is his lack of communication, because I'll need to go get my gear from his jam space.
     
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Yeah, I'd get over there ASAP, make sure your equipment is still there in good shape.

    Since he has a well stocked jam room, he may be using it with his other bands.

    If the guy can't have you over a few hours a month to HIS OWN HOUSE, red flag!
     
    Lvjoebass and TheBear like this.
  13. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    lol I'm not too paranoid about it, the dude is just too busy to be jamming in any bands honestly. Having 2 jobs with irregular schedules would suck for anybody.
     
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    That's what I used to believe.
     
  15. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    If it's this difficult to find a time when he can come to a rehearsal, how are you ever going to schedule a gig?
     
  16. fakeneckplate'65

    fakeneckplate'65 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    If everyone knows their parts, him included, then you shouldn't require a ton of rehearsals. Play to a metronome or drum machine when he's unavailable. If he's worth his salt, he should be able to sit in & it should come together.

    Or just find one with availability..
     
    TheBear and TjMetalhead like this.
  17. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ******** Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA
  18. TjMetalhead

    TjMetalhead Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    That was my other line of thinking, he's really good in terms of playing what I wrote and then some. So him knowing the songs won't be a problem, But like everyone else is saying when it's going to come to scheduling gigs that's going to be another hassle to deal with. idk I'm gonna talk to my band mates tomorrow about it, then I'll talk to my drummer. It all depends on his commitment because I am willing to work around his schedules.
     
  19. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I don't wait around. I'd use these principles.

    1. Talk to him first about your concerns -- Give the guy the courtesy of a heads up before you take any strong action. I'd share your need to hear back from him within 24 hours when you contact him, and that you need to rehearse X times a week/month/year to keep the band going. Let him know it's been frustrating with how long it takes to get lift off given his schedule. See what he says.

    If he commits but then falls off the wagon, warn him his position might be in jeopardy -- it's that critical. Make sure you've got the buy-in from the other members if you're still on a democratic model. Hopefully not as that model has really sucked in the past in my experience. Enlightened entrepreneur model is better where you call the shots while being as fair and considerate to others as progress allows. If he continues being unavailable, well, consider firing. Counsel, Warn, Terminate.

    2. If he says his schedule doesn't allow regular rehearsal, indicate you'll get a sub to rehearse with you. This sub guy might have to do a gig now and then if your existing drummer's schedule conflicts, and you'll have the obligation to give the sub a gig now and then since he's investing time in rehearsal. So, you'll work with two drummers. Having two drummers is a huge boon anyway -- as a BL, I'm insulated against musicians canceling or not available because after years of it, I've built up a big list of musicians in each position who know my repertoire. With this comes the need to find ways to orient new players fast. More on that at another time.

    3. If he agrees to communicate faster, then start ending your text, email and phone with, "If I don't hear from you by such and such a day in the afternoon) then I'll going to assume you want me to use this sub musician" instead. This has to happen after he commits to the 24 hour rule though...

    Essentially, if you reach out to someone in courtesy and they don't respond, then they forfeit their right to an opinion. That'll put a firecracker under his astrabulia to make sure he responds when you have something of band importance to discuss. If he doesn't, he loses the opportunity. One monkey doesn't stop the circus.

    4. The sub -- if you like that route -- let the sub know the situation, let him know you'll throw him some gigs if he rehearses. You have to find the right guy. Someone hungry and sees it as an opportunity. If you can't find someone like that, then simply tell the existing drummer your needs, give him a bit of time to step up. If he doesn't step up, start looking for guys and just jam with them to get to know them so you know what's out there. And if the original drummer still doesn't step up, then fire that existing drummer.

    Hope that helps. You gotta be fair, and let people know where you stand, and give them a chance to step up, but never be sitting on your hands because people are taking their sweet ole time to get back to you. I consider their lack of communication disrespectful to me and the band, and I don't stand for it anymore.

    PF
     
  20. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    If he's in to the band but doesn't have time see if he'll be a sub and get another drummer for the main gigs.
     

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