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What should you do if your drummer hardly shows up for practice?...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Shild, Mar 21, 2013.


  1. Shild

    Shild

    Nov 15, 2012
    I'm in a band where we are supposed to practice twice a week but the drummer always has a reason he doesn't show up. The last few weeks it was snow (even though it really wasn't that much), before that he was sick.. He had a valid one too like his wife went to the hospital but he also had a seriously lame one. Someone at his work couldn't go to work so he had to fill in for him!... Does anyone have advice for this kind of situation?.. I'm not the founder of the band so I can't really say "Come to practice or you're out".
     
  2. Your drummer doesnt want to drum
     
  3. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Unless the band pays more than his day job, Job > Band, end of story. I don't know anyone who is willing to burn bridges with the job that pays the bills and feeds the family over a rehearsal.

    That being said, it sounds like the band needs to talk to him. He just may not have the bandwidth for the project right now. If the rest of the band is OK with his absenteeism, you might need to either suck it up, or look for another project.

    Does this affect gigs, too? If lack of rehearsal is not affecting gigs (if you have any), then I wouldn't be concerned at all.
     
  4. miner

    miner

    Oct 26, 2008
    Chicago
    I have the same problem with my drummer... and he's my brother! Only thing you can really do is to talk to the band and see what they all think.
     
  5. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    The band may well not be his biggest priority in life. How are things otherwise with him? How is the band doing? Did he understand the commitment level? Is this a new behavior for him?

    Sometimes people have rough spots, and if the band is not generating what his needs are then may well be paying attention to other more pressing demands.
     
  6. Shild

    Shild

    Nov 15, 2012
    Yes it affects gigs... We have 8 songs to learn before we can even do gigs and we've only learned 2 so far... We are also each paying $80 a month for the practice space so when he goes to work instead of practice it is unfair to the rest of us...
     
  7. No offense, but if you're practicing twice a week for many weeks and you've only learned 2 songs, that may be exactly the reason your drummer is not wanting to show up. What do you do at your practices? At that pace I would go insane.

    In the bands I've been involved in, 8 songs should take 3-4 practices max (assuming you're doing covers and they don't include "La Villa Strangiato" level songs.) The first practice to hand out charts/CDs whatever and slow run through and note the desired parts and arrangements. The remaining 2-3 practices are to put the polish on them.
     
  8. Shild

    Shild

    Nov 15, 2012
    We've really only gone to practice about 4 or 5 times.. No they're not covers, they're the most difficult originals we have. The rest of the band and I can play the songs good though not perfect but it's mainly the drummer who needs to do most of the learning...
     
  9. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    So, you are concerned about the drummer hitting a rough patch in his life for a month? When were you hoping to have 8 originals ready and polished? Were you even starting to think about setting up gigs? If not, then he hasn't impacted anything yet.

    Unless you are doing crazy complex music, a decent drummer will figure out where to fit in pretty quickly.

    Instead of coming down on him, maybe you guys can record the practices you do have, and let him use them to figure out his stuff on his own. He can at least be familiar with the songs so when he can make it, it won't be "Let's teach the drummer" sessions.
     
  10. mcm

    mcm

    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Easy get another drummer
     
  11. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm with this guy's first paragraph. As for the second, most of the bands I have played with (since I got to the point I know how to play) would have THREE practices. ONE for each HOUR LONG SET. Then it was gig time. And then there were no more practices until the dead of winter when things slowed down a bit. And even then we might have a couple just to bang out some new tunes. Practicing twice a week would drive me nuts. It makes no sense (unless you are all young, single, rich and bored.)

    If I were in the OP's band, and we had practiced a bunch of times only to learn 2 songs, they would have a hard time getting me on the phone. Lest we forget, if you only need 8 songs to gig, then you are doing those shows that involve 5 or 6 all-originals bands and won't be making a dime. So you aren't exactly a great catch right now. What's the incentive to practice twice a week to go play 8 songs for 10 of your best friends and probably either PAY to do it, or do just a tiny bit better than break even? I'm confused.
     
  12. fasto

    fasto

    Mar 4, 2007
    Amsterdam, NL
    get a drum computer (Alesis SR-16) ;-)
     
  13. 4dog

    4dog

    Aug 18, 2012
    Let the pay reflect.
     
  14. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    We found a rehersal studio at a pretty good price. Everything is there, the drummer doesn't have to drag his drums to practice and then back home again. Now he always shows up.
     
  15. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I had a drummer that left his whole kit at the practice space so he didn't have to carry it and still never showed up. After a couple months of only showing up once I called him out on it. He said he wanted to start getting serious about it and would show up. The day before the next practice after that I texted him this is exactly how it went:

    Me: Practice tomorrow at 1. Are you going to be there?
    Drummer: No
    Me: Cool..... Your fired. I'll see you tomorrow at 1 anyway to get your crap.

    I was kinda hard on him because he was always giving bs excuses, never a good one, like " I hear a thud when i hit pot hole on my way to work on Monday, not going to make it" he'll say this on Thursday. His occasional hangover excesses where the best he had.
     
  16. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I say fire him and get someone more reliable. Come to think of it maybe this is the reason I can't get a band together.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  17. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Shild,

    Hey why is this in [BG] Bassists section of TB!? This needs to be in Band Management.

    Thank you,
    J
     
  18. The issue may be that you guys have been at this for awhile and still ain't gigging. I've stuck around on projects that I really liked until they got there, but a non-gigging band that I'm only kind of interested in provides little motivation to practice.

    If you want to keep the drummer, get a sub in mind and book a gig a month from now. Swim or perish. And if your drummer can't hang, you salvage the night with the sub.

    If you and the band don't care about keeping the guy, put an attendance rule in place and can him as soon as he breaks it. Probably the next practice. And find a new drummer and gig.

    Either way, you might as well book the gig in April or May.
     
  19. Winfred

    Winfred

    Oct 21, 2011
    Your drummer is violating 1 of the 3 band rules:

    1. Show up
    2. Know your parts
    3. Don't be an ###hole
     
  20. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    Drummer is married with a day job. It happens.
     

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