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Where to position the drummer...if he sings?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by P-Bass Fanatic, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. So basically my band is in disagreement about where to place our drummer (his kit is left handed BTW) since he is our singer because a drumset center stage just doesn't seem very practical. Anyone delt with this or have any advice?:help:
  2. namraj


    Feb 7, 2008
    sideways in the middle, face his drum kit to the left and put his mic to his left, then he will be looking at the audience whilst not hidden by his drum kit and not in the way of everyone else.
  3. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I have played in a few situations where the drummer sings. Usually the drummer will be closer to the front of stage and the musicians will be either side of but not in front of the drummer. I don't know about this sideways thing. I've never played in a band where it is done that way. You might want to shift to one side or the other depending on how any people are in the band I guess.

    Most of the time when you are gigging you have to put the drummer where they can fit anyway. You aren't always going to have the luxury of being able to turn the drums sideways or whatever else anyway.

    Usually though the only difference is that the drums will be more towards the front
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My drummer sings from behind the drumkit, center stage. The new singer we just brought on board also plays drums (very well) and I think we'll be trading them off when the drummer sings lead.
  5. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    At a church I used to attend the drummer was the main singer and the Minister of Music. His kit was front and center of the stage with guitar and bass to his right and backup singers to his left.
  6. Our drummer sings about half the leads. He sets up center stage closer towards the front, flanked by 1st keyboard and guitars with nothing in front of him. The bass, 2nd keyboard and horns actually end up flanked and slightly behind.

    Seemed strange to me the first time we set up. But it actually worked out very well with the drummer being right in the middle of everything.
  7. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    I'd say leave the drummer where he/she always would otherwise be. In terms of live performance, that's simplest and most practical. Just make sure that when the drummer is singing, nobody stands in front of him/her.
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    yep... this is best I think.

    Levon didn't set up different from other drummers.
  9. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    Check out The Band DVD, "The Last Waltz" would be good, Levon Helm. Sings lead over his shoulder and sets up front, not usually center.
  10. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Ohh man, the whole time I was reading this thread I was jonesing for some Band.

    /play "Rock of Ages Disk1" ...ahhh much better
  11. Of course drummers that set up in a non traditional way (sideways or off to one side) generally have the complete set mic'd and a lot of support from the PA system. If your not mic'ing drums and/or have inadequate PA to cover them, it may sound ackward (think sound field from the audience perspective and acoustic projection from the kit) to have them in any postion but centered and facing forward.
  12. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    in the parking lot.

  13. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    In the back where he belongs!
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've seen some bands deal with this by putting the drumkit on a riser platform. That way the drummer stays in back, but is more visible and it's easier to put a spotlight on him.
  15. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    LOL! I was going to say the unemployment office and then get a real frontman, but yours works too. :D
  16. Thanks for the suggestions guys a riser isn't really an option for us at the moment but we'll use these and see how they work.
  17. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    Played drums in a band in the 70's where all four members sang lead. I constructed a drum riser from 8'x4' 3/4" plywood, 2x4 understructure and (8) 18" long 1" black iron pipe (legs) that was hinged in the middle to fold up. The legs unscrewed and I used funiture coasters screwed into the plywood for all the stands. I also had two 4-input J-boxes mounted underneath front with 12" grounded pigtails for the guitar/bass amps to be plugged into. We could pick up the whole set and move it. Was great at showcases cause we looked different from everyone else; very good visual effect.
  18. kickupthejam


    Feb 22, 2008
    Since I often switch instruments mid-song (drums to bass or vice versa) I set my kit up sideways, at the front of stage but off to one side. I saw the drummer from Sigur ros do it and it's actually a pretty practical way to do it.
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth is always front and center.
  20. I saw a Trevor Dunn Trio Convulsant/The Locust/Fantomas concert a few years ago; all three bands had their drummers up front, each in a slightly different way.

    Trevor Dunn Trio Convulsant were arranged in a row: guitar, drums, bass, from left to right.

    The Locust were arranged with the drummer in the front centre, synth/keys behind him on a riser, and flanked on each side by guitar and bass, also on their own risers.

    Fantomas were arranged in a row: on the left was the drummer, angled slightly toward the centre, then guitar, then bass, and finally keys/synth on the right, angled in slightly toward the centre.

    All three arrangements were great, you could see every member of every band from any place in the venue.

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