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Worst. Drummer. Ever.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by FugaziBomb, Nov 26, 2017.


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  1. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    So a friend of mine who is a BL contacted me earlier in the week to do a cover gig at a beach bar. This BL will throw together a band on the fly to do simple reggae standards. I am typically his bassist, but the line up is always rotating amongst players in the area. When I got to the bar I asked him who the drummer was going to be for the night. He informs me it's X who we are both familiar with and have worked with. We are also both aware and have agreed that he is a horrible drummer. We start the first song of the night and it is almost immediately a total travesty. As the night goes on things don't get any better. At one point the BL turns to the drummer and asks that we pick up the song to a double time. The drummer then precedes to do a triplet "Dancehall style" reggae rhythm which essentially crashes the song into a ditch - we barely recover. The whole night is like this.

    This whole thing made my blood boil for a few reasons. First of all his awful performance made the rest of us look terrible in return. I can only do so much to keep a train wreck rolling. Two songs tonight had to be stopped arbitrarily because he got so lost that he could no longer find the beat. Often times I get gigs with new BLs by meeting them and networking at gigs I'm doing for other BLs. If there was a potential BL looking for a bassist, I doubt he would have hired me based on the sh*t show I was involved with tonight.

    The other thing that pisses me right the **** off is that there are practiced, talented, ambitious drummers in our area who have put time in to hone their craft and they are dying for work while this guy is taking gigs and totally cavalier about how terrible he is. It's almost a joke to him... I've talked to him in the past about his horrible performance, specifically not holding tempos during fills, and his response was to the affect of "Yeah, I don't bother trying to hold down the tempo in drum fills" ...!

    Another point of contention is that this BL and I have talked and both agreed that this drummer is no where near talented enough to do these shows, yet here we are again.

    Would I be out of line to let this BL know that I refuse to work with the drummer again? Would I be out of line to cancel a gig at short notice if I find out this drummer is booked again? I do 2-3 nights a month with this BL which is significantly more than any other, so I'm weary about being ham fisted with the way I handle this. I cannot go through another gig like tonight, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2017
  2. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    You don't need us to tell you what to do about the drummer....Do you?....:D
     
  3. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    The problem is It's not my gig, I'm just a hired gun. I don't have any authority to axe this drummer from the BL's bench. I told the BL tonight that I would have found a fill in drummer instead, had I known he was planning to use this guy
     
    Roberto Nunez and n1as like this.
  4. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    I wouldn't work with a player like that. The question is more one of whether you can afford to give this BL notice that you don't want to work with this configuration again, since it's the BL's call as to who he hires.

    Does the BL know these other drummers in your area? I can't understand why he would hire an incompetent drummer over someone who's capable.
     
  5. StayLow

    StayLow

    Mar 14, 2008
    I've many times made it clear I'll only take gigs if a certain person or two, or more, are NOT involved.

    I've usually gotten the calls to gig and never had to deal with the problem person(s) again. When in doubt, I also provide the contact details for people who can and will do the music justice.

    The couple times I didn't get asked back, I never found evidence of the band gigging subsequently.

    There's professionals and pretenders. Choose wisely.

    Stand firm, and good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
    grrg63, 2112, AltGrendel and 12 others like this.
  6. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    This drummer is a friend of his. He is a "deep bench player" and is only "fielded" when the BL has no options. I know two drummers that were free tonight other than that guy...

    Edit: The BL does not know these drummers.
     
    joebar likes this.
  7. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    Then maybe you should express your dissatisfaction and ask the BL to check with you if he needs a drummer before resorting to this guy. If the BL won't agree, walk.
     
  8. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Guess that you just have to tell the BL that you won't play with the guy then....

    You don't want to be getting a rep as a bad bassist due to his incompetence do you?....
     
  9. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    I kind of did that this evening after load out. I told him if he is ever in a pinch, to let me know and I'll see if I can find another drummer. I said that the last time this happened, though...
     
    Tbone76 and Jimmy4string like this.
  10. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    Yeah, I'm with that 100%. It's just a tough situation, cuz I get so much work with this BL, I don't want to potentially burn a bridge. This drummer is a friend of his.
     
    Bass Man Dan likes this.
  11. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Simple, just do not do this gig anymore... The BL might understand your point maybe...
     
    Tony B. Filthy and Bass Man Dan like this.
  12. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    I told BL tonight that I wasn't happy about this. I didn't deliver any ultimatums, but I did overhear the guitarist expressing how he has no intention of working with that drummer again. He was no where near as tactful as I was...
     
    Tbone76, Dieboy, Bass Man Dan and 6 others like this.
  13. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    MEXICANADAMERICA
    you guys won’t have a gig soon if the drummer isn’t canned. and, problem solved.
     
  14. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    I like the gig when there's a good drummer. This is only the second time this drummer has been asked to play. I thought after the first time it was clear that it could not happen again...
     
  15. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    He barely ever uses this drummer, but after tonight's performance, I'd be surprised if the venue books another night with this BL
     
    pacojas likes this.
  16. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    Well, you'll need to stand your ground next time, then. Maybe he got the message after the fiasco tonight and will be more inclined to check around for other options. I'd take tonight as the "told you so" experience for him and see what the next gig brings.
     
    Tbone76, RSBBass and FugaziBomb like this.
  17. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Cool well tell the BL that you do not want to play when this drummer is being called in for a gig.
     
    Lbsterner likes this.
  18. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    Yeah, probably going to do just that. I was curious to see what the community thought about that.
     
    Lbsterner likes this.
  19. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    I wouldn't be nearly as p.o.'d if this drummer wasn't so apathetic about his inabilities
     
  20. Sounds like you and the guitarist are on the same sheet of paper. The two of you should tell the BL you won't work with this drummer anymore. Also give him the contact info of the good drummers you know. One thing I won't do is continue to embarrass myself in public like that, life's too short to put up with that and unless you're a rock star I can't imagine the pay is worth it either.
     

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