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issues with the band's drummer, need advice

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  • #16
    ....I basically suck at guitar and vocals and know I need a lot of work but my timing isn't too bad...


    OK, so who is the pot, and who is the kettle in this scenario?

    Could it be that he is not practicing your material because he doesn't feel that it's worthwhile, given your statement above? Yes, a drummers job is to keep good time, but it's the singer/guitarists job to hit their notes. Is it fair to squak about your drummer when you are at the same level as he is, skill wise? That's pretty egotistical, if you ask me.

    If it bothers you that much, just find another drummer, as others here have mentioned. Problem solved.

    You asked for a drummer's point of view. There it is.


    Good playing can hide a crappy drumset, but even the best drumset can't hide crappy playing.

    Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it.- Salvador Dali

    Some of the best players that I know really can't play the drums well, but they play music superlatively well. - Jim Chapin

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    • #17
      OK, so who is the pot, and who is the kettle in this scenario?

      Could it be that he is not practicing your material because he doesn't feel that it's worthwhile, given your statement above? Yes, a drummers job is to keep good time, but it's the singer/guitarists job to hit their notes. Is it fair to squak about your drummer when you are at the same level as he is, skill wise? That's pretty egotistical, if you ask me.

      If it bothers you that much, just find another drummer, as others here have mentioned. Problem solved.

      You asked for a drummer's point of view. There it is.



      And I appreciate your point of view. It's also possible that I'm a lot better than I think I am or at least that the material is better than I think it might be but I wrote it so it's impossible for me to judge it in the same way that I do other music. Actually I like our songs, otherwise I would have scrapped them, it's the occasional mistakes I make and the fact that I have to try really hard not to **************** up a lot when I play that makes me say I suck but that is relative to other rock/metal guitar players/singers. After last practice I realized that I need to spend A LOT more time practicing and I believe that he does as well. As it is I practice about 2-3 times more than he does.

      He says he likes my vocals and guitar parts. Why would he bother playing with me if he didn't? I like his drumming overall but the timing issues need to get resolved before we even think about playing gigs. If he's fast or slow on a part during practice I can't do much but adjust my playing and singing and do my best to stay with him, if I'm fast or slow all he has to do is slow down or speed up and I will adjust. Also, I am able to play my material alone, with or with a metronome and think my tempo is pretty steady without. I have never heard of a musician that could not play their song parts alone outside of band practice.

      I feel I've said way too much about this situation publicly but I don't have any close drummer friends I can talk to about this type of stuff and I don't know very much about drumming in general.

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      • #18
        My worthless advice:

        1: Get over the "Our Songs" issue. This is irrelevant to the issue of timing. I rarely practice my bands material outside of practice and instead practice to many different things to keep my dynamics and abilities going.

        2: Some people dont like clicks, thats ok IF they teach themselves to count in some way. The only way I really see this being possible is if he has something that is steady to play along to. When he practices, does he play to music, or just mess around trying to be some soloist? You can never learn to stay in time if you dont get used to things in time.

        3: If timing isnt the only issue, but he also cant play the songs correctly, its time to discuss how often you guys practice, or insist that he practice outside to your own recordings as suggested. I have had similar issues in the past, especially with guitarists who are too good to do their homework.

        Once you have addressed/resolved these issues, it will be clear to see if this guy will work out or if you need to find someone else.
        -Merlin Coryell-
        www.facebook.com/merlincoryelldrums
        City - Metal from Portland, OR
        www.facebook.com/ndcity
        Mapex Drums; Zildjian & Sabian cymbals
        Axis &; Gibraltar Hardware, Evans & Remo Heads
        Alesis DM10; ProMark sticks
        ESP Guitars, Line6 Stuffs &; Junk

        In Requiem - Marko46

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        • #19
          if there are only two of you in the room, use the click at band rehearsals. If he's uncomfortable with that, it's cause his time's ****************ty.

          for 4 or more people in a band an all-around click is excruciating. but for two, it shouldn't be nearly as bad.

          you should ask yourself if the music needs to be in lockstep metronomic time though.

          there are advantages to being a duo. it's far easier to pull off flexible time with 2 people than with 3 or more.

          anyway, it sounds like your drummer isn't practicing jack **************** with a click. he needs to put in the hours to get used to playing in time.

          Don't waste your time recording yourself for him to practice to. he'll have an excuse why he can't and then you've wasted your time.

          all isn't lost: I can think of at least one monstrously successful duo with a drummer who doesn't play in time.
          I'm blatman.
          www.timhofmann.org

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          • #20
            i've never been comfortable with a click. i've found pushing and pulling back and forth, back on time was pretty annoying. when i started focusing more on grove, it evened out. when practicing alone, i hum or sing tunes in my head. only times i have a problem is when someone else starts the tune off wrong (usually the guitarist, go figure.)
            i miss you, mark
            r.i.p. rudy

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            • #21
              I don't really play my band's songs outside of our practice...? If you nail them down in practice together, you shouldn't need to.
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              • #22
                when practicing alone, i hum or sing tunes in my head.


                I share this habit, quite embarrassingly discovered by my girlfriend when I first got the eKit and she could hear it...

                Ive since been more mindful of it, and find that in some cases it not only helped with timing, but controlled breathing.
                -Merlin Coryell-
                www.facebook.com/merlincoryelldrums
                City - Metal from Portland, OR
                www.facebook.com/ndcity
                Mapex Drums; Zildjian & Sabian cymbals
                Axis &; Gibraltar Hardware, Evans & Remo Heads
                Alesis DM10; ProMark sticks
                ESP Guitars, Line6 Stuffs &; Junk

                In Requiem - Marko46

                Comment


                • #23

                  My worthless advice:

                  1: Get over the "Our Songs" issue. This is irrelevant to the issue of timing. I rarely practice my bands material outside of practice and instead practice to many different things to keep my dynamics and abilities going.

                  2: Some people dont like clicks, thats ok IF they teach themselves to count in some way. The only way I really see this being possible is if he has something that is steady to play along to. When he practices, does he play to music, or just mess around trying to be some soloist? You can never learn to stay in time if you dont get used to things in time.

                  3: If timing isnt the only issue, but he also cant play the songs correctly, its time to discuss how often you guys practice, or insist that he practice outside to your own recordings as suggested. I have had similar issues in the past, especially with guitarists who are too good to do their homework.

                  Once you have addressed/resolved these issues, it will be clear to see if this guy will work out or if you need to find someone else.


                  My even more worthless advice:

                  How long have you and the other guy been playing?

                  Are you The White Stripes?

                  Did you know everything is subjective?

                  If you are unsatisfied, TS. It is frowned upon to aspire to even a modicum of conformity.

                  OR

                  If you guys are noobs, and I mean at music not anything else, you can blow it off as 'the way it is'. Suck it in and get to work. If the drummer dunn buy dat, lose um and keep going your way.
                  Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







                  Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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                  • #24
                    I kinda had this problem when I first started learning. I was a noob to drums and I could play along to songs or follow a guy I started jamming with on guitar. but when it was just me playing on my own, I was wondering all over the place. As time went along, I learned the beat and then got steady on the time and set the beat.

                    It SEEMS that this drummer is Not capable enough in his drumming abilities to play the songs on his own?? He can follow along with you as long as you provide the rhythm on guitar and you are able to slow down, speed up and "guide" him through the songs. But on his own, he seems to lost. If this drummer cannot lay the beat or a track on him on drums alone, then he is not a competent drummer. The drummer should be the timekeeper, he drives the beat! Can this guy get better over time and learn how to do it later?? Sure, but right now it sounds like he still working on his drumming abilities on his own and is not ready to play drums with other instruments?? Can you post some of the recorded practices here?? we can give our opinion if you would like?

                    We understand that you may have some work to do on your end, but if this drummer cannot "Hear" this rushing and dragging of the time then it will be hard for him to become a better drummer. And it nobody's fault, is just he way it is. Is why the Beatles fired Pete Best and went with Ringo Star, is why Peter Criss of KISS was replaced in the studio on the album, Dynasty and why KISS chose other drummers in the 80's and later along with Criss's other problems.

                    From your comments, it seems that this drummer cannot drum that well and is "getting by" while he learns the drums or that he not practicing like he should be?? Plus it sounds like he has no clue on how to keep time?
                    "As in drug rehab? or derhh, I crashes muh motorcycle rehab??" (Cross Eyed Mary) *** One of the founding members of The Geezer Guild***

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                    • #25
                      I share this habit, quite embarrassingly discovered by my girlfriend when I first got the eKit and she could hear it...

                      Ive since been more mindful of it, and find that in some cases it not only helped with timing, but controlled breathing.


                      my gf said, "its cute when you hum when you eat something you like." never knew i did that. i always hear songs. it's just the voices i don't like
                      i miss you, mark
                      r.i.p. rudy

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        One of the projects I play in, is a duo. Just an acoustic guitar and me, on a tiny kit. No bass player. My guitarist is an absolutely amazing musician that makes my job a lot easier than it could be, and both of us are seasoned studio musicians, so tempo/timing is not an issue.

                        But, in your scenario, it sounds to me like that is exactly the primary problem you are facing with your drummer.
                        Bottom line is every musician in a band, whether it be a duo or a 15 piece with a horn section and back-up singers, must all have good time, or at least all be on the same page, so to speak.
                        If he is not willing to practice your material with a metronome, and not willing to work on his timing, I'd look for another drummer.
                        "If you can't SAY something with your instrument, try sellin' cars."-
                        The late, great Tony Williams

                        www.russleonardi.com
                        www.zephyrsound.com
                        — Sonor Designer Maple shell (heavy) 8 pc. for studio
                        — Premier Genista 7 pc. for live gigs
                        — Tama Silverstar "Metro" 4pc. for certain live gigs.
                        — Paiste, Bosphorus and Sabian cymbals, depending on what I'm doin'.
                        — Small collection of assorted snare drums to suit my mood.

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                        • #27
                          Drummer ain't responsible for everybody's time. The drummer is responsible for HIS time. Each musician is responsible for his own sense of time. The drummer is responsible for a consistent BEAT. If his timing in relationship to yours sucks and it bothers you that bad tell him and make sure yours is worth paying a ticket for. If you tell him and he doesn't make the changes that you don't like just move on. Be prepared to hear what he has to say about you though.
                          Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey


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                          • #28
                            If he's fast or slow on a part during practice I can't do much but adjust my playing and singing and do my best to stay with him...


                            Ummm...


                            ...no.

                            If tempo should be 'x' bpm, and that's what you're playing at, and he plays faster or slower, you can stay at the tempo you're playing at. It will make his speeding up/slowing down that much more obvious.
                            Maybe that's your problem; if you keep adjusting to his mistakes, how will he ever know he has a problem in the first place?
                            For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!

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                            • #29
                              Great thread! I wasn't expecting so many responses and opinions. I have to leave for work soon otherwise I'd respond to individual posts.

                              I was waiting for someone to say that the drummer is the time keeper but I wasn't sure if people still think that way. I do agree that everyone is responsible for their own time but the one making the beats should have a better sense of tempo than the rest of the band. It is really hard for me to play faster or slow than the drummer but I will try doing this at future practices when he is off.

                              I guess I also wouldn't see the need for a drummer to play songs outside of band practice if they have them down *and* are playing them at the correct tempo. Really really good musicians don't need to practice as much. We are not really really good.

                              We are not The White Stripes, haha. We play heavy metal.

                              We've been playing together for about 2 years now. We started with a few song sketches and a bunch of riffs. I basically have figured out how to sing and write songs during that time. I had not done any actual singing in about 20 years. I've had a few near band experiences but this is the first real band I've ever been in. We learned 2 covers and have written 5 songs, 1 of them an instrumental, ranging from about 3:30 to 6 or 7 minutes each.

                              I'm not ready to "move on" as I like his drumming. I will see how he reacts to the CD idea. I think he'll go for it. I am prepared to spend a lot more time playing guitar and singing to increase my skills either way.

                              I'd like to say more but I need to leave for work.

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                              • #30
                                Doesn't sound like you have a band as much as you have a problem. If your drummer isn't willing to practice the songs, he might not like the material for whatever reason. You can't make him a better drummer and there's no point trying to change him. If he's not self-driven to be the best possible drummer he can be, you can't do it for him and he'll just drag you down. Don't torture yourself. It might be easier for you to just find a band that needs a guitar player.

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