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issues with the band's drummer, need advice

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  • #31
    Crap, 2 years and 7 songs? and they aren't tight? you guys need a change.
    Dillybar 13 july 2008.
    "I do not expect you to lift one of your lazy fingers to find the proof that I am right."

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    • #32
      Crap, 2 years and 7 songs? and they aren't tight? you guys need a change.


      As in throw away the songs and start over? No way. Keep in mind I had to learn how to write songs, write lyrics, and sing over the last couple of years and I don't write songs quickly. I spent 13 or 14 years basically just goofing around on guitar and bass but that changed when I finally found someone to play with who didn't flake out or move away. Something clicked and I was finally able to actually finish songs on guitar.

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      • #33
        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.


        Wrong. The one making the beats is responsible for keeping the beats in time. I'm not accountable for you not being able to keep your time in your phrasing. That's equivalent to saying the lead guitar is responsible for playing lead licks and making sure the bassist stays in key. Learn your part and keep the agreed upon time. If the band hits on 2-and but you miss the hit that's not the drummer's fault.

        If his timing is so bad then move on. If not get a drum machine and have him play to the program. And record it. See what happens.
        Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey


        You've watched too many romantic comedies. In real life, spilling your guts never leads to spilling your nuts.



        A story should be just like a good skirt. Long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting.
        -Eighty year old guy at the bank.


        Founding Member of the Vampire Batman Hunting Team

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        • #34
          Wrong. The one making the beats is responsible for keeping the beats in time. I'm not accountable for you not being able to keep your time in your phrasing. That's equivalent to saying the lead guitar is responsible for playing lead licks and making sure the bassist stays in key. Learn your part and keep the agreed upon time. If the band hits on 2-and but you miss the hit that's not the drummer's fault.

          If his timing is so bad then move on. If not get a drum machine and have him play to the program. And record it. See what happens.



          I'm not talking about keeping time in phrasing, I'm talking about beats per minute although yes my time in phrasing does need some work mostly when I am also singing. Of course that is not anyone's fault but mine. And when the drums are being played at 85 BPM instead of 75 it's not my fault but I will try harder from now on to temporarily ignore the drums when that happens and slow my playing down and hope the drums also slow down. Ignoring is what it will take. Stringed instrument players put a lot of effort into playing in time with the beat, whether it's provided by a human or a machine. If I tap my foot at the correct speed or at a speed that is at least closer to correct relative to what the drums are doing I might be able to take control.

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          • #35
            I'm not talking about keeping time in phrasing, I'm talking about beats per minute although yes my time in phrasing does need some work mostly when I am also singing. Of course that is not anyone's fault but mine. And when the drums are being played at 85 BPM instead of 75 it's not my fault but I will try harder from now on to temporarily ignore the drums when that happens and slow my playing down and hope the drums also slow down. Ignoring is what it will take. Stringed instrument players put a lot of effort into playing in time with the beat, whether it's provided by a human or a machine. If I tap my foot at the correct speed or at a speed that is at least closer to correct relative to what the drums are doing I might be able to take control.


            Keeping time in BPM's on your instrument is your responsibility not the drummer's. That's where every other instrumentalist is completely wrong about drummers. It's not my job to keep you in time. It's my job to provide and assist with a measured rhythm that is played at an agreed upon BPM not mark time for you. That's what a metronome is for.

            I saw an interview in '96 with Ron Carter where at one point he was asked about having ever played with drummers with bad timing and how does he keep his in the face of that. His reply was "I don't worry about that because it's not his job to make sure I'm in time. That's MY job. It's his job to supply and support the rhythmic progression."
            Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey


            You've watched too many romantic comedies. In real life, spilling your guts never leads to spilling your nuts.



            A story should be just like a good skirt. Long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting.
            -Eighty year old guy at the bank.


            Founding Member of the Vampire Batman Hunting Team

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            • #36
              Keeping time in BPM's on your instrument is your responsibility not the drummer's. That's where every other instrumentalist is completely wrong about drummers. It's not my job to keep you in time. It's my job to provide and assist with a measured rhythm that is played at an agreed upon BPM not mark time for you. That's what a metronome is for.

              I saw an interview in '96 with Ron Carter where at one point he was asked about having ever played with drummers with bad timing and how does he keep his in the face of that. His reply was "I don't worry about that because it's not his job to make sure I'm in time. That's MY job. It's his job to supply and support the rhythmic progression."



              Fair enough. Next practice is going to be VERY interesting. I will practice battling against my drum machine first before hand.

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              • #37
                From the sounds of it the music you are playing would require more solid time more so than some one like a white stripes which is essentially loose on purpose.

                It also sounds to me like he is just plain lazy and making excuses.

                Now it may be that he is self conscious about using the metronome during practice because his tempo is so bad. No matter how hard he might try he may simply be NOT able to play your tunes at a given time. If that's the case he needs a lot of work and needs to SLOW down and build it up.

                So say you have some tricky metal song that pushes his limits. Maybe at like 130 bpm for example. When there is no metronome maybe he can "play" all the parts, but when the click comes he doesn't know how to "fit it all in" properly. That means he needs to start learning those parts with the click AS SLOWLY as it is required for him to play it properly. So set the metronome at like 50bpm, and play it IN TIME. You could do this together with him...maybe con him a bit by saying YOU need to nail the parts correctly or whatever....but he needs the click. And if he can't accept that then nothing will change.

                Oh and in ear monitors are the way to go to hear clicks over the drums.

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                • #38
                  Actually we don't do anything in odd time signatures and most of our songs are slow or on the slower end of mid-paced, our sound is centered around the genre of doom metal which is slow to mid-paced generally. Many of the patterns he writes are double the speed of what I play and often somewhat busy sounding rather than being sparse and simple like the drumming styles of some of the bands that influence me.

                  We'll figure this out one way or the other... or we won't. I will continue on regardless. I appreciate all of the suggestions.

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                  • #39
                    You and your drummer should be able to play together. His speeding up and slowing down isn't about a particular bpm. If you could play a perfect 120 bpm and your drummer can't, it's going to sound off, and vice versa. If you guys aren't using a click, you can forget the perfect bpm. That being said, the drummer's job is to be a time keeper. If he can't maintain steady time, whatever the bpm, it won't work. Also, it is possible that he's trying to adjust to you. Steady time is more important than perfect bpm. The song may be 120 bpm, but the drummer is going to give you a variation of that. Whatever the beat it should be steady. The drummer needs to know that you count on his ability to keep steady time, and that you always will play to his beat. He needs to be given that responsibility. If he's playing too fast or too slow, verbally tell him and he will adjust. But, he should never try to adjust to any speed variation in your playing. He holds the beat. You play to it. And that goes for any other instrument.

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                    • #40
                      We record every practice. Why do you think it's such a big deal. Just pick up a cheap recorder by zoom or tascam and plunk it up when you're practicing.
                      Seems to me you guys don't respect each other musically and it's time to call it quits.

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                      • #41
                        We record every practice. Why do you think it's such a big deal. Just pick up a cheap recorder by zoom or tascam and plunk it up when you're practicing.
                        Seems to me you guys don't respect each other musically and it's time to call it quits.


                        We don't respect each other musically just because we are having tempo issues? Lately I have been recording every practice.

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                        • #42
                          Not sure if anyone mentioned this, I didn't read page 2. I'd recommend that your drummer get a tempo ref. It's not a metronome, it just gives a digital readout of the tempo you're playing sort of. It works best when playing a steady pattern. Then the drummer can tell if he/she is speeding up or slowing down. I have tempo issues myself that I've fought for a long time and continue to work on, so I have one and it's great. It also ends all arguments at rehearsal as to if the song is slowing down or speeding up or not.

                          One other thing. Is the tempo the problem, or not knowing the structure of the songs? If it's the latter, maybe you could make a recording of yourself playing the song with a metronome and let him practice with that. He should be able to hear the recording with headphones on while playing the drums.
                          P E A C E

                          "A band that is not appearing is disappearing" -- Art Blakey

                          "If you can't play the blues you might as well hang it up" -- Dexter Gordon

                          http://myspace.com/boomboomdrumsYamaha Stage Custom Drum Kit (Marina Green)
                          Ziljain, Paiste, Wuhan Cymbals
                          1972 Slingerland wood Snare Drum
                          KORG TR keyboard
                          Cubase LE
                          Tascam US-122 USB Interface
                          George Steck Baby Grand Piano

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                          • #43
                            Oh yeah tempo ref, I forgot all about that thing, maybe we will try it.

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