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Trouble with drummer....i want to quit the band now.


ikestr

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Had a corporate gig Sat night, it was the 3rd year we have played for these guys, big bucks, pa, monitors, sound guy and techs provided.

 

First song - Footloose went good no problems

Second song - Love Shack went good no problems

Third song collage - We are Family, She Works Hard for the Money, Keep Me Haning On way way way too g*ddamned f**king fast, not just 2 or 3 bpm but like 10+ bpm. I can see the vocalists are struggling a bit to keep up.

 

The rest of the night was like a box of chocolates...I never knew what I was going to get from our drummer. I would say the the too fast/just right tempo ration was about 60/40 and our drummer should know better, hes been with the band for over 5 years but is still inconsistant. This should not happen at our level of musicianmanship, we were a B band that night but we should have delivered an A performance.

 

I am so GD PO'd at this situation.

 

About a year ago we asked 'joe' to write down the bpm's for every song and use a click with the song at practice, that went very well but he has since not used the click at rehersal. BTW it was like pulling teeth to get him to play with a click.

 

I just had a discussion with the MD and he seemed to think the songs were a bit overtempo but not out in the stratosphere. I asked him to get some input from the vocalists and key player to see what they thought.

 

At this point I am ready to leave unless 'joe' uses a click/seq for every rehersal and every gig for at least 1 year.

 

Am I over reacting? I dont know...maybe...maybe not.

 

Sorry for the long ass post, just needed to vent

 

ikestr

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I totally hear you. The drummer we've been playing with had a terrible sense of steady rhythm. Songs would start off tempo, and he would continue into them all over the place with the tempo. The last time I played with him, also the night a few forumites came out to hear us, I knew it was going to be the last time with that drummer. There is just no backbone to the band as a whole when the bass and drums can't nail it down, and we couldn't. Our band was in a whole other league with the previous drummer, who had way less technical chops but had the most dead steady groove, everytime. We really could rock with him, but not with his replacement. So now we're looking for another drummer.

 

I'd say that if you like this band, as the rest of you feel it should be, don't give it up but find a better drummer and keep it going. It's hard enough finding the right new band, but if you already have most of the pieces there it should be easier to replace one member than start from scratch. Good luck!

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I cannot stand when the drums are off tempo, I can detect it instantly. A teensy bit fast is OK, but even the slightest bit too slow makes me insane.

What REALLY makes me nuts is when the tempo slows down from the beginning to the end of a song. It's like letting the air out of a tire.:mad:

 

Don't quit your band until you've set forth your demand for him to use a click. You might be surprised by the reaction from the rest of the band. If they're pros, they'll understand how important it is for the tempo to be solid, and that the person in the band that's going to notice it first is the bass player. If they don't back you, blaze a trail.

 

When I was playing drums, I wasn't the most technically solid player, but I prided myself on being able to maintain a steady beat. I think that most bands will take a solid, simple drummer over a flashy, technical one any day. It's easy to write interesting riffs and basslines over a simple beat.

C7

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Why should you leave??? If the drummer can't get his {censored} together than you and the rest of the band should replace him with someone who will play what you need them to.

If he refuses to use tools that will help him fit in, then bugger him off and get a new drummer.

 

 

Werd.

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I'm the drummer in the main band I play with and let me tell you, you know what's worse than a drummer with no sense of speed? A singer who starts all the songs out himself, because we don't play to a set list, and has a tendency to play 'em about two times as fast as they should be played.

 

I get people constantly telling me that I'm playing too fast and that it'd sound better if I slowed down, and I'm not the one starting the song! The worst is when we play shows with electronic drums, because he doesn't use any monitors and thus can't hear me at all -- I'm playing to him the entire night, something that should be completely backwards.

 

/rant

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I'm the drummer in the main band I play with and let me tell you, you know what's worse than a drummer with no sense of speed? A singer who starts all the songs out himself, because we don't play to a set list, and has a tendency to play 'em about two times as fast as they should be played.


I get people constantly telling me that I'm playing too fast and that it'd sound better if I slowed down, and I'm not the one starting the song! The worst is when we play shows with electronic drums, because he doesn't use any monitors and thus can't hear me at all -- I'm playing to him the entire night, something that should be completely backwards.


/rant

 

 

Why don't you tell him to stop? I mean seriously, the dudes being a total jackass and you should call him out.

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Maybe I'm in a different situation where my drummer was a friend first. If I think a song is fast or slow at rehearsal, I'll just say so and that's it. If things start off fast or slow at a gig, I'll look over and let him know I think so and he'll adjust it one way or another if he agrees. But we're never REALLY far off.

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I'm the drummer in the main band I play with and let me tell you, you know what's worse than a drummer with no sense of speed? A singer who starts all the songs out himself, because we don't play to a set list, and has a tendency to play 'em about two times as fast as they should be played.


I get people constantly telling me that I'm playing too fast and that it'd sound better if I slowed down, and I'm not the one starting the song! The worst is when we play shows with electronic drums, because he doesn't use any monitors and thus can't hear me at all -- I'm playing to him the entire night, something that should be completely backwards.


/rant

 

Tell him to play to a {censored}en click track! :idea:

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Thanks for all the replys!

 

What I would like to have happen is have all the songs in our set list sequencenced and do 3 to 4 songs in a row. This way he can click it then forget about it till the next batch of 3 to for songs.

 

I guess there is something about wanting it the same way, every time, all the time, no excuses. This may sound boring to some but to me its great and most other musicians ive talked with also prefer it that way.

 

Once I calm down Ill figure out an appropriate way to talk with him about this.

 

ikestr

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I guess there is something about wanting it the same way, every time, all the time, no excuses. This may sound boring to some but to me its great and most other musicians ive talked with also prefer it that way.

 

 

If you're playing corporate gigs, you're not just some kids throwing it down hot and loose. Precision and consistency mean everything when you're getting paid good money to be there. It's not too much to ask that the band plays the songs the same every time, and it's certainly not boring to the crowd when they hear their favorite songs played dead on accurate.

C7

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I do corporate gigs on a regular basis. We use sequences 60% of the time and our drummer asked us if he could use a click for most of the remaining 40%. Problem solved.

 

A pro band should deliver everytime. People hire you to make them happy. If the tempo is too fast, they can't either sing or dance, and they're not happy.

 

If the drummer and your bandmates don't understand it, well, maybe it's time for you to move on to a better place. If your bandmates agree with you, well, kick the drummer out of the band asap because it may compromise the quality of your shows and therefore, the future of your band.

 

Just my 2 cents

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These are addressed to various responses in this thread, not just to the OP. I'll also address some similar issues I've seen in 30+ years of experience.

 

The drummer is not the only one responsible for time. It's the responsibility of the entire band.... try doing a rehearsal without the drummer present. Record it, and see how y'all are. Is your time together then? Or are you all over the map?

 

If you feel the time is slowing down, check yourself against a metronome during your own practice time. Does it sound like the metronome is slowing down? That leads to the natural statement: We ALL should ALWAYS practice with a metronome. I'd wager most here do not do this consistently. I had exactly this issue with more than one band; they'd accuse ME as drummer of slowing down the songs. I'd bring the metronome to practice and ask each of 'em to play simple quarter notes in time with it; invariably they'd zoom past the thing within a few bars. One guy even accused me of manipulating the metronome!

 

If you feel someone in your band is slowing down, odds are he/she has picked up on an overall increase in tempo and is trying to bring the band back to proper tempo. If everyone's listening, this should be picked up quickly by everyone else - who will then make the appropriate adjustment. And all that should happen without the crowd perceiving any fluctuation in tempo! Problem is many 'musicians' are too busy doing their own little thing to truly listen, to pay real attention to the overall picture.

 

You do not "get more energy" from a song by picking up the tempo. You get more energy by locking in to the groove. Think of Billie Jean. By any standards, that's a mid-tempo number. Yet played well it generates ferocious energy, and people just have to get up and dance.

 

Can you play softly but with committment? I know we live in loud times, but the ability to do that has much bearing on your overall control.

 

One final thing, now that you are practicing with a metronome: The objective is to NOT HEAR the click. Your note placement ought be such that it replaces the click in your hearing. This means you are no longer relying on the click, but functioning as the timekeeper. So many times I've set up players with a click and they are off and I point it out and they say "But if I can't hear it how am I supposed to know when to play?" DO NOT be that guy; be a real musician, someone who does not need to rely on others to keep the tempo.

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...You do not "get more energy" from a song by picking up the tempo. You get more energy by
locking in to the groove
....

 

+1,000,000 :thu:

 

The MOST underappreciated concept by most semi-pro working musicians. Tempo does not equal Energy.

 

I feel the original posters pain. There are a suprising number of drummers who don't get it at all. I'll take a groove oriented drummer who can hold a tempo over flashy fills anyday.

 

And any time you ask a drummer to play to a click track and he says something like "it takes away the 'human' feeling" then dump him as fast as you can. I could never understand how a drummer could feel that playing to a metronome click was a bad thing! For the most part I left my last band because the drummer said exactly that and not one member of the band piped up to such a ridiculous statement! And this was for a studio recording! Needless to say the recording really reflected this poor attitude.

 

For the best possible results (hot grooving tight band sound) it's everyone in the band's responibility to hold timing and tempo but the drummer sets it and holds it and is in the #1 position to screw it all up. If the drummer speeds up and the rest of the band pulls back becuase they are trying to keep time then the song turns into a train wreck. Everyone follows the drummer for tempo to keep the song from falling apart. The drummer's function is to hold tempo and when the tempo goes into the {censored}ter, it's no-ones fault but the drummer.

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Have you guys tried recording yourself when this bad timing is going on? Slip a copy of it in his jacket and have him listen to it.(he will def hear he is screwing up) If he doesnt make the adj or realize that he needs some help and doesnt ask for it or seek it. Then i would find a drummer who can. I was in the same sit. in a band and it sux.

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If you feel someone in your band is slowing down,
odds are he/she has picked up on an overall increase in tempo and is trying to bring the band back to proper tempo.
If everyone's
listening
, this should be picked up quickly by everyone else - who will then make the appropriate adjustment

 

That's a real good point - so true. It's nice to have a system in place and bandmembers that are listening and/or responding to subtle cues to bring the tempo back on track.

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In high school the drummer in our band was really good, great technical chops and a steady sense of tempo. He developed a drug habit and is now on methadone, i played with him recently and his sense of tempo was totally shot. He'd start off fast and by the end of the song he'd cut the tempo by half.

 

If your drumemr is playing too fast, maybe it means he is on coke or meth or something. even too much coffee can screw up your sense of timing.

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Well, there may be a certain amount of solace in the fact that even famous bands can have bad drummers:

 

 

Interviewer: "Well, Ringo is hardly the best drummer in the world."


John Lennon: "Ringo isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles."

 

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Well, there may be a certain amount of solace in the fact that even famous bands can have bad drummers:

 

 

Interviewer: "Well, Ringo is hardly the best drummer in the world."


John Lennon: "Ringo isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles."

 

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Ahhh poor Ringo. What that quote doesn't say is John was cracking a joke....

 

All three other Beatles availed themselves of Ringo's drumming after the band split, and every one of 'em has said in interviews there were none better at doing what Ringo did.

 

Well, there may be a certain amount of solace in the fact that even famous bands can have bad drummers:

 

So... Ringo may not be the world's best drummer, but to call him BAD is ridiculous.

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former drummer in a former band had serious tempo issues. when he started wandering, i'd just stay with the right tempo until someone figured out what was going on.

 

then the drummer would get his ass chewed, and we'd try again.

 

 

 

didn't fix anything, but it was fun watching him get his ass chewed...

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If the drummer speeds up and the rest of the band pulls back becuase they are trying to keep time then the song turns into a train wreck.

 

That is true only if the drummer is not listening and responding to the rest of the band.

 

Sometimes the rest of the band has to correct the tempo in order to prevent a train wreck from occurring later.

 

China Grove is one song that if you play it too slowly, it just falls apart.

 

Better to try and fix that tempo before the first chorus then to let it drag on like that.

 

Songs with intricate guitar solos can also trainwreck badly if played too fast - it might push the speed of the solo too fast for the guitarist to keep up.

 

Bands should be dynamic and flexible, and all members should be listening and be prepared to respond accordingly - that's part of the live dynamic.

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