Bad night tonight :(

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
A wise man (me actually) once said, "wherever humans interact with other humans there is the capacity for greatness and chaos in equal measure". Now, I quoted that in relation to my day job as a social worker, but I think its equally, if not more, apt for drumming and bands.
I agree. I just hate that precarious feeling you get when you realize somebody else can ruin the vibe on the bandstand. It sucks.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
A wise man (me actually) once said, "wherever humans interact with other humans there is the capacity for greatness and chaos in equal measure". Now, I quoted that in relation to my day job as a social worker, but I think its equally, if not more, apt for drumming and bands.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
All the great drummers have bad nights or "off" times. Chalk it up to being human.
Totally kick butt the next gig! You know you can do it. WE know you can do it.

Go forth and conquer!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I can understand that. And on the second night, I hit it out of the park too. So I'll end it there. The kit didn't make a difference because I'm the one playing it - I find it hard to play like someone else when I'm being hired to be me. And blaming it on the kit I think just sounds like a cop-out. It was total band vibe that was a little screwy. Once I brought it out into the open and re-staged our set-up on stage before the second night, at least when there were musical mistakes, that's all they were. It was clear what is unknown and what is known. The night before just came across as strange.
Good. As I said, it's neither uncommon to have a bad night or wonder what's wrong with you when you do. Dwelling on it is where we start having issues.

After my bad evening and a couple of days of just relighting the fire at home (almost literally -- I have a couple of space heaters in the garage that I start up about 20 minutes before I actually go play), I had a great show on Sunday. We're human, we have down days. The trick is to have them any other day except days we're playing for money.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't know anybody who doesn't have off nights. Anybody; on any instrument. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it's not. It should only be addressed as a problem if it keeps happening.

I sometimes tell the story of the one time I saw weckl live. He kinda sucked. You could see the bad mood on his face, and it came out in his playing... Missing cues, dragging fills, even got some weird looks from the bass player. Maybe it was lack of sleep, fighting with the band, or just bad mojo. He got through the gig, and I heard the next night he knocked it out of the park.
I can understand that. And on the second night, I hit it out of the park too. So I'll end it there. The kit didn't make a difference because I'm the one playing it - I find it hard to play like someone else when I'm being hired to be me. And blaming it on the kit I think just sounds like a cop-out. It was total band vibe that was a little screwy. Once I brought it out into the open and re-staged our set-up on stage before the second night, at least when there were musical mistakes, that's all they were. It was clear what is unknown and what is known. The night before just came across as strange.
 

edvia

Senior Member
Don't know if this necessarily applies here, but the type of kit I play wildly influences how I play. For example, whenever I play on a large Bonham-style kit, I naturally tend to play just like Bonham. If I'm playing on a small bop kit, I tend to play like Elvin. (Well, not quite like Bonham or Elvin, but you get the idea.) So if I took a Bonham-esque kit to a gig that was anything other than hard rock, I'd naturally be out of my comfort zone because my tendency would be to play in that Bonham style, even if the music didn't warrant it. So even though the "newness" of the kit certainly could have been a factor, it might have also been the kit itself, only because it may have promoted a certain style of playing that wouldn't have normally come out at that gig.

Of course, if it was a hard rock gig (though calling it a "school gig" makes it sound like it wasn't), then I suppose you can just chalk it up to the newness of the kit and fuhgettaboutit.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I don't know anybody who doesn't have off nights. Anybody; on any instrument. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it's not. It should only be addressed as a problem if it keeps happening.

I sometimes tell the story of the one time I saw weckl live. He kinda sucked. You could see the bad mood on his face, and it came out in his playing... Missing cues, dragging fills, even got some weird looks from the bass player. Maybe it was lack of sleep, fighting with the band, or just bad mojo. He got through the gig, and I heard the next night he knocked it out of the park.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I saw a few videos of you playing and noticed you are a smaller guy. How does that affect your playing on a big bohnam set?
The thing I'm still getting used to is that my rack tom is a little farther out to my right a bit. And the ride cymbal is a little farther to my left than normal (but since it's a 24" ride cymbal, I don't have a problem with that so much. I left my snare and floor toms where they would normally be comfortable for me. So nothing really changes, and my rack tom, although maybe a couple of inches farther to my right, is basically in a comfortable spot for me. It helped going back to the 14" hi-hats because then my hi hat foot wasn't reaching for the hi-hat stand as much as it does when I use my 17" hi-hats. I think I may compromise and find a pair of 15s because I think bigger hats slosh better.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I wonder if that particular vintage kit was less likely to yield to dynamic subtlety compared to your other kits. Maybe the drums were too dominant in the mix?

It seems unlikely that your drumming has really changed in a bad way.

Davo
Nah, the kit was fine. It's the 'musician interaction' within the group dynamic that was troubling. Probably brought on by nobody really being prepared. For the second show tonight, I took it up three notches and the man in charge was happy with that. His comment on the first night was that it didn't sound like anyone was in charge back there in the band. And he was right - we lacked a traffic cop and that's normally what I would be doing if everyone followed the dynamics of the drums. Tonight they got that and then some and everybody was happy.

Last night was like being in a philosophy class without a person in it who questioned everything - the result is no leadership and everyone just flubbing along getting through it. Tonight I drove them where we were going and they followed, resulting in a more aggressive sound and actual empathy ;)
 

Formless Method

Senior Member
That guy shouldn't have gone about it like that. We all have off nights or moments including BAND LEADERS.

If he knows you can play and is happy with it then he obviously would understand it's a fluke. First he should at the least give it another chance to see if it was a fluke and then if it occurs again back to back, maybe just ask if everything is ok with you personally first. Most musicians have off nights when personal stuff is heavy. Coming at you like he did, did no good and made you feel even more anxiety about the next time. I love band leaders that go with the flow. I know it seems unorthodox but if they are relaxed and understanding then it takes a tonnn of weight off of the guys who then can just relax and focus on the groove instead of worrying about getting stares, and dress downs.

Bo you are a superb drummer so it's a fluke for sure, You didn't forget 30 years of playing all of the sudden, it happens to all of us.

I saw a few videos of you playing and noticed you are a smaller guy. How does that affect your playing on a big bohnam set?
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I wonder if that particular vintage kit was less likely to yield to dynamic subtlety compared to your other kits. Maybe the drums were too dominant in the mix?

It seems unlikely that your drumming has really changed in a bad way.

Davo
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Chin up man! Remember who you are. I mean, Bermuda calls you to sub for him!

I had a bad night the other night too. Went in my garage this morning, cued up the music player and shredded through some stuff for an hour, worked on some stick control stuff, etc. It felt great.

You can do this!
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
A really good drummer who's been giving me advice and kind of mentoring me keeps saying "It's not as hard as you think it is."
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It happens Bo, Sometimes I am the best thing since bottled beer and sometimes I am a wet rag. The rest of the time I am somewhere in the middle of the above. It happens to everyone once in a while.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I too thought that this may have been the problem. We are all probably guilty, at times, of focusing so much on the gear aspect, when really all the focus should be on the playing.

Hey Bo, are you satisfied with the sound of your drums? I know you said you were having trouble dialing in the 13" tom.
Yeah, the drums sound great. Once I got a good snare stand with rubber tips (I'm using a Yamaha 7-series now) the 13" tunes right up and sings. I said in my last post I may need to go back to the 14 hats though. I'm playing some fast stuff that the 17s are a bit sluggish on.
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
Were you too much into the the drums, and not the drumming? New toys have a way of being distracting. Shake it off. You know you are better than the comments and one bad night does not a performer make.


I too thought that this may have been the problem. We are all probably guilty, at times, of focusing so much on the gear aspect, when really all the focus should be on the playing.

Hey Bo, are you satisfied with the sound of your drums? I know you said you were having trouble dialing in the 13" tom.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Thanks. Yes, the man-in-charge wasn't involved the show (he's recovering from some injuries so his involvement is limited to watching while staff and band put the show on), but we spoke afterwards where he filled me in on what he heard. He wasn't angry, we have alot of other issues to deal with, and the drumming just being one of them, of course, amplified by me.

It could've been the way it felt behind the new kit - maybe being a bit tentative trying to keep everything from sliding away, or playing down so I can actually hear what's going on. I slept on it and realized up until this show, I've always been on the keyboard player's left side, which makes it easy for he and I to communicate. Switch me to the otherside and stick a guitarist and trumpet guy in between us (that were never there before) and there's a sudden feeling of disconnect. I need to fix that, but the way the show is staged with set pieces, that may be difficult and we'll have to tackle that issue before the next one.

I was generally happy with the way the kit sounds though. That 26" bass drum is total bottom end. I may need to go back to the 14" hi-hats too - there's a ton of spots where I'm playing blast-beat jazz stuff and the 17s proved to be a bit sluggish. But I think you guys are right - the playing was good, the communication and unity of the band was askew - which is just as bad as having guys together that can't play.

Yeah, we're humans, but when there's money involved I've never been one to come up with excuses and just try to do it right everytime.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Sometimes I play poorly when I'm working on new licks - those learning curve moments can be deflating (the new gear theories sound pretty good in your context).

It's an inevitable cycle of performance in any field ... sometimes everything flows naturally and at other times there's more thinking going on - and less groove. Back and forth. That cycle never stops, it just changes degree as we progress.

Bo remember, it's all relative. I imagine that if I played the way you did on your off day I'd be thrilled!
 
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