Band Etiquette

bonner

Junior Member
Hi There

i've just joined an band & I was hoping you guys could give me some tips regarding basic band etiquette & what is generally thought of as being acceptable in terms of what I should expect from my new band mates.

For instance, regards to equipment... do any of you ask the band to chip in for equipment? Drum sticks / broken cymbols etc... or should everybody be responsible for their own instruments / hardware / breakables? We're unsigned & we don't have an income yet, so i'd be asking my band mates to pay for my stuff out of their own pockets...

But it's got to the point where I'm going through 3 or 4 drum sticks per gig & the other guys aren't having to shell out for anything...

Is it fair that i should incur this extra expense just because i choose to play drums??? If I wasn't in this band I wouldn't be breaking all these sticks / cracking cymbols so surely they should contribute, no?

Let me know your thoughts, honest / brutal / no holds barred!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Bonner, everyone pays for their own gear.

If they are cranking up so loud that you have to beat the daylights out of your kit then you might like a chat with them about turning down a bit.
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
Hi bonner

Understood, but, how are you going to feel if at your next practice your guitarist's $1,500 Les Paul gets knocked over..? Ouch.. Had that happen..

I'm wondering how you are going through 4 pair of sticks a night!(?) Cracking Cymbals..!

It's usually customary for everyone to take care of their own stuff. Just the way it is. It's not they're fault you play in a way that causes all of this destruction. I have seen guitarists who, by their playing style, go through a lot of strings, and even break a few guitars... If they asked me to chip in I'd be like, "what? Don't play like that!"
 

bonner

Junior Member
Thanks Guys.

I did bring up the subject to the band the other wk & they didn't look to happy about it.

Chip, I play with relatively light weight sticks but i'm quite a hard hitter. It's a rock band, but I find that the thicker / heavier sticks give me blisters.
 

jim_gregory

Senior Member
I pay for my drums and everything that go with them. And the PA and speakers and monitors and mics and cables and spare PA. I shamed them into getting their own mic stands!
Good luck with your new sticks.
 

Neil

Senior Member
Sounds like you may just need to address the sticking issue directly rather than just replacing the sticks constantly.
Either look at your technique where you can still hit hard but not destroy sticks e.g. How high are your cymbals? Are you hitting using full arm movements or just from wrist, are you gripping the sticks too lightly etc.. etc.
Another option is checking into getting some of those indestructable sticks.

My band has finances so shared costs are paid for by the band, however sticks, strings, heads whatever it is, are taken care of by the indivdual
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Bonner, it sounds like you are hitting too hard for the sticks. Lighter smaller sticks are generally meant for quieter playing and bigger sticks for louder rockier settings.

If you are breaking cymbals and sticks I would maybe say get a couple of lessons from a teacher who can teach you how loosen your grip (which will help the blisters) and still retain the power and volume you require.
What type of CYMBALS are you using? What weight?

Cheers

Dave
 

zfzgg

Senior Member
8d's? That's tiny, I don't even use sticks that light when I'm playing lounge jazz. Use heavier sticks, I'd suggest something like a 5B for heavy rock.

Honestly, if you're breaking cymbals as well, get a couple of lessons and get your technique fixed. If you are breaking A custom regularly and getting blisters, there IS something seriously wrong with your technique.

- - - - - -

Expecting your band mates to pay for your sticks and cymbals is, put simply, absurd. You should not ever be breaking cymbals and sticks should last a long time. I've been rehearsing weekly and gigging biweekly with a heavy rock band for the past four months and used the same pair of sticks the whole time, up until about a week ago when they started to break apart from rimshots. If I was leading a band and had someone suggest I pay for their gear, I'd just fire them to be honest.

- - - - - -

It's spelled "cymbals", not "cymbols", by the way.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
If ever there was a stick designed to break under heavy assault, it's 8Ds.

Agree with zfzgg (try saying that 3 times quickly) ... 5Bs are the way to go. Agree with all the other suggestions too.

When it comes to band etiquette you've done a pretty big faux pas by asking for others to pay for your gear. I'd backpedal from that stance extra fast if I were you ...

... did you think I said I wanted you guys to chip in for my sticks? haha ... you're hearing things! As if I'd say something silly like that? haha ...

You get the idea :)
 

bonner

Junior Member
He He... Thanks Pollyanna i think i'll take up your advice there!

Thanks guys, it's weird, the 8d's just 'feel right'...
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
i've just joined an band & I was hoping you guys could give me some tips regarding basic band etiquette & what is generally thought of as being acceptable in terms of what I should expect from my new band mates.
Expect they know how to play their instrument. Expect they understand at least some principles of music and rhythm, although that's pushing it a little.

For instance, regards to equipment... do any of you ask the band to chip in for equipment? Drum sticks / broken cymbols etc... or should everybody be responsible for their own instruments / hardware / breakables? We're unsigned & we don't have an income yet, so i'd be asking my band mates to pay for my stuff out of their own pockets...
Actually, I don't think I'm much help here. Finances are always hard to come by individually at the starting stage, so my band and I are trying to work out a way to pool what we can get to get started. You should talk with your mates about this if it's a heavy concern.

But it's got to the point where I'm going through 3 or 4 drum sticks per gig & the other guys aren't having to shell out for anything...

Is it fair that i should incur this extra expense just because i choose to play drums??? If I wasn't in this band I wouldn't be breaking all these sticks / cracking cymbols so surely they should contribute, no?

Let me know your thoughts, honest / brutal / no holds barred!
Either the technique with which you're playing is incorrect(otherwise you wouldn't be destroying all these sticks) Or it's the sticks/volume at which you're playing. It's most often the former.

And no, it's not exactly fair that you have to shell out every gig for new sticks, coming out of what your share is. Again, talk to your bandmates about it.

And I read another post where you mentioned they weren't happy about turning down for the sake of your drums. Which is what I call a "Here's your sign" moment.
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
I pay for my drums and everything that go with them. And the PA and speakers and monitors and mics and cables and spare PA. I shamed them into getting their own mic stands!
Good luck with your new sticks.

[OFF TOPIC]
In this situation (depending on your band's personal circumstance,) There are still things to do. Are you playing because you love to play? Probably Yes! Are you trying, or are you a professional? If so, then it is also a business.

There is nothing wrong with having ground rules. For instance: who finds the gig? Is there a band leader? If so does he do the booking? Well, then maybe he should get a, 1/2, or even just 1/4 cut of the gig for booking it.

Who owns the PA? If it isn't band property then maybe the owner should get 1, 1/2, or m1/4 cut for PA rentals. If the band doesn't like it then make arrangements for the band to buy their own PA.

It really amazes me that a lot of singers do not own their own PA, You can put together something nice for $2,500 - $3,500 dollars. Isn't that at least what we have in our drums after everything is said and done/ How about Guitarists? Most I have played with have a couple electric and then possibly 1 or 2 acoustic. A les Paul , a Hammer, and and Ovatoin could easily be $6K - $7K, even more..! Plus another couple thousand for a good amp. Many guitarists top $10K easily...

Of course many times the singer is the guitarist or keyboard player. In this case, never mind!
[/OFF TOPIC]
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
He He... Thanks Pollyanna i think i'll take up your advice there!

Thanks guys, it's weird, the 8d's just 'feel right'...
I remember when I switched to 5Bs. At first they seemed big, but after a short while I realized that I don't have to work as hard with them. They actually help save energy because they are louder and respond better.

Give them a try.

And also remember this, Everything has a threshold. Meaning a point of no gain. Your drums are only going to be so loud. There is a point that hitting them harder just isn't going to make them any louder. Usually this point for a drum is way before the force needed to break a stick, (or a cymbal.) So if you back off a little, you will still be as loud.

Plus, different heads may allow you to be louder. Heads can increase that threshold. And, try changing the angle of your cymbals so that you have more of a striking glance. Hitting the edge (outer 2 inches or so,) of a cymbal too hard can cause stress cracks that eventually cause the cymbal to fail. Try to hit your cymbals inside that 2-3 inch zone with glancing blows...

Makes me think when I was younger, bonner, and I bet the same is for you, that it is a matter of personal style to beat the crap out of your drums, more than needing to e louder. After all, it's fun..! @:) However, It really does not produce a better sound.

--

Caveat: It is fun to crank it up, however, before you have the proper equipment, remember you only have one set of ears. I suffer from tinnitus. The reason is because of playing without proper ear protection in bands that played too loud...Don't let this happen to you. Take care of it now, by always making sure your ears are protected..!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like this guys line of thought though....make the guitar players pay for our sticks and heads. Yea that'll go over like a lead zeppelin!
 

mcbike

Silver Member
I have been in a lot of bands but I have never been in a situation where the band pays for sticks/cymbals/heads or anything. Even when my bass player accidentally kicked a mic stand through my $40 resonant kick drum head, I paid for the replacement. He tried to pay, but I wouldn't take his money. It will come back around sometime. It is just the cost of doing business and playing drums. If you do get in a professional situation all your expendibles are tax write offs (at least in the united states they are)

I maybe break 2 or 3 pairs worth of sticks a year, and I play out over 150 nights. I play loud rock too. It's all about technique, there is a proper way to play loud. Most of the time when I change out sticks it's because they get chipped tips, or they get wet/humid and loose some of their sound on the ride. (i think I might just be paranoid about that one too)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
We each carry our own cross mate. The cost of heads, sticks and the like is the price you pay for the instrument you've chosen.

Share the cost of rehearsal space, PA equipment, recording costs, band vehicle or anything else that will be shared by the band.......but your drums are your domain and the cost of their upkeep, your responsibility.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Go Larry! Yeah! We drummers are special!

Dammit, the others ought to pay for our stuff! They should be grateful to have someone who's prepared to set up and pull down all our crap and then have to bust our guts laying it down for them - and while they grab all the bloody glory!

That's it! I'm on strike! Pay up you bums - or you'll have to fumble around without your unsung metronome! Why am I suddenly talking like Bob! All those exclamation marks!!
 

yesdog

Silver Member
How the heck do you break a cymbal, playing for 30yrs never happend to me. Another Rule of Band Etiquette is, YOU BREAK IT YOU BUY IT. exp if I nocked over a 1500$ Les Paul and knocked the neck out of alignment I would offer to pay to get it fixed. If someone else in your band is breaking your sticks I would expect them to get me new ones. Enough Said
 
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