Do You want to become a particular type band drummer or a session drummer? why?

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The band approach involves getting out, visiting venues, playing to crowds, playing the same songs many times and developing an entertaining show, etc.

The session muso approach involved staying in a room with a producer and playing a song for one day only, and never going 'out there'.

So it depends on your personality. Are you a people person or a recluse?
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I work freelance, and am not "technically" tied to any one band. Although many of the groups I do work for I have been with fore multiple years, appear in press photos and am listed as a "band member".

I have no problem being a full-time dedicated band member for the right project, but gotta keep my bills paid first.
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
I had lots of opportunity in school, especially since the talent pool was so shallow. So shallow, in fact, that I was the only snare drummer in marching band one year: https://youtu.be/daVNjBUl2LM?t=3m42s - Front and center.

Maching band, theater orchestra, pep band, jazz band, and so on. Also loved soloing [ISSMA].

When college hit, I got into the more social aspects of music, and learned that being in a band was truly something unique.

As an adult who has to spend time working to pay rent, my rehearsal options became limited. Drum soloing went out the window, and my focus went to whatever gets me working with others. Becoming a father ate up even more time.

Been with my main band for 15 years, playing drums, fretless bass, guitar, keyboard, trombone, and just about anything else that fits. There's an endless opportunity for weird things to be done. Get ink pens and play a coffee can with a balloon stretched over the top? Count me in!

Our new album, hopefully out later this year opened the doors for other things, such as voice acting [it's a musical], as well as foley art.

Sometimes I think about soloing. It was fun, but I like what I'm doing now more, so I'm glad that I left it behind.
 
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lepigpen

Member
Started drumming in school. Concert, Marching, Jazz. Have no choice but to be versatile. If I did ever commit to a band it would have to be as versatile as my drumming preferences, but within the realm of rock is acceptable. Just can't do the same timing and song structure every session.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
... as a kid I loved bands. Peart in Rush, Bonham in Zep etc. That was where it was at ...

... In a band you compose your own parts under your control so as to make great music ...

...The specialist will always be better at his specialty than the generalist...
Totally this. These were the reasons I took up playing. I wanted to be in a band making music that spoke to me in the same way, and finding a way to make the drum parts matter in a way that was somehow integral to the band's sound and not generically transparent.

These are still my guiding principals, and 35 years later, I'm still busy with 2 bands and still playing out regularly. But, I don't depend on playing for income.
Life is too short to just play what others want you to play. I understand if it is your job - yes, that's different. However, if you have a choice then play what makes you happy.
Absolutely. I tend to think more as a musician/music fan than just a drummer. There are definite styles that I either actively pursue or actively avoid and it has nothing to do with the potential for income - it just comes down to taste, so I have no interest in versatility where it means I'd need to play something I would never listen to or actively dislike.

My tastes are broad enough to draw inspiration from many sources and genres so some versatility comes just by default, but staying true to my own musical sensibilities is a top priority.
 

bsfloyd

Senior Member
Life is too short to just play what others want you to play. I understand if it is your job - yes, that's different. However, if you have a choice then play what makes you happy.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I'm mostly just happy playing. Right now I'm happy being in original bands which I enjoy as we're creating together but I'll always drum, whether in the same setting/enviroment 10-20 years down the line well, only time will tell.

The end route of my playing 'career' is mostly out of my control, it's hard enough to get people to listen to 3-4 minutes of music for free over the various streaming sites these days!, let alone buy our bands music or even people like or follow your progress on social media.

If nothing comes of it all that's perfectly fine with me, it's not about that for me anymore. It's all about the joy of playing music and creating and also trying to improve my playing ability and learning other styles so one day I can look back and say I made the best of the time I had.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Those guys n gals all say they played what people wanted to hear and laughed all the way to the bank.
You really hit on a great little point there. I hold the same attitude. I'm not playing for my enjoyment first. I am playing for the audiences enjoyment first.

Here's what that means to me to an audience who is there to dance not listen: The audience IMO doesn't want to hear a musician playing for themselves. They want to hear the drummer do their job well without drawing attention to themselves, trying to be cool. The gals want to dance. A drummer should be facilitating that, not preventing that.

If a drummer does their job without drawing attention to themselves, they will draw attention to themselves. Its backwards. Hey we all want attention. How a musician goes about it makes a ton of difference. Take care of everybody else first, and you will automatically get yours.

I think it can be boiled down to this. A musician can play selfishly, or selflessly.

I believe the greats can do both simultaneously.

A concert is a different story. If people came mainly to listen, then this doesn't really apply.
 

MJD

Silver Member
I want to be a drummer. in the definition that Buddy Rich would spout a lot. Someone who can sit down with any band or group of musicians regardless of what type of music and play the hell out of any song called.(paraphrasing). I like to think i'm on the right track. Really, I should practice more.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
When I was in my early-mid 20's I was gigging 3-4 nights a week with various cover bands in bars.

I remember one night I was in some dingy bar playing "Mustang Sally" or some such song for what already felt like the 1,000,000th time, and I thought, "this is not why I spent hours upon hours practicing drums to do". So I stopped, moved to Los Angeles and played only in original bands from then on.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
At the moment I kind of do both. I'm in a band behind a singer/songwriter. I write the music with him, but in the end it's all a "session", so to speak.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
There are session drummers still around?

I'm being facetious but the opportunities for the "session guy" are very small and dwindling.

Getting back to the original question, as a kid I loved bands. Peart in Rush, Bonham in Zep etc. That was where it was at.

It's a trade off. In a band you compose your own parts under your control so as to make great music . As a session guy, you play what you are told to so that yoy can get paid.

To me it was romance vs practicality.

The idea that being is a band limits your versatility is silly. Plus versatility is one of those terms that drummers like to throw around but ultimately it's irrelevant. The specialist will always be better at his specialty than the generalist.Tony Williams didn't play country, he played the most incredible jazz drums ever.

It's a personal choice.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If I had to nail it down to one sentence, it would be this: I want to play drums in a band for lots of people who want to hear us.

I'm so over wanting to record with anybody and everybody. I used to want to play on everything. Now I don't care. Now, I just want to play gigs for people and maybe, just maybe, get paid something.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Give me versatility any day of the week.

From a very early age my parents taught me play what people want to hear. Watch the wrecking crew, standing in the shadows of Motown, muscle shoals. Those guys n gals all say they played what people wanted to hear and laughed all the way to the bank.

I'm sure we've all known that one musician who had chops to burn but never got anywhere because they wouldn't play a certain style of music. They usually never leave their bedroom.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Always part of a band, not a session player but a full band member who contributes to the sound/genre and arrangements. Got into music back in the 60s because it was freedom, no rules and no barriers. No right or wrong way to play, just your own way.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I grew up studying jazz, so consequently adopted the attitude that you should be able to play anything, anytime, anywhere. You should also be out there playing with as many people as you can, playing as many styles as you can. Only then do you really learn what you need to do playing in and for a band, right?
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
A flexible session drummer who plays my band's songs of my taste.

I really don't see why those are separate goals. If you study the drums in a broad way then there's no reason you can't apply them broadly.
 
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