drum snobbery

Chunky

Silver Member
I thought I'd create this thread to get some opinions, hopefully open some people eyes and as a release for other drummers who've been through this.

I'm a drummer, I've been playing 12 years and gotten pretty good (if I do say so myself), I've studied, I even used to teach. There's one problem though: my favourite music is metal.

As a 'metaller' I've been looked down upon by other drummers and musicians like I'm not as good as I play in a metal band. Musicians who I could tear apart technically and they still have that 'I'm better than you' attitude.
I play prog/tech metal and djent mainly, I love nearly all styles of music though and have learned to play them all (atleast to an acceptable degree) but even if I didn't like all the other styles I've learned I'd still HAVE to learn them if I wanted to be accepted in any way by other drummers and musicians.
Why the snobbery?
Jazz musicians often talk like they own the universe, like they are part of an elite.
Well, I've learned to play jazz (probably not to the degree of a jazz enthusiast) and although I can say it's a hard style techncally, it's not harder than the djent parts I learn, or the gruelling torture of learning to play all my rudiments at metal volume.
It's not harder, it's merely different.
It seems it would just kill some people to admit that it's actually a tough style and you need to be equally as accompmished on your instrument as any other style.

Buddy Rich - he's still regarded by many as one the greatest drummers who ever lived.
How? this guy played one style all his life. Yes he was amazing at it but why is it ok for him to play one style exceptionally well and get due credit but metal drummers who learn all styles STILL get looked down upon.
Drummers like Matt Halpern, Thomas Haake, Jay Postones they are amazing drummers, not just amazing metal drummers but just amazing full stop. They'll never get the sort of credit as the jazz or fusion players though yet they are more than equal to them.
Most people who look down their noses at this music can't even begin to play it, and it HAS to be played with metal dynamics and not jazz touch which is also a physical impossibility for alot of jazz players yet they'll turn their nose up at it.

So why the snobbery towards this style of music?

And how many other players on these forums have had to endure such belittling attitudes and remarks just because their favourite music is heavy?

I know, it's a bit of a rant, I've had 12 years of this shit! lol

Opinions and experiences please!
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
To anwswer your questions, I haven't the slightest. I appreciate what goes into metal but would never want to work that hard myself. Metallers have mad skills, no doubt. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Metal has a lot of different rules that only apply to metal it seems.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
It'a all perspective, Chunky. The drum set was developed for the most part by jazz drummers, and they've been at it a bit longer. Metal is pretty new in comparison. Probably in 20 or 30 years, people will be putting some incredible metal drummer on the highest pedestal (or Gavin). Give it time. That music is still developing and I think most of the new ground being broken these days, as far as drumming goes, is in that genre. That being said, I'm a fan of metal, but just for awhile and not every day. I can say the same about country and jazz too.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
To anwswer your questions, I haven't the slightest. I appreciate what goes into metal but would never want to work that hard myself. Metallers have mad skills, no doubt. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Metal has a lot of different rules that only apply to metal it seems.
You know what? You've just brought a zen like calm to me. Thank you!

It really is a slap in the face to dedicate your life to an instrument, know your decent at it, then get discriminated against 'cos it's an extreme style and an aquired taste I suppose.
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
Own it dude.

You love what you love.

If you like metal, you're used to your friends, your peers, other musicians giving your the condescending brush off. So what? You put your head down and you go and play what you love.

I can't think of anything that exhibits depth of character more than being true to yourself. In life, in music, in playing, in everything.

You like what you like. Who cares what the snobs say. What is snobbery if not liking what you like, and staying true to it - eschewing intrusive whatzis to stay on your course.

IMO - it'd be ignorant to not listen to other stuff or try to play other stuff. But you like what you like. Own it and move on, buddy.

Me? I can't get next to Pink Floyd. Not even at gunpoint. And I'm a prog guy. Most 60's makes me gag, especially Hendrix and the Beatles and the Doors.

You love what you love.

-K
 

Jookbox

Pioneer Member
I'm not sure how old you are... Sounds like a lot of your peers are immature, but those people will be out of your life soon enough.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
its never about how hard something is to play

its about how good you sound playing it

and there is a huge difference between learning a few jazz licks and playing jazz

same for metal and any style

Ive never met a metal drummer who could swing like Buddy Rich

nor have I met a jazz player who could play like George Kollias

the snobbery definitely exists...a bit less in modern times...but exists none the less

I choose to ignore it because I love the styles equally

grew up playing metal, in my early 20s became obsessed with jazz, and now I find myself somewhere in the middle

my theory is ...if you sound good doing it, I dig

be it a Nile record, an East of the Wall record, a Soundgarden record, a Hank Williams record, or a McCoy Tyner record....and everything in between
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
It's metal man!!

You're meant to pride yourself on being downtrodden......underground....a sub-culture.....a genre that others just don't get, and to hell with 'em if they don't because we don't want 'em to "get it" anyway!
This is our thing. A secret club that only a select few are privvy to. You're either with us or against us and we don't give a shit either way 'cos we'll just keep rollin' along bangin' our heads til we're dead! Metal is in our veins, man!!

Ah....sorry, just got lost in a time warp. Thought I was a rebellious 15 year old again with a Maiden patch on my back, studs on my shoulders and and axe to grind with "the big machine". But I'm back now......

Yeah, to follow on with the tone of this thread. Do what makes you happy. Listen to what inspires you. Play what love.........despite what anyone else thinks.

\m/ ..... \m/
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Thanks people, your replies have been great. Like you's have said, you love what you love and you'll excell at your preerred style over someobe who doesn't so much like it.

If I played jazz I could fool most people. But not jazz musicians. My vocabulary and touch would probably be left wanting. But I just don't feel alive when I play it like when I play djent.


Also Jookbox - I'm 27 years old and an experienced player, just incase you think it's some schoolyard tiff. Infact it's usually the older people who are worse.

My main experience was when I first stsrted music college about 10 years ago, my drum teacher uses to call me the metal monkey and really put me down. He would praise another guy 'cos he liked jazz like he did but, he was terrible. By the end of college the teacher would often ask how I was playing things and it felt good for him to know I'd shed him like bad skin but, I doubt he knows to this day the psychological damage and confidence issues he gave me just because he didn't like metal and wouldn't even entertain it or acknowledge it.
That's pretty bad, a teacher should inspire you not put you down.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I posted this in another thread, but it fits here:

But do people hate a form of music? Well, why do people dislike anything?

An album is considered very successful if it sells 1 million copies in the USA.

As of 2012, there are around 313,218,000 people in the USA.

So, a successful album means it only appeals to just under 1/300th of the total population.

"Appetite for Destruction" has sold 18 Million copies in the US, which still means 95% of the population doesn't care enough to buy it.

When you look at international sales of any one artist compared to the entire worlds population, you can see really, nothing appeals to more than a tiny fraction of people.

Which means, by definition, most people don't like any one thing.

So if someone wants to get all snobby that their music is better/more legitimate than your music, rest assured, the majority of the world doesn't like their music either.

That said, while I have encountered some drummers who can be snobby, I'd say the vast majority of drummers have a wide appreciation for all types of drummers, and the skill involved, be it jazz or extreme metal or playing classic rock covers at the local pub.

Regardless if you're more inclined to listen to Papa Jo Jones, Charlie Watts or Derek Roddy, we're all drummers, and drumming accepts all kinds.
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
King Crimson? Deep Purple?
Never warmed to KC. Frame by Frame kills.... Red is pretty badass, too. Both not 60's.

DP isn't 60's to me: Made in Japan, Made in Europe, Machine Head, Burn, etc... all 70's.

Where I came from, you were a Purp or a Zep. I am SO a purp. Really, really not at all into Zep. Someone needs to take Bob Plant out back and put him out of my misery.

-K
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
Like others have said, be happy with yourself and what YOU have accomplished in Metal music. I understand exactly how you feel. I'm happy with what I have accomplished in other genres as well. I just don't give it any thought when I hear the snobbery because I am happy with what my band has produced and happy with what I have personally done with other non-metal projects. Much more than the average "snob" can say.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
I thought I'd create this thread to get some opinions, hopefully open some people eyes and as a release for other drummers who've been through this.

I'm a drummer, I've been playing 12 years and gotten pretty good (if I do say so myself), I've studied, I even used to teach. There's one problem though: my favourite music is metal.

As a 'metaller' I've been looked down upon by other drummers and musicians like I'm not as good as I play in a metal band. Musicians who I could tear apart technically and they still have that 'I'm better than you' attitude.
I play prog/tech metal and djent mainly, I love nearly all styles of music though and have learned to play them all (atleast to an acceptable degree) but even if I didn't like all the other styles I've learned I'd still HAVE to learn them if I wanted to be accepted in any way by other drummers and musicians.
Why the snobbery?
Jazz musicians often talk like they own the universe, like they are part of an elite.
Well, I've learned to play jazz (probably not to the degree of a jazz enthusiast) and although I can say it's a hard style techncally, it's not harder than the djent parts I learn, or the gruelling torture of learning to play all my rudiments at metal volume.
It's not harder, it's merely different.
It seems it would just kill some people to admit that it's actually a tough style and you need to be equally as accompmished on your instrument as any other style.

Buddy Rich - he's still regarded by many as one the greatest drummers who ever lived.
How? this guy played one style all his life. Yes he was amazing at it but why is it ok for him to play one style exceptionally well and get due credit but metal drummers who learn all styles STILL get looked down upon.
Drummers like Matt Halpern, Thomas Haake, Jay Postones they are amazing drummers, not just amazing metal drummers but just amazing full stop. They'll never get the sort of credit as the jazz or fusion players though yet they are more than equal to them.
Most people who look down their noses at this music can't even begin to play it, and it HAS to be played with metal dynamics and not jazz touch which is also a physical impossibility for alot of jazz players yet they'll turn their nose up at it.

So why the snobbery towards this style of music?

And how many other players on these forums have had to endure such belittling attitudes and remarks just because their favourite music is heavy?

I know, it's a bit of a rant, I've had 12 years of this shit! lol

Opinions and experiences please!
the answer to the question is longevity and the totem pole. you call can it Uncle Ghee's Totem Pole Theory if you like.

you'll have to follow me on this, but i think you'll agree once you see where i'm coming from.

when i was a kid in the 60's and 70's, Jazz and Classical were the established art forms. they were taught in schools (high school and college) and talk shows' provided music ensembles played Jazz and light easy listening fare based around Orchestral instruments. Rock and Roll (and it's many subsets) were looked down upon by the established musicians and pop hits were added to programs like Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson only after crossing over to the mainstream. not much "Cutting Edge" activity going on. sure, there was Dick Cavett, but even his theme music was clarinet based.

Rock Music certainly was not taught in schools. you couldn't choose guitar as your instrument in the school band. you might sneak some pop / rock tunes into the Jazz band.

well, now I'M a 52 year old and i find that PBS is playing Rock and Roll Oldies Shows of Doo Wop, Girl Groups, and Classic Rock. P-B-S. and Jimmy Fallon has The Roots as his show's band. of course some of this is due to there being more variety on TV now. 900 channels is a lot more than the 4 i grew up with. but mostly it has to do with generations and who's running things.

so when the kids who grew up on Metal are middle aged and have become The Establishment (man), then Metal will be the backdrop and Wall that the next generation of kids have to rail against.

imagine my surprise when i worked at a Great American Record Chain in the 90's and i was digging playing Classic Rock and Roots Music over the sound system and an 18 year old came up to me PISSED-Off that he wasn't allowed to play rap music on the store system.

OMG, i'm middle aged, i thought.

so, while Metal has been around for 30 or so years now, it's still the young'n on the block. thusly, Metal - and Rap's place on the hierarchy is (sadly) at the bottom of the totem pole.

your day will come, and you'll hate it (being middle aged), but you'll enjoy listening to the oldies you grew up with. you know - back when Metal was Metal.

: )

take your time.

[please disregard the last 3 paragraphs if you are older than 30].
 

shambo

Member
I took an art class as an elective in college. I'm not the "artsy" type, but did it to learn and have some fun. The prof came by my station one day and started erasing my pencil drawing saying it was all wrong...my reply was "how the ____ do you know it is wrong?" It's in my head not yours! Anyway, I kinda see music and drumming the same way. I know what I like and why...I play what I like and don't really care what anyone else thinks. My practice "playlist" yesterday consisted of a few tunes from Rush, Chevelle, Adele, Sly Stone and Ben Harper. The older I get, the more I learn to appreciate other genres...there's good stuff in all of it.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Metal is a goofy genre and the people who play it take it waaaay too seriously. There are many, many people wanting to play it, but not so many wanting to listen to it. So that is what you may be perceiving as snobbery.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Metal is a goofy genre and the people who play it take it waaaay too seriously. There are many, many people wanting to play it, but not so many wanting to listen to it. So that is what you may be perceiving as snobbery.
Ahhh, the clear voice of reason...

It hurts my ears and makes me think about horrible things. I've seen enough tragedy in this lifetime. I wanna hear songs about living, not dying.
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
Ahhh, the clear voice of reason...

It hurts my ears and makes me think about horrible things. I've seen enough tragedy in this lifetime. I wanna hear songs about living, not dying.
I get the hurts your ears part. I don't get the makes you think about horrible things.

There is plenty of happy metal.

There is plenty of Ballad metal.

There is plenty of funk / groovy metal.

Same with rock.

Dude, your statement makes about as much sense as the goobers that generalize all country songs as my girlfriend left me, my dog ran away, the truck won't start tunes. Or the goobers that generalize all hip hop as kill whitie music. Or the goobers that generalize female singer/songwriter is all boo-hoo you hurt me songs. A lot of our parents generalized rock as cars and chicks. (they were right, by the way.... :) )

Not all metal is about the end of the world, tragedy, politics or pain.

-K
 
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