Drummer Mess Ups

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Our inclination when we make a mistake when practising is to stop and reset ourselves. DON'T. Instead try to recover - keep the metronome or the track going and get back to where you want to be whether you are playing rudiments or syncopation or grooves or whatever. In short incorporate practising recovery naturally into your practice regime.
Yes- this is a big deal- you want to be able to make mistakes without losing track of either the time or of your place in the measure.

Recorded mistakes: on Evidence on Thelonious Monk @ the Blackhawk, Billy Higgins apparently doesn't know the tune, because he shifts his time to move the & of 1 hits on the bridge onto beat 2- that's kind of a mess. Also in transcribing the drumming on the guitar solo (in 19/16) from Zappa's "Keep It Greasey", I discovered that Vinnie blew past one of the downbeats- he played a measure of 5/4 instead of 4/4+3/16 (a mistake we've all made a million times). It's difficult to catch unless you're going through the piece measure by measure, because he corrects it instantly- he probably heard that he put the downbeat on the e of 1 as soon as he played it.
 

Destroy1

Senior Member
Well, lesse'...there was this one time I'm doing a Santana number...and this HUGE black widow spider rolls down on top of me.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Bermuda said:
Going way back to 1962, in "Wild Weekend" by the Rockin' Rebels, towards the end of the song, the drummer reverses the beat, the band doesn't adjust to him, and then the track fades as if noone would notice! Shameful. It's impossible to believe that the producer, band, drummer or engineer didn't notice it immediately, or that budgets were so tight, they couldn't do another take. Unless of course that was the best take...
I've heard lots of jarring moments but, like, pkaneps I always give the drummer the benefit of the doubt ... but not that Rocking Rebels tune lol ... massive flubb. My guess is that the vibe of that take was a fair way better than the others and since it was near the end ...

I bet 90% (at least) of the people who bought the single either didn't notice or didn't care about it, and that most of those who did notice were musos :) I'm also pretty sure that the blunder didn't affect the song's sales.


... i was learning "lady marmalade" for my band and i noticed what sounded like a mistake on the original studio recording. about two thirds of the way in, the drummer starts a chorus on the ride cymbal bell, plays about 3 hits, and then quickly shifts back to the hats. it sounded like he started in with the bell but suddenly realized it was too early in the song for that. in the next chorus he starts on the bell and stays on the bell for the rest of the song. it's pretty minor, but it sounds like a mistake and like something i've done before.
I've lost count of the number of times I've done that ... oops, not yet, back to the hats ...

Waaat?? A mistake?? Geddouddahere - I meant to do that! It's nice to toss something different in on the first bar of a passage to unsquare the song a little and freshen the listeners' ears ... right? :)

PS. You lucky dog, Dairyerre ... I always wanted to play Lady Marmalade!


Diego, I didn't hear any issue in the Guns n Roses track. I think he meant to play it that way.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I can think of several but I can't connect to YouTube from where I am. I'll post them later when I get home.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?
I've got one on a very famous song for you. (I think).

Guns n' Roses - "Sweet Child o' Mine" - From "Appetite for Destruction"

Listen: after the guitar intro, the drummer makes a straight double-note-eights fill on the floor tom/snare and starts the beat on the ride cymbal, right?

Well, listen carefully and you can hear how the first hit after the crash (the downbeat/snare hit) he makes it on the hihat instead of the ride, and instantly changes to it. ;)

(yeah, he could have made it on purpose... but really.. what are the chances?)

Who hasn't started a chorus or something and thought "Oh %/&%!! I should be on the ride!" and changed??? Well, I think that's what happened to Mr. Adler, got recorded and still became a classic. :D

Cheers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047jbfCE4p8 Listen carefully after the starting fill, around 0:27. (mistake is the hit at 0:31)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qt_JoClwtA

This one isn't huge but the fact that it's there at all has stumped me since since it's Neil Peart on a studio recording. At about 1:20 right after this little triplet figure on a small tom, the bass drum lands noticeably early as it sounds like he'd fallen behind the click and was trying to catch back up to it.

I wonder why they didn't fix that, especially since they finished that record ahead of schedule. Maybe no one noticed??
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
To be fair, I think he completely stopped to reset the click.
That's just one reason I don't like clicks live. Any screwup seems to be much worse, because you can't just adjust on the fly; everyone has to be on the click, or everyone will be confused by it.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?

Bermuda
i few months ago i was learning "lady marmalade" for my band and i noticed what sounded like a mistake on the original studio recording. about two thirds of the way in, the drummer starts a chorus on the ride cymbal bell, plays about 3 hits, and then quickly shifts back to the hats. it sounded like he started in with the bell but suddenly realized it was too early in the song for that. in the next chorus he starts on the bell and stays on the bell for the rest of the song. it's pretty minor, but it sounds like a mistake and like something i've done before.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
keith carlock messing up sounds better than most people playing normally
p.s. that girl has a dirty smile
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
I'd say that all drummers make an audible gaff on occasion, and you'd normally only hear it in a live situation as opposed to a recording where they can do a fix, or another take.

But, I'm sure there are several studio recordings where they didn't fix an obvious mistake. Off the top of my head, I can think of two:

Going way back to 1962, in "Wild Weekend" by the Rockin' Rebels, towards the end of the song, the drummer reverses the beat, the band doesn't adjust to him, and then the track fades as if noone would notice! Shameful. It's impossible to believe that the producer, band, drummer or engineer didn't notice it immediately, or that budgets were so tight, they couldn't do another take. Unless of course that was the best take...

And going not quite so far back, c1980, on "Gangsters" by the Specials, the drummer kicks-off the bridge's double-time in a previous verse, starting on the 1 but catches it by '4' and then is back on. Most listeners might not think anything of it, just a quirky little snare thing, but any drummer would know he had come in a whole section early with it. But it was a cool mistake, and I occasionally use it to kick-up a verse somewhere in the middle of it.

Any other obvious recorded mistakes that could/should have been fixed before they were issued?

Bermuda
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Your limbs can mess up whatever figure you are playing....but the figure in your mind theoretically should keep going. It's just a matter of catching up and rejoining it with your limbs before anybody is the wiser. There's no good reason for your thoughts to mess up. Your hands, yes. Your thoughts, and the pulse, hopefully not. The bass player has to keep going though. If a little slip up on the drummers part derails the bass, then there's not much you can do.
 

tbdd

Senior Member
I definitely agree with eliRYO about recovery. I have off nights for sure dude and getting in the slums and thinking about it (especially while playing) only makes shit worse, sip your beer clear your head and power on dude enjoy yourself even if thinks aren't perfect as long as your playing with energy like you mean it and can recover, your covered.
 
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