First time Thursday

bgood

Member
Looking for some advice! This Thursday will be my first time playing drums with a group for more than a song or two. Been studying hard for three years now but really no jamming experience at all. Have 2 hours of rehearsal studio time booked and I'm pretty fired up - as a guitarist of 30 years I can't believe that I'm feeling a bit nervous about a friendly, fun jam with other non professional players. I'm usually playing guitar and singing with this group of guys and I may have to sing a few from behind the drum set - not sure how that will go. Ha!

I've got a good idea about the material but I haven't rehearsed much of it other than to listen to get a basic feel for what's going on with the drum parts. Nothing that I feel is overwhelming but I guess you never know - on guitar I wouldn't need to think about it.. It's all pretty basic rock n roll with no must have signature drum parts.

I'm approaching this as basic time keeper, looking to lock up with the bass and have a nice feel and that's mostly it - going unnoticed might be the goal :) I want them to enjoy the jam and not feel like they have to indulge my drum habit for next time because I fully intend to do it again. I hope I can do a good job of it but regardless, I'll learn about where I am right now in my development.

Any words of advice are appreciated......
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I advise that you relax, have fun and don't worry all that much about "only" being a time keeper. It's a relaxed friendly jam and that's really one of the best places to try things and stretch out to the extent that you're not detracting from anything.

You might hear or think otherwise, but plenty of guitar players like to be inspired/complimented by the drumming rather than just have a slightly more fleshy metronome going. Listen hard and react to what they do; if you're lucky, they'll do the same!
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
You wouldn't be the first (or last, I suspect) plank wanker around here to pick up a pair of sticks.

Have fun, keep solid time, and stay musically out of everybody's way and you will be welcomed back with open arms.

As Dr Watso says, that doesn't mean you have to be a wall flower. If you're making the music sound good, the "support musicians" will thank you for it.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
I advise that you relax, have fun and don't worry all that much about "only" being a time keeper. It's a relaxed friendly jam and that's really one of the best places to try things and stretch out to the extent that you're not detracting from anything.

You might hear or think otherwise, but plenty of guitar players like to be inspired/complimented by the drumming rather than just have a slightly more fleshy metronome going. Listen hard and react to what they do; if you're lucky, they'll do the same!
That's really interesting - after years of playing originals-only bands I started playing with a cover band two months ago.

I figured my job was to keep the groove solid, give the band a foundation, get the rhythm going so people could dance - no frills, just keep the beat. I did so the first gig; it went fine. A few of the players commented on my backbeat being solid, but nothing extraordinary in the way of feedback.

Well, the next time I played with them, I was a little more confident, and after a couple of beers, I started playing with a bit of swagger. I half expected them to ask me to dial it back - but to my surprise, I kept receiving encouragement.

Gig number three, I just decided to play as I normally do - nothing over the top, but not reserved either. The vocalist told me, 'Hearing you play with that kind of confidence gave ME confidence.'

Long way of getting around to what Dr. Watso was saying. Always keep your mind on being the band's 'anchor', but don't do it at the sake of inspiration...your band mates just may thank you.
 

bgood

Member
Thanks guys. As a bassist and guitarist the shoe is really on the other foot.... I know what I like from a drummer and it's a lot of what you guys said above. Good time, confidence and drive, cues for changes, fills that fit and end in time, Dynamics, listening....... I'll definitely try to test myself if it starts heading in the right direction while keeping that stuff in mind. Can't wait.
 

bgood

Member
It went pretty well! I played ok particularly since I sang almost every tune. My time was solid in spite of having to sing. I've never really practiced singing and playing before.

Couple lessons learned that I can think of.


Studio drums are sketchy. I'm a lefty and never really got them set up the way I wanted. The snare was awful, should have brought mine.

As I got more comfortable I started doing too much of what I would call cheesy fills. Some of it was good healthy risk taking to see what I could do but some was dopey crap that was beneath what I expect of myself. I'd like to avoid that next time - better control needed.

I have no idea how to help the group end the song smoothly.

Next time there needs to be a singer so I can focus on my stuff as a drummer. I don't mind singing but I want to really focus on my drumming specifically for a while. It's a too many moving parts scenario.


Overall good experience and learning opportunity and the guys were ok with my playing. No turning back! I'm mostly happy about it.
 
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