Got a tryout with a funk band - advice?

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I'm a born again drummer. Played in my 20s a bit and took it up again towards the end of 2010. I'm taking it very seriously in terms of the amount of time I practice and am in a band, a really cool arrangement with a set of friends with broadly similar music taste. We've gigged once.

Now, I want to play more than I do with them and have kept an eye on a local musician forum. I recently spotted a guy putting together a funk band and expressed an interest. And now I have a tryout with them on Saturday. He has complained that they've only been able to find 'rock drummers' so far, so I'm happy I'm onto the right thing as I'm more of a groove man and v influenced by soul and funk and it shows in my playing.

I realise tho that I'm pretty inexperienced, and will treat the whole thing as a learning experience and if anything comes of it then that's a bonus.

But, how exactly should I describe my drumming history? Or should I just keep quiet on that and play? I kind of feel I need to be totally honest, but then that might just put doubts in people's minds. Surely I just need to let my playing speak for itself?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Eventualy, its the playing that will speak for itself.

Its important to remember that funk grooves ( or possibly all grooves, actually ) sound great because its a combination of instruments that are creating it, not just the drums. Often that means playing less than you would if you were playing the same groove just by yourself.

This is a common mistake most inexperienced drummers make.


....
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
Less experience than you with drums but any relationship must be based on total honesty from the start in order to succeed. If they are legit and you are as good as you need to be then it will work. You go with wishy washy details and less than open attitude, they will be questioning you from the start.

How many posts have you read about poor communications and questionable information ruining what seemed like a good realtionship or possible gig for someone? Three are lots if you havent read them.

It goes two ways too- they should be willing to check you out but at the same time you should eb checking them out on the same peramteters. I find honesty works best.
 

Vicious Orion

Junior Member
I think I would focus on the rhythm section and get in the pocket with the bassist.


Do they have any pre recorded music for you to listen to or any Youtube videos?

If they are just going to have you improve something, focus on stick conrtol and timing, don't worry so much about WOWing them.

Look for some funk tracks online without drums and practice to those so you can get in the groove.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Just tell them exactly what you said here. You're a groove man, influenced by funk and soul. It shows in you're playing too. You played in a rock band before? Tell them that's just because you couldn't find a good funk band and you wanted to keep your chops up. Is it dishonest? Not really, that was then, this is now. You're a funk band man.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
My advice:


CRANK THAT SNARE!
I use an LM402, cranked high :)

I think I would focus on the rhythm section and get in the pocket with the bassist.

If they are just going to have you improve something, focus on stick conrtol and timing, don't worry so much about WOWing them.
Top advice. I'm going to concentrate on the groove and make any flourishes at all come through the hats and snare


Do they have any pre recorded music for you to listen to or any Youtube videos?
No, it's a new band being put together, which feels better for me as I can get in from the ground up, as it were. So, they've got no recorded material but I asked about the kind of thing they'd be aiming for and was suggested this kind of thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0_uMSd4xOM And that's right up my street

My (alt-?)-rock band already does a take on funk drums n bass, as I snuck it in there a few weeks ago :) http://soundcloud.com/red-room-resident/funk-take1-7-12-11-mp3
 

?uesto

Silver Member
Feel the music. Don't play whatever "funk" groove you want because it's a funk groove. Dave Garibaldi and Clyde Stubblefield and Dennis Chambers don't sound good on record because they're the most talented drummer, but they feel the music and groove in a way that comps, (or at least just sounds good with) the music.

A few individual techniques you might want to work on that are pretty prominent in funk drumming would include the following:

Ghost Notes
Open Hi Hat Flares
One-Handed 16th Note Grooves
16th Note Diddles on the Bass Drum
Displaces Backbeats
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Feel the music. Don't play whatever "funk" groove you want because it's a funk groove. Dave Garibaldi and Clyde Stubblefield and Dennis Chambers don't sound good on record because they're the most talented drummer, but they feel the music and groove in a way that comps, (or at least just sounds good with) the music.
More top advice. Thanks
 
I <3 LM402s :)

But my advice to you is to work on ghostnotes, beat displacement, and Diddles. Texture is key in funk drumming. Adding ghostnoes into a groove can really change the song.
 

moontheloon

Silver Member
listen to Tower of Power, the Meters, and some James Brown

rip off some licks......make sure you put that STANK behind them

and have fun
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
As with any audition, find out what the band is about, and what music you're going to be playing, and then listen and learn tunes accordingly. Simplify your playing- play solid time with a strong backbeat and a strong, simple bass drum part. Don't try to blow them away with a lot of drummerland crap- they're not going to want to hear it, particularly if it makes the feel go to hell. Forget about anything to do with displacement- it's going to lose you the gig.

Keep your mouth shut about any reservations you have about your suitability for the gig. Saying as little as possible in general would be a good idea, in fact, unless you find yourself hitting it off with them personally. It would be a good idea for you to come across as a fan of the music, so you should maybe at least have a few favorite records. Start with:

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book
James Brown - In the Jungle Groove
The Meters - Look-ka Py Py
Bill Withers - Still Bill
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On, Let's Get It On
Parliament - Mothership Connection, Chocolate City
Sly Stone - Stand!, Fresh
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Do your listening homework so that the style starts to get in your blood, and then go play like yourself nice & chill knowing that you don't need anything from anybody (hopefully you can get that headspace). I wouldn't worry much about what to tell them, maybe just say "I'm looking to have a relaxed groovy time!"
 
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