Pecking order

samthebeat

Silver Member
this is interesting. I have found there is pecking order, maybe its the cirlcles i play in or something, but im somehow at the bottom of it. It does'nt help i can play guitar really well, play bass and play piano either, i keep that shit to myself unless i have known the guys for a long time. Its like disclosure in a realationship, they know me well enough to accept my faults?....that being i can do all of there jobs (to some degree with really good players, better than average)

Now what i find interesting is that i find myself sounding arrogant when i have an opinion about music, i will say this and sound arogant.....I am fully capable of producing a hit record with the right the band, but it is true i am, i know what sounds good......yet still i keep my mouth shut cause with the years of people experience i have behind me, i know people feel insecure etc. this is the other peoples faults, but i will allways continue to respect my place cause i want to play drums in a band and not have a ton of conflict just cause i want something different.

Maybe in the future i will go into being an MD, alot of drummers are in the real pro areas, or producer....Steve Jordan probably one of the most prominent ones that springs to mind, but then again when hes giging with John Mayer, im sure he gives the respect he deserves as an artist and gets on with it.

In advice to younger players, respect the pecking order, it will save you a ton of hassle. Also its a job thing, we dont allways bring a ton of artistic content to a band as drummers, we bring the foundations, often is out job to play within the boundries of a style music set out by the years of players that played it before us.
 

yesdog

Silver Member
Speaking of pecking order and the politics that come with playing in bands. Saturday is my last gig with my band I have been with for 21/2 years. If you are unhappy and can't resolve a problem its time to walk. In fact I'm walking from that band into 2 new bands. This is a silly hobby, but I love it.
 

yesdog

Silver Member
With reference to both my present phase & much earlier playing existence;

If I'm hired, the person who's paying me is the boss.

If I join a band that is the vision of one person, I've subscribed to that vision, & they're the boss.

If I join a band that's formed as a creative partnership, there is no boss, I'm one of -----

To me, there is no, & never has been, any grey area. I do not, & never will accept supriority based on instrument played. I get the ground rules nailed down before I sign up for anything.

All of that said, of course, I accept that different players occupy a position of greater importance to the success of the act. That's usually, but not always, the vocalist.
Well said, in my band I show up and get payed. It does not matter what you play, the weekest musician will always bring the band down.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
I obviously havnt had enough experience to have be subjected to this pecking order, the only band ive been in (and am still in) was a creation of me and people who were already quite close friends, it has a pretty even level feel about it, jokes can go on about my drumming but then we all make jokes about eachother and have a laugh.

Im not going to let this thread put me off the idea of applying for bands i dont know, but im definately going to keep more aware of it all if the opportunity ever arises..
it's no biggie. it's like anything else in life. the boss is the boss. the right hand man is the right hand man and the rest Get In Where They Fit In. if you're the new guy...then you're the new guy. when another new guy comes in either you're the not-so-new-guy or you have a buddy on the bench.

no biggie. same as any other social circle.
 

Redfern

Senior Member
I obviously havnt had enough experience to have be subjected to this pecking order, the only band ive been in (and am still in) was a creation of me and people who were already quite close friends, it has a pretty even level feel about it, jokes can go on about my drumming but then we all make jokes about eachother and have a laugh.

Im not going to let this thread put me off the idea of applying for bands i dont know, but im definately going to keep more aware of it all if the opportunity ever arises..
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
True, it can make string instrument players think they are superior.

But I'm amazed at the number of players who know all the chords, how to invert a chord, and the relative major/minors, but don't know an 8th note from a 16th note, or how many bars are in the song that they wrote!
I'm amazed by musicians that can transpose keys on the fly. "Well, it's written in C, but we're better off playing it in E, so here we go......"
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
But I'm amazed at the number of players who know all the chords, how to invert a chord, and the relative major/minors, but don't know an 8th note from a 16th note, or how many bars are in the song that they wrote!
guilty as charged. but i can sing it for you.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Most of the time I believe it's because drummers don't know theory and can't understand the actual melodic/harmonic side of the music. This makes the string instrument players feel superior. This doesn't happen in a symphony orchestra and it wouldn't happen to most drummers if they could say " hey what's the chord progression you're playing? I don't think that A major chord you're playing is correct.Are you playing the C sharp? " Things like that are what get drummers respect.
True, it can make string instrument players think they are superior.

But I'm amazed at the number of players who know all the chords, how to invert a chord, and the relative major/minors, but don't know an 8th note from a 16th note, or how many bars are in the song that they wrote!
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
Most of the time I believe it's because drummers don't know theory and can't understand the actual melodic/harmonic side of the music. This makes the string instrument players feel superior. This doesn't happen in a symphony orchestra and it wouldn't happen to most drummers if they could say " hey what's the chord progression you're playing? I don't think that A major chord you're playing is correct.Are you playing the C sharp? " Things like that are what get drummers respect.
i know what you mean, but it doesn't have to be that way. the kind of person that would pull that kind of power play is insecure about his own knowledge...or just plain pig-headed.

me personally, i often rely on people who don't even play an instrument for their ears. they may not know the terminology, but they know something's amiss and often they can tell you better than someone who is knee deep in specs and jargon and theory.

i remember a dispute between the keyboard player and the vocalist, where the singer needed a certain note in the chord in order for him to play off of it. but the singer couldn't explain what was missing and the keyboard player was dismissive of the whole thing. i said would you just listen to him - he knows what he needs. upon which the keyboardist walked away from the keyboard and said YOU get it then. i walked over to the board and asked the vocalist to sing the note he needed...which i added to the chord that the keyboardist had been playing. problem solved. except for the fact that the keyboardist refused to acknowedge what had just transpired and once again asked me to solve the problem (that was already solved at this point).

but you know how he is.

: )

edited to say: i should say that that was not typical behavior for the keyboardist, who is a lovely chap. he was just having one of those days.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Most of the time I believe it's because drummers don't know theory and can't understand the actual melodic/harmonic side of the music. This makes the string instrument players feel superior.
Well, a lot of them don't know that stuff that well either, actually. And not that many of them know anything at all about the drummer's job- often it's one of those "they're as afraid of you as you are of them" situations.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Thanks for the support INOG. In further defense of my keep your mouth shut statement, I do stick by that, for him, at this point on his journey. It's good advice for him right now. Ears wide open, mouth shut. He understands I meant just on the bandstand. When he gets to a further point in his development, no I wouldn't say that. But for now he needs to be a sponge. I strongly encouraged him to join DW here. THIS is the place for all his young questions, not on the bandstand. He is so green, but he doesn't try and show off, that's why I like him. He plays straight. A little too straight but I prefer that over the alternative.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
To clarify things a little, the kid emailed me and the leader. The band leader is not an ogre. He did reply to the kids email, as did I. Which prompted more kinda stupid emails from the kid. Which he replied to one more time (as did I) before telling me about it.

That's when I decided to take the situation in my own hands, totally my idea, I wasn't asked to do it. I wanted to take the situation off the leaders hands, I thought he would appreciate it. He was gracious enough to reply twice, but I know he really doesn't want to coach this kid along, where I don't mind. I sent the leader a copy of the email I sent to the kid telling him to cool it, and he liked what I wrote and thanked me.

As far as the advice keep your mouth shut and play great drums, what I meant was don't bug the other band members with stuff you should be learning on your own. (They were kinda stupid questions that they wouldn't care about, I try to eliminate the perception of stupid drummers anywhere I can). I myself subscribe to this advise. Silently do your job, do it well, don't annoy anybody and you will have the best chance of getting hired. If I didn't care about the kid I wouldn't have said anything and I just would have let him dig his own grave, as far as the other members are concerned. But he is young, and needs a little guidance, playing-wise and social-wise. His parents bring him to these jams. Better for him to hear it from me than the others. Peoples mouths can prevent them from getting hired, even if their playing is good. I learned that first hand lol.

Also I am a sideman in this band, not an equal like my other blues band. And the leader guy is among the very best blues players in my little world. Naturally I want to help him out so I keep getting hired, but I also want to help out the kid. He was being very annoying. I was annoyed by the emails and even told him. The kid will take any advice he can get so he's OK with what I said to him. I'm just trying to do the best for all concerned, and I feel I did. The leader is happy he isn't getting any more stupid emails, the kid learned a little as a result, and I made that happen. Just doing what I think is right.
I don't see where you did anything wrong, Larry. You were more or less just mentoring the 16 year old. I wish I had gotten some of that when I was a youngster. At that age, sometimes you don't know what to ask and what not to ask. Sounds like you helped him and helped your situation with the band leader. That's a win-win in my book.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Thanks for that link Pol. Now I have to see everything this guy ever put up on YT. Thanks. :)
Dammit, me too! That was a wonderful class to have attended. With my simpleton approach, I'll never get to put most of that theory to the test, but if I take just a snippet away, I'm going to be better for it.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
... it wouldn't happen to most drummers if they could say " hey what's the chord progression you're playing? I don't think that A major chord you're playing is correct.Are you playing the C sharp? " Things like that are what get drummers respect.
I agree with this. By the same token, I've never met a player with a strong time sensibility who was dismissive of drummers - they get it and they love it.

Hal Galper talks about Dizzy Gillespie's approach ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2XnB5G6oSc#t=103s
 

bigd

Silver Member
Most of the time I believe it's because drummers don't know theory and can't understand the actual melodic/harmonic side of the music. This makes the string instrument players feel superior. This doesn't happen in a symphony orchestra and it wouldn't happen to most drummers if they could say " hey what's the chord progression you're playing? I don't think that A major chord you're playing is correct.Are you playing the C sharp? " Things like that are what get drummers respect.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Since I'm the new guy maybe there's something you might want to say in private, I replied. But if this isn't fixed you'll have 2 positions where the part is missing. Then I took out and counted the 200 euro I always kept in my wallet for bonehead emergencies like that one where it might be necessary to end an association if the heat gets turned up. Now I wasn't going to quit, but it wouldn't have surprised to see older guys ditch me and hire a bad player their own age just to cover for their own guy...music issues aside (and yes this even happens with excellent players who decide the age pecking order is more important than the music itself.).
.
Great story Matt!!

I loved it.

I once had a similar issue. The bass player would hit a bottle in-between sets, and by the 4th set, he was plowed, and it made it impossible to keep time with the guy speeding up and slowing down. And of course, I got blamed for not keeping time. I was 25 at the time, and everyone else was well over 40. So the age thing was an issue.
Eventually, after one bad night of drinking, I got fired.

I even said to the very sober guitar player "so, I'm getting fired for keeping too good of time?" and he said "yes".

But given the bass player was also the leader, not much I could do. Although it wasn't all bad. I made nice stack of cash over the months we had been together, and I was going to quit in a couple of weeks anyway since I was moving.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ya drummers are disposable, but so are guitar players, bass players, key board players, and yes, even singers....everyone is disposable, like the tide covering the design you craved out with a stick in the sand.

I don't look at my band situations as a pecking orders. I believe a band has to be a teem with each player having a role to play to get the job done. Every teem needs a leader with a direction to follow, a purpose, a goal, or generally, what you end up with is chaos.

Because I am not the leader does not deminish the importance of my role. I am happy to let someone else lead. I am there to play drums. What I want is what is best for the band and best for the music, and I am more than willing to follow instructions, suggestions, and directions, but please don't demean me with pecking orders.

To become a competent drummer take years of hard work and a skill not easily reached or accomplish. So hey, I put in my time and paid some dues so give me some respect too. Just because I don't have a guitar in my hand does not in any way inherently make me lower on some imaginary pecking order. Drums are an important and vital part of modern music, accept it, respect it, and lets get on with it.
Well said.

2020202020202020
 
Top