someone says you suck at drums, what do u do?

i just wanna see what people would do if someone went up to your face and said "you are a really crappy drummer. i mean, im better than you."

why i post this? cuz it happened to me today, and i didnt know if i should've hit the guy, or tried to talk about it with him.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Everyone's entitled to their opinions, even when you wish they wouldn't share them...

Whoever this person is, he is obviously so insecure about his own playing that he feels the need to put you down to make himself feel better. Sounds like he was trying to provoke you, too. You did the right thing by not giving in and hitting him. You're the better person for it.

I don't think there's much you can do to try to convince this guy that you're better than him. And, really...who cares? He might actually be better than you, if only at a few things. So what? Don't let it get to you. Keep doing what you're doing to improve--not so you can be better than him, but so you can be better than yourself right now. You're on your own path and he's on his.

If I were in your position, I probably would have brushed the guy off with a "Hey, congratulations!" or "Oh, really? That's nice." or maybe something a tad more sarcastic, depending on my mood. I wouldn't try to talk with him about it, though. He's nothing more than a foregone conclusion...
 

Dedworx

Senior Member
the comment this guy made isn't constructive at all.i think if someone said to me, "this part of your playing isn't working/sounding right, heres why, and heres what i think would fix it" i'd take it onboard, think about it and decide whether i agree or not.- i think its important to still make your mind up for yourself.

if what happened to you, happened to me, i probably wouldn't give it a second thought. it sounds like the guy who made the comment is insecure in his own playing and so thinks if he verbally says he's better than you, he must me. i don't recall any of the greats saying the words "im better than you" to anyone,why would they need to.

if you're secure in your own playing and development and objective in looking at yourself, you'll keep moving forward and growing as a musician. to me thats far more important than being "better" than anyone. so much in music is very subjective anyway.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I would take him out.

But if he was bigger than you then you just have to walk away say to yourself that the world is a happy mix of nice people and total jerks, and you just ran into one who gives the human race a bad name..

It should help to realize that you dont play drums to compete. I hope not anyway.
 
Last edited:

justjim

Senior Member
I'd probably agree with him

"yeah, it's a long road"

then turn your attention to someone more interesting and fem (if that's your orientation)
 

The Colonel

Silver Member
I would smile and say "You're fantastic" and then break his limbs.

Nah, not really. I'll get people sending me messages on Myspace saying "wtf is this garbage? you suck bro" all the time. I've responded to one, just to get it out of my system, and said "I'm playing something you obviously have no desire to hear, and I don't really care if you can't hear what I'm hearing."

Then I break his limbs through the computer!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
If the guy feels the need to asert his playing over yours, that's his problem / insecurity. Forget about him & his pathetic comments. You play to put a smile on your face, not his.
 

JPW

Silver Member
Hey, Colonel, I just have to say you are an amazing drummer. I listened to your myspace pieces and that's exactly the kind of playing I'm trying to achieve and am trying to do. I'm no where near your level yet, but maybe after a 20 years or so. =) I just love to impro. The more free the better. My own thing isn't so purely coming from jazz but that's really not the point. I just love it when people just let it all go and put their heart in to the music. The genre doesn't matter. It's sad these thing happen rarely outside jazz.

On the topic, haha, why would someone even say a thing like that? And bad compared to what? The best guys certanly aren't saying it, they rub it on our face playing it. =P
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ah, the nightmare scenario, designed to hone in on any insecurities we may have ... "My god, I've been playing for eons and I still can't cut it!".

Meg White, who made a fortune from music, whose simple approach is loved by millions, who cuts discs and plays massive concerts suffered from insecurity because people bagged out her playing all the time. One time they had to cancel some gigs because she was suffering from anxiety. Yet Jack White said he's never wished he had Neil Peart on kit; Meg does what he needs to make the White Stripes music work.

People can be really destructive. Why? As Caddy said, to make themselves feel better. The idea is to shoot down someone else and then raise yourself up by climbing on their body (metaphorically speaking).

Playing music is a balancing act. On one hand it's good to be aware of our flaws so we can grow as players. On the other hand we need to have total conviction in what we can play NOW so it will 'speak' to people. Ya gotta have attitude! Not overt or showing off, but something within. Don't let this guy make you tentative!

So dismiss this annoying toad who doesn't even have enough brains to provide constructive criticism. Any spotty angst-ridden teenage boy can say "That suuuucks!" on YouTube to salve their ego, and they do it all the time. It's means nothing.

Starkey, you know what areas you want to work on. You also know what parts of your playing are good. Forge on regardless and leave that energy parasite behind.
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
I would say..." You know, drumming is not a competition.! I could never imagine Neal Peart walking up to Tre Cool and saying.. 'Man, I am much better than you!' He has too much class to do that. You may be better than me... So what? What is your point? I'm better than a lot of people and so are you, I'm sure, There are a lot of people better than me and better than you. Why did you feel you needed to tell me you were better than me? .... I'm ok with that..!

----
Why do people feel that music is a competition. Way back when I was in High School we were able to talk the music department into changing the Talent Show into a night of entertainment instead of a competition. When we did that the entire atmosphere of the event changed. All the bands were now part of the event, working with one another, instead of rivals.

Does an opening band try to prove they are better than the headliners? Of course not. The thought doesn't even enter their minds.

Don't get me wrong. If I desire to enter a drumming competition that is fine. But, music in its self is not a competition..
 
R

Royal

Guest
i just wanna see what people would do if someone went up to your face and said "you are a really crappy drummer. i mean, im better than you."
why i post this? cuz it happened to me today, and i didnt know if i should've hit the guy, or tried to talk about it with him.


Is he better than you?
Are you crappy?
If the answer is yes...just agree with him.

If the answer is no....don't dignify his question by responding to it. Just laugh & walk away without a word.
 

Moldy

Silver Member
I would say..." You know, drumming is not a competition.! I could never imagine Neal Peart walking up to Tre Cool and saying.. 'Man, I am much better than you!' He has too much class to do that. You may be better than me... So what? What is your point? I'm better than a lot of people and so are you, I'm sure, There are a lot of people better than me and better than you. Why did you feel you needed to tell me you were better than me? .... I'm ok with that..!

----
Why do people feel that music is a competition. Way back when I was in High School we were able to talk the music department into changing the Talent Show into a night of entertainment instead of a competition. When we did that the entire atmosphere of the event changed. All the bands were now part of the event, working with one another, instead of rivals.

Does an opening band try to prove they are better than the headliners? Of course not. The thought doesn't even enter their minds.

Don't get me wrong. If I desire to enter a drumming competition that is fine. But, music in its self is not a competition..
Amen to that. The only person you really should compete against at all is yourself; Push yourself to do better, for you.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I have encountered this a few times in my career. I have three responses that, based on how drunk the person doing the talking is, I will use:

1. "Really? You're a drummer? Cool. Help me out...can you explain the difference between a paradiddle, pattaflafla, and a parafalaffle?" (I obviously only use this if I don't think the guy is a drummer, and just a drunk. And before anyone feels compelled to go look, yes, I make up the third "rudiment.")

2. "Oh yeah? Why aren't you gigging tonight, while I am? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that your personality leads you to try to cut down a fellow musician" (I only say this if I'm sure he won't fight me)

3. "Ah." I then go to hang out with decent people. (This is for the belligerant, trying to start a fight, type people.)

As far as what to do with the criticism, well, I know I'm a good drummer, and I know how to self-evaluate. If you don't have that skill yet, then try to talk to some of your fellow musicians, and people that you respect, to see if you aren't where you should be, or if you have some serious deficiencies in your playing. If you are at the point where you know you play well, then don't worry about it. Jealousy is an ugly thing. The worst experience I ever had with something like this was a guy who just would not leave me alone. After every set, he was talking about how he would have played stuff differently, etc. I had a hard time shaking him. He even followed me back onto stage once, and I had to remind him to get off the stage. Finally, after the show, his girlfriend walked up to me, and said, "Man, you are the most amazing drummer I have ever heard. Sorry my boyfriend has been following you around all night, but I told him to ask you for advice and stuff. He calls himself a drummer, too, but he can't do half the stuff you did tonight." Cracked me up, because I thought the guy really hated me, and it turns out he was just jealous that his girlfriend loved my playing so much.
 

Stoney

Senior Member
The guy obviously has a personality disorder. Just walk away knowing that he won't be a better drummer than you for long (that's if he is anyway) or a drummer for that matter because someone, somewhere will no doubt break all his limbs if he carries on speaking to people that way.
 

bamdrummer

Senior Member
You respond by saying "Good for you." Then turn, (fart silently) and walk away. The person that says that he's better than you or that you suck isn't worth your time or energy.
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
just let roll off your back man, the universe has a way of balancing itself out. i was told i sucked by a fellow drummer who i actually thought was a friend. anywho moral of the story i kept at practicing im now a reasonably respected musician in my community. him on the other hand life hit him hard, stopped drumming and became the town "crackhead" with 3 illigitemate kids that i really feel sorry for.
 

jwildman

Senior Member
Well it depends. If it's someone who can't play an instrument tells me this I just say "Shutup you can't even play drums." If it's a drummer then they are an exreme jerk. As drummers think it's like code that we should be helpful o oher drummers. The only dude who has really said this is my friend kevin, he didn't exactley say you suck, but this guy is just not a good teacher so I kinda understood him.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
See that kind of stuff doesn't upset me, I would have acted glad that I at least solicited a response from him. I then would have pinned him down (metaphorically) to see exactly what, if anything, he was referring to specifically. I would have listened to all the reasons he thought I was a crappy drummer, and his reasoning about why he thinks he is the better drummer, and then made an informed decision about him. That approach should determine if the guy actually has a valid opinion or if he is just a wanker. You never know when, or in what form, you will get some valuable feedback or advice. I'm sorry but I can't stand it when people get their precious ego ruffled and have to act all big and bad to compensate, over something as trivial as a musical opinion. (Other things are certainly more deserving) I'd look past the delivery and focus on the the meat and potatoes of what is being said before pigeonholing the guy. Then if the guy truly is a waste of time, I'd still thank him for his opinion (he is a patron) and send him on his way. I try to always take the high road, it's served me well.
 

druid

Silver Member
I have never met any drummer who would say something so direct and stupid. Not any drummer that I repsect anyway. I have met players of all ranges of ability and experience....big names local guys professional, teachers beginers.....anyone who feels compelled to say that probably is not very good. Sorry but I had a guy say something similar when a band I was in was going to play YYZ....he got all riled up and said something like " Yeah I'll play it if you can't" ....after years ...literally years of hearing people who *think* they can play Rush or any other stuff ( when you hear them you realize they have no idea what they are doing, poor timing, playing completely by rote, ignoring simple basics of good solid playing) I realized this guy was completely full of crap and ignored him. Many air drummers think they sound great on a real kit and think becuase they play some faulty, sloppy fascimile of YYZ that means they can "play drums"....

Usually people that feel the need to be mouthy ...simply don't have *it* when it comes time to play...but they feel they do all the same. Ignore em.
 
Top