The disconnect between musicians perspectives and audience perspective

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So I'm playing with my trio at our most steady gig, and an off duty manager comes up to the stage as a song is ending and asks me if it's OK to allow one of the restaurant workers there to play a song with the band. Kind of put us on the spot. So reluctantly I say it's OK, if it's OK with the leader, who half heartedly agrees. The manager assures us that the guy is "really good". The leader asks what kind of music the sit in guy is into and he says he was raised on metal. After hearing that I said, listen man this is my best bronze, don't hurt my cymbals. "Aww don't worry man I know what it's like to have someone else play your drums." I say, it's not the drums I'm concerned about it's my cymbals.

Anyway the leader picks "Standing on Shaky Ground" which, the way we do it, is one of our best dance tunes. The song needs a nice strong backbeat on 2 and 4 to move it along. So the guy gets up and the song starts and it's a linear triplet drum solo for almost the whole song with no regard to the vocals or anything else for that matter. I mean the guy would hit one backbeat, then play 2 bars of linear trips, then another backbeat and another 2 bars of linear trips, letting the time falter, and basically not listening at all to what's going on. Totally missed all the breaks, totally missed the ending and just played by himself for about 30 seconds after the song was over. I'm not sure he even realized that the others had stopped lol. The leader managed to signal a last ending note. Huge applause

To me, and to the other guys in the band, it was a desecration to the song. It was really bad IMO. Of course the guy was very proud of himself, judging by the satisfied look on his face as he exited the drumset. Lol. The crowd seemed to lap it up which really made me wonder about how they perceive music. I just kind of assume that if I like it, they will too, and if I think it sucked, so will they. Not. I don't know if they were being kind, or if they really did like it but it seems that musicians are like 100 times more sensitive to music than non musicians, to the point where I am saying to myself "how can you NOT say that sucked? I really don't get it.
 

Never-the-Less

Junior Member
So were the cymbals okay afterwards? The way I see it is that the crowd is only there for a good time (most of them at least), and they don't care if it's bad as long as it's there to give them something to dance to. Maybe they just aren't music fanatics, this is something I've experienced being into rollercoasters (not just riding, the whole design process), and I've noticed that the general public as a whole do not care about what something's called, so on and so on. They just don't pay attention like we do so they don't catch on to the quality.
 

SAINTDRUMS

Senior Member
I have two thoughts on this. First off, I am not a fan of other musicians coming up to sit in during one of my bands gigs. I could care less if they were the second coming of Bonzo. When I get that rare night off and I'm out supporting other bands and I get asked to sit in, I politely say thank you, but no thank you. As you know, you practice songs together as a band, and some bands change the song arrangements which the person sitting in will not know beforehand. I just don't appreciate that, but that's just me. Others could care less.

The second thought I have (and back on topic) is that I've seen this before watching other bands that have had people sit in. I've seen both guitarists and drummers go up and make a$$es out of themselves, but yet the audience would cheer them on like they were great! I never understood it and reasoned that maybe that person had quite a few friends in the crowd - especially if they were local.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Sounds like the audience perceived it as a cameo appearance from a "pro" drummer who was showcased with a solo at the end of the song.
Obviously not the band's perception but quite possibly from the audience.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
I have witnessed this phenomena before, its amazing how some drummers completely disregard the music and the band entirely so they can musically "whack themselves off", lol, but seriously.. its so selfish.

I know that most audiences are smarter than we, performing musicians, sometimes think they are. The occasional sit-in that puts on a show is novel and entertaining - they cheer and clap for the spectacle of it. But a whole night of that won't last.. the bar owners know that, the audience knows that, and real musicians know that. Don't sweat it. Your professionalism and pocket are appreciated.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Clearly he had friends in the crowd, who he obviously wanted to impress, which is why he asked to come up anyway. A modest, selfless musician would sit and watch, enjoy or maybe critique *your* band, not insist to be the center of attention for one number. Ah well....humans, what ya gonna do?

Too bad he never heard from any of you in the band how awful it was. Constructive criticism would have helped him long term.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So were the cymbals okay afterwards? .
I forgot to look for cracks at the end of the night so I don't know TBH.

I have two thoughts on this. First off, I am not a fan of other musicians coming up to sit in during one of my bands gigs.

It was the manager who books us. He friggin loves us. Put us on the spot. Anyone else and I would have saved the leader the trouble of OKing it.

I've seen both guitarists and drummers go up and make a$$es out of themselves, but yet the audience would cheer them on like they were great! I never understood it and reasoned that maybe that person had quite a few friends in the crowd - especially if they were local.
II don't understand it either unless I don't understand fun lol. That's IT! It was a fun diversion!

Sounds like the audience perceived it as a cameo appearance from a "pro" drummer who was showcased with a solo at the end of the song.
Obviously not the band's perception but quite possibly from the audience.
No, it was a FUN DIVERSION! Lol. I don't know you could be right too lol

The occasional sit-in that puts on a show is novel and entertaining - they cheer and clap for the spectacle of it. But a whole night of that won't last.. the bar owners know that, the audience knows that, and real musicians know that. Don't sweat it. Your professionalism and pocket are appreciated.
Nailed it.

Clearly he had friends in the crowd, who he obviously wanted to impress, which is why he asked to come up anyway. A modest, selfless musician would sit and watch, enjoy or maybe critique *your* band, not insist to be the center of attention for one number. Ah well....humans, what ya gonna do?

The thing is, is he was a young kid, about 19, and the bar is an older crowd. Good for him that's what I should be saying, right?

Too bad he never heard from any of you in the band how awful it was. Constructive criticism would have helped him long term.
TBH I just wanted to get away from him. Worlds collide lol
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
A club audience mostly does have a different perspective, because it's not packed with musicians the way a Steely Dan, or Zappa, or Dave Weckl performance is. I know it's hard to imagine that all but the most flagrant musical violations and atrocities aren't picked up on by most crowds... but they don't listen or judge the way a musician does. For most non-muscians, the music has to be a cacaphonous trainwreck before they know something's gone wrong.

Still, I give the audience more credit than many bandleaders I've heard who refer to them as sheep, and that they'll listen and dance and enjoy anything that's fed them. Unfortunately, that's sometimes a rationale for not learning/playing songs well.

Bermuda
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I've only ever "sat in" with a performing band once, and that was by invitation and set up quite some time in advance. I neither ask to sit in with bands, nor do I personally agree with asking someone to sit in on the spur of the moment. And very, very rarely would I let someone I don't know sit on my kit, and even then only if at least two people I know and trust vouched for him.

To me, nothing says unprofessional more than a band performance that turns into an open mic performance, except perhaps for a venue manager or owner who insists on making it happen. But that's my personal $.02.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Why did audiences embrace disco, an obvious cheapening of the musical experience? A few Death to Disco t-shirts seemed to sum up "the resistance".

Why are dance clubs now FAR more popular than band venues?

Why was there precious little fuss when bands were replaced by gaming machines? (apart from moral campaigners)

While audiences are made up of disparate individuals it's hard to get past the impression that they don't have a clue and don't give a damn.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
they will ask again. be prepared.
I am afraid I set a precedent. I do NOT want this to become a habit.

Anon's questions are disturbing.

Perhaps when people go to bars to drink...all they really want to do is DRINK!

Taking it a step further, maybe they don't like seeing somebody do something better than them, (play an instrument) and when someone gets up there and makes a mockery of it....now that's something they can relate to!
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
its hard to be blindsided and know what to say. from this point on " sorry, our band doesn't
do that" might work. this off duty manager should not have done that to the band though. he was probably pressured by the drummer to ask though. if the same drummer asks tell him " no, the last one sounded like a train wreck".
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
Think of how Clapton felt when Hendrix asked to join them. If it feels weird at that level, how must it feel at the level of club bands?

Of course, the manager made the plea for the sit in. That's a catch-22 if ever there was one.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
They wouldn't be applauding that way if every song was like that-- they were applauding the guest/feature, not the performance. If they had to listen to that all night, they'd be looking for some place else to hang out pretty quick, whether they knew that was the reason for it or not. One of the things about rock & roll is that often someone willing to get up and make a big scene is going to get more attention than people making music. Just remember that you're a pro, and he's a guy who is never going to be able to hold a gig, ever.
 
A club audience mostly does have a different perspective, because it's not packed with musicians the way a Steely Dan, or Zappa, or Dave Weckl performance is. I know it's hard to imagine that all but the most flagrant musical violations and atrocities aren't picked up on by most crowds... but they don't listen or judge the way a musician does. For most non-muscians, the music has to be a cacaphonous trainwreck before they know something's gone wrong.

Still, I give the audience more credit than many bandleaders I've heard who refer to them as sheep, and that they'll listen and dance and enjoy anything that's fed them. Unfortunately, that's sometimes a rationale for not learning/playing songs well.

Bermuda
^This!

I'd also second the novelty of a sit in. I've seen Prince unannounced take the stage and play a guitar part to a song that had NO GUITAR IN IT!!

The roar of the crowd overshadowed any disappointment over how unnecessary the guitar part was for the song.

I'd just take it for what it is and enjoy the fact people enjoyed.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Sounds like the paying public and the contractor were happy.

Job done. <<said like the grunts who do your building in old warcraft - for those who remember this>>.

Exactly why I will NOT play under those circumstances.

I prefer to play music not work to manipulate a customers satisfaction....and should my playing of music coincide with a customers satisfaction...nifty...if not..to bad....dont buy the product.


If you like what you are doing chances are you will attract like-minded fans...if you don't, chances are you will fool no one....at least for long.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Thinking about it, if the situation arises where someone asks to sit in with the band, what do you guys think if I said, 'how about a drum solo instead? How would that go over? I mean that's what he was doing anyway. Mainly to spare the guys in the band.
 

poika

Silver Member
^This!

I'd also second the novelty of a sit in. I've seen Prince unannounced take the stage and play a guitar part to a song that had NO GUITAR IN IT!!

The roar of the crowd overshadowed any disappointment over how unnecessary the guitar part was for the song.
Are you being serious or am am I missing a joke here?

Because if I happened to see Prince take the stage unnanounced, he could be playing guitar over the Gregorian monk choir for all I care :)


I'm not taking the piss, I'm just failing to see how this is a bad thing by any means - one of the finest musicians alive blessing a track with his vision.
 
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