The Fishbowl Effect

Pimento

Senior Member
Well, ive been fighting with this for quite some time now.

My band will NOT critisize my drum parts. I have only a handfull of times had them say "somethings not right there..." then ill whip somethign else out and theyll go with it. All three of us are really into the music were doing, and everyone around this area that has listened to it really likes it (even without vocals).

Then when i post it on the forum and youtube i get mixed reviews of my parts. When i take the advice and alter parts, 80% of the time my band mates will go "Ah, thats whats been missing" 20% of the time they want to keep it the same anyways.

Im just wondering how we can get out of the "fishbowl" and start scrutinizing our music a little better. I mean, we are really pumped about what weve done, i just want to make sure its the best it can be. I also need a way to have my bandmates jump in and tell me what to do lol, ive come up with guitar parts by mouthing/humming the rhythm, but when it comes to drums all im being told is "We dont say anything, because in our opinion youre doing great, and if something isnt right you usually fix it"
 

TNA

Senior Member
Well do you think they are just being nice and not telling you, or do you think they actually not find any problems with your drumming? It could be that your band mates just don't know what they want, and whatever you end up playing sounds good enough for them. You need to take it upon yourself to be critical of your own playing, and experiment with different drum parts. Play the song with your band, but play your drums differently every time and then ask them which version they think sounded best. Or maybe have them record the song so you can try out different drums later. Or you could have another friend come to practice with you. I know it's easy to think everything sounds great when you are one of the guys in the band, and you don't have that outside perspective.
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
+1 for recording. nothing reveals a song more to me than after i listen to a play back. it doesn't have to be recorded well either. just something so you can hear all the parts and how they are interacting. it can be tough to listen closely when you're concentrating on playing.
 

Pimento

Senior Member
We have a zoom Q3 we set up at all of our jams, after a jam, and at the beginning of the next one, we review the tape.

I usually present at least 2 different ways to play a part when were jamming, but im almost never 100% happy with the end result, i just keep getting told im way too paranoid lol.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Well do you think they are just being nice and not telling you, or do you think they actually not find any problems with your drumming? It could be that your band mates just don't know what they want, and whatever you end up playing sounds good enough for them. You need to take it upon yourself to be critical of your own playing, and experiment with different drum parts. Play the song with your band, but play your drums differently every time and then ask them which version they think sounded best. Or maybe have them record the song so you can try out different drums later. Or you could have another friend come to practice with you. I know it's easy to think everything sounds great when you are one of the guys in the band, and you don't have that outside perspective.
Agree with all of this. My band mates rarely criticise too. They're nice people who are flat out playing their own parts are right. They'd only say something if what I played was jarring - and when that happens I'm the first to go into the confession booth and admit to my musical sins. Pimento, my guess is it's the same for you.

Another +1 for recording. It's up to you to think about the difference between what you're hearing and what you want to hear from the song (this may also include ideas for other band members). Many times problems are not so much in one person's part but the teamwork between two or more members is a bit off the mark.

If all else fails, I'm sure our stable of drum nerds will find something to criticise ... constructively :)

There's been this track that I've played adequately for months and I felt something was missing. But I couldn't work out what it was. So I posted it last week, asking for ideas, and received a host of intelligent responses.
 

AtomicFlapjack

Senior Member
It's a bit tricky if they have no experience with the drums. Thankfully my guitarist and bassist have both been drumming a lot longer than I have so they're always there if I need them. I'd say, just tell them to be brutally honest, and yeah - recording. Try a few different approaches and just record you guys playing with a single mic, see what sounds best and see if somethings missing.
 

TNA

Senior Member
We have a zoom Q3 we set up at all of our jams, after a jam, and at the beginning of the next one, we review the tape.

I usually present at least 2 different ways to play a part when were jamming, but im almost never 100% happy with the end result, i just keep getting told im way too paranoid lol.
Perhaps you are a bit too critical of your own playing. Many musicians, artists, writers face this problem of deciding when their work is good enough to be presentable. And to many of these people it is never completely ready to present. I can almost guarantee that every drummer here when listening to their own recordings will think they could have played it better. It is a very hard thing to learn to be completely satisfied with what you are putting out.
 
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