The highest compliment

8Mile

Platinum Member
This thread is inspired by the What Would You Like To Hear At A Gig thread. If you were to ask that question not of an audience member, but of the musicians, I think the answers might be interesting.

I just played a gig Friday night where I subbed for another drummer. The guitar player in my rock band plays with this group and he asked me to fill in for a show because their regular drummer couldn't make it. We had one rehearsal and I had just a few days to learn a set list that would have to last us four hours! This is a rock/pop band that plays music from classic rock to current dance hits. I made some flubs on endings but I thought the feel was good and the guys seemed to dig it.

The guys wanted me to do a feature solo and I did. I wasn't very happy with it but they seemed to enjoy it and I got a lot of compliments from the crowd about it after the show. But that wasn't the best feedback I got. No, the thing that tops the list for me is that people were dancing everywhere and having a great time. For this type of music, that represents the highest compliment for me. Not that I played a cool solo or had anyone telling me that I'm a good drummer. Nope. Just that people were dancing because the music felt good. That's the best way to let me know I was doing my job.

Curious about how others feel about this. What's the thing you want to see/hear that lets you know you've done a good job behind the drums?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Curious about how others feel about this. What's the thing you want to see/hear that lets you know you've done a good job behind the drums?
Difficult to say what I want to see or hear, I'm happy when I see someone in the audience taking the happy trip, or dancing, or the ones which by their body language are enjoying listening the music, like anyone, I appreciate a compliment, whenever it's generalised for the whole band, or directly to me, but people approach you to be friendly and engage a conversation, which sometimes has nothing to do with the music, it's more gear related, but they're not gonna approach you and say, "hey, your band sucks!!! you suck!!! ... but I'm interested by your ride cymbal" lol.

For me, the feeling of a job weel done comes from "the increasing fans", when you start to see familiar faces coming regularly to your band's gig, even if they never talked to anyone in the band, the fact that they show up at almost every gig is a sign that we're doing something right.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Dancers, first and foremost.
If a drummer in the crowd gives me what Rodney Dangerfield called "One of these" (a thumbs-up), that's always cool.
I like to hear from players that they enjoyed working with me. It's even better if they take my number and book me up for high dollar gigs.
I subbed for someone the other night, and there was a girl on the dance floor with a gray dress on who moved that dress in a manner I felt very appreciative of. I know that when she went home that night to her significant other, she was thinking to herself "take me like that drummer did when he played "Cocaine". These are the fantasies that give my life meaning.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
For me, the feeling of a job weel done comes from "the increasing fans", when you start to see familiar faces coming regularly to your band's gig, even if they never talked to anyone in the band, the fact that they show up at almost every gig is a sign that we're doing something right.
Absolutely Henri. "Bums on seats" is a true test, & as 8Mile says, an auditorium/dance floor full of punters getting off on the vibe. Audiences dancing/gyrating is the best unsolicited compliment you can get. It's offered without fear of rebuttal or need to "dress it up".

Of course, a good few braces of hot uninhibited chicks strutting their stuff is the icing on the cake for me. That has little to do with the muso kudos aspect of it, more born of my utter delusions of personal attractiveness ;)
 

Otto

Platinum Member
"Here is the money we agreed to compensate you.

It is all there and in the form we agreed and at the time we agreed.

It was easy to find you to pay you as you were right where we agreed to meet.

I hope to work with you again and compensate you just as we agree before the engadement."


Compliments are easy...

..rent is another thing all together.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
When people have a good time listening to you, it's fairly obvious. I'm a bit shy about people complimenting me, so all I want to to see everyone having a good time.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
"Here is the money we agreed to compensate you.

It is all there and in the form we agreed and at the time we agreed.

It was easy to find you to pay you as you were right where we agreed to meet.

I hope to work with you again and compensate you just as we agree before the engadement."
And most of us wish for world peace and goodwill to all living creatures. Trouble is, living creatures have this annoying habit of looking after numero uno ...

Yep Larry, I agree. If you're playing dance music and people are dancing then all is well.

The best feedback I've had was at a charity event a year ago, playing laid back music in the sun with two rows of people seated in front. It was a perfect sunny morning in a beautiful rural setting. There was a guy in the front row and he had his eyes closed blissing out to our sound - I loved seeing that.

After we finished, the celebrity host of the event (vocalist from one of Oz's most skilled and popular bands) told me I was a good drummer. That made me feel good too ... validated, I guess.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Compliments are easy...

..rent is another thing all together.
If the venue is full, the audience is lapping it up, & they stay until closing time, the agreed compensation is a given. If you were that good, then some more on top is due too.
 

Bonzobilly

Senior Member
Couple of things:

1) when I see people moving, it fuels me, as movement is rhythmic and that's what a drummer does; provides the medium to enable such enjoyment.

2) some may disagree but: If a band has a bad guitarist I tend to feel as such, that the guitarist may be lacking in one way or another. Same with bass, keys etc... If a drummer is bad, to me it reflects on the band as an entire entity and I tend to feel the band is bad. What this means to me is that, as a drummer a lot of responsibility is involved in the job. This is what keeps me feeling like I do a good job as well as keeps me in line when I'm not.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Dancers, first and foremost.
If a drummer in the crowd gives me what Rodney Dangerfield called "One of these" (a thumbs-up), that's always cool.
I like to hear from players that they enjoyed working with me. It's even better if they take my number and book me up for high dollar gigs.
I subbed for someone the other night, and there was a girl on the dance floor with a gray dress on who moved that dress in a manner I felt very appreciative of. I know that when she went home that night to her significant other, she was thinking to herself "take me like that drummer did when he played "Cocaine". These are the fantasies that give my life meaning.
Haha, that's good... I totally agree with you. Not that I'd ever consider my drumming good enough to get a babe in a frenzy enough to want to 'get it on'. Live music/drumming is to make people feel good.

Your summary was well put.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
Absolutely Henri. "Bums on seats" is a true test, & as 8Mile says, an auditorium/dance floor full of punters getting off on the vibe. Audiences dancing/gyrating is the best unsolicited compliment you can get. It's offered without fear of rebuttal or need to "dress it up".

Of course, a good few braces of hot uninhibited chicks strutting their stuff is the icing on the cake for me. That has little to do with the muso kudos aspect of it, more born of my utter delusions of personal attractiveness ;)
I have no such delusions, but I can still enjoy the scenery! It's still good after all these years being told by an attractive girl (deranged through alcohol though she may be) that you were awesome.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
Like the above responses....it's dancers on the floor for me. Plus, I have, at some times, observed some "guys" tapping a table along to my backbeats.

But people up an moving to the beat of the music is what I enjoy...best compliment I could ever receive.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Had a magic gig Last Saturday night. Beautiful women dancing, the music even got to the guys. Everyone was uninhibited. That magic mixture of great music and alcohol that comes along a few times a year. Later, the band leader who I have so much respect for told me that when I'm on, I don't play second fiddle to anyone. I think that was a high compliment.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Dancing, definitely the dancing.

I played one absolutely magical gig with my last band. We were fairly new and unknown, and got a gig opening for an established local band. There were very few people there, and no atmosphere, and I heard the drummer of the other band say to someone (with a smirk) "I don't play to an empty room. I get other people to do that" - meaning us of course. I thought he was an arsehole.

Straight away into our first number, the small crowd were up dancing, everyone who came in after that joined in, and they danced through our entire set. As we left the stage, the other drummer, with a huge grin on his face, patted me on the back and said "Great job!" So ... impressing an arsehole - that's the best compliment I've ever had.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I play in a punk/hardcore band with my best friends from high school. The guys consider it an awesome show if a fight breaks out in the moshpit.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Besides dancers, because we drummers see dancing and that alone is a compliment, I like it when we get an offer to play somebody else's place or party.
 

zap1789

Junior Member
My favourite compliments are ones where I've made an artistic decision to play a certain thing, and then an audience member picks up on it and compliments me for it.
For example,
"Hey, I really liked your restraint in that one number. It really made sense in the context of the song."
or
"i liked the skittish beat you played in that angsty song. it worked well with the lyrics."

etc.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
I like people to actually tell me that the music felt. If you play in a cover band, a lot of people get up and dance just because they like the song, not necessarily because it feels good. But if they actually come up and tell you and compliment your pocket, you can really trust that it felt good that night. That happens like once a year for me. The only other compliment I got that I really appreciated was from this drunk frat guy is college who was a drummer himself. He told me my playing style was raw, animalistic, and inspiring. He said he felt inspired to go back and pick up his sticks and rock out. Those two compliments are ones I would love to hear from audience members.
 
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