What is the most unintelligible instruction given to you by a music director?

MrPockets

Gold Member
Has a leader said things to you like, 'Make boom boom' and nothing else?

"Hit the flat thing?"

"What is that drum called sitting between your legs?"
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My favorite recurring direction is usually "Don't do it like that."

To which I usually respond, "Well, what would you like then?" and fully knowing the answer will be, "I don't know, just not *that*!"
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
"Okay, during this part, we're swinging."

This was my instruction for how to play the drum part during the bridge section of a christian acoustic rock tune with a straight-eighth note feel.

I used it as an educational opportunity. I knew he didn't mean he wanted me to swing like Art Blakey. I talked him through it. I pretty quickly figured out he wanted me to play the same part but with a little more aggression—a little louder and with the time feel a little more on top of the beat.

I was then able to give him what he wanted and, at the same time, help him understand what words could help him convey that next time. The key is to do that without coming across like a jerk or like you're correcting someone.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The closest thing I had to a band director was the last band I was in. He couldn't speak drum either. One time in the very beginning, he asked me to play lighter on this one song. (Michael Jackson's "Human Nature") I said less notes or less volume? He said yes lol. He was a bit flummoxed lol.

JMO, that's why drummers can be awesome band leaders, or at least valuable consultants to the band leader. We dig inside and figure out what's going on emotionally with a song. We go beyond the notes. That's why not many others speak drum. The drums are the lions share of emotion in the ensemble.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Not a music director per se, but from the band 'leader':

'Play something freaky.'

[Tries a few minutes of Grateful Dead-type tom grooves.]

'No, no...something freaky.'

[Tries a few minutes of odd-time signature grooves with lots of cymbal work.]

'No, man...I mean something FREAKY.'

...

Me: 'Let's move on.'
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
A co-band leader once said this to me:

"Still play using those brushes but play LOUDER."

After a few minutes he repeated: "Seriously, play LOUDER!"

I replied "I'm playing as loud as I can using these brushes. Not gonna ruin them. I'll switch to sticks." I didn't have bundle sticks with me since we were a rock band, but had 7a with me. So I switched.

The co-leader after me switching to 7a's: "Ya, loud like that! But can you switch back to them brushes. It just looks so cool."
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Give me the "sound of drum and cymbal."
Later on, I realized he was looking for a period authentic sound and style that couldn't be produced as well from a modern drum kit since it was a turn of the century piece of music written circa 1900.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
"put moongel on the cymbals"
"build up boom boom"
"why are there no cues? I can't direct without the cues" (ableton backingtracks)

lol
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
A co-band leader once said this to me:

"Still play using those brushes but play LOUDER."

After a few minutes he repeated: "Seriously, play LOUDER!"

I replied "I'm playing as loud as I can using these brushes. Not gonna ruin them. I'll switch to sticks." I didn't have bundle sticks with me since we were a rock band, but had 7a with me. So I switched.

The co-leader after me switching to 7a's: "Ya, loud like that! But can you switch back to them brushes. It just looks so cool."
Ugh. I feel for you here.
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
"Okay, during this part, we're swinging."

This was my instruction for how to play the drum part during the bridge section of a christian acoustic rock tune with a straight-eighth note feel.

I used it as an educational opportunity. I knew he didn't mean he wanted me to swing like Art Blakey. I talked him through it. I pretty quickly figured out he wanted me to play the same part but with a little more aggression—a little louder and with the time feel a little more on top of the beat.

I was then able to give him what he wanted and, at the same time, help him understand what words could help him convey that next time. The key is to do that without coming across like a jerk or like you're correcting someone.
Like a true sage.

My best would likely be "hit the tingy one..."
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I had a keyboard leader in church grudgingly half-turn his head and point to the ground!

To this day I haven't a clue what it meant. Like a true soldier I carried on.

Davo
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
I had a keyboard leader in church grudgingly half-turn his head and point to the ground!

To this day I haven't a clue what it meant. Like a true soldier I carried on.

Davo
Nod and mouth "ok", and keep doing exactly what you were already doing. Like a true pro.
 
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