What not to do when deputising for the regular drummer!

Davo-London

Gold Member
Did a bit of this last night.

Regular drummer couldn't do a gig so I've been pulled in. I did my homework and learnt some tunes. Fitted straight in. The band seemed pleased. We sounded pretty good and gelled.

However, ... if deputising surely it's bad form to be better than the original drummer? Maybe I should have turned up late, fluffed a few tracks and arrived smelling of illegable substances?

That would have been the decent thing to do. But they didn't realise I'm not decent. So I guess it's OK.

Davo
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The idea is to be a seamless replacement, so that they don't have to worry or even notice there's a difference. If you do worse, it reflects on your abilities, and the judgement of the person who chose you to sub (dep.)

Occasionally the sub may take over the gig, but more often than not, it gives the sub a strong position for future fill-in work, without upsetting anyone's band dynamic.

I'm a permanent member in 4 local bands, and although I am out of town at times and it would seem attractive to have someone who can commit 100%, none of the subs has ever replaced me. I also get called to sub in an additional 3 or 4 bands, and I've never replaced their drummer either.

Bermuda
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
you also forgot rule number one...the gig is all about you!
I'm a permanent member in 4 (or 5) bands, and none of the subs has ever replaced me. I also get called to sub in an additional 3 or 4 bands, and I've never replaced their drummer either.Bermuda
I would love for you to show up at one of my gigs as a sub. that would be cool!
 
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eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Did a bit of this last night.

Regular drummer couldn't do a gig so I've been pulled in. I did my homework and learnt some tunes. Fitted straight in. The band seemed pleased. We sounded pretty good and gelled.

However, ... if deputising surely it's bad form to be better than the original drummer? Maybe I should have turned up late, fluffed a few tracks and arrived smelling of illegable substances?
I guess I am curious as to why you say you were better than the regular guy. Did the band make that comment?

I am a decent drummer at best, but the guys in my band love the way I play. I am positive that a sub could be better than me and the band would like the way I play better, because it is what they are used to. That is why subs rarely take over the gig, people get used to playing with each other.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Did a bit of this last night.

Regular drummer couldn't do a gig so I've been pulled in. I did my homework and learnt some tunes. Fitted straight in. The band seemed pleased. We sounded pretty good and gelled.

However, ... if deputising surely it's bad form to be better than the original drummer? Maybe I should have turned up late, fluffed a few tracks and arrived smelling of illegable substances?

That would have been the decent thing to do. But they didn't realise I'm not decent. So I guess it's OK.

Davo
Hmmmmm.....carefull.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I'm being ironic with a touch of truth.

I don't know for sure that I am better although one of the members gave me a gushing praise. They also said things like "Oh so that's how the drum beat goes"! The band drummer is a great bloke and they are very close, so there's no chance I'll replace him.

Davo
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
They also said things like "Oh so that's how the drum beat goes"!
I did have a similar situation once, and did end uop sitting in with that band on a regular basis. I was playing "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and got a funny look from the leader during the breakdown after the chorus. I asked him later what was up, and he said "I've never heard a drummer play that part before, except on the record!"

Bermuda
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I like Jon's comment about being a "seamless" replacement. I saw an interview where they were asking Robben Ford about playing with Joni Mitchell or George Harrison. He replied that as a sideman you're there to make them look good, not to may yourself look good.

Subbing for someone else, if I've heard them play I'll try to channel what they do. I'll try to do it as cleanly as I can and if that results in anything, that's okay. But I wouldn't sub trying to prove anything other than that I can handle the gig.

Casuals are a different matter. Be the best you that you can be. If the leader likes that, more calls.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I like Jon's comment about being a "seamless" replacement. I saw an interview where they were asking Robben Ford about playing with Joni Mitchell or George Harrison. He replied that as a sideman you're there to make them look good, not to may yourself look good.
This. ^^^^

Exactly... I'm a huge fan of blues guitarist Duke Robillard. Recently he went back out on tour with Bob Dylan. I've seen Duke play with him before, only televised though. Duke didn't pull out all the blues/jazz licks that he knows while playing with Dylan--it obviously wouldn't be appropriate. He was a more than capable supporting band member to a legend though.
 
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