Which came first- the chicken or the egg?

fixxxer

Senior Member
Maybe it's just me and my situation, but I always seem to be a "slave" to what the other band members want to play.
Meaning, when it comes to original songs, I add my part after what my band mates have put together.On the other hand, when I try to play a beat (to inspire a song), they just kind of look at me with the deer-caught-in-headlights look. And am not talking about some off-the-wall beat, I'm talking about some basic stuff that they just can't (or won't) get a jam off to.
Should we, as drummers, just take a back seat to this?
Not that I am totally against this, it's just something I have noticed lately.
 

MediocrityMaster

Senior Member
i dont have any band experience. but, i wouldnt stand for them getting all their way.
maybe, you have different styles, sometimes they cant jam to the same thing you can jam to.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It sounds there's a gap between their idea of what sounds good and yours, like perhaps you're musically mismatched? Or maybe their abilities aren't in line with yours?
Either that or they don't consider you good enough to contribute? Either way it doesn't sound good.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'd write my own music and present it to them. I love my instrument but even in the thought -process stage the drum part to me comes last. Maybe that's just me?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'd say that's pretty common in 99% of the worlds bands.

Most song idea don't start with a drum beat, it starts with a riff or melody line, or a few random chords that work together. Some people are better at jamming that others, but creativity can't be forced.
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
I guess it's because drums are not a lead instrument, typically. I think they have no idea what to think if you just break out a beat. I just enjoy listening to all the new riffs and then throwing a few different beats to them. They never tell me, "hey, I like that one better" or comment one way or the other. They are perfectly happy with whatever I feel is right for the song. I have to say, I am very fortunate to work with such open minded musos...very rare indeed.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
And I'll add: Even in writing my own songs, I don't start with the drum beat.

I might start with a rhythmic idea, but not the actual drum part.

The irony is I decided to take song writing more seriously to give myself interesting things to drum to, and yet, the more I get into it, the more the drums become an after thought.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
i've been in several bands in the last few decades, mostly as a guitar player, sometimes vocals but never once has anybody in any of those bands NOT listened to another member when they had an idea.

maybe i'm just fortunate, but when we wrote songs it usually started with one person playing something be it drums, bass or guitar and somebody else comes in then the next then the next. we got a rough idea of what we wanted then everybody threw ideas around until we had a finished product. often the drummer came up with grooves long before the guitars were writen other times it was bass. actually now that i look back 99% of the guitar tracks were the last to be writen and finalized before vocals were layed down and we had a finished product. never was it guitars first then everybody comformed to that. and i can honestly say everybody had input all the time...

i had my guitar parts critics by the drummer and the bassist and was always accepting of their ideas. sometimes it was good sometimes it just didn't work and same with them. it was all "well what if you do this here..., no, that sucks" "but maybe if he puts this there, yeah that sounds cool" it was all one big happy concensus.

i just can't understand how it could be any other way.....
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Are the songs any good? If the songs are great then no problem IMO.

If you can see areas where they can be improved, but those ideas are not accepted, then Larry's musical mismatch idea might apply. We drummers usually have at least some creative input, even if it's just making up a rhythm that gets the reponse, "yes, play that".
 

jer

Silver Member
I love my instrument but even in the thought -process stage the drum part to me comes last. Maybe that's just me?
Not just you, I'm the same way. Always been like that, chords / lyrics first, everything else to prop up melody. For the most part, drums I write / play for my own stuff is very simple, I feel as though this realization helps me understand where a songwriter is coming from when they bring new material to the table.

When simply jamming, with no pre-planned riffs or anything, it's a toss up between who starts - depends who's creative juices are flowing that day. More often than not it's drums or bass that lay a groove down and the guitarists that follow, but not always the case.

To the op - if you've got a beat you want the band to jam on, maybe give some direction rather than just playing a beat and hoping people catch on. Even something simple such as "heavy power chords" or "walking bass line with guitar chords on the off beats" might get better results? It does all depend on how well you and your mates read each other and how much experience you've got playing with them.
 

Pkaneps

Senior Member
When there are songs being written (when we're not just jamming) I'm not usually involved in the writing until it needs drums. I play guitar and bass though, so when the song is written I can constructively criticize and help out in trouble areas. The way I see it, they're playing their instruments and they can write their parts. Plus I like looking cool in a band and having less responsibility ;-).

When we're jamming, I can start a beat and they'll find something that goes with it, we have pretty good chemistry musically.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Most players that have never played the drums don't really understand drum beats that well.
They quickly lose track of where the count is if the drummer starts something that goes for several measures.
They also don't seem to get the fact that they can play to the relationship between the snare and bass drum that is usually controlling the movement of the beat.

They also don't seem to understand that they can modify what they play and the drummer will pick up on it and react.

Few people that I have played with have the ability to come in playing when I start a beat unless it is a planned thing where they know what part to play and when to come in.

They think melody first and the beat doesn't stand out in their minds.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
Maybe it's just me and my situation, but I always seem to be a "slave" to what the other band members want to play.
Meaning, when it comes to original songs, I add my part after what my band mates have put together.On the other hand, when I try to play a beat (to inspire a song), they just kind of look at me with the deer-caught-in-headlights look. And am not talking about some off-the-wall beat, I'm talking about some basic stuff that they just can't (or won't) get a jam off to.
Should we, as drummers, just take a back seat to this?
Not that I am totally against this, it's just something I have noticed lately.
not at all.

everyone knows the best songs start off by being built on a nasty beat. whether funk or rock. in fact i´ve often played in bands where the drummer was the musical director. thereś a lot to be said for the driverś seat.

thatś why they were called BEAT groups. it´s got a backbeat...you can´t lose it.

i heard a new group the other day. has it got a beat ?

the beat is the very foundation of groove music. all hip hoppers know you start with the beat first. all funkers know you start with the beat first. if a jazzer can´t latch on to the beat, i don´t know what´s up with that. from ¨She Loves You¨ to ¨Ẅipe Out¨ to ¨Rock And Roll pt. 2¨ - itś ALL about the beat.

who the heck are these people youŕe playing with ?

if your musicians get the deer caught in headlights look...youŕe playing with the wrong people (so to speak).
 
Last edited:

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
i've been in several bands in the last few decades, mostly as a guitar player, sometimes vocals but never once has anybody in any of those bands NOT listened to another member when they had an idea.

maybe i'm just fortunate, but when we wrote songs it usually started with one person playing something be it drums, bass or guitar and somebody else comes in then the next then the next. we got a rough idea of what we wanted then everybody threw ideas around until we had a finished product. often the drummer came up with grooves long before the guitars were writen other times it was bass. actually now that i look back 99% of the guitar tracks were the last to be writen and finalized before vocals were layed down and we had a finished product. never was it guitars first then everybody comformed to that. and i can honestly say everybody had input all the time...

i had my guitar parts critics by the drummer and the bassist and was always accepting of their ideas. sometimes it was good sometimes it just didn't work and same with them. it was all "well what if you do this here..., no, that sucks" "but maybe if he puts this there, yeah that sounds cool" it was all one big happy concensus.

i just can't understand how it could be any other way.....
+1
______________________________________
 

Derek

Silver Member
I agree with the thoughts posted by Polly, Larry and jer. Yes, the drummer has at least some creative input, but the level of experience of the bandmates, how well you know and read each other comes in to play. Even if you haven't played that much with each other yet, but have a fair deal of playing with a variety of musicians lends to our listening skiills and ability to read one another well. Or as Larry said, their can be a mismatch.

I'm fortunate right now. When our original band is getting ready to rehearse I may be laying down a groove. The bass player joins me and then the guitarist builds on it. Other times I've asked them if they can build something around a beat. This has resulted in some songs for us. Not to imply that this happens all the time; it certainly doesn't. But sometimes the drums can come first.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Learn some music theory, learn some piano and guitar and start writing some actual songs for the band.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's hard for me to imagine someone laying down a nice groove, and the guitarists don't know what to do with it. Just hit a chord for crying out loud. That's unfortunate. You'd think the bass player could latch on at the very least.
 

Derek

Silver Member
It's hard for me to imagine someone laying down a nice groove, and the guitarists don't know what to do with it. Just hit a chord for crying out loud. That's unfortunate. You'd think the bass player could latch on at the very least.
Exactly. Doesn't have to be so complicated.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
i've been in several bands in the last few decades, mostly as a guitar player, sometimes vocals but never once has anybody in any of those bands NOT listened to another member when they had an idea.
....
i had my guitar parts critics by the drummer and the bassist and was always accepting of their ideas. sometimes it was good sometimes it just didn't work and same with them. it was all "well what if you do this here..., no, that sucks" "but maybe if he puts this there, yeah that sounds cool" it was all one big happy concensus.

i just can't understand how it could be any other way.....
I 100% agree with this part. If it's a BAND then everyone should have input. Unless the band leader is paying you to do as your told, the drummers ideas should be listened to.

But there is a difference between "I have an idea" and "write a song around this drum beat".

If you have an idea, great, they should listen. But "hey, I have this beat, please come up with something to go around it" isn't much of an idea as it is a request.


It's hard for me to imagine someone laying down a nice groove, and the guitarists don't know what to do with it. Just hit a chord for crying out loud. That's unfortunate. You'd think the bass player could latch on at the very least.
Valid point. Any guitarist should be able to noodle a few chords over anything. But that's not actual song writing, that's just jamming. Jamming may lead to song writing, of course, but not always.
 
Top