Yes, I'm The Drummer

con struct

Platinum Member
Over the years I've made myself get used to the way musicians look at drummers. For the most part it's all just fine, I seem to be respected, I do a good job, I don't get much grief from other players.
But there come those times when I get the "drummer" attitude from the others. You know how it is, you have an idea, and it's a very good one, you've given it some thought and you throw it out in rehearsal because you think you're right. Hell, you know you are.
And there it is. Somebody has to point out that I'm the "drummer." Now I know as much music as any man-jack in any band I play in because I've made it my business. And on top of that I know way more about meters and syncopation because I'm the drummer, that's my specialty.
I see these guys slopping into rehearsal with all their gear and it takes them forever to get organized. And these guys, they don't know anything about politics, books, art, philosophy, none of that. And yet I'm "the drummer."
I'll sit there while these guys go over some simple little phrasing which I've already got down, and if I say, "Well, actually it's just this simple" they'll wave their hands and say, "Yeah, but see we're trying to" blah blah blah. The minutes go by while I sit there looking at my fingernails.
Now don't get me wrong. These are very good players. But there's something, well, stupid about them. They don't seem to read books or newspapers, they don't go to art museums or plays, they just sort of...sit around being musicians. They're not interested in anything!
I don't mind, not really, in fact not at all. They're really a bunch of great guys who are a gas to play music with. But sometimes, sometimes...well.
I'm a drummer. I'm an artist. I'm good at what I do. And I'm smarter, more "cultured," more, shall we say, "refined," than any of these other guys, anyway it sure seems that way at times. I don't know if that's because I'm the drummer, but I sure do like to think that it is.
 
Comments from Ginger Baker, during an interview:

The old saying ‘a band’s only as good as its drummer’ is extremely true. It’s very sad that the drummers are always the ones that get ripped off. They do, drummers are very often, very musical, but bands come across as 5 musicians and a drummer. It’s a great problem to overcome. They take your ideas and think ‘no, that was my idea’ and don’t accept that it came from a lowly drummer.

True!
 
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TFITTING942

Guest
I don't know you or your band mates but from your post it sounds like you need to move on. You say one thing against them and right away state the opposite. Slopping in rehersal but they really are great? Can't be both all the time dude. Find another band full of like minded people like you and THEN you can focus on the music as well as discussing personal intersests outside of music. Reading and things you mentioned. The band should really bond all the time, not be segmented into the drummer and the rest of us. That's too much like a real world job at that point and hardly anyone enjoys that!
 

druid

Silver Member
Sounds to me like the bandmates suffer from doing as little as possible to get along in life let alone music. I have worked with people like this before and I get the whole noncultured thing...and really it's tiresome. They probably don't practice that hard either I am guessing and probably have a limted sense of what being an artist means....right? I am betting they stick to their certain styles too but don't venture ou tvery much into even listening to unfamiliar material...let alone play it? Playing with people who are intellectually un-curious can be a real drag. They can also be real know it alls.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I'll sit there while these guys go over some simple little phrasing which I've already got down, and if I say, "Well, actually it's just this simple" they'll wave their hands and say, "Yeah, but see we're trying to" blah blah blah. The minutes go by while I sit there looking at my fingernails
Just curious, what's "blah blah blah"?
 

JT1

Silver Member
I believe that we all get this attitude sometime, however my band mates value my contribution and i like that, if i say give this a try they will. Sometimes i have 'hit the nail on the head' and given a song just what it needs and other times we all agree it doesn't work or it was a bad idea. Drummers do a lot more than be just drummers because we are the rhythm section, we can come up with strumming patterns, tempo changes, time signatures hell even lyrics sometimes (which is less related). I think that some musicians can be very narrow minded and set in their ways that they switch off to any contribution made my someone that they perceive to be musically uneducated, when in fact it is exactly the opposite. As for just doing music and nothing else, that's their choice and i'm cool with that but i do find it a bit sad since there is more to life than just music even if it is a massive part of it (it is for me) but everyone should have other hobbies because it is healthy.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
It's that age old thing..."the drummer as knuckle-dragger".

It's how we're viewed and I'm right there with you, brother. I get mad sometimes too at the opinions and attitudes of us.

The Celtic band I play in now thinks my Djembe playing and ideas are great and they appreciate my contributions. The bluesgrass band I play in now as well as the rhythm and blues band I play in have real decent chaps who appreciate my drumming and offer encouragement But I'm the most educated in those two last bands (I hold a masters); I seek intellectual simulus outside of music like art, museums, religion, politics, literature, recreation, etc.

While waiting on our bass player to arrive at one rehearsal, both guitar players and I discussed authors and different genres and generally had a great discussion about literature.

The praise band I played in for 7 months held the typical "you're just the drummer" attitude and sort of treated me as a "knuckle dragger" who only beats on things. Yet I was the most educated of the lot and had more musical training than most of them, better job, higher salary, etc.

Both my drum teachers held masters degrees in music. One ow has a very successful jazz / swing band and the other is a principal percussionist of a major symphony orchestra. But....we're all just "knuckle draggers"......
 
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TFITTING942

Guest
It's that age old thing..."the drummer as knuckle-dragger".

It's how we're viewed and I'm right there with you, brother. I get mad sometimes too at the opinions and attitudes of us.

The Celtic band I play in now thinks my Djembe playing and ideas are great and they appreciate my contributions. The bluesgrass band I play in now as well as the rhythm and blues band I play in have real decent chaps who appreciate my drumming and offer encouragement But I'm the most educated in those two last bands (I hold a masters); I seek intellectual simulus outside of music like art, museums, religion, politics, literature, recreation, etc.

While waiting on our bass player to arrive at one rehearsal, both guitar players and I discussed authors and different genres and generally had a great discussion about literature.

The praise band I played in for 7 months held the typical "you're just the drummer" attitude and sort of treated me as a "knuckle dragger" who only beats on things. Yet I was the most educated of the lot and had more musical training than most of them, better job, higher salary, etc.

Both my drum teachers held masters degrees in music. One ow has a very successful jazz / swing band and the other is a principal percussionist of a major symphony orchestra. But....we're all just "knuckle draggers"......
Dude, settle down with the education stuff. BS, MS and PhD stand for Bull Sh*t, More Sh*t, and Push here Dummy!
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I thought PhD meant : Piled Higher, Deeper? Ok, just kidding....

Not my intention of loading up on the education shuff, sorry if I came across that way! My apologies!!

It's just that some of the most anal, obnoxious, egotistical, "know-it-all" musicians are the some of the most uneducated b*stards I've ever had the mispleasure of knowing and working with.

You know the kind, the guys who treat their women bad, have no job, or menial jobs, sit around all day boozing it up or smoking dope with the curtains closed, their rental house or apartment looks like sh*t, can't string two sentences together, drive rusted out cars, always bumming stuff off other people, either are 200 lbs over weight or are so skinny a guff of wind can blow them over, talks bad about everyone they meet, plus the kicker - they can't play decent anyway.

The entire jest of my post was trying to point out those kind who think drummers are nothing but moronic knuckle-draggers need to look in the mirror at themselves first....
 
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TFITTING942

Guest
I thought PhD meant : Piled Higher, Deeper? Ok, just kidding....

Not my intention of loading up on the education shuff, sorry if I came across that way! My apologies!!

It's just that some of the most anal, obnoxious, egotistical, "know-it-all" musicians are the some of the most uneducated b*stards I've ever had the mispleasure of knowing and working with.

You know the kind, the guys who treat their women bad, have no job, or menial jobs, sit around all day boozing it up or smoking dope with the curtains closed, their rental house or apartment looks like sh*t, can't string two sentences together, drive rusted out cars, always bumming stuff off other people, either are 200 lbs over weight or are so skinny a guff of wind can blow them over, talks bad about everyone they meet, plus the kicker - they can't play decent anyway.

The entire jest of my post was trying to point out those kind who think drummers are nothing but moronic knuckle-draggers need to look in the mirror at themselves first....
hahah forgot that one. I do agree with your post, just kidding too!
 

donv

Silver Member
First, Congrats on the fusion thing. It's an interesting genre because it is so wide open.

I know exactly what you mean and it's a major part of why I have no interest in playing with a "band." I get asked enough, but for now, no.

How often have you had to explain that the shuffle isn't triplets but dotted 16ths? How many times has a guitar player turned a 12 bar blues into something else because of their really cool lick? Trying to explain the "flow" of the music is more important then a cool lick is like trying to have a conversation with brick wall. Another good one is trying to explain that cut time and straight time don't have to conflict with each other and is common in a lot of music. "yea, but it throws me off," as though that's your problem and not theirs.

I feel for youl, but I can do without it. There's more to music then a band.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
How many times have you had a "pro" level guitar player fuss at you for playing eighth notes on the backbeat, 2 and 4, making it 2 & and 4 & with the snare on the upbeat &? A "pro" level guitar player, "recorded in Nashville" fussed at me for doing that, saying "it threw him off", like it's my fault the dude can't keep a steady beat and not get lost. My other band mates thought it sounded cool. Oh, but I was "just" a drummer....
 

con struct

Platinum Member
First, Congrats on the fusion thing. It's an interesting genre because it is so wide open.

I know exactly what you mean and it's a major part of why I have no interest in playing with a "band." I get asked enough, but for now, no.
I'm liking the music. It's not my normal thing but it's fun to play and the project seems worthwhile.
I was really just blowing off some steam. It's been awhile since I've been involved in a "band" project like this so I forgot about some of the minor annoyances, like sitting around while the other guys go over stuff. There's no music reading in this, I don't think one of the guitar players can read and it's his music we're doing, so it's time-consuming getting some of these parts down. I decided to go it by ear, but the bass player's writing his charts as he goes along.
And hey, they're all a bunch of good eggs and great players. I don't know if I'd want to "hang out" with them, but that's not what this is about.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
It's just that some of the most anal, obnoxious, egotistical, "know-it-all" musicians are the some of the most uneducated b*stards I've ever had the mispleasure of knowing and working with.
Often times, the "know-it-alls" spend so much time studying and obsessing over their craft that they leave little room in life for anything else. This is just as sad as being uneducated, anal, obnoxious, and egotistical. However, there are some who don't fill their lives with anything: they sit around all day watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web, abusing drugs, etc. THESE are the people we need to be worried about...
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
You know I think a lot of drummers are whiny and complaining bashers who use the fact that they play the drums to avoid having to know anything about music, other than thinking they are god's gift to syncopations. Ive met a lot of drummers, and out of that group, I havent met many musicians at all. Theres no sarcasm in that either. Im tired of the complaining.
 

RogerLudwig

Senior Member
How often have you had to explain that the shuffle isn't triplets but dotted 16ths?
This is right on! I'm often in situations where I don't know the song that the other group/band members want to play, so I start asking, "What is the time signature" and "is it a shuffle or four on the floor"....most of them have no clue what I'm talking about. And then trying to explain triplets vs dotted eighths/sixteenths; or "it feels like 12/8". Good luck.

I love my bandmates, but they can't count worth diddley
 
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armilos

Junior Member
well, i defenetlly agree.
when ever someone says anything about me being a drummer, in a bad way, i remind them of "the DAVE WECKL band", or "the BUDDY RICH big band."
not only where those bands playing with the great drummers, they where actually the conductors. they whre the manegers.

besides, i went and learned theory of music, so they can't say i don't kno anything.
recomended to all. it's really intresting.:]
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
This is right on! I'm often is situations where I don't know the song that the other group/band members want to play, so I start asking, "What is the time signature" and "is it a shuffle or four on the floor"....most of them have no clue what I'm talking about. And then trying to explain triplets vs dotted eighths/sixteenths; or i't feels like 12/8". Good luck.

I love my bandmates, but they can't count worth diddley
That's my biggest problem with many of the people that I play with. They really don't know how to count and they don't understand time sigs. If I go off on a syncopated series of riffs, They soon get lost in the sauce! When I return to the snare on 2 and 4 thing they are gone!
I can't count them in with an 8 beat fill at the beginning of a song or when coming out of a solo! I studied all of these things and when I go to use them, some of my band mates can't cope.
They don't understand what Im doing so they can't come in on time. I understand what they play and I can break and come back in on time. Why can't they learn enough about what I do so that they can work with me?
They get this stupid look on their face and I can see by their body language that they have no clue! The next thing that I know, Someone is out of time.
I keep on telling them, "Don't listen to me, Keep on playing your part" or I say "Just count to eight and come in, don't try and follow my intro" They just don't get it!
This is nothing more complicated than High School band stuff! Rest for 4 or 8 beats or whatever and come in on 1!
 
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