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-   -   Dont tell me what to do! (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33269)

YamahaDrummerAus 12-01-2007 05:29 PM

Dont tell me what to do!
Our singer in my band is adamant that I don't play enough fast, double kicks.

A little quote from my MSN convo with him:

^Alex^N says:
just try to do stuff that we say, including doulbe kicks no matter how much you hate them

Your welcome to have a listen to our music (it is metal) and tell me if I need to play more double kick. Am I being stubborn or am I right?


I am trying to a create my own style, and I have taken what a lot of pro dummers and people here are saying that young drummers are too concerned with speed and overuse double kicks.


bermuda 12-01-2007 05:38 PM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
If the singer is also the bandleader, then you do what he says.

Drummers (or any musicians) don't always get to play what they want. And those who insist on doing so usually just start their own bands to have it their way.

Ultimately, once you become known for your playing sensibilities, there will never be a question when you're hired for a gig or a session. But remember, even Vinnie gets hired to play 2&4, and cheerfully complies. He doesn't arbitrarily throw in chops... he does what the producer/artist wants.

The old saying is true: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Whether or not the song in question needs a different part, the person in charge of the group decides what it will sound like.

Sorry, but that's a big part of what being a drummer is about. Even Paul told Ringo what to play on more than a few occasions.


NUTHA JASON 12-01-2007 05:56 PM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
i agree. it also depends on the situation. are you being paid? are you gigging? is this band your only viable option?

bermuda speaks from vast experience and certainly he has lived his own advice with weird al. but there has to be a balance. on the one hand you want to co-operate and serve the music and the song writer. on the other hand you want two things:

- you don't want to be a push over. how you react early on to these situation will set precidence over many future situations. argue sensible. give their ideas a go. let them know you are willing to try their ideas out but that you are also an artist in your own right.

- they must understand that you are a drummer. you study drums, listen to drums and have a broader and deeper understanding of drums than say a guitarist (unless they are also a drummer). their drumming ideas are often going to be limited to their limited experience unless they are seriously talented musicians (and these are far fewer than the amount of people out there who believe they are seriously talented). put it this way, if i was drumming for lenny kravitz and he told me he wanted to hear double bass then that's exactly what i would give him. but some dude in an unsigned band of hopefuls has got to have seriously impressed me with his skills before i would bow so easily to his ideas.

lastly ... remember, time is your friend. i have over the years resolved many such issues by seeming to agree and then slowly reshaping things my way over time anyway. for instance, my first serious band in south africa were a pop band going no where. this was in the early 90s. i joined and as the junior member i was instructed to play four on the floor pretty much all of the time. i argued that we should get heavier and more punk as a band. i was put down. but over the months i very slowly altered the way i played until, 4 years later when i left the band to come to london they were one of the new emerging numetal bands in south africa. and i consciously did this som i take credit for the direction they eventually went.

play double bass a little more, particularlyin practice but then begin to loose it here and there in the song structure at gigs. just remember to keep the heavy feel.


ps: and really lastly, sometimes the singer is right. so give their ideas a fair stab before rejecting. remember a little give might result in some take later on when you want something to happen in the creative department.

YamahaDrummerAus 12-01-2007 06:12 PM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
The singer is not the band leader. We do not have one. Everyone creates their own parts for the songs.

He nor the band have ever given me any specific examples or ideas just said 'Play more double kick or faster double kick"

I have said to him that I will try specific examples, not vague statements.

Thanks for your input guys. Just the advice I am looking for.


Leadfoot 12-01-2007 07:04 PM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
Bermuda is right about the pecking order within the perameters which he outlined. However, if you have no leader per se, & you are playing to the best of your abilities and still can't get to where the others want you to be, then maybe it's time to find a more suitable situation to be in, nothing wrong with that.
I struggled for years with double bass, I can use it tastefully but as much as I've tried, I simply can't achieve the fast ripping fugga dugga & blast beats that some bands want. Maybe it's because I'm 6'4" & my legs are way too long, or maybe this or that, whatever the reason, it doesn't keep me awake at night anymore. I do what I can do well & I still get calls for gigs & session work, so I just stay with what I like & work within my limitations.
I really don't care that much for fugga dugga anyway, but that's my problem. I'm happy to recommend someone who excels at it.

gusty 12-02-2007 12:30 AM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
Bermuda is right, but since you guys are teens and still in school, there shouldn't be a 'bandleader'. You're not getting paid by him right? So, the individual musician should have the most control over what he or she plays, but if the band doesn't like it/thinks a part could be improved etc., then some adjustments could be made. Or maybe just for a song or two someone could put up with not liking it very much.

burnthehero 12-02-2007 12:52 AM

Re: Dont tell me what to do!
There's no absolute solution when it comes to this type of thing. In every band I've been in, I've been given suggestions about what to play here and there. I don't mind it until it gets to a point where it's just ridiculous and I feel like I have no control over what I play. That's when I put my foot down and make it clear I'll gladly take suggestions, but not orders.

Maintaining that balance is very important when you're playing with other people. You don't all share the same ears, so it's inevitable that you're going to want to make suggestions to the other guys in the band. And you owe it to them to listen to what they have to say and, if it's agreeable, make changes in your playing. But you should by no means be an organ-grinder monkey and do whatever they tell you to do.

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