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Old 02-01-2018, 08:26 PM
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yammyfan yammyfan is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Do your best to be easy to work with, and take things in stride.
Great advice, thanks. My attitude is definitely something that I can control.

Originally Posted by PlayTheSong View Post
Even if you don't help write the song, you're writing the drum part :). I'd record each song in rehearsal stage and then go home and play along to the recording, trying variation after variation in your playing until you feel you're supporting and complementing the song to the very best of your abilities. Make their song sound as good as you possibly can, and still remain open to their feedback if they want you to try other things. That way you demonstrate good musicality and good attitude. That's all most groups want from a drummer IMHO.
These guys are big on recording rehearsals so I think that this is something that I will be able to implement. Great tip. Thanks!

Originally Posted by CommanderRoss View Post
I always take Rob Zombie's comment on the Hired Gun documentary to heart about how to be in a band:
"Be a good musician, look cool on stage and most of all, be able to get along with the other members".
If you can pull these off, your way is paved in the music world.
I have a tendency to look down when I'm playing. I need to look up and smile more. This is a pro tip. Thanks!

Originally Posted by larryace View Post
This works good for me too. If you shift your focus to them, not you, as long as your playing works for them, nothing to fret about (see what I did there?)

Also people who improve....on a regular basis....and exercise a great attitude....that's like drummer insurance. If you never recorded your gigs or rehearsals....if you don't know how you sound on a is the time to evaluate your own playing via recording yourself and listening back, preferably in and ensemble situation. It's the fastest way I ever found to improve one's playing. Improve your playing by subtraction. Eliminate what sounds bad, and keep what sounds good. Works for me. My apologies if you already know the value of this.

One truth I discovered....that is true in my world at least... guitarists prefer a drummer who musically supports by listening and reacting, as opposed to a drummer who is playing for the drum part alone, oblivious to the others.

Step outside yourself. Supporting your bandmates....meaning listening and being sensitive... to the final resolved product of all members, that's what other musicians look for in a drummer, if you asked me. Seeing the big picture. More precisely, hearing the big picture and playing in a complimentary, not detrimental fashion with the others. A quick listen to a recording of yourself with a band should instantly reveal where you are on that scale. (Ooops I did it again!)

I realize that not every non-drumming musician thinks like this, but in my world, the majority definitely do.
Lots of excellent advice to unpack in there. Thanks, Larry!

I have resolved to stop glossing over errors in my playing and go back over those parts until I get them right. I was fine leaving 2% on the table when I was just messing around but I think that I'm going to need to get close to 100% of my parts correct if I'm going to be able to hang with these guys.

I'm a self-styled minimalist so my patterns and fills tend to be simple. I find it absolutely necessary to hone in on the other instruments in order to determine where to place accents and whatnot. I think of my playing like cooking a dish - I add just enough seasoning to make it tasty without overwhelming the recipe. Less is more, I believe.

Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Learn the songs, and (to the best of your personal ability) try to learn the whole song, not just the drum parts. Listen to lyrics and vocal phrasings, dynamics, and anything else that will help your playing be more musical and supportive of each song.

Have very dependable time.

Be a good band member. Dependable, easy and enjoyable to work with, and leave all your whinging in your practice room at home.

Have good equipment that doesn't need continual fussing (this is a must for any musician operating at this level).

Have very dependable time.

Be humble, but don't let yourself become a doormat. By this, I mean it's crucial to take constructive criticism with grace and an open mind; but if you are being called in as a band member, you are there to give (thoughtful, considered) opinions and contribute ideas.

Ask questions.

Take time improving the tone of your instrument. I can't believe the number of drummers I know who crack wise about guitarists fussing with amp settings and pedals and sound modeling, then they show up with untuned, taped-up drums and play them like they're trying to split wood.

Have very dependable time.
Great tips, Al!

My nickname is "Rock Steady" so I think I'm on the right track...

The guys were impressed at how well I was prepared for my audition. I basically learned all eight songs from start to finish with very few (but some) mistakes. I think that they were maybe just expecting us to "jam" but I wanted to make it a working session. I wanted to give them a sense of what it would be like if they gave me the job.

I also really care about my gear and buy the best that I can afford. My kits are Yamaha and my cymbals are Zildjian K and A Custom. I keep everything tuned, clean and polished. I just find it more fun to play on good stuff.

Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
Great advice so far. And you are raising your game just playing with pros. I'm a self taught hack and playing with pros forced me to step up my game, help me be open and listen to their helpful constructive criticisms, and listen and concentrate on the band more so than my playing-how I fit in (and really appreciate and gain a lot of respect for pro musicians in the process-under appreciated in society and academics). I like to wail away into oblivion if left to my own device-so I had to become disciplined-no more winging it, and every take a bit different-and some things you have to count to get right.
Agreed - great advice so far. I appreciate everybody taking the time to respond.

I'm glad to hear that you managed the transition as well. I have no doubt that these guys will help make me a better player. I'm not looking to make this a career (not that I wouldn't pounce at the opportunity) but I do want to get this right.
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