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Old 08-08-2018, 06:29 AM
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Default Is this good or bad?

I'm generally pretty level-headed. I'll get asked to play, and if people like it or not, I'm usually ok if they do call afterwards or not. I like to think I'm pretty secure in my own skin and if somebody doesn't like what I do, I'm sure there's somebody out there that they will like.

And this doesn't happen to me a lot - usually when I get the call, I'm being hired for something. But if I get the call to just jam and see how we gel, it bugs me a little when they're not digging it. So I just grin and bear it and move on.

But I'm wondering if it's a good thing when, after I've put it out of my head and mentally moved on to something else, the phone rings and it's those guys. Again.

I'm all about not closing the door on any opportunity, but what would you do if the free jam was so awful, now you get the call for an actual gig, which would require at least one rehearsal. Part of me is wondering if these are the same people or a whole 'nother band. I'm sure there's at least one person here put in the same predicament? Does this make sense?
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:52 AM
Ajthundersticks Ajthundersticks is offline
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

If there is a potential gig in it then it would surely be worth enduring one practise.
Worst case scenario it doesn't work out, best case is that you end up with some work.
Also, if you're not enjoying it couldn't you suggest some changes?
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I'm generally pretty level-headed. I'll get asked to play, and if people like it or not, I'm usually ok if they do call afterwards or not. I like to think I'm pretty secure in my own skin and if somebody doesn't like what I do, I'm sure there's somebody out there that they will like.

And this doesn't happen to me a lot - usually when I get the call, I'm being hired for something. But if I get the call to just jam and see how we gel, it bugs me a little when they're not digging it. So I just grin and bear it and move on.

But I'm wondering if it's a good thing when, after I've put it out of my head and mentally moved on to something else, the phone rings and it's those guys. Again.

I'm all about not closing the door on any opportunity, but what would you do if the free jam was so awful, now you get the call for an actual gig, which would require at least one rehearsal. Part of me is wondering if these are the same people or a whole 'nother band. I'm sure there's at least one person here put in the same predicament? Does this make sense?

The way you describe it "they're not digging it" "I just grin and bear it and move on" "free jam was so awful" sounds like they're desperate.

If you're 'all about not closing the door on an opportunity', why wouldn't you take the gig?
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

From what you're describing, I get the feeling these guys have been funny with a lot of drummers they've tried out and you're the next on the list.

It's up to you whether you think it's worth the gamble, personally I'd say thanks but no thanks, there's better gigs out there where you'll click with the guys you're playing with.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post



..... But if I get the call to just jam and see how we gel, it bugs me a little when they're not digging it. So I just grin and bear it and move on.

But I'm wondering if it's a good thing when, after I've put it out of my head and mentally moved on to something else, the phone rings and it's those guys. Again.

I'm all about not closing the door on any opportunity, but what would you do if the free jam was so awful, now you get the call for an actual gig,....
It sounded (to me) as tho" these guys werent digging it".. meaning...they werent noticeably impressed?
And at that point you just started to let it go, probably so you wldnt feel disappointed if they didnt hire you.

Makes me wonder, WAS it as bad as you made it up in your head?.. did you psychologically make it worse than it was?


Ive done this before, not necessarily in drummin or music, but in life.

Ymmv.

T.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

I try not to analyze. If someone has a paying gig that is local, and I'm available, then I'll likely play. There are some musicians that I avoid.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

I went through a similar situation recently.

A musician I know and play with a lot took a gig with a band and they fired their drummer and were looking for a fresh start. He really wanted me to join so I learned some of their music and jammed with them. I was the first guy they played with/auditioned. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

My friend told me later they wanted to try out other drummers and eventually it came down to them being indecisive about who to hire, me or this other drummer. The other drummer they auditioned was friends with the guys in the band. They knew I was pretty busy with other musical things at the time and worried about my availability.

So here's the thing. I could have gone all-in and fought tooth-and-nail for that gig. Maybe I would have gotten it, or maybe not. But the rehearsal really wasn't happening and I wasn't crazy about the music. I started thinking about whether I'd give up a gig with one of my other bands to play with these guys, and I realized I probably wouldn't. So I just told them to move on with the other guy and call me if they ever need a sub.

I'm big on not closing doors, and I didn't in this case. But I'm also at a point where if people aren't excited to play with me, then I'm not probably going to be too excited about playing with them, either. Now in this case, I didn't need the money. Obviously that changes the way I approach things.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
but what would you do if the free jam was so awful, now you get the call for an actual gig, which would require at least one rehearsal.
Any time there's a "free jam", it's going to be a bit dicey, because the goals and rules aren't clearly defined. Improv can be great, if everyone is playing music they know, and are comfortable in the style, and, to an extent, knows how the other musicians will behave musically. A "free jam" with musicians you just met? Not likely to go well.

But they're not calling you for more "free jams". They have a gig, and will need to play songs. So the goals are more clearly defined, and success as a group is therefore more likely.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

Who knows, if you take the gig, someone pivotal might see you that wouldn't have normally seen you. Everything leads to something else if you keep the chain unbroken.

In my life I've found that the best gigs/opportunities came about at a gig that I really didn't want to do initially.

I'd say do it. That way you will know the real score with these guys. I'd say that's worth 1 more rehearsal before the gig. That's what a level headed person would do IMO, because you don't really know much about these guys and their gigs. This would give you that knowledge. You can't know what might take place if you refuse.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

I find the whole premise of this thread kind of weird.

First of all there were unresolved issues at the original jam. Bo you should have communicated your feelings at that jam and found out exactly what they thought of you and your playing. And expressed your feelings to them.

Secondly, if they called again you had another opportunity to ask how they felt about you and your playing during that last jam. You could have even simply asked ie. "do you think we jelled together well enough to play a gig?" "Was the chemistry there?". etc.

Music is about musically communicating. Music is about feelings. Sorry but in order to communicate musically "the air needs to be clear" sort to speak. Does not mean you can't play with people you don't like, but it sounds like you need to share some feelings with those players.

I don't mean to get too deep and serious here, these are just my thoughts.


.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2018, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

I'm no expert on the subject, but I would absolutely say it's good or bad.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

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I'm no expert on the subject, but I would absolutely say it's good or bad.
Best response to the thread so far.

I've gotten a lot of advice on this in the last 20 hours and of course the smart thing to do would be to just continue on and play with them and see how it goes. I just wasn't used to the flip-flopping. And one of my friends who chimed in on this, asked me when I've ever met musicians who didn't flip-flop? And he's right, musicians are a wonky bunch. So my regular work attitude was encroaching on my artist attitude and in this sense, they don't compute. I had the wrong paradigm in my head when I posted this thread.

I figured my buddy was right, and not to brag, he has this attitude about it, and was Neil Diamond's last bass player. So I tend to listen to guys like this. Another buddy of mine who plays guitar in a legacy classic band, told me I've been pretty spot-on with judging who I'm working with, so maybe I'm right. But of course, if I don't have anything going on anyway, it couldn't hurt. The basic idea was just to be out there playing and being seen. I get that.

I had joked I might just hire these guys for gigs I find, which would make me the defacto manager/leader. And that's happened before ;)
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

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And he's right, musicians are a wonky bunch.
I tell people all of the time that the worst part about playing is that you have to play with musicians.

I've only turned down one gig in my life. My wife, who plays bass, and I showed up to practice with a guitar player/singer guy. It was supposed to be a 3-piece thing. The rehearsal when so poorly afterwards that my wife cried on the way home. He was the worst leader. He had NO IDEA what he was doing. He just kept starting at his chord sheets and furrowing his brow and saying "Wait a minute..." while hitting wrong notes on his guitar. Keep in mind that this was worship music in the early 2000's, and that's some of the easiest guitar stuff out there. I called a few hours after we got home and said, "I just don't think it's going to work out." He agreed.

Worst try-out ever in my book. Outside of this, I've never turned anything down in 25 years.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I tell people all of the time that the worst part about playing is that you have to play with musicians.

I've only turned down one gig in my life. My wife, who plays bass, and I showed up to practice with a guitar player/singer guy. It was supposed to be a 3-piece thing. The rehearsal when so poorly afterwards that my wife cried on the way home. He was the worst leader. He had NO IDEA what he was doing. He just kept starting at his chord sheets and furrowing his brow and saying "Wait a minute..." while hitting wrong notes on his guitar. Keep in mind that this was worship music in the early 2000's, and that's some of the easiest guitar stuff out there. I called a few hours after we got home and said, "I just don't think it's going to work out." He agreed.

Worst try-out ever in my book. Outside of this, I've never turned anything down in 25 years.
Wow. I had an experience like that a few times. I’ve known your pain! People are like boxes of chocolates sometimes.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

After speaking with people about the type of band they may be forming, if it sounds good, I’ll show up for a jam. One time I was shaking the hands of lawyers and managers before I even met the band. I walked into the studio and immediately I knew the independent/experimental description they gave was off.

We played through one song and it sounded like a 90’s version of Foreigner. I was polite enough to play another song, but when the hit single ballad was their choice, that was all I could take.

They seemed really surprised when I got up and told them it wasn’t for me. They asked why and I told them it was too mainstream.

“Mainstream, that’s what we are going for.”

Huh?

The amusing part is someone called me a week later saying that they went with a different drummer. I did all I could to not laugh.

-

Another time the same misleading description occurred, this time it was far worse. These were grown who played and wrote songs like the ability of a couple of 13yr olds just learning how to play and write songs.

It was so bad that I intentionally messed up through the middle of the second song just so I could get the hell out of there. Pure torture was how I could describe it and I would have said that if I 13 then.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

Is it not a two way street? How did you feel about the other musicians during the initial jam? Did you feel the personalities fitted with you? Did you feel the music was "Right" and could go somewhere? If the answer to all the questions were positive then another meet up would have some benefit. You must have felt the jam was good or why would you care, or be asking the question. Unless its just a case of getting work regardless of the music or personalities.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:10 AM
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Is it not a two way street? How did you feel about the other musicians during the initial jam? Did you feel the personalities fitted with you? Did you feel the music was "Right" and could go somewhere? If the answer to all the questions were positive then another meet up would have some benefit. You must have felt the jam was good or why would you care, or be asking the question. Unless its just a case of getting work regardless of the music or personalities.
Here's an interesting thing: these particular musicians without a drummer were going to be opening for the dinner set at a restaurant and my wife and I decided to drive out and have dinner and give them a listen. For the most part, they sounded good, granted having PA issues since they were the opening act, which I think threw them off a little. They were surprised I was there and were happy to sit and chat a bit, they got to meet my wife, and we discussed their project involving me.

After leaving, my wife gave me the run-down: these guys are a bit touchy, and probably stand-off-ish. So when she said that I knew I wasn't crazy, because I didn't give her those thoughts, she picked it up just talking to them. But like everything else, it's just a "people" issue where they'd like to get to know me more before making any solid decisions.

And I get that. It's just so strange because coming from entertainment, I've never had a problem with getting a gig and just getting along after the fact. This situation is like I'm doing job interviews for McDonalds - something I've never really had to deal with. My wife saw it and called it and told me "you just have to earn their trust because they don't know who you are". Which is very different from someone seeing me play, then chatting some over lunch and then being asked to be part of something.

So I guess this is just me in a regular social learning curve, it just happens to involve playing in a cover band. Based on this, I suppose if it's too weird to deal with, I could just say thanks and go do something else. But the wife thought it would be a good thing to go through just because I've never gone through it for a music thing.

Let's face it, if I'm up for a job with my current employer at that really happy place, I'd go in, demonstrate I could do it, and if they like it, they tell me how much it pays and when it starts and where I report to. Which is different because of the money involved. They figure they're paying me, I'm being a professional, here's my assignment. OTOH, here's a cover band that's not making money and they're definitely not paying me, so they're whole thing is feeling me out and making sure they can live in a room with me for at least three hours a week.

This is probably why I always have money to pay when I call musicians for a project.

Anyway, discussions will continue on Monday about arrangements for their next upcoming gig that I'll be involved in. My wife foresees us having a barbecue at some point where she'll pull out all the stops and bring in some dish to wow the other wives (further helping me to assimilate into their collective - which will be hilarious if she's right). In the meantime, I have another band to rehearse for a reception for a huge west coast hula competition, so it's nice to have something else to be thinking about. But I think this situation will pan out positive - it's just been a while since I had to "feel out" people or be "felt out". And I always think it's ironic that people who live like this, are really the weird ones, you know?

Stay tuned ;)
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Is this good or bad?

Sounds like they couldn't find anyone they actually liked and are in a bind.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:43 PM
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Sounds like they couldn't find anyone they actually liked and are in a bind.
That, or you know how people just like to sabotage themselves? That ran across my mind too. Not only do they perhaps have overly high expectations musically, they make it hard for newcomers to join in by only being able to rehearse as a group on Thursdays, for instance. When I know my schedule is that tight and need a band, I start charting stuff out and then offering money to pay people for their time.

It’s like they want to take a flight somewhere but they can only fly on a specific day and time, but they’re not actually Steely Dan, or Prince.....famed artists who you would clear your calendar for automatically.
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