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  #1  
Old 02-01-2018, 01:10 AM
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yammyfan yammyfan is offline
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Default Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Hi all,

The long and short of it; I auditioned for and was offered a position in an all original band (a trio, including me) composed of two other members who are former professional touring and recording musicians.

I should have known that something was up by the quality of the demo they provided, and by the strength of the writing. Of the eight tracks they provided me to listen to, I heard a couple of potential singles. Needless to say, I want to stick with these guys for a little while.

So what is it that the pro's look for in a drummer, beyond the obvious stuff like the ability to keep steady time and show up for rehearsal, prepared? What qualities do you think it takes to hang with these guys?

Now, this is important. I am entirely self taught and have no formal training whatsoever. Everything I know comes from thousands of hours of jamming along to my favourite records. I've been in plenty of bands, however, and gigged some too.

I need advice on how to prepare my mind to deliver the kind of reliable performance that these guys are going to need. I want to focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don't. The times I lose it during practice (never during gigs, oddly) are the times I start to think during a song instead of simply playing. I want to develop that quiet mind that I think I'm going to need.

So, any advice that you can give? No doubt many of you have been in my shoes before. How did you prepare for it?

Thanks for reading, and for any insight you can provide.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2018, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Are you writing music with them or just playing the songs they've already written? If the former, then they'll likely want to see some creativity and on the fly style. Work on exercises that promote improvisation.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2018, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Are you writing music with them or just playing the songs they've already written? If the former, then they'll likely want to see some creativity and on the fly style. Work on exercises that promote improvisation.
I'll be doing both, I believe. They have four songs written of the eight that they'd like to include on their first full-length record. They have a four song EP behind them already.

Great tip, by the way. I think that now's the time to start embracing drumless tracks for practice sessions.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2018, 05:04 AM
Tony Marz Tony Marz is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yammyfan View Post
Hi all,

The long and short of it; I auditioned for and was offered a position in an all original band (a trio, including me) composed of two other members who are former professional touring and recording musicians.

I should have known that something was up by the quality of the demo they provided, and by the strength of the writing. Of the eight tracks they provided me to listen to, I heard a couple of potential singles. Needless to say, I want to stick with these guys for a little while.

So what is it that the pro's look for in a drummer, beyond the obvious stuff like the ability to keep steady time and show up for rehearsal, prepared? What qualities do you think it takes to hang with these guys?

Now, this is important. I am entirely self taught and have no formal training whatsoever. Everything I know comes from thousands of hours of jamming along to my favourite records. I've been in plenty of bands, however, and gigged some too.

I need advice on how to prepare my mind to deliver the kind of reliable performance that these guys are going to need. I want to focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don't. The times I lose it during practice (never during gigs, oddly) are the times I start to think during a song instead of simply playing. I want to develop that quiet mind that I think I'm going to need.

So, any advice that you can give? No doubt many of you have been in my shoes before. How did you prepare for it?

Thanks for reading, and for any insight you can provide.
Make sure you have a good place to practice for a minimum of 30 minutes a day untill your next gig/rehearsal.
There's all kinds of "silent" drum heads and cymbals you can buy these days to practice.
Find out what bands they are the most in to these days.
Study all those band's drummers and try to get in to their headspaces as far as how they approach their drum performances.
(Like what makes them tick)
Always be warmed up before the gigs and rehearsals.
Set a practice schedule for yourself throughout the week/month.
Set up your drums somewhere just to test out if all your hardware is in good working order.
Replace any broken drum heads and have your kit tuned up before your next gig/rehearsal.
All these things helps me with my anxiety about performance.

It's funny too because I'm in a really similar situation to your right now as well!


I'm getting ready to buy the DW "Go anywhere" practice pad kit for practice, sense I have to work out songs that already haves drums on them. The silence of the practice pads should help me monitor myself while listening to the playback of the recordings.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2018, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yammyfan View Post

So what is it that the pro's look for in a drummer, beyond the obvious stuff like the ability to keep steady time and show up for rehearsal, prepared? What qualities do you think it takes to hang with these guys?
Do your best to be easy to work with, and take things in stride.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2018, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2018, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Do your best to be easy to work with, and take things in stride.
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 recording...now 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.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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.
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  #11  
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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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!

Quote:
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!

Quote:
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 recording...now 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.


Quote:
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.


Quote:
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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  #12  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Sounds like you have the right approach. We'd all love to see you succeed! Let us know how it progresses.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yammyfan View Post
Hi all,

The long and short of it; I auditioned for and was offered a position in an all original band (a trio, including me) composed of two other members who are former professional touring and recording musicians.

I should have known that something was up by the quality of the demo they provided, and by the strength of the writing. Of the eight tracks they provided me to listen to, I heard a couple of potential singles. Needless to say, I want to stick with these guys for a little while.

So what is it that the pro's look for in a drummer, beyond the obvious stuff like the ability to keep steady time and show up for rehearsal, prepared? What qualities do you think it takes to hang with these guys?

Now, this is important. I am entirely self taught and have no formal training whatsoever. Everything I know comes from thousands of hours of jamming along to my favourite records. I've been in plenty of bands, however, and gigged some too.

I need advice on how to prepare my mind to deliver the kind of reliable performance that these guys are going to need. I want to focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don't. The times I lose it during practice (never during gigs, oddly) are the times I start to think during a song instead of simply playing. I want to develop that quiet mind that I think I'm going to need.

So, any advice that you can give? No doubt many of you have been in my shoes before. How did you prepare for it?

Thanks for reading, and for any insight you can provide.
No fills, good time, even better attitude. Do not use a double pedal.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
No fills, good time, even better attitude. Do not use a double pedal.
I think I'm in good shape then!

I don't do many fills and I've never owned a double pedal. My Heavy Metal phase ended about 30 years ago ;)

I use an app called "LiveBPM" to keep me honest. I'm sure that lots of guys here have heard of and used it. It has really helped me manage tempos, and I find that I'm needing it less and less as time goes on.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:23 PM
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

I will also add something that has happened to me years ago when I thought I was ready to be a pro drummer. I auditioned for real simple 80's rock band and everyone one in the band had an excellent attitude, and me as well, but that didn't matter because I didn't come prepared because I didn't think I needed to learn the original songs they wrote. I thought I was good enough to just step in and wing the audition. I was fired after playing 3 songs! At that point, I'd only played very busy technical parts and figured"this will be cake".

The point I'm putting out is also for everyone else that has the opportunity to audition for any band that is above your skill level. Always do it even if you're not prepared or have the skills to make it.

You will not get the job and you will now know what you need to work on!

Also, if you have any ego about how good you are like I did, it will be smashed into Oblivion! And that is a very good thing to happen to anyone no matter the skill level!

Get out in the world and fail! Fail multiple times. It will make you into a monster drummer.
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2018, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Show up on time. Wear the right shoes.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Years ago when I started playing with really seasoned and outstanding musicians the bassist, who was the band leader told me his perspective was simple, Nail the beginnings and endings of the songs and any tacets within the body of the songs.....all the other shit is easy, it's just music. If we couldn't play music we wouldn't be there.

It stuck with me. Every band I have been in I make sure we nail the beginning and ending of every song and you would be surprised at how nailing those simple things raises the perception of the product on stage......"you guys were really tight"........simple shit goes a long way.

Most gigs I have played, people are there to hear music, not hear or watch a drummer......usually if they notice me it isn't a good thing......occasionally there are songs in sets where the focus will be on me, but I never pushed for a "drums forward" song to stroke my ego.......check the ego at the door with a new gig and find your "space" in the band dynamic and be flexible.
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:08 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

I've spent most of my time on the other side of the kit. The really great drummers are few.

Not just good time, but the right attitude for the song, the right place on the beat, correct inner dynamics, right tempo, being part of the whole grooving unit not just a beat.

Too loud is annoying, but a wimpy backbeat when something else is required is even worse.

A good rhythm section makes it effortless to sing and solo.
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

In terms of the music, no matter how cliché it sounds, you have to serve the song. Pros expect their fellow pros to be seasoned enough to know what works. It mostly comes from experience, but a good ear will tell you what kind of parts, fills and dynamics work best for a given song that sounds like another song you're familiar with. In other words, if it worked once it will work twice. Or three times. That's not being too lazy, or playing inside the box - it's doing what works (serving the song.) Unless of course you're going to singlehandedly revolutionize drumming!

There's a personality dynamic. Be a good bandmate. No serious arguments or any attitude that makes you undesirable. There are plenty of other drummers to take your place. Don't give them a chance.

And there's general pro behavior: show up early for rehearsals and gigs (if you're on time, you're already late.) Keep your gear sounding its best, and bring only what you know you'll need. Don't pick and choose gigs, do every one you can. Pros work because they don't say no unless they can't say yes.

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Old 02-02-2018, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummada View Post
I will also add something that has happened to me years ago when I thought I was ready to be a pro drummer. I auditioned for real simple 80's rock band and everyone one in the band had an excellent attitude, and me as well, but that didn't matter because I didn't come prepared because I didn't think I needed to learn the original songs they wrote. I thought I was good enough to just step in and wing the audition. I was fired after playing 3 songs! At that point, I'd only played very busy technical parts and figured"this will be cake".

The point I'm putting out is also for everyone else that has the opportunity to audition for any band that is above your skill level. Always do it even if you're not prepared or have the skills to make it.

You will not get the job and you will now know what you need to work on!

Also, if you have any ego about how good you are like I did, it will be smashed into Oblivion! And that is a very good thing to happen to anyone no matter the skill level!

Get out in the world and fail! Fail multiple times. It will make you into a monster drummer.
Good advice. I find it's those times when I bite off more than I can chew which force me to grow. My vocation has been like that too; 15 years ago I said "yes" to something I wasn't particularly qualified for and rose to the occasion out of sheer desperation. It works!!

I belonged to an all-original band a few years ago that seemed poised to make a splash, at least in their minds. They let me go just days before the CD release party (the drummer on the CD was a session player hired for the recording) and I'll never forget the humiliation. That failure lit a fire beneath me like nothing else possibly could.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Show up on time. Wear the right shoes.
TL;DR: A good attitude is everything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by River19 View Post
Years ago when I started playing with really seasoned and outstanding musicians the bassist, who was the band leader told me his perspective was simple, Nail the beginnings and endings of the songs and any tacets within the body of the songs.....all the other shit is easy, it's just music. If we couldn't play music we wouldn't be there.

It stuck with me. Every band I have been in I make sure we nail the beginning and ending of every song and you would be surprised at how nailing those simple things raises the perception of the product on stage......"you guys were really tight"........simple shit goes a long way.

Most gigs I have played, people are there to hear music, not hear or watch a drummer......usually if they notice me it isn't a good thing......occasionally there are songs in sets where the focus will be on me, but I never pushed for a "drums forward" song to stroke my ego.......check the ego at the door with a new gig and find your "space" in the band dynamic and be flexible.
I love this advice. The songs are straightforward and I'm a minimalist at heart. Beginnings and endings are huge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
I've spent most of my time on the other side of the kit. The really great drummers are few.

Not just good time, but the right attitude for the song, the right place on the beat, correct inner dynamics, right tempo, being part of the whole grooving unit not just a beat.

Too loud is annoying, but a wimpy backbeat when something else is required is even worse.

A good rhythm section makes it effortless to sing and solo.
I'll NEVER be considered a great drummer - I'm not even "good" yet. I am steady, however, and I really care about serving the song.

I made peace with my limitations a couple of years ago and decided that my salvation lay in developing "feel" instead of serving up polyrhythms and flashy fills. It ain't much but it's all I've got ;)
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2018, 08:17 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?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
In terms of the music, no matter how cliché it sounds, you have to serve the song. Pros expect their fellow pros to be seasoned enough to know what works. It mostly comes from experience, but a good ear will tell you what kind of parts, fills and dynamics work best for a given song that sounds like another song you're familiar with. In other words, if it worked once it will work twice. Or three times. That's not being too lazy, or playing inside the box - it's doing what works (serving the song.) Unless of course you're going to singlehandedly revolutionize drumming!

There's a personality dynamic. Be a good bandmate. No serious arguments or any attitude that makes you undesirable. There are plenty of other drummers to take your place. Don't give them a chance.

And there's general pro behavior: show up early for rehearsals and gigs (if you're on time, you're already late.) Keep your gear sounding its best, and bring only what you know you'll need. Don't pick and choose gigs, do every one you can. Pros work because they don't say no unless they can't say yes.

Bermuda
Thanks, Jon. I was hoping to hear what you had to say.

You'll see from an earlier response that serving the song is indeed high on my list of priorities. I'm relieved to hear that taking cues from songs that "work" is a legitimate strategy as it is something I've always done. I admire Stuart Copeland for what's he's done but I'm no Stuart Copeland!

Those other qualities you describe are certainly things that are within my control and my great hope is that demonstrating enough of those qualities will buy me time as I grow into the position. At some point "do" will become more important than "try" but as long as I'm reasonably proficient and easy to work with, I think that I've got a shot at sticking with these guys.

Really appreciate the response!
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:32 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

I'll NEVER be considered a great drummer - I'm not even "good" yet. I am steady, however, and I really care about serving the song.

I made peace with my limitations a couple of years ago and decided that my salvation lay in developing "feel" instead of serving up polyrhythms and flashy fills. It ain't much but it's all I've got ;)
[/quote]


No need for flash.

Thwere are just some guys that, though they're theoretically playing the same part just feel different. It's mostly about focus and really caring enough, having the passion to be fully present and give it your all every second.
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  #23  
Old 02-04-2018, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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Originally Posted by Bang A Drum Bang Ur Momma View Post


Make sure you have a good place to practice for a minimum of 30 minutes a day untill your next gig/rehearsal.
There's all kinds of "silent" drum heads and cymbals you can buy these days to practice.
Find out what bands they are the most in to these days.
Study all those band's drummers and try to get in to their headspaces as far as how they approach their drum performances.
(Like what makes them tick)
Always be warmed up before the gigs and rehearsals.
Set a practice schedule for yourself throughout the week/month.
Set up your drums somewhere just to test out if all your hardware is in good working order.
Replace any broken drum heads and have your kit tuned up before your next gig/rehearsal.
All these things helps me with my anxiety about performance.

It's funny too because I'm in a really similar situation to your right now as well!


I'm getting ready to buy the DW "Go anywhere" practice pad kit for practice, sense I have to work out songs that already haves drums on them. The silence of the practice pads should help me monitor myself while listening to the playback of the recordings.
Thanks for the input. Your comment must have been awaiting moderation as it showed up after some of the others in the thread.

I'm very fortunate in that I live alone on 25 acres of land with my nearest neighbour about 250 yards from me. I can (and do) practice for an hour or two every day without disturbing a soul. I've made more progress in the past 18 months than the previous fifteen years combined, thanks to daily practice. Not surprising, really, given that I played for a dozen hours or less in total between 1999 and 2014.

Good luck with your new bandmates!
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  #24  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:39 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

My advice would be to just ask them what they want. They obviously had a drummer before you. Ask them what forced them to replace the last drummer. It will let them tell you what they expect in an open forum, and they will know that you are able to take direction. I believe in communicating as much as possible with band members, the more you communicate, the better you will get at it.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Wouldn't say you've got to raise your game. Go on youtube and see where being an amazing player but unable to play in a band gets you.

If you've got the gig they like your playing. Congrats on that one!

Playing for the song is the best thing you can do. All trial and error with getting the feel when writing songs.

If all else fails just think what would Jeff Porcaro do and there's the answer :)
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  #26  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

Just wanted to circle back and to thank everybody for the advice provided. I did exactly as you suggested and now I'm a full fledged member of the band.

Our first gig is scheduled for next month; it's an outdoor festival that features independent and up-and-coming artists. Needless to say, I'm pumped about it!

Thanks again. Cheers!
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  #27  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:15 AM
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Living Dead Drummer Living Dead Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

A lot of the things have been touched on already, but I'll add my $0.02

Show up prepared. Know the material inside and out before stepping into a rehearsal room. Play the parts as close to the provided recording as possible. I can't tell you how many times someone has told me "Do you own thing." and then in rehearsal if you play one note different from what they are familiar with they will correct you and assume you don't know the tune.

Just today I got a call about a sub gig in a couple weeks. Its a metal band, and while my double kick chops are okay, I'm NOT a metal drummer and don't do the break-neck speed slipknot stuff. I was honest and told them that, and they replied with "We aren't picky about having it sound exactly like the tracks. As long we are in time we are all good."

...I smell BUUUUUUUULLLLLLL S**T!!!

I told them I'll need to sit behind the kit for a day with the songs first to see if I can handle it. If I can, I'll take the gig. I know that if I don't play the parts the way they are on the record someone will point it out, and I won't get called back after that gig.
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  #28  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:16 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

I'm not sure if this is a tip, trick or advise.

It occurred to me just recently, that out of all the instruments...the drums especially...actually the rhythm created by the drums...for most lyric based, non extreme music...the other musicians and the audience, they want the rhythm that the drummer makes to be mostly predictable. They may not admit this but IMO deep down, they want the rhythm to be easily identified and easily latched on to, as opposed to having to figure out where the 1 is for instance. That doesn't mean it has to be dead simple...unless that's what is needed. I can play dead simply yet with complexity. It's all about carefully placed musical nuance and dynamics decorating the simple task of establishing a simple rock solid rhythm and steady unwavering time. The rock solid rhythm and the steady unwavering time are the meat and potatoes of my part, the nuance, dynamics and carefully placed complexity is the gravy.

I think of it almost exactly like sex. Generally speaking (and talking strictly mechanically), I am building up a rhythm to a peak. In the middle of that buildup, if I throw a drum thing in there that is unexpected and not blending well into the already established patterns...all the momentum built up to that point is lost, and the building process has to start all over again. So I liken playing drums to sex...trying to make others have eargasms. It's the most accurate parallel I can think of.

I can sum up my approach to playing the drums in one simple sentence.

I try and give them what they want.

Which (happily) is what I want too, which is for them to get off.

Most non drumming musicians and the majority of the audience IMO don't want the same things a lot of drummers want. They want the drums much simpler than drummers normally think. JMO.
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Last edited by larryace; 05-07-2018 at 04:40 PM.
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  #29  
Old 05-07-2018, 05:48 PM
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spleeeeen spleeeeen is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I think of it almost exactly like sex. Generally speaking (and talking strictly mechanically), I am building up a rhythm to a peak. In the middle of that buildup, if I throw a drum thing in there that is unexpected and not blending well into the already established patterns...all the momentum built up to that point is lost, and the building process has to start all over again. So I liken playing drums to sex...trying to make others have eargasms. It's the most accurate parallel I can think of.

I can sum up my approach to playing the drums in one simple sentence.

I try and give them what they want.

Which (happily) is what I want too, which is for them to get off.
This fits with my experience Larry, not just in relation to the audience but in relation to the musicians with whom I'm playing. You do something that's pleasurable for them => you see they are getting off and that gets you off => they see that you are getting off and that gets them off, etc. As this cycle repeats, there's a flow of energy, a powerful connection develops and the whole thing keeps building. As a sex therapist, I talk about this phenomenon pretty regularly. For me, this is what playing music is all about.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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As a sex therapist, I talk about this phenomenon pretty regularly. For me, this is what playing music is all about.
Playing music in a band with others... really does have a lot in common with sex. You are together working as one. It's pretty personal, baring your soul onstage, what with all the drummer faces and whatnot. It's highly pleasurable to multiple senses at once. It is a give and take situation, that most times culminates in a climax. Sometimes I am perspiring and breathing heavier. It works better when I feel, not think. It's in the top 2 of the most satisfying things in my life. I feel reeeeeaally good after a great gig.

A closer analogy I can't think of.
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  #31  
Old 05-07-2018, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Playing music in a band with others... really does have a lot in common with sex. You are together working as one. It's pretty personal, baring your soul onstage, what with all the drummer faces and whatnot. It's highly pleasurable to multiple senses at once. It is a give and take situation, that most times culminates in a climax. Sometimes I am perspiring and breathing heavier. It works better when I feel, not think. It's in the top 2 of the most satisfying things in my life. I feel reeeeeaally good after a great gig.

A closer analogy I can't think of.
My reaction...

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  #32  
Old 05-07-2018, 06:41 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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My reaction...

Going inside a bush?

Not sure what this reaction is supposed to mean.

Which is very similar to sex with the opposite gender lol.
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2018, 07:15 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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Originally Posted by yammyfan View Post
So what is it that the pro's look for in a drummer, beyond the obvious stuff like the ability to keep steady time and show up for rehearsal, prepared? What qualities do you think it takes to hang with these guys?...
It just depends what YOU call PRO´s...

A) Would you be able to go and play with profi Jazz guys...no reharsals, just standars and make something nice, so nice that if you were not in it you will buy a video or cd to enjoy / learn from it because is so hip?

B) Would you be able to sight read a show, a song, with a big band.. etc.?

Last edited by Alex Sanguinetti; 05-08-2018 at 03:21 AM.
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  #34  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:00 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

This... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEjkwTjftfQ&t=0s ...do this! Then u get the gig!

Hope thats ok WhoIs
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  #35  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:04 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: Raising your game to work with pro's. Tips, tricks and advice?

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My reaction...

Im so with Porky on this one....lol

Sometimes your not just uncle Larry, ur "that" uncle Larry....keeps things fun!
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