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  #41  
Old 03-22-2015, 09:41 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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Im right there with you. The industry already treats musicians like crap. I think one of the reasons for this is because we as musicians have allowed that to happen and become the norm. I hate the attitude that some sound guys, club owners, etc have that they are doing the bands such a big favor by letting them play. If it were not for the bands there would be no music club. These people would not be making any money. Most of the time the band is not making any money. We had to basically pay to play that show that went so bad. Sure it was for exposure. But then I have to deal with a crappy sound guys attitude on top of it.

Im not saying we should be treated like pre madonnas, nor should we act like ones. Im just saying we should be treated with respect and not like pee on"s. And we should make it known in our words, or at least actions, that we do have standards and we are not flunkys that they can just walk all over because "they are doing us a favor" by letting us pay to play their club.

If we start showing that we as musicians expect respect like the people we are working with do then we will get the respect we deserve.


You still dont get it though. If there are more bands on the bill than time to let all the drummers set up and tear down there own kits then thats it. Its not being done just to annoy you, its time constraints, you were just unlucky that the headliners kit was memory locked.

I have played some awfull kit setups, but we were happy to get the gigs. Tough on me but who said life is always fair? It made me a better drummer accommodating setups that are miles away from mine.
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  #42  
Old 03-22-2015, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

I can and play odd kit configurations all the time.. not that I enjoy it as much as my preferred setup.. but the challenge can be fun sometimes. The weirdest kit I ever played was on a rack setup.. and the tom were all high and flat - no angle - so it was a stretch to get up there.. but at the end, the owner came up to me and said I was the first guy he'd ever heard that could play his kit!

As a rule I never share my kit with anyone - sorry - but I draw the line there due to other drummers never even bothering to bring there own snare - or even sticks! I also refuse to be a stooge for barowners and soundguys that will ask things like 'seeing as you're on last.. can you show up real early for sound check and so the other bands can use your priceless kit?'
Short answer is Absolutely Not!
To bar owners/sound people - If you want to run several bands - either rent a standard backline kit or forget about it..
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  #43  
Old 03-23-2015, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

My man, your viewpoint in not an enabling one...

It comes down to this:

If you ascribe cause to anything outside of you, you give up control.


What this means (in non philosophical terms) is that it is never the stick, drum setup, pedal, weather, or anything else. It is ALWAYS you. Good or bad.

Once you realize this, you are on your way.

The level of your agreement with the previous statement is directly proportionate to how far that you will be able to achieve your goals of mastering the instrument. A master can make a cardboard box sound good.
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  #44  
Old 03-23-2015, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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I can and play odd kit configurations all the time.. not that I enjoy it as much as my preferred setup.. but the challenge can be fun sometimes. The weirdest kit I ever played was on a rack setup.. and the tom were all high and flat - no angle - so it was a stretch to get up there.. but at the end, the owner came up to me and said I was the first guy he'd ever heard that could play his kit!

.
A bar in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The bass drum was wedged with wooden blocks to stop it rolling and the batter head was turn from the rim from about 12oclock to 4oclock. Inside was stuffed with some much rug and pillar that it gave a solid backing to the completely loose batter head.

Weirdest thing ever. But, got on with it. Like you have to do.
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  #45  
Old 03-23-2015, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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A bar in Huddersfield
That would've been my first tip-off.
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  #46  
Old 03-23-2015, 02:47 PM
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Then I get on stage. This guys kit is nothing like mine. Its on a rack and everything is memory locked in place. I can barely move anything...I try to get things adjusted but its all jacked up. My parts in my bands songs are very orchestrated. So my fills and beats are pretty much written out note for note. As soon as we start playing I know its gonna suck....etc.
Your last sentence is where the biggest problem came up: your attitude. If you sit down and think "this is going to blow", it's probably going to blow. If you say, "this is going to be an interesting adventure and a chance to create something new" then you've started on a completely different footing.

I'm sure any of us who've gigged a bit could tell several similar stories. The thing is, you can mope and b*tch, or you can chalk it up to experience and use it as an opportunity to improve your thing.

For instance, were there things you could've done to better adapt to the situation? I.e. simplify your parts, or use similar rhythms/stickings on different instruments? Perhaps your tom fills can be played on the SD? Perhaps that part on the bell could be played on the body of the cymbal or the HH or the rim of a tom, etc. Yeah, timbre matters but it's way down the list from providing a solid rhythmic backbone for the band. How could your musical approach have been better for the situation you found yourself in? Being able to adapt on the fly is a hallmark of the greats. Are you there yet?

Perhaps there are holes in your technique and facility that - if plugged - would give you more freedom to adapt and create given similar circumstances in the future?

Was there more you could've done in the prep stages for the gig - i.e. liasing with the other bands about backline - that might've helped head this off at the pass? Why was it that the first knowledge you had of the kit you'd be playing was when you walked on stage when it's much to late to do anything?

Prepare for the next time this happens. Because it will. This is just the worst gig of your life so far. :)
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  #47  
Old 03-23-2015, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

I think we get your points. Yes, the show must go on, but making the same mistakes over and over is only going to keep you in these crap venues. What some are calling commitment is starting to smell like plain old desperation. Drummingman did the show, he just isn't so desperate that he's willing to make the same mistakes over and over again, only to wind up yet again playing in the same bad situation. That's a classic definition of insanity. If we as musicians really wanted to not argue amongst ourselves but rather move the discussion up a notch someone might enlighten us as to how a band with a bit of talent and drive can avoid crap gigs and take the next step to playing more professionally.
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  #48  
Old 03-23-2015, 03:39 PM
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I think we get your points. Yes, the show must go on, but making the same mistakes over and over is only going to keep you in these crap venues. What some are calling commitment is starting to smell like plain old desperation. Drummingman did the show, he just isn't so desperate that he's willing to make the same mistakes over and over again, only to wind up yet again playing in the same bad situation. That's a classic definition of insanity. If we as musicians really wanted to not argue amongst ourselves but rather move the discussion up a notch someone might enlighten us as to how a band with a bit of talent and drive can avoid crap gigs and take the next step to playing more professionally.
Dunno. Was it a crap gig because of the kit setup or was it a crap gig because it was a crap gig?

I don't mark a venue crap because one can't use one's own kit. If so, most UK venues are crap. In every single venue I've ever played, where more than one band plays (which is the vast majority of gigs over here I'd say) there is one kit. The choice then is whose kit. Setting up your own kit when the venue has their own backline, or has opted to use Band A's kit is NOT an option. Too impractical.

I'd think it almost impossible to avoid situations where you are forced to use a backline or someone elses kit...other than to avoid gigs where there are ANY other bands. Which you can do of course, but then you close down a significant percentage of gigs.
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  #49  
Old 03-23-2015, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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That would've been my first tip-off.
We were young and needed the money :-)
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  #50  
Old 03-23-2015, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

Sorry to hear.

I backed a pretty famous Australian singer the other week and the guy from the support band before me completely messed up my kit. I had gotten there early so I could get everything setup and tuned nicely. Then I had to go pick the singer up and when we returned the support band were already playing. This guy suited himself setup wise and at my expense. I had no time to try and set it up correctly. I guess I might have done the same thing at previous gigs and not realized how ticked off the owner of the kit might have been.

What I ended up doing was stripping it back to a 4 piece. After a song my anger was gone.

Moral of the story - play a simple setup & don't try to be Gavin Harrison unless you have a roadie.
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  #51  
Old 03-23-2015, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

I just have one request, please post the first time you put your foot down about using the backline and are told to get bent. As a guy who has done sound for numerous clubs and festivals I will tell you that if you had come up and demanded to use your own kit in a backline situation, I would have told you to either play the provided set or we will put the next band on in your place. Every other band will appreciate it as they will each get more time to make up for the time you didn't play.

I understand that you are just here venting to other drummers, who you likely thought would agree with you. However, any touring musician has played a backline and its a skill set you have to develop. I hope that by reading the remarks from people far more professional that I you will see that by changing your attitude a little you can learn to enjoy every gig. Every gig has its own different set of obstacles to overcome, professionals get through them without anybody else ever knowing.
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  #52  
Old 03-23-2015, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

If you can't play whatever is in front of you and make it sound good, you don't sound good. If you aren't creative enough to change your parts so that they work on a 4, 3, or even 2 piece, you're un-creative. The theme here is that you need to loosen up and realize that these are all just rhythms we're playing. What things you hit to make those rhythms is a secondary matter. Nobody but you cares and the audience just wants to hear us keep everything nice and tight.

The string players in my band use house systems all the time. Sometimes they're worse, sometimes they're better than what they wanted to play through.

On friday I played a really nice venue, and heard more than one horror story recalled by the sound-guy who was also the GM of the venue. Drummers can be total shits, and the whole night goes better when we just have some flexibility instead of being babies about what kit it is or that everything isn't totally perfect in the mix half way through.

If you really get stuck with a crap kit, look at it as an opportunity to be creative and adapt your parts; which usually means simplifying, but does not have to mean getting any less awesome.

Practice your whole set with just kick snare hats. Record it and keep doing it till things sound good. Once you've done so, you can make a gig work on damn near anything. Your cool fills don't make the song, and don't break the song if you don't play them. Unity of the band, rhythms and energy make the song.
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  #53  
Old 03-23-2015, 10:00 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
If you can't play whatever is in front of you and make it sound good, you don't sound good. If you aren't creative enough to change your parts so that they work on a 4, 3, or even 2 piece, you're un-creative. The theme here is that you need to loosen up and realize that these are all just rhythms we're playing. What things you hit to make those rhythms is a secondary matter. Nobody but you cares and the audience just wants to hear us keep everything nice and tight.

The string players in my band use house systems all the time. Sometimes they're worse, sometimes they're better than what they wanted to play through.

On friday I played a really nice venue, and heard more than one horror story recalled by the sound-guy who was also the GM of the venue. Drummers can be total shits, and the whole night goes better when we just have some flexibility instead of being babies about what kit it is or that everything isn't totally perfect in the mix half way through.

If you really get stuck with a crap kit, look at it as an opportunity to be creative and adapt your parts; which usually means simplifying, but does not have to mean getting any less awesome.

Practice your whole set with just kick snare hats. Record it and keep doing it till things sound good. Once you've done so, you can make a gig work on damn near anything. Your cool fills don't make the song, and don't break the song if you don't play them. Unity of the band, rhythms and energy make the song.


+1. In a nutshell.
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  #54  
Old 03-23-2015, 10:53 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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I think we get your points. Yes, the show must go on, but making the same mistakes over and over is only going to keep you in these crap venues. What some are calling commitment is starting to smell like plain old desperation.
While touring I've played some very good venues on hired kits that were very different from my own and sometimes with little soundcheck time to futz around with the set up. "Making the same mistakes" would be to continue to approach this problem from the perspective that it's the kit's fault if you don't get the job done. "Making the same mistakes" would be failing to use this experience as an opportunity to figure out how to be able to cope with it in the future and learn to take measures to avoid it.

It's not about desperation, it's about being realistic about what it's like to be a professional. There are going to be plenty of adverse circumstances and if you don't learn to approach them right, your career won't last long. If I only ever took gigs where I used my own equipment, the space was pristine, the room to set up unlimited, the sound clear as a bell, etc. I'd be stuck at home a lot of the time and the mortgage wouldn't get paid.
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  #55  
Old 03-23-2015, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

I've played many house kits.

There was one occasion though where it was a similar thing. The house kit was on a Pearl rack, so moving anything was near impossible. It had no 10" tom, so I had to re-orchestrate all my fills on the fly, and it was an all original band where every note was pre-planned out.

Yet despite it all, it somehow turned into one of our better gigs. I was just so determined to NOT let the sucky kit situation get me down that I got through it.

Some nights it's just mind over matter.
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  #56  
Old 03-23-2015, 11:05 PM
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I've played many house kits.

There was one occasion though where it was a similar thing. The house kit was on a Pearl rack, so moving anything was near impossible. It had no 10" tom, so I had to re-orchestrate all my fills on the fly, and it was an all original band where every note was pre-planned out.

Yet despite it all, it somehow turned into one of our better gigs. I was just so determined to NOT let the sucky kit situation get me down that I got through it.

Some nights it's just mind over matter.
Boom.

I've had similar experiences. I've had some great gigs on hired or house kits that were set up or tuned very differently from my own because I was forced to concentrate that much harder and sometimes the sound/setup of the kit inspired me to play things that I usually don't. Then I went back to my own kit and applied what I'd discovered.
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  #57  
Old 03-24-2015, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

[quote=Boomka;1339758]While touring I've played some very good venues on hired kits that were very different from my own and sometimes with little soundcheck time to futz around with the set up. "Making the same mistakes" would be to continue to approach this problem from the perspective that it's the kit's fault if you don't get the job done. "Making the same mistakes" would be failing to use this experience as an opportunity to figure out how to be able to cope with it in the future and learn to take measures to avoid it.

It's not about desperation, it's about being realistic about what it's like to be a professional. There are going to be plenty of adverse circumstances and if you don't learn to approach them right, your career won't last long. If I only ever took gigs where I used my own equipment, the space was pristine, the room to set up unlimited, the sound clear as a bell, etc. I'd be stuck at home a lot of the time and the mortgage wouldn't get paid.[/QUOTE]

If this is how "professionals" are really treated then I'm glad to be called a "hobbyist". Funny, but you'd think it would be the other way around. Too bad so many "professionals" can't speak up because they have to play venues where they are treated with so little consideration... just so they can pay the mortgage.

I am honestly not trying to be a sarcastic but we just disagree about what is professionally acceptable, it's not about providing perfect conditions. But, if the gig provides an instrument it should meet certain standards of playability. And, I believe the OP when he states it didn't and unlike a few here, I'm not going to lecture him on his "bad attitude". That's just condescending.

Last edited by Skyking; 03-24-2015 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Added B For easier reading
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  #58  
Old 03-24-2015, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

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I am honestly not trying to be a sarcastic but we just disagree about what is professionally acceptable, it's not about providing perfect conditions. But, if the gig provides an instrument it should meet certain standards of playability. And, I believe the OP when he states it didn't and unlike a few here, I'm not going to lecture him on his "bad attitude". That's just condescending.[/b]
But what's the appropriate response to discovering that the kit doesn't meet your personal standards of playability? Refusing to play?
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  #59  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

[quote=Skyking;1339797]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomka View Post
While touring I've played some very good venues on hired kits that were very different from my own and sometimes with little soundcheck time to futz around with the set up. "Making the same mistakes" would be to continue to approach this problem from the perspective that it's the kit's fault if you don't get the job done. "Making the same mistakes" would be failing to use this experience as an opportunity to figure out how to be able to cope with it in the future and learn to take measures to avoid it.

It's not about desperation, it's about being realistic about what it's like to be a professional. There are going to be plenty of adverse circumstances and if you don't learn to approach them right, your career won't last long. If I only ever took gigs where I used my own equipment, the space was pristine, the room to set up unlimited, the sound clear as a bell, etc. I'd be stuck at home a lot of the time and the mortgage wouldn't get paid.[/QUOTE]

If this is how "professionals" are really treated then I'm glad to be called a "hobbyist". Funny, but you'd think it would be the other way around. Too bad so many "professionals" can't speak up because they have to play venues where they are treated with so little consideration... just so they can pay the mortgage.

I am honestly not trying to be a sarcastic but we just disagree about what is professionally acceptable, it's not about providing perfect conditions. But, if the gig provides an instrument it should meet certain standards of playability. And, I believe the OP when he states it didn't and unlike a few here, I'm not going to lecture him on his "bad attitude". That's just condescending.
Im right with you on your posts Skyking. I dont expect everything to be perfect on any gig. I just want the gear Im playing on to be at least decent. Which is why I really only want to play on my own, or at least a kit I have had a chance to set up and make sure works for me. Like you said, I played the show and made do. But what I learned was its best not to let people crap all over you and you are just supposed to suck it up. I don't have a bad attitude at all. I play in less then perfect conditions most times that I play. I am a professional and will do what I need to do to get it done. But I do have standards that I feel are not unreasonable. Like I posted before, we have to come to expect to be treated with respect or this kind of crap will just keep happening.

There is no question me and you are on the same page Skyking.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:32 AM
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But what's the appropriate response to discovering that the kit doesn't meet your personal standards of playability? Refusing to play?
I think that if we as drummers all banded together and let it be known that giving us crap gear and expecting us to just make due is not acceptable and we all did refuse to play when treated this way you can bet that this practice would change. But it would take more of us willing to say no in these types of situations. Then when these clubs had no bands to play in them and the club owners and sound guys and others at these clubs were not getting paid they would be much more excepting of us drummers not putting up with these things.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

I have spectacularly limited gigging experience.

To the extent that I can count my drumming gigs on one hand, and still not feel the need to be cautious when using a power saw.

And one of those gigs involved using another drummer's kit. His kit was as different to mine as I could imagine. Smaller toms, different tom layout, different cymbal selection, and a ported kick which sounded like a wet slap instead of my kick's awesome ringy boom. Snare drum higher than Amy Winehouse. It was not a set up I would choose in a bajillion years.

If I'd said "expecting us to just make due (sic) is not acceptable" I would have looked like an arse. Sometimes we have to play on kits that are different to, and yes, sometimes objectively worse than our own. Sometimes if you want to play, that's what you have to do.

You don't have to play, but if you do play, sometimes you have to make do. If it's a venue you play regularly, there may be room for you to do something about improving the kit ("Hey Mr Venue Owner, how about you stump for new heads, and I'll set them up?").

Petulance and foot stamping is not the way.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:08 AM
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I think that if we as drummers all banded together and let it be known that giving us crap gear and expecting us to just make due is not acceptable and we all did refuse to play when treated this way you can bet that this practice would change. But it would take more of us willing to say no in these types of situations. Then when these clubs had no bands to play in them and the club owners and sound guys and others at these clubs were not getting paid they would be much more excepting of us drummers not putting up with these things.
No it wouldn't. There would be another band willing to take the slot.

Look mate. I think you're making excuses for a crap gig. If you were halfway as good as you think you are, you could have adjusted your playing. Instead you're choosing to stamp your foot and be inflexible about something that has happened to all of us over the years.

You know what? That's life. Sometimes we have to compromise. Take it as a learning experience, approach your parts flexibly and see what happens. Seriously, if you were half-decent you could rock a terrible kit.
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  #63  
Old 03-24-2015, 11:16 AM
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I think that if we as drummers all banded together and let it be known that giving us crap gear and expecting us to just make due is not acceptable and we all did refuse to play when treated this way you can bet that this practice would change. But it would take more of us willing to say no in these types of situations. Then when these clubs had no bands to play in them and the club owners and sound guys and others at these clubs were not getting paid they would be much more excepting of us drummers not putting up with these things.
If the venue in Huddersfield with the crap kit, with the bass drum with no legs such that they used wooden blocks to stop it rolling over, and a torn batter head, rang us today and said "we just had a band who won't use our drum kit. Do you fancy the gig but you'll have to scrub along with the house kit as is because we've soundchecked it and it works. We're willing to pay you the fee we were paying them".....

We'd be all over that gig like a rash. We'd make it work. I'd take some black tape along and patch the damn thing up.

And, I'd say, 95% of semi-professional bands would do the same.

And the remaining 5% would sack the drummer for being a whinger.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:18 AM
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[quote=drummingman;1339880]
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Im right with you on your posts Skyking. I dont expect everything to be perfect on any gig. I just want the gear Im playing on to be at least decent. Which is why I really only want to play on my own, or at least a kit I have had a chance to set up and make sure works for me. Like you said, I played the show and made do. But what I learned was its best not to let people crap all over you and you are just supposed to suck it up. I don't have a bad attitude at all. I play in less then perfect conditions most times that I play. I am a professional and will do what I need to do to get it done. But I do have standards that I feel are not unreasonable. Like I posted before, we have to come to expect to be treated with respect or this kind of crap will just keep happening.

There is no question me and you are on the same page Skyking.
So, as I said previously, you should have used your brain and thunk outside the box. Dropped your first song, and spent 4 minutes extra setting the kit up so that you were comfortable with it.

This is live gigs man...this IS the game
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:57 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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If this is how "professionals" are really treated then I'm glad to be called a "hobbyist". Funny, but you'd think it would be the other way around. Too bad so many "professionals" can't speak up because they have to play venues where they are treated with so little consideration... just so they can pay the mortgage.

I am honestly not trying to be a sarcastic but we just disagree about what is professionally acceptable, it's not about providing perfect conditions. But, if the gig provides an instrument it should meet certain standards of playability. And, I believe the OP when he states it didn't and unlike a few here, I'm not going to lecture him on his "bad attitude". That's just condescending.
You're missing my point. There can, indeed MUST, be plenty of "speaking up" when the circumstances warrant it and when the conditions are far, far below what can be reasonably expected given the venue/gig/money and when you didn't knowingly assent to those conditions ahead of time.

The OP claims he didn't know he would be sharing a kit. Why not? There was a chance to speak up when the gig was booked. Perhaps he could have offered his kit to be the one shared by all the bands ahead of time. Perhaps he could've done more to get in contact with the band who would be providing the kit to find out what he'd be working with so he could make the necessary preparations? When I book a gig I gather as much information about the conditions as possible before agreeing. If they don't want to help me out with that info, then I can refuse the gig or take it knowing that I could be walking into trouble. Either way, it's up to me. I don't leave it to chance and, when I do, it's my choice.

A second chance to control circumstances was missed when somehow the OP didn't manage to even lay eyes on, let alone discuss with their owner, the drums he'd be playing before he walked on stage on the night of the gig. If you know you're walking into a potential problem (and anyone who has done kit-sharing gigs knows this stuff happens) then you do your best to be there early and to make contact with the person providing the kit to discuss what they're willing to let you move, etc. Even IF the owner had said, "no adjustments" the OP would then have had time to mentally plan how to cope. The time to find out you have a problem is NOT when you walk on stage with a wet foot, under pressure from the techs to get the changeover done and all the other anxiety that goes with making your entrance. If you want to put on the best performance, you take the necessary steps to manage the stress and anxiety of performing, not compound them with a lack of foresight.

So, I fail to see how it's "condescending" to suggest that if you willingly -- or by neglect -- create adverse conditions for yourself, that you should be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions and not run to t'internetz to blame drum sets and random other drummers for your poor showing. If you want conditions to be "professional" then you sometimes have to take a professional level of interest in making them so. Take responsibility, don't leave your performance up to some random guy at the venue or in some band that you've never met or spoken to.

Moreover, knowing that, despite our best efforts, conditions will sometimes not be perfect, what is condescending about suggesting someone fully prepare themselves technically and musically for such situations in the future? Even if the OP gets lucky and only plays in pristine conditions for the rest of his days, nothing has been lost by spending the time to learn how to adapt and conquer adverse conditions with grace and style and without sacrificing the quality of the music. I'm trying to help him have many safe and happy days of gigging, even when the gig sucks.

Last edited by Boomka; 03-24-2015 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:22 PM
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There can, indeed MUST, be plenty of "speaking up" when the circumstances warrant it and when the conditions are far, far below what can be reasonably expected given the venue/gig/money and when you didn't knowingly agree to those conditions ahead of time.
This - & it's straight back to my earlier highlighting of communication. One of the biggest gripes I have is frequently a venue's / promoter's lack of communication, or even a basic understanding of how to run a show. The live playing scene is just a reflection of the cross section you'll find in everyday life. Some people are professional in all they do, some aren't, some suck royally, some don't care, some can't communicate effectively, some are just plain wonderful, etc, etc. That applies equally to musicians too, & yes, even drummers ;)

Expect to find that cross section, & prepare by negating as many variables as possible ahead of the gig. Heck, if using their own drums, most drummers could make a start by actually learning how to prepare their drums properly for the performance. I've actually witnessed drummers refuse the use of a very good back line kit (close in setup to their own), & decide to use their own utter piece of garbage that's more difficult to get sounding good FOH than scraping shit off a blanket!
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:38 PM
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This is live gigs man...this IS the game
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:52 PM
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If this is how "professionals" are really treated then I'm glad to be called a "hobbyist". Funny, but you'd think it would be the other way around. Too bad so many "professionals" can't speak up because they have to play venues where they are treated with so little consideration... just so they can pay the mortgage.

I am honestly not trying to be a sarcastic but we just disagree about what is professionally acceptable, it's not about providing perfect conditions. But, if the gig provides an instrument it should meet certain standards of playability. And, I believe the OP when he states it didn't and unlike a few here, I'm not going to lecture him on his "bad attitude". That's just condescending.
Totally agree. If these are the conditions, I am so glad to not be a "professional" subjected to these conditions. If conditions are known to be not acceptable by reasonable standards, then we choose not to accept the gig. Simple. It's not a "bad attitude" of OP (or anyone else), it is personal preference. No disrespect to "professionals" that must take the work to pay bills, I totally get that.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:56 PM
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So, as I said previously, you should have used your brain and thunk outside the box. Dropped your first song, and spent 4 minutes extra setting the kit up so that you were comfortable with it.

This is live gigs man...this IS the game
Exactly. Things happen and then what do you do? How do you respond? My last rider provided me with everything I asked for, more actually. DW Collectors, all 9000 hardware and pedals, it was like literally playing my own kit only a different color. Then at another casino last year a totally different experience. We were to play with this Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band from Florida and I was instructed by the casino not to bring my drums, that I would be using the other drummers kit. I googled the band and gave it a look see. Decent enough one up one down, I brought some cymbals, my seat, snare, and pedals. What the casino didn't tell us is that "Freebird" had cancelled and an R&B act from Chicago was taking their slot. This other band was literally coming from the airport and guess what? No drums. At the casino I find a Tama Stagestar? (the sound guys cousins drums) a bop kit with an 18" kick, the wrap was just bubbled everywhere, the heads were absolutely trashed, and the cymbals are all cracked badly. So I made it work. I had to spin the BD batter to get a worn thin spot away from the beaters. Pulled (literally) a shower curtain out of it and tuned it up as best I could. I had a crash, ride and china but had to play a busted Zildjian K hat, and of course my trusty DW snare. My gear saved what would have been a complete train wreck. After I was set up I just put it out of mind. When set time came I just went into my act as if I wasnt sitting behind a child's kit. Stand on you mark, face the audience, smile ��, and play your part. The casino was aware of how badly they dropped the ball and their entertainment director was very happy with the way we handled of the situation. The $1250 dollar check cashed and they've booked us six more times since, but I always bring my own kit now ;)
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:46 PM
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We'll the "pro's" win. No more attitude, foot stomping and petulance for me. I'm selling my kit and buying the finest North American cardboard, (none of those cheap Chinese boxes will do). Pity the fool who plays a kit. Who needs a drummer when you can have a "thumper". I'll move far from home to study under the best thumpers in the business. Micing could be a problem but who cares because I'll post my own reviews. Don't you get it? It ain't about my sound, because I sound and play great. Just ask me. I'll tell you how great I am and how you aren't XXXX cause you can't make fine North American cardboard sing like me. Any gig, anywhere, that's for me, because it's not about the sound, or the money, or even my reputation, its about....uhhh, crap I forgot what it's about. But I know I'm right. Did I tell you how good I can make a box sound?

Now that was sarcasm and like the other side of this "discussion" a bit unfair. Believe it or not we are on the same side. I get your points and I think the OP does too. I just hope you can see, at some point, how ridiculous and harmful unchecked exploitation can be to musicians. Play at any cost, eventually costs us all.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:54 PM
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This - & it's straight back to my earlier highlighting of communication. One of the biggest gripes I have is frequently a venue's / promoter's lack of communication, or even a basic understanding of how to run a show. The live playing scene is just a reflection of the cross section you'll find in everyday life. Some people are professional in all they do, some aren't, some suck royally, some don't care, some can't communicate effectively, some are just plain wonderful, etc, etc. That applies equally to musicians too, & yes, even drummers ;)

Expect to find that cross section, & prepare by negating as many variables as possible ahead of the gig. Heck, if using their own drums, most drummers could make a start by actually learning how to prepare their drums properly for the performance. I've actually witnessed drummers refuse the use of a very good back line kit (close in setup to their own), & decide to use their own utter piece of garbage that's more difficult to get sounding good FOH than scraping shit off a blanket!
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:58 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Play at any cost, eventually costs us all.
And I'd be the first guy to tell you not to take an exploitative gig.

But, if you take a gig without firming up the conditions and then complain about the conditions and it's "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and..."
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: The worst gig of my life

What about the people who play kits like the one that was being complained about in the first place? Aren't they similarly entitled to demand the setup they're used to? Can you see the problem here?

It's always a compromise. Unless you're in the Rolling Stones, but most of us aren't. Compromises can even be fun. I'm certainly not expounding on the great benefits of being miserable all the time. It's just...not that big a deal, really. If you can have a great time playing any kit, this problem ceases to exist. That's the ideal I'd personally like to aim for.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:00 PM
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But, if you take a gig without firming up the conditions and then complain about the conditions, well...
This is pretty much the most important thing of all, being prepared. Lack of preparation sounds like it played a major part in the OP's predicament to me.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:08 PM
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We'll the "pro's" win. No more attitude, foot stomping and petulance for me. I'm selling my kit and buying the finest North American cardboard, (none of those cheap Chinese boxes will do). Pity the fool who plays a kit. Who needs a drummer when you can have a "thumper". I'll move far from home to study under the best thumpers in the business. Micing could be a problem but who cares because I'll post my own reviews. Don't you get it? It ain't about my sound, because I sound and play great. Just ask me. I'll tell you how great I am and how you aren't XXXX cause you can't make fine North American cardboard sing like me. Any gig, anywhere, that's for me, because it's not about the sound, or the money, or even my reputation, its about....uhhh, crap I forgot what it's about. But I know I'm right. Did I tell you how good I can make a box sound?

Now that was sarcasm and like the other side of this "discussion" a bit unfair. Believe it or not we are on the same side. I get your points and I think the OP does too. I just hope you can see, at some point, how ridiculous and harmful unchecked exploitation can be to musicians. Play at any cost, eventually costs us all.
It's NOT exploitation to say to 5 bands, "guys we're using one drum kit, and these guys were here first/we use a backline/you can draw lots".

It's common sense. Not everyone on a multi-band gig can use their own kits. Everyone would generally like to. But not everyone can.

It's their venue and they're the paymaster. The tail does not wag the dog.

You seriously think this is exploitation??

Bizarre way of thinking.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:11 PM
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What about the people who play kits like the one that was being complained about in the first place? Aren't they similarly entitled to demand the setup they're used to? Can you see the problem here?

It's always a compromise. Unless you're in the Rolling Stones, but most of us aren't. Compromises can even be fun. I'm certainly not expounding on the great benefits of being miserable all the time. It's just...not that big a deal, really. If you can have a great time playing any kit, this problem ceases to exist. That's the ideal I'd personally like to aim for.
Correct. Everyone's entitled to use their own gear, which means in the world of the drummer that no-one is.

And I agree. I've played plenty of kits which have been an absolute dream. I've also played some real dustbins.

You're UK so I imagine your experience isn't disimilar to mine...I'd love to see what happened if I turned up with my band and refused to play the house/someone else's kit.

I would hazard a guess a) the venue owner would tell us (ie. the band) to piss off. b) the band would tell me "sit down...you're playing what's there"

:-)
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:23 PM
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I wonder how long a gear share policy would last with guitar players if guitars varied in sizes as much as drums do. "Ok mate, the neck is 5 inches longer, the strings are 3 mm further apart from each other, and the body is half again as big and weighs twice as much. Make the best of it. Have a good gig!"... Yeah, right.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:26 PM
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I wonder how long a gear share policy would last with guitar players if guitars varied in sizes as much as drums do. "Ok mate, the neck is 5 inches longer, the strings are 3 mm further apart from each other, and the body is half again as big and weighs twice as much. Make the best of it. Have a good gig!"... Yeah, right.

The issue with drums is purely a practical one. I think if drums could be magically changed over, in full, in the space of 3 minutes like guitars, that there'd be no discussion here.

Hey, we knew all this though when we chose the instrument right ?
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:01 PM
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And I thought violinists would win the title of Mona Lisa...
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:27 PM
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I think that if we as drummers all banded together and let it be known that giving us crap gear and expecting us to just make due is not acceptable and we all did refuse to play when treated this way you can bet that this practice would change. But it would take more of us willing to say no in these types of situations. Then when these clubs had no bands to play in them and the club owners and sound guys and others at these clubs were not getting paid they would be much more excepting of us drummers not putting up with these things.
Errr, you didnt say it was crap gear you said it was a setup not to your liking and was not adjustable. Not the same thing.

I say again, If there is not time for all the drummers on the bill to setup and tear down there own kits then that is the situation, make the best of it.

If you never want to do a kit share again, its easy. If you are offered a gig ask how many bands are on the bill, If its more than two tell your band you wont do it.

Sorted. Then phone one of the other drummers on here so they can pick up the gig for there band.
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