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  #1  
Old 09-27-2018, 09:56 PM
fpmr96a fpmr96a is offline
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Default Drummerís Place In Band

Iím in 2 bands at the moment, but have played in many over the years.

Iím not a great drummer, but ok. One thing Iíve noticed over the years is that Iíve always felt like a less important band member. I donít sing, so Iím not involved with discussions about the key or chord patterns.

I really donít mean to come off as needy, but it seems like Iím respected as a drummer, but that the drummer is a less important band member. It seems especially evident when selecting songs or deciding on revised formats for songs.

I think my contribution is significant, as my funky grooves get people dancing.

Just an observation, but not a big deal...
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:05 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

It's the natural order of things. In a typical band, the vocals are the most important part (and often the weak part of entry level bands)

Next comes the instruments guitar/keys, bass, then drums.

Don't forget that nobody would dance to your funky grooves without the bass guitar accompanying you :)

The more you learn about music (not just drums) , the more you can and will contribute.

Also, you might be able to sing if you work at it.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Are you being paid less?
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

This isn't your imagination, it's a very real thing. I experienced a similar thing at a praise team rehearsal just this last week. When I spoke up regarding incorrect timing on a chord progression, and incorrect timing on song form, the guy leading worship this week was dismissive and condescending toward me, as if I couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about - I'm "only the drummer" after all.

What most of these people don't realize (mainly because I'm not the guy to bludgeon people with my musical resume) is that I:
  • have gigged on a professional level since I was about 17 - over 30 years
  • was an active duty military musician for 10 years (still currently serving in a National Guard band)
  • have over 35 years experience playing a wind/melodic instrument in all manner of ensembles across all manner of genres - concert bands, big bands, Latin bands, brass quintets, top 40 bands, solo liturgical trumpet, etc.
  • have a great deal of vocal experience, including years of multi-part acapella work singing bass, baritone and tenor parts, and I regularly sing both backup and leads gigging in the party band where I'm a trumpet player

I found his dismissive treatment of me irritating, but I tolerated it. In any case, you aren't alone - other musicians are often dismissive and condescending toward drummers. It's definitely a thing, and they have no clue how hard we work, or how much is involved in what we do in order to be good and effective with what we do.

Last edited by trickg; 09-27-2018 at 10:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:07 PM
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uhtrinity uhtrinity is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Is between the bassist and the guitarist ......


On a serious note. Keeping or setting tempo as well as influencing feel and groove. I agree, we don't care or need to know chords, but in writing we can direct or guide the band from the drum stool.
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:08 PM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Yep, that's a pretty standard thing. There are bands out there that will treat you better, but unfortunately, this type of thing is pretty common.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I firmly believe that your importance in a band as a drummer is completely within your control. Even without singing, you can learn enough about theory to be in on the conversation. If you are in an originals band, you can write lyrics or (if you know how) other parts. If you play covers, you can propose new songs to cover and help the band to learn the parts and the arrangements. You can use other talents you have (web design, art design, marketing, networking, even carpentry) to benefit the band in non-musical ways. And of course, be the drummer the band needs 100% of the time - playing for the song and the room.

I'm in several bands right now as well, and this marks my thirtieth year playing drums and my thirty-sixth year playing music. Not once in all that time have I ever felt like a less important band member.
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I have to agree up to a point: depending on the music being played, the drummer is support only or the drummer is so important the band canít replace the drummer without serious musical changes. None of the famous classic rock bands would have been the same without their drummers but cover bands/garage bands are different- drummers have to mimic their predecessors.
If youíre in an original music band, I donít see how you can be insignificant. Youíre laying down the first drum tracks, the originals: you set the rhythmic feel for the music, even the dynamics or can suggest those during compositional stages. As is often saidĒ,the squeaky wheel...etcĒ, so donít be afraid to add your 2 cents.
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Each band member has a slightly different role. Some things are specific to the player, and there's some crossover between players, and some all-inclusive aspects to what the players contribute. Some players have additional things they bring to the table in a band, such as vocal ability, maybe they have a rehearsal space, own the p.a., have a recording facility, etc. Each contributes to the 'whole' to varying degrees, and that dynamic is a little (or a lot) different for each band.

That said, I haven't experienced being a second-class bandmember in any of the bands I've been in, but I know it happens. I will say that the more a drummer can contribute 1) melodically - such as vocals or songwriting, or 2) logistically - such as a place to rehearse, owning the p.a., etc., the better they tend to be respected within the group.

To the OP, I wouldn't worry too much about the situation, just play the drums. Do your part, and get paid. If you want more input, control, respect, whatever... form your own band where you're the leader.

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Every band is different. I can understand the front person / lead singer choosing songs and arrangements, they have to sing the song well. I do feel less important sometimes.
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2018, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I'm a classically-trained (albeit dreadful) pianist; I read and write music; and I compose. I've just left a band because they had no idea what I did (and they should have).

Too many times I've felt sidelined, when they were discussing musical arrangements and didn't include me. Ok, I don't care about keys, but I DO care about beats, rhythms, interpretation and feel - but I wasn't included in the discussion.

The last straw came a week ago, when the set list came in. First up was "Instrumental". Not a problem. I can do Instrumental.

Bass player replied: "So [guitarist] and [keys], what do you want to play?"
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2018, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

You have to be secure in the fact that you KNOW how important the drums are.

There could be 30 or more other musicians who are being lead by one drummer. That fact alone should be validation enough.

Right now you are talking about how important the drummer is. I'd be willing to bet that the other instrument players are thinking the exact same thing about themselves. I don't see us sitting around talking about guitarists with stars in our eyes.

Just be secure, shut up, play well, arrive in plenty of time and be pleasant. Anything else is baggage.

Let everyone else have the problem, there's enough to overcome. You don't want self doubt to be another problem.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2018, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

All the other bandmembers in the world should realise that the playing of their drummer for the biggest part determines if their band sounds ok or not..

A quality band with a crap drummer stays a crap sounding band..

On the other hand, a crap band with a quality drummer can still sound pretty ok..
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2018, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I echo what everybody else has said. As an instrument it does take a backseat, and one tends to get sidelined in conversations. BUT in my (biased) opinion, there is a huge influence there not realized by everybody else in a band.
I'd actually say the drummer DRIVES the band.....the whole dynamic - whether to swing, go fast, slow, quiet, loud....etc...feel and time.. can all be in your hands....and without any words said. If you kick it up, the band does too. As a good example, if a band has a drummer that cannot do all those things, plays the same all the time, it is immediately noticeable.
I always remember the words of Sting in an interview about great drummers: "kickin' drummer, kickin' band"
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2018, 11:51 PM
jimb jimb is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Played bass for 30 yrs and now just started on drums so I know all about perceived value etc.

I often felt as a bassist that I was the least valued member of the band. If I turned up a bit cause I couldn't hear myself than the others would turn up a bit too so I was always frustrated.

Also, an audience will always hear drums before anything else plus we take up a lot of real estate and we're shiny too!

Value your place cause you occupy the spot which makes everything else happen. I certainly do, I love the move to drums.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Personally I think drums are the glue for any song and band. The bass and drums have to jive-there's a shared soul it seems. Maybe we don't get the visual attention but what gets peoples feet taping and up dancing is just a simple beat-I know I've done it at church. I was just warming up and played a country shuffle-people were walking in at time and suddenly people were twirling and dancing all over the place-just me playing a tune. It was hilarious-the music minister changed the first song and told me to "countrify it". One of those "spirit" led moments I guess LOL.
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoolsoul View Post
All the other bandmembers in the world should realise that the playing of their drummer for the biggest part determines if their band sounds ok or not..

A quality band with a crap drummer stays a crap sounding band..

On the other hand, a crap band with a quality drummer can still sound pretty ok..

Too true! Peace and goodwill.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I think it depends on who else is in the band. Take the police for example. Sting was probably the best musician in the group so I would say he was the most important. Not because he sang or lead, but because he was the best and the others probably fed off of him the most. Copeland was probably the 2nd best, so the second most important. In Led Zeppelin I would argue bonzo was most important, just because everyone in that group probably fed off of his energy the most because of his amazing talent. People will disagree with me, but that's just my opinion, so if you want to be more important in the group then you should work on your craft more and get better. If I played drums for a huge act like Jimi Hendrix or Elton John, I wouldn't mind being among the least important in the group

Just work hard, be the best you can be, stay humble and appreciate your bandmates
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  #19  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

If you ever doubt the value of drums, just listen to a drumless track :)

All the pieces are important but there is a food chain.

Last edited by New Tricks; 09-28-2018 at 09:18 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2018, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmr96a View Post
Iím in 2 bands at the moment, but have played in many over the years.

Iím not a great drummer, but ok. One thing Iíve noticed over the years is that Iíve always felt like a less important band member. I donít sing, so Iím not involved with discussions about the key or chord patterns.

I really donít mean to come off as needy, but it seems like Iím respected as a drummer, but that the drummer is a less important band member. It seems especially evident when selecting songs or deciding on revised formats for songs.

I think my contribution is significant, as my funky grooves get people dancing.

Just an observation, but not a big deal...
I say if you're paid the same, then just ride the train. No responsibility is good. I love just showing up, meeting a group of people and playing. Let them pick the songs, and I just go. At the end, they give me money, I pack up, and go home. What could be better than that?

I have always felt that if you want to treat me less important, then you get to handle all the headache of running the band. I've done my fair share of forming groups, and then hustling for gigs, and it's a lot of work sometimes. If I don't have to do any of that, I'm happier ;)
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  #21  
Old 09-28-2018, 11:58 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I think itís less to do with being a drummer and more to do with your overall contribution along with the other members of the band youíre in.
If youíre not contributing an awful lot then itís not unexpected that youíll be thought of as less important.
If you are contributing a lot and the other members view you as less important then thatís a problem with their attitude.
On top of that we all have different drivers, some wouldnít even notice or care about being sidelined, others need to be told theyíre important.
As has been suggested, try singing backing vocals. I let a prima donna guitarist in a previous band do the backings because he needed the spotlight, he was an awful singer. A few years later the band reformed without him and I stepped up, the remarks from the other lads were along the lines of ďwhy on earth werenít you doing this all along?Ē . The singer from my other band came to our first gig and grabbed me in the break, why wasnít I doing the BVís in our band? Similiar reason, the guitarists were out front and just assumed the responsibility.
Listen to discussions and learn. I donít read or write music and have no training but Iíve used my ears and my head and know what tuning up or down a step or half a step does. If something sounds wrong you be the one to suggest the key change or the stop or The breakdown.
If youíre playing covers or originals think about ďcompositionĒ and suggest endings for songs that otherwise fade out.
Make yourself important. In my two bands the bass player books the majority of gigs, Iím close behind him, I can count on the fingers of one hand the gigs everyone else brings in. Itís not a criticism but they know what I bring to the table, weíre all friends so thereís no ego contests going on, but if it was more of a business relationship they would know what theyíre losing if I went.
Last night I found a programme called Microsoft Publisher on my laptop. Within half an hour Iíd shared poster ideas for the band that weíd be proud to distribute straight away. This was partly borne out of a recent line up change which meant our posters were out of date plus our supply is down to almost zero so the job had to be done because the member whoíd left was the ďposter guyĒ Iím not a technical wiz, it really was easy.
And out of all of the above, even if no one shows appreciation, at least you in your own heart will know that youíre bringing more than your share to the table which will help your self esteem. If the worst were to happen you bring all of your composition, booking, media skills to a new band who might be knocked out by you.
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  #22  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I would say the best place is to the back stage right.
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  #23  
Old 09-28-2018, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolwich View Post
I think itís less to do with being a drummer and more to do with your overall contribution along with the other members of the band youíre in.
If youíre not contributing an awful lot then itís not unexpected that youíll be thought of as less important.
If you are contributing a lot and the other members view you as less important then thatís a problem with their attitude.
On top of that we all have different drivers, some wouldnít even notice or care about being sidelined, others need to be told theyíre important.
As has been suggested, try singing backing vocals. I let a prima donna guitarist in a previous band do the backings because he needed the spotlight, he was an awful singer. A few years later the band reformed without him and I stepped up, the remarks from the other lads were along the lines of ďwhy on earth werenít you doing this all along?Ē . The singer from my other band came to our first gig and grabbed me in the break, why wasnít I doing the BVís in our band? Similiar reason, the guitarists were out front and just assumed the responsibility.
Listen to discussions and learn. I donít read or write music and have no training but Iíve used my ears and my head and know what tuning up or down a step or half a step does. If something sounds wrong you be the one to suggest the key change or the stop or The breakdown.
If youíre playing covers or originals think about ďcompositionĒ and suggest endings for songs that otherwise fade out.
Make yourself important. In my two bands the bass player books the majority of gigs, Iím close behind him, I can count on the fingers of one hand the gigs everyone else brings in. Itís not a criticism but they know what I bring to the table, weíre all friends so thereís no ego contests going on, but if it was more of a business relationship they would know what theyíre losing if I went.
Last night I found a programme called Microsoft Publisher on my laptop. Within half an hour Iíd shared poster ideas for the band that weíd be proud to distribute straight away. This was partly borne out of a recent line up change which meant our posters were out of date plus our supply is down to almost zero so the job had to be done because the member whoíd left was the ďposter guyĒ Iím not a technical wiz, it really was easy.
And out of all of the above, even if no one shows appreciation, at least you in your own heart will know that youíre bringing more than your share to the table which will help your self esteem. If the worst were to happen you bring all of your composition, booking, media skills to a new band who might be knocked out by you.


An interesting twist - our singer does nothing but sing...and i mean NOTHING!
Doesn't drive to any gigs - so he can drink - doesn't bring so much as his own mic stand-doesn't lift a finger to help load in or out etc etc

I get 99% of our gigs, I do the website,produce the flyers, print the set lists, programme the lights, and deal with the money - which usually includes paying the singers tab (out of his share) - all on top of my drumming duties.
I'm first in and last out every gig and always help with the other guys gear if i'm done before they are.

So despite him being front and centre and theoretically 'more important' - if it ever came down to me or him, I'd like to think I'd get the nod!
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2018, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

In our trio, I am certainly the least important on stage during a gig. We play mostly blues, or what we call jazz-infused blues. I stay outta the way of the other 2 guys I hold down the groove I do fills to their solos I use cymbal crashes as accents just basic stuff. If the audience notices anything except my shiny little kit then something is wrong with our sound. The guys I play with are fantastic musicians.

But I book all our gigs. I manage our social media etc.

I get paid the same as the other two guys.

I'm the least important on stage but I'm important in other ways.

We're a team.
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  #25  
Old 09-28-2018, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I agree with what others have said. It depends on your contribution.
I tend to schedule our rehearsals and remind everyone about them. I'm the main communicator with the studio where we rehearse.

I set up our facebook and instagram pages.

I chose our logo and got us some merchandise made.

I've also been the main contact for jam nights and gigs, so much so that at the last jam night we were called up to the stage as "Gaynor's Band" (that's me). Not sure what our vocalist thought of that lol!

It's not just about being the drummer, it's about everything else you do in the band.

Get involved and you'll become more significant.

It did make me laugh when I passed a drum exam and our bass player said "I've never played with a qualified drummer before"!!!!
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  #26  
Old 09-28-2018, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Everyone has a role. I'm GLAD that I'm not a part of those conversations (although I understand them). The faster they can have those conversations and get stuff figured out, then the sooner we can get to playing.
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  #27  
Old 09-28-2018, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Quote:
Originally Posted by KEEF View Post
- our singer does nothing but sing...and i mean NOTHING!
Doesn't drive to any gigs - so he can drink - doesn't bring so much as his own mic stand-doesn't lift a finger to help load in or out etc etc
Unless he's Robert Plant or Aretha, I couldn't stand to be in a band with such a person. Its a team. His lack of effort and selfishness would raise its ugly head in discussions somehow. How long has he been your singer?
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

There is NO instrument...including vocal, that is more important than the others given that the instrumentation is actually needed in the first place.

I refuse to play with dismissive people or music where my contribution is not really needed.

Further, I will not get involved in something where I feel I am not heard(verbally re: the music and the music environment) or am treated as a second class member.

Respect you demand tends to be the respect you get....but don't be a jerk about it....just work your way out of bad situations and don't accept them as normal.

And yes...I would have the same reaction to popular acts that I might ever have involvement with...I would never allow being 'star struck' or 'resume building' to sacrifice basic respect...be it interpersonally or financially.

But I have positioned myself so I can do that....so I think I am lucky to maintain that self respect where some must 'take it' in order to survive.
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  #29  
Old 09-29-2018, 12:59 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

If you haven't already.. watch this and you will see it from a pro's perspective..

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=145002
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  #30  
Old 09-29-2018, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Oh, this is common, even on my highest paid gigs, as they are usually amateur bands or choirs. Politics here are varied, but insecure, female choir conductor would probably be the strangest person to have a meaningful musical discussion with.

It's still the most misunderstood instrument in the group always though and it's rare than any other musician understands rhythm as well as a well studied and experienced drummer.

It also takes real pro, like not status wise, but really educated by self or others to have the attitude than everyone and their contrubution is of equal importance. Cherish situations like that, because it's rare.
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  #31  
Old 09-29-2018, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

ďA lousy drummer can make a good band sound bad. A good drummer can make a lousy band sound great.Ē
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum clinic, Champaign Illinois, c.1990

ďThe drummer is the most important part of any band. Heís the glue to which all other instruments stick to.Ē
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum recording class, Sweetwater Music, c.2014

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  #32  
Old 09-29-2018, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

It’s not about the instrument as it is who has the power. Songwriters are usually the most powerful. With no songs, there is no band.

Then there’s star power and that is usually the vocalist. Though rare, even they can be replaced by someone who is even more powerful. See Bruce Dickinson and Brian Johnson.

Then there are the drummers who have the strongest draw. Those are not as common, but we have Tommy Lee and Neil Peart.

There was a documentary about Sting’s first solo release, Dream of Blue Turtles. In that documentary we see Brandford Marsalis complaining to manager Miles Copeland that he wasn’t paid significantly more.

Miles replies, “If you are not here, we get another horn player. If Sting’s not here, there is no show.”

If that doesn’t say it all, I’m not sure what would.

Last edited by dale w miller; 09-29-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2018, 04:28 PM
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dale w miller dale w miller is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

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Originally Posted by williamsbclontz View Post
I think it depends on who else is in the band. Take the police for example. Sting was probably the best musician in the group so I would say he was the most important. Not because he sang or lead, but because he was the best and the others probably fed off of him the most. Copeland was probably the 2nd best, so the second most important. In Led Zeppelin I would argue bonzo was most important, just because everyone in that group probably fed off of his energy the most because of his amazing talent. People will disagree with me, but that's just my opinion, so if you want to be more important in the group then you should work on your craft more and get better. If I played drums for a huge act like Jimi Hendrix or Elton John, I wouldn't mind being among the least important in the group

Just work hard, be the best you can be, stay humble and appreciate your bandmates
I think you highly underestimate Andy Summers. Outside of the power Sting has with his songwriting, the Police are about one of the most balanced bands out there along with Rush and Led Zeppelin.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Another angle is the drummer is there for everyone else. It is the job description. A drummer's role IMO...best case scenario...is someone who can freely give, musically speaking, so the others can shine. Doing that automatically makes the drummer shine, at least to the other musicians.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:31 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

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A good drummer can make a lousy band sound great
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Aronoff

A lousy band will have weak vocals and a bad mix. The best drummer in the world aint gonna help that :)

He probably meant "lousy" from his professional perspective where lousy takes on a different meaning. He needs to go see more bar bands and open mic jams :)


Quote:
I think you highly underestimate Andy Summers. Outside of the power Sting has with his songwriting, the Police are about one of the most balanced bands out there along with Rush and Led Zeppelin.
I think The Police was a truly gifted 3 piece where every player's style made it one of the top bands ever.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:50 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Another angle is the drummer is there for everyone else. It is the job description. A drummer's role IMO...best case scenario...is someone who can freely give, musically speaking, so the others can shine. Doing that automatically makes the drummer shine, at least to the other musicians.
I was wondering when someone was going to mention this aspect of drumming. It is the attitude we drummers should all start out with. At least until we can contribute more than keeping time. If we branch out and sing or learn other instruments, then we will be contributing more to the whole band. Of course the drums are very important to the whole mix. We build the foundation for the song. It's like when you see a house, you say that's a beautiful house. You never say that's a great foundation that allows the house to be beautiful. You kind of take the foundation for granted.


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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Aronoff

A lousy band will have weak vocals and a bad mix. The best drummer in the world aint gonna help that :)
I agree. Mr. Aronoff probably has not played with a really lousy band. However he is right about how important the drummer is. But I'd like to redo Mr. Aronoff's statement.
Here's my take: ďA lousy drummer can make a good band sound bad. A good drummer can make a lousy band sound better.Ē


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Old 09-30-2018, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

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Originally Posted by cbphoto View Post
ďA lousy drummer can make a good band sound bad. A good drummer can make a lousy band sound great.Ē
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum clinic, Champaign Illinois, c.1990

ďThe drummer is the most important part of any band. Heís the glue to which all other instruments stick to.Ē
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum recording class, Sweetwater Music, c.2014

What!!! I said essentially the same thing earlier in thread, which gives me dibs. Mr Arnoff stole my "words" so this must be a copywrite infringement like with Spirit and Led Zeppelin. I'm starting a new hashtag #Arnoffstolemyglue !!! Dammit. Drummers are the glue-our drum shells are, most often, glued together, and drummers stick together like glue. Coo coo ca choo I'm the glue man.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:57 PM
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Rattlin' Bones Rattlin' Bones is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Arnoff is just wrong.

A bad drummer can make a good band sound bad. But a good drummer can never make a lousy band sound great. No way. Too much ego there. Lousy vocals are lousy vocals. Lousy guitar or keys or reeds or brass make lousy music.

Here is an accurate assessment: The drummer is there for everyone else. It is their job description. New Tricks said it better than Arnoff: A drummer's role is someone who can freely give, musically speaking, so the others can shine. Doing that automatically makes the drummer shine, at least to the other musicians.

Yup. What New Tricks said.

The really really good drummers around here stay out of the way of the other musicians and help make them shine. Hold down the groove. Use their drums as instruments to fill in and blend and signal changes. The blues guys don't take any solos. But the jazz guys - man the good ones when they start trading with the keys or other musicians man that can just make the whole arrangement shine. And tasteful trading and solos no fireworks needed. Think Joe Morello.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbphoto View Post
“A lousy drummer can make a good band sound bad. A good drummer can make a lousy band sound great.”
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum clinic, Champaign Illinois, c.1990

“The drummer is the most important part of any band. He’s the glue to which all other instruments stick to.”
~ Kenny Aronoff, drum recording class, Sweetwater Music, c.2014

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Old 09-30-2018, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

I think it's important to recognize things like you're sitting back there and they're up there, and they talk chords while you don't, and this can cause a division or de-classing to happen without any malicious intent. Stay in the conversation, and remain in charge of tempo and song starts and the general care-taking of the music and you'll be fine. If people start making decisions without you, stand up for yourself before the bad habits become the norm.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:39 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Drummerís Place In Band

Pretty much this. Good musicians-- drummers included-- know that the drummer is extremely important.

Following Spreggy's comment-- to actually have something to say during a rehearsal, you have to be paying attention to what's going on musically, and have opinions about what will sound best. If you don't have any feelings about that, and you're just playing the drums and accompanying what's there, don't worry about it if the other players don't talk to you about their stuff.
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