DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Technique

Drum Technique Tips - Tricks - Practice - Rudiments - Educational DVDs & Books.....

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:31 PM
Midiglitch Midiglitch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 33
Default When the drums drop out

I know it's everyone in the bands responsibility to keep time, etc. But sadly not everyone in my band is there yet.... so I'm looking for any tips on keeping them together in sections where the drums drop out.
Lightly click sticks together? Keep a light beat on the hats?
Any other tricks? Do the audience care?
Cheers

Edit: I should clarify that I'm not really talking about song sections where it just guitar strumming or something like that, I'm talking about breaks where everyone pauses and then comes back in together. The break in John Mayers 'Heartbreak warfare' is a good example. The run on the bass starts on the offbeats and, left to his own devices, there's no way our bassist is landing that thing on the 1!

Last edited by Midiglitch; 10-22-2018 at 08:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:36 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 20,635
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Hi hat chicks. I grasp both the top and bottom cymbals with one hand so the chicks are clean sounding and only loud enough for your mates to hear.

You can't drop the time, you are counting for them.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:49 PM
Dr_Watso's Avatar
Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6,513
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Hi hat chicks. I grasp both the top and bottom cymbals with one hand so the chicks are clean sounding and only loud enough for your mates to hear.

You can't drop the time, you are counting for them.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I grew up playing with guys who had good senses of time and we'd all just be in the right place after a break of any kind. If I have to keep time for them while they play, they aren't very good at time keeping. Period.

I say don't let this crap go, be all over them and let them know they were rushing or dragging the part without drums.

From that point forward, I'll use my hats to mark time if they aren't doing it right, but the goal is to stop doing that and have every musician touching an instrument pay attention to time on their own. I bring it up after each time we rehearse that song if they played too fast or slow.

You have two options, keep being the crutch and they don't improve and rely on you, or help them get better at playing music.
__________________
"I always wanted to be remembered for; being honest. Nothing else is worth a damn." - Lemmy
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-22-2018, 08:59 PM
8Mile's Avatar
8Mile 8Mile is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,872
Default Re: When the drums drop out

If the drums stop, they have to be able to keep time. That's on them if they can't, not you.

Of course, in reality, you're going to play with people who have poor time and come in at the wrong time. I've had bandmates ask me to play something quiet on the hi-hats to help them. I'll always do that if asked.

Another thing that can help is making it very obvious where you are about to come in by physically telegraphing that you're about to hit "1" as much as possible. That can work as well as a count-in if the band is paying attention and has learned to read your body language well.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-22-2018, 09:07 PM
alparrott's Avatar
alparrott alparrott is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 6,307
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Completely on them. You can be that guy who conducts with a drumstick or mouths the numbers or clicks a hi-hat, but what you're doing is supporting their ongoing mediocrity as musicians. There's more to being a successful musician than having the right gear and looking cool - it's putting in the serious time on your craft. And the most basic responsibility of any muso is to count correctly. End of story.

I'm currently working a musical with five other musicians, going off a score where each player typically has long rest passages, and they MUST count and keep track of where they are or everything falls apart. The production relies on us to get it right.

I hate to be that guy, I'm sure your bandmates are great people.
__________________
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
-------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-22-2018, 09:22 PM
Hollywood Jim's Avatar
Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 3,735
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Sometimes marking time with the Hi Hat sounds good sometimes using a soft bass drum sounds good. Depends on the song.
And USUALLY, band members will eventually learn the song and not have tempo problems. ("Eventually" can sometimes mean a long time.)

Regarding John Mayers 'Heartbreak Warfare' I'd mark time with a soft bass drum on 1 and 3.
And if the energy level of the song is high, maybe a cymbal crash on the 1 of each measure. Listen to the song, see if it is a good fit.


.
__________________
"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable." - Beethoven
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-22-2018, 09:34 PM
trickg's Avatar
trickg trickg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 401
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Being a praise and worship drummer, this has long been an issue for me, particularly due to how many contemporary worship songs are structured - it's very common to have point where drums and most instruments drop out prior to a rebuild to a big section toward the end of a song. I've always been amazed at the number of "musicians" I know who do not have an internal sense of time.

(On a side note to this, I worked with a worship leader just this last weekend who is also a drummer, and it was refreshing - you can feel her sense of time in her singing, and that made it easier for me.)

Most of the time I keep light time - light ride pings on 2 & 4, or light time on the hats with 2 & 4 with my foot, quarter note taps, and sometimes even 8th note taps. I hate to have to do it, but in these circumstances the ends justify the means - we have to maintain a pulse, and if they can't do it on their own, they need to be helped by me.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-22-2018, 09:56 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 20,635
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Interesting spread of responses here. Is teaching people time our duty? Couldn't hurt, if the people are worth the investment. Part of me thinks that if they can't do it on their own, it's not my issue. I'd rather play with people who have a good tempo and meter sense. I have that situation now where IMO the bass player is the weak link. Meter and tempo basically. And weird notes. But I would confer with him because he is receptive.

Onstage, it's my job to hold the band together. I was/am best suited for that purpose in every band I've been in. The others, as much as they do with their chords and pitched stuff, which is not being dismissed, but they are almost always lacking a honed time sense to some degree in like 95% of my experiences.

I will absolutely keep some type of barely audible time thread if it's not out of time. No harm there. This is what I mean by being able to give onstage. I want to cover their backs up there.

We are supposed to make the others look good right?
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:24 PM
trickg's Avatar
trickg trickg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 401
Default Re: When the drums drop out

To comment on this a bit further, I personally don't see an issue with keeping some time for the band during drop-outs. I know that for some songs with the worship bands I've been in, they didn't want drums in at all, and then that was on them, but otherwise, contextually, is it really that bad of a thing?

My son is in a touring band, and the drummer who was in the band when they started just played - he didn't use a click and his time was good enough that they never really thought about it. They all have a pretty solid sense of time and on drop-outs, they just let it ebb and flow the little bit that it did - no one ever worried about it.

The new drummer likes to use a click. Initially he would hammer the hats during drop-outs. The one song where I felt it was really out of place was on one of the ballads they do, but over time he has shifted how he approaches that, and I think he maintains time with light ride pings on 2 & 4. It's not what's on the record, but in the context of a live gig, I don't see it as being out of place.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:54 PM
Mongrel's Avatar
Mongrel Mongrel is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 790
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Ahhh....erm....wellll.....bigggggGGG....

Difference between a local bar band or a worship band and a broadway production of The Lion King. (Not forgettng the 170 pound conductor in the room lol).

A drummer who can discretely "direct" the time ala hat ticks or bd (to me anyway) in a lot of contexts is just doing his part to keep things moving in the right direction. I play weekly with several praise team members who could "teach me" a thing or two about melody and singing. Is it wrong for me to help keep them on track tempo wise?

I KNOW for a lot, or maybe even most of you, your context is both more demanding and professional than mine so the context of the question may apply very dfferently for all of us.

It would be good to know what the OP's context for the question is.
__________________
Playing wrong notes passionately since 1977...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-23-2018, 04:25 AM
trickg's Avatar
trickg trickg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 401
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
A drummer who can discretely "direct" the time ala hat ticks or bd (to me anyway) in a lot of contexts is just doing his part to keep things moving in the right direction. I play weekly with several praise team members who could "teach me" a thing or two about melody and singing. Is it wrong for me to help keep them on track tempo wise?
It isn't wrong at all, IMO. I've found with a number of volunteer groups - particularly praise bands - that the idea of being able to maintain a steady rhythm independent of any other sort of accompaniment is nothing something of a mystery to those who aren't able to do it, and they usually seem happy to have someone do that for them.

(I've always had a good sense of time - even as a horn player. I went to a big drum event once and won a Beatnik trainer because I scored higher than anyone else that weekend. I let everyone in the room know that they'd been beaten by a trumpet player! LOLOL!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
It would be good to know what the OP's context for the question is.
Context definitely means something here - in the midst of a musical production, it wouldn't do to have the drummer hammering out tempo on the hats in a place where it isn't called for. ;-)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-23-2018, 05:27 PM
Midiglitch Midiglitch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 33
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Yep, good thoughts.
Context for this band is pub covers band... something along the lines of a few middle aged blokes hacking through tired rock songs down the dog and duck.

I agree with all answers really: yes I want the guys to be better timekeepers, and there is a certain amount of holding them to account for that, as opposed to 'helping them to become helpless' but I also appreciate that takes a lot of time and energy, and will take a while to come to fruition, and so in the meantime I'm not going to throw them under the bus... Part of my job is to make them look good.

So what I'm taking away is: it's ok to do something to keep time for them, and what that something is will depend on the song... could be bass, could be hat chicks, could be ride, could be backbeats, could be quarters,etc.

I shall experiment and see what sounds best, cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-23-2018, 05:36 PM
Mongrel's Avatar
Mongrel Mongrel is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 790
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Sounds like a good decision to me...

Last thought-are you guys having fun?

Yes?

Then what harm is there in a few ticks amongst friends?
__________________
Playing wrong notes passionately since 1977...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-24-2018, 11:34 AM
Midiglitch Midiglitch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 33
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Sounds like a good decision to me...

Last thought-are you guys having fun?

Yes?

Then what harm is there in a few ticks amongst friends?
Yes, absolutely, and isn't it easy to forget that sometimes!
Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:11 PM
trickg's Avatar
trickg trickg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 401
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midiglitch View Post
Yep, good thoughts.
Context for this band is pub covers band... something along the lines of a few middle aged blokes hacking through tired rock songs down the dog and duck.

I agree with all answers really: yes I want the guys to be better timekeepers, and there is a certain amount of holding them to account for that, as opposed to 'helping them to become helpless' but I also appreciate that takes a lot of time and energy, and will take a while to come to fruition, and so in the meantime I'm not going to throw them under the bus... Part of my job is to make them look good.

So what I'm taking away is: it's ok to do something to keep time for them, and what that something is will depend on the song... could be bass, could be hat chicks, could be ride, could be backbeats, could be quarters,etc.

I shall experiment and see what sounds best, cheers.
IMO, in the context you are describing, keeping some time for your bandmates during dropouts is going to be perfectly acceptable, and you'll figure out what works best - it will probably be different for different songs.

Mongrel really hit the nail on the head though with the comment about having fun. For me, that's what music has always been about. I've been a working musician for over 30 years, and the reason I continue to do it is because I enjoy it - otherwise it would be too much time and effort put in to something if I didn't, and I'd stop doing it.

You and your bandmates are going to have more fun if you keep things together musically by keeping some time for them during dropouts. :-)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:39 PM
Tamaefx's Avatar
Tamaefx Tamaefx is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: France
Posts: 733
Default Re: When the drums drop out

I used not to count time during breaks (I just taped my lap to keep time for myself) but the band I'm in asked me to count time loudly ! With the left foot or with the sticks on the rim or the hat.
I thought it sounded less pro to count loudly but finally, I changed my mind, I think it's much better, it keeps the band tight together. It needs to be soft but it's enough for the band.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:55 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,718
Default Re: When the drums drop out

Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
You and your bandmates are going to have more fun if you keep things together musically by keeping some time for them during dropouts. :-)
Maybe, but there's also fun in learning to things the way the pros do, too. There's "fun" in completing a challenge, and in growing your skills.

Quote:
The break in John Mayers 'Heartbreak warfare' is a good example. The run on the bass starts on the offbeats and, left to his own devices, there's no way our bassist is landing that thing on the 1!
Speaking as a teacher who recently (and successfully) taught this exact skill to a novice bass player, I can tell you that, in fact, it CAN be taught, and it CAN be learned. Here's what we did, together.

1. DO NOT PLAY THE BASS! Count OUT LOUD*** along with the recording, through that passage, first quarter notes ("1,2,3,4..."), then 8th notes ("1 & 2 &..."), and finally 16th notes ("1e&a2e&a..."). This will take a while, and you will have to do it every day for a few days until it becomes easier. 16ths are a bit challenging to vocalize at first.

2. DO NOT PLAY THE BASS!!! Count only the rhythm of the bass fill. Set the metronome to 16ths, slow the tempo down, and count the rhythm of the bass fill out loud along with the metronome. Tap your foot on 1,2,3,4 -- no exceptions. After many repetitions, week after week if necessary, speed up the metronome to song tempo, and even a bit faster. Then, switch the metronome to 8ths, and then to quarters.

3. At a slow tempo (much slower than song speed), count out loud AND play the bass fill, while tapping the foot on 1,2,3,4. Speed up gradually.

4. Count the bass fill out loud WHILE playing it with the band. Do this on the gig if necessary, until you're comfortable to not count.

***Counting silently in your head WILL NOT WORK! You MUST count OUT LOUD.

If you decide to enable your bass player to become a better musician, then I hope this helps! Cheers!

Last edited by brentcn; 10-24-2018 at 06:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-24-2018, 07:45 PM
TMe TMe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 143
Default Re: When the drums drop out

If someone can't hold it together when the drums drop out, the drums aren't dropping out. I'm a drummer, not a music teacher.

I can stop, and watch someone fall on their face. Or I can keep playing and hold the song together. Even then, sometimes the break falls apart (because people like to attempt flashy stuff during a break) and if I didn't keep the beat going there'd be no recovering.

Marking time with high-hat or sticks just makes it worse. That's too much like a metronome. If the person I'm playing with could follow a metronome, we wouldn't be having the problem in the first place.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-04-2018, 10:04 AM
Reggae_Mangle's Avatar
Reggae_Mangle Reggae_Mangle is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Away in Singapore
Posts: 949
Default Re: When the drums drop out

I can give an example of a situation where I would play the hi-hats even though it's a break.

For example, in the Metallica song Whiplash, there's a brief pause at the end before a bit of thrashing at the end.

If any of you have ever noticed your own internal tempo drift during a lively performance, you'd realise how everyone else in your group must also be running to their own clock, maybe 1-2 bpm different than yours.

In such a situation, what I would do while playing this song would give a pause, then hit the hi-hat four times while the guitars were still ringing before we all came in together.

It actually worked quite well in the context of the song.

I could see that being a problem in a ballad or soft song, but if you guys are playing rock, try to find some way of innocuously conveying the time to your bandmates. If done right, it could also accentuate the part. Have some fun with it.

At the same time, also convey to your bandmates the importance of developing a common sense of timing. It's one of the most important skills for a musician.

I would suggest you all do a verbal count while playing this part. You know, "1, 2, 3, 4" altogether and loudly.

Eventually, after a few tries, try without saying it out aloud.

With any luck, it will take a few tries and then you guys will have it down!
__________________
"... As war machine, crushes their balls, God have mercy..."
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com