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Old 01-19-2013, 10:21 AM
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Default Bad night tonight :(

So, I've prepped the Zep kit as best as I could, even lightened up my hardware load by eliminating all the heavy stands and getting some new Ludwig Atlas Classic straight cymbal stands and a cheaper through-bolt throne. Got them to my school gig, set-up, and then proceeded to have a rather mediocre performance night.

I'm not sure if it was me or if the band just wasn't jelling (I think more that) but I still feel responsible since I'm the glue holding it all together anyway.

It was even confirmed for me when the man in charge said I sounded like my predecessor - which I replaced because he didn't like the way he played. Needless to say I smiled outwardly but inside I was cringing. He wanted the 'vintage' me, and reminded me I used to do all these really way-out things dynamically and was just a better spark plug before than I was tonight.

I've taken it to heart and have another chance to up-it a few notches tomorrow. Although I take criticism well, and can even handle alot of good-natured ribbing, hearing those words from my employer now has me feeling a bit of anxiety. I practice on my own alot, and know the material fairly well, but in our 30 years together, he never criticized the way I play drums. He never criticized me for playing anything else - in years past I've played synthesizer, or congas, and he seemed to like my feeble attempts at those. Tonight he didn't like the drumming. I don't think I liked the drumming. It's just tough when it's the thing you pride yourself in and worked on the longest.

I post this to say, I hate having off nights.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Trying to find a reason is almost pointless, you'll just beat yourself up over it. The fact that it bothers you, displays ample pride in the execution of your craft. Just be content that it will be better next time. You know there's no fundamental issue, & it's possible your employer may have been having a bad day too.

Chin up, 1 finger up, & nail the vibe next time out :)
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Oh man, I have a tendency to beat myself up when it all doesn't go according to plan.

I now try to look at it the way a major league baseball relief pitcher or NFL QB looks at it: Sometime you are going to get shelled or picked off because of some dumb move you made. The great ones forget about it and move on to the next play or game or whatever.

You're a pro, Bo, and and if a Mariano Rivera can blow game 7 of the World Series and recover from it then you can as well.

Now go kick the band's ass!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

I'm sure you'll do better on the next gig. And think of it this way, I bet your boss has higher expectations for you because you always are so good. You're "bad" night was still probably better than most others good nights. He's just used to hearing such high quality from you!

Chin up!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Were you too much into the the drums, and not the drumming? New toys have a way of being distracting. Shake it off. You know you are better than the comments and one bad night does not a performer make.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Were you too much into the the drums, and not the drumming? New toys have a way of being distracting. Shake it off. You know you are better than the comments and one bad night does not a performer make.
Excellent point...I know this has been the issue with me when I am dwelling on new gear or just a different setup and i sometimes lose focus on the band as a whole.

Bo....I;ve seen you play in your vids and anyone those knows you would most likely guess you were just having a distracting off night? I work on my drumming because of guys like you that show me how much more I need and want to learn.

You seem to be bothered by being human...I get that too!

I'm sure you'll be back to normal tonight.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

You would know more than anyone weather your playing was off or not but I have to ask, was this the first time you used the Zep kit and does it have a drastically different sound than other kits you have been using? Anything different about the snare, cymbals or room?
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Did he wait until after the gig to mention this?
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Sometimes I play poorly when I'm working on new licks - those learning curve moments can be deflating (the new gear theories sound pretty good in your context).

It's an inevitable cycle of performance in any field ... sometimes everything flows naturally and at other times there's more thinking going on - and less groove. Back and forth. That cycle never stops, it just changes degree as we progress.

Bo remember, it's all relative. I imagine that if I played the way you did on your off day I'd be thrilled!
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Thanks. Yes, the man-in-charge wasn't involved the show (he's recovering from some injuries so his involvement is limited to watching while staff and band put the show on), but we spoke afterwards where he filled me in on what he heard. He wasn't angry, we have alot of other issues to deal with, and the drumming just being one of them, of course, amplified by me.

It could've been the way it felt behind the new kit - maybe being a bit tentative trying to keep everything from sliding away, or playing down so I can actually hear what's going on. I slept on it and realized up until this show, I've always been on the keyboard player's left side, which makes it easy for he and I to communicate. Switch me to the otherside and stick a guitarist and trumpet guy in between us (that were never there before) and there's a sudden feeling of disconnect. I need to fix that, but the way the show is staged with set pieces, that may be difficult and we'll have to tackle that issue before the next one.

I was generally happy with the way the kit sounds though. That 26" bass drum is total bottom end. I may need to go back to the 14" hi-hats too - there's a ton of spots where I'm playing blast-beat jazz stuff and the 17s proved to be a bit sluggish. But I think you guys are right - the playing was good, the communication and unity of the band was askew - which is just as bad as having guys together that can't play.

Yeah, we're humans, but when there's money involved I've never been one to come up with excuses and just try to do it right everytime.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Were you too much into the the drums, and not the drumming? New toys have a way of being distracting. Shake it off. You know you are better than the comments and one bad night does not a performer make.


I too thought that this may have been the problem. We are all probably guilty, at times, of focusing so much on the gear aspect, when really all the focus should be on the playing.

Hey Bo, are you satisfied with the sound of your drums? I know you said you were having trouble dialing in the 13" tom.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendozart View Post
I too thought that this may have been the problem. We are all probably guilty, at times, of focusing so much on the gear aspect, when really all the focus should be on the playing.

Hey Bo, are you satisfied with the sound of your drums? I know you said you were having trouble dialing in the 13" tom.
Yeah, the drums sound great. Once I got a good snare stand with rubber tips (I'm using a Yamaha 7-series now) the 13" tunes right up and sings. I said in my last post I may need to go back to the 14 hats though. I'm playing some fast stuff that the 17s are a bit sluggish on.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

It happens Bo, Sometimes I am the best thing since bottled beer and sometimes I am a wet rag. The rest of the time I am somewhere in the middle of the above. It happens to everyone once in a while.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

A really good drummer who's been giving me advice and kind of mentoring me keeps saying "It's not as hard as you think it is."
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Chin up man! Remember who you are. I mean, Bermuda calls you to sub for him!

I had a bad night the other night too. Went in my garage this morning, cued up the music player and shredded through some stuff for an hour, worked on some stick control stuff, etc. It felt great.

You can do this!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

I wonder if that particular vintage kit was less likely to yield to dynamic subtlety compared to your other kits. Maybe the drums were too dominant in the mix?

It seems unlikely that your drumming has really changed in a bad way.

Davo
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

"Never regret. If itís good, itís wonderful. If itís bad, itís experience"
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

That guy shouldn't have gone about it like that. We all have off nights or moments including BAND LEADERS.

If he knows you can play and is happy with it then he obviously would understand it's a fluke. First he should at the least give it another chance to see if it was a fluke and then if it occurs again back to back, maybe just ask if everything is ok with you personally first. Most musicians have off nights when personal stuff is heavy. Coming at you like he did, did no good and made you feel even more anxiety about the next time. I love band leaders that go with the flow. I know it seems unorthodox but if they are relaxed and understanding then it takes a tonnn of weight off of the guys who then can just relax and focus on the groove instead of worrying about getting stares, and dress downs.

Bo you are a superb drummer so it's a fluke for sure, You didn't forget 30 years of playing all of the sudden, it happens to all of us.

I saw a few videos of you playing and noticed you are a smaller guy. How does that affect your playing on a big bohnam set?
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo-London View Post
I wonder if that particular vintage kit was less likely to yield to dynamic subtlety compared to your other kits. Maybe the drums were too dominant in the mix?

It seems unlikely that your drumming has really changed in a bad way.

Davo
Nah, the kit was fine. It's the 'musician interaction' within the group dynamic that was troubling. Probably brought on by nobody really being prepared. For the second show tonight, I took it up three notches and the man in charge was happy with that. His comment on the first night was that it didn't sound like anyone was in charge back there in the band. And he was right - we lacked a traffic cop and that's normally what I would be doing if everyone followed the dynamics of the drums. Tonight they got that and then some and everybody was happy.

Last night was like being in a philosophy class without a person in it who questioned everything - the result is no leadership and everyone just flubbing along getting through it. Tonight I drove them where we were going and they followed, resulting in a more aggressive sound and actual empathy ;)
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddy View Post
"Never regret. If itís good, itís wonderful. If itís bad, itís experience"
Great quote :)

.........
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJohnson777 View Post
I saw a few videos of you playing and noticed you are a smaller guy. How does that affect your playing on a big bohnam set?
The thing I'm still getting used to is that my rack tom is a little farther out to my right a bit. And the ride cymbal is a little farther to my left than normal (but since it's a 24" ride cymbal, I don't have a problem with that so much. I left my snare and floor toms where they would normally be comfortable for me. So nothing really changes, and my rack tom, although maybe a couple of inches farther to my right, is basically in a comfortable spot for me. It helped going back to the 14" hi-hats because then my hi hat foot wasn't reaching for the hi-hat stand as much as it does when I use my 17" hi-hats. I think I may compromise and find a pair of 15s because I think bigger hats slosh better.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

I don't know anybody who doesn't have off nights. Anybody; on any instrument. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it's not. It should only be addressed as a problem if it keeps happening.

I sometimes tell the story of the one time I saw weckl live. He kinda sucked. You could see the bad mood on his face, and it came out in his playing... Missing cues, dragging fills, even got some weird looks from the bass player. Maybe it was lack of sleep, fighting with the band, or just bad mojo. He got through the gig, and I heard the next night he knocked it out of the park.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Don't know if this necessarily applies here, but the type of kit I play wildly influences how I play. For example, whenever I play on a large Bonham-style kit, I naturally tend to play just like Bonham. If I'm playing on a small bop kit, I tend to play like Elvin. (Well, not quite like Bonham or Elvin, but you get the idea.) So if I took a Bonham-esque kit to a gig that was anything other than hard rock, I'd naturally be out of my comfort zone because my tendency would be to play in that Bonham style, even if the music didn't warrant it. So even though the "newness" of the kit certainly could have been a factor, it might have also been the kit itself, only because it may have promoted a certain style of playing that wouldn't have normally come out at that gig.

Of course, if it was a hard rock gig (though calling it a "school gig" makes it sound like it wasn't), then I suppose you can just chalk it up to the newness of the kit and fuhgettaboutit.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I don't know anybody who doesn't have off nights. Anybody; on any instrument. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it's not. It should only be addressed as a problem if it keeps happening.

I sometimes tell the story of the one time I saw weckl live. He kinda sucked. You could see the bad mood on his face, and it came out in his playing... Missing cues, dragging fills, even got some weird looks from the bass player. Maybe it was lack of sleep, fighting with the band, or just bad mojo. He got through the gig, and I heard the next night he knocked it out of the park.
I can understand that. And on the second night, I hit it out of the park too. So I'll end it there. The kit didn't make a difference because I'm the one playing it - I find it hard to play like someone else when I'm being hired to be me. And blaming it on the kit I think just sounds like a cop-out. It was total band vibe that was a little screwy. Once I brought it out into the open and re-staged our set-up on stage before the second night, at least when there were musical mistakes, that's all they were. It was clear what is unknown and what is known. The night before just came across as strange.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I can understand that. And on the second night, I hit it out of the park too. So I'll end it there. The kit didn't make a difference because I'm the one playing it - I find it hard to play like someone else when I'm being hired to be me. And blaming it on the kit I think just sounds like a cop-out. It was total band vibe that was a little screwy. Once I brought it out into the open and re-staged our set-up on stage before the second night, at least when there were musical mistakes, that's all they were. It was clear what is unknown and what is known. The night before just came across as strange.
Good. As I said, it's neither uncommon to have a bad night or wonder what's wrong with you when you do. Dwelling on it is where we start having issues.

After my bad evening and a couple of days of just relighting the fire at home (almost literally -- I have a couple of space heaters in the garage that I start up about 20 minutes before I actually go play), I had a great show on Sunday. We're human, we have down days. The trick is to have them any other day except days we're playing for money.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

All the great drummers have bad nights or "off" times. Chalk it up to being human.
Totally kick butt the next gig! You know you can do it. WE know you can do it.

Go forth and conquer!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

A wise man (me actually) once said, "wherever humans interact with other humans there is the capacity for greatness and chaos in equal measure". Now, I quoted that in relation to my day job as a social worker, but I think its equally, if not more, apt for drumming and bands.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Bad night tonight :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiainw View Post
A wise man (me actually) once said, "wherever humans interact with other humans there is the capacity for greatness and chaos in equal measure". Now, I quoted that in relation to my day job as a social worker, but I think its equally, if not more, apt for drumming and bands.
I agree. I just hate that precarious feeling you get when you realize somebody else can ruin the vibe on the bandstand. It sucks.
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