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  #1  
Old 01-20-2018, 11:39 PM
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Default Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I went to a bar/eatery last night with a friend. A local 3-piece band set up and by 9pm they were covering blues/rock tunes. Their sound was good and nicely balanced between instruments and vocals.

At about 30 minutes into their first set, the drummer’s snare lost its snappy sound as if the strainer had come off. I asked my friend and he noticed it too. It was very obvious, and it affected the music (to me).

On our way out, we passed by the stage and the bassist asked, “How do we sound?”

We told him, “Great”, but I never mentioned the snare drum sound.

Once outside I asked my friend if we should’ve alerted him to what we heard. “Naw, he just wanted a pat on the back”.

What do you guys think? Should I have mentioned something? What’s the proper thing to do?

If I were playing and something sounded bad or incorrect, I’d want to hear about it.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

Yes, no, maybe.
In 100 years we will all be dead.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I would have appreciated someone telling me. It is all about tone.

I joked with a drummer once about his talla wand snapping mid song and he thought it was funny. I would tell the bassist to inform the drummer his snares might have gotten loose.

In the end, we can't read people's minds so you do you.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I would simply asked if the drummers snare strainer had broken and left it at that without mention good bad or changed sound.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

My music scene is much smaller and a lot of us are good friends. I normally give people straight talk when asked "how do we sound" from the stage, because they do the same for us. But YMMV.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I probably recognize too when people “just want a pat on the back” more than most too, and I’m inclined to just being positive because I wouldn’t want to ask and then have someone I don’t know spew his expertise all over the place like a dog marking his territory. Besides, I figure nobody knows better than me how it’s all going. After all, I’m in the drivers seat and can hear everything that’s going on. So I’d probably not ask “how are we doing?”, but more like, “You guys having a good time?”
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

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Yes, no, maybe.
In 100 years we will all be dead.
are you OK? This is kind of a depressed reply
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:39 AM
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What do you guys think? Should I have mentioned something? What’s the proper thing to do?
All of my friends' wives are beautiful, and all of their children are smart.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

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are you OK? This is kind of a depressed reply
I'm fine- I wasn't being serious. :)
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:49 PM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I feel like he would've noticed the snare sounding different though? Can that happen, your snare mess up without you knowing it?
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

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I feel like he would've noticed the snare sounding different though? Can that happen, your snare mess up without you knowing it?
I thought the same thing. Every gigging drummer on the planet can hear when his strainer is off. Right?

In my experience, certain brands/models of snare strainers can loosen under normal playing. Pretty annoying.

But still, he would’ve heard this. And part of my reasoning was: this was his desired sound.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

Well, it was too late anyway, the gig was over. No doubt the drummer will notice the fault at home when he practices, or when he tunes up for the next gig. Dont sweat it.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

When I ask people in the audience how it sounded, I almost always am asking about the things that I can't tell from stage, which includes (and is generally limited to) the Front Of House mix and overall balance. It does not generally include criticism of my instrument or musical choices.

But I'm usually specific in the way I ask, like "how was the mix out there?"


He would have to be pretty ignorant to not know if the strainer was all of a sudden off. Which means the throw off probably broke at some point. If you had a way to MacGyver a solution you can always offer to help. Otherwise there s not much to be accomplished by saying anything, unless it's really bothering you, in which case a well timed heckle between songs of "Hey! Put the snare back on!" Might at least satisfy the part of you (me, any of us really) that gets mildly anxious when things are off from expectations.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

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All of my friends' wives are beautiful, and all of their children are smart.

Lol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3UjxGvTCBY
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I ask all the time and it isn't to get compliments, I honestly want to know. That is one of the reasons I record almost everything show. But honest opinions are good to have. If I have an equipment failure and miss it I would love it if someone would say something.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I guess it depends on the situation. My bet the band member was asking because he knew it was off and he was in hopes the audience didn’t notice - yikes! But in generally I’m always complimentary- unless someone I know who wants a sincere critique- strangers can prod me though. There is an “art” to giving useful critiques though. You don’t want to hit someone with a hammer of discouragement and negativity. As an educator (I didn’t teach music but still applies) I was always amazed how positive encouragement and just being sincere, real and give a shit that your criticisms are based on knowledge and experience and for their betterment and help them excel, that they would rise to the occasion and high standards I set for them. I still have students who thank me because the experience gave them an advantage over their peers in their later education efforts. I wanted them all to be better than me.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

If someone asks me about sound, I am honest.

And, I am always throwing my .02 in regarding the mix, good or bad.

I know that generally, you can't hear shit on stage, especially behind a drum kit. and I think it would be appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:05 AM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I don't know, it can go both ways. I mean I've heard guys who spend like 20 minutes to tune their drums, only to have it sound like garbage, and then boast about how good his drums sound. I mean who am I to tell him that I hate the way his kit sounds? In my experience, unless it's a personal friend, everyone's looking for a pat on the back like you guys said
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I always find it depends on who's asking the question.

You know the guys who are basically asking a rhetorical question regarding how they sound. Alarm bells are usually ringing so the best way is to tell them what they want to hear. Not worth the argument if you don't.

Some folk don't like to have their feathers ruffled :)

Regarding my own sound, I'm reliant on whoever is doing the sound check out front. I'm used to playing the dimensions of the room and the sell out cover stuff I do means my ego died a cold and lonely death a long time ago!
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

I have had friends tell me, "i have heard you play better" and was very happy with the honesty, because I KNEW I have played better. I felt off that night and when the other people came up to me telling me it was an amazing set, it felt like they were blowing smoke.

Had I thought I was bang on it might have sucked a bit haha.

I had someone tell me they had a hard time hearing my ride at the last gig in the audience. We got into a gear discussion and I am now getting a more cutting ride so once again. Happy to hear the honesty.


It could be different with someone I don't know... I will often tell the drummer things I like about his playing. And if there is something bad I don't bring it up or just won't talk to them if I don't know them. People don't like negative. But I think we all benefit from CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Like start with a few really good complements, then a small suggestion...

It also depends on the persons age, how many shows they have played etc.. If they are a hobiest, and it's their first gig they probibly don't care about the snare sound. But then again, they may also not even know. They may really like the help.

It's a feel out thing and different for every person. Just be yourself, be honest and genuine. As long as your doing it to help them out I don't think it's a bad thing. Look at me. I'm getting a new ride out of it :)
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Proper Etiquette When Asked A Question

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I'm fine- I wasn't being serious. :)
I laughed out loud in a public computer lab when I read this. I thought it was hilarious.
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