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  #1  
Old 12-02-2009, 06:17 PM
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Default The Drummer's Gene

Interesting thought I had while driving in to work a few days ago: What sets drummers apart from other musicians, aside from the actual drum instrument?

In 48 years of living, I've noticed drummers, on average, are the wildest, craziest, reckless, partying, yet most thoughtful, caring and resourceful folks on the planet. Apart from the occasional egomaniac to be encountered in anything, generally I've noticed drummers to like:

1) anything FAST - fast drumming, fast cars, fast women, fast sports, fast motorcycles, and are generally facinated with SPEED (but not the drug kind). For example when I was 17 I was continually getting my Mustang Mach 1 up around 110 mph on the highways at night. It never maxed out evan at 115 mph. The accelorator still had room to go.

2) anything in the EXTREME - extreme sports, for example,

3) continually push the envolope, so to speak. They continually look for new challenges, new innovations, new ways to play, new and innovative rhythms, new music styles, etc.

Why is it you NEVER hear of violin players, or woodwind players, or brass players taking skydiving lessons, going on wild white water rafting trips, bungee jumping, driving their cars fast to see how fast it will go before maxing out, racing speedboats, parasailing, scuba diving, etc.?

One of our guitar players confessed he's scared to death of motorcycles. Here I was excited as all hell because I was going to take a motorcycle riding class to get into biking. I couldn't wait!

Any thoughts on this subject of this "Drummer's Gene"?
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

I don't think you can say. I've met plenty of drummers who are hyper ADD types, and plenty who are quit and reserved. Sure, some guys like Kenny Arnoff live for adventure, but then you have Charlie Watts who's more known for nice suits and living a quieter life outside of music.

I've never been into fast cars, I'm more interested in a car that can carry my drums to a gig.
I don't care for motorcycles, as they can't carry a bass drum very well.

I was terrible at sports, which is why I like drums. I can be physical without worrying about my 40 yard dash speed.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Sorry Rogue - I think you need to meet more players - particularly horn and string players!! :-)

For myself, I have known drummers of every stripe, with all types of varied personalities. I've find no one character type common across the board. On top of that, often there is little correlation between their "away from the drumset" personalities and their musical personalities behind the kit.

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Old 12-03-2009, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

aside from a lil beer drinking im kinda a dull person, i mostly read, watch movies and workout. i am one boring metalhead lol.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

What kind of gene do you have if you've played guitar, bass, drums, brass instruments and you sing?
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Wild and craaazy here! Man, I got this souped up Corolla whatsisname that goes faster than any rickshaw in town. I'm built for speed, not comfort, baybee! That's why I'm hammerin' out them 120bpm paradiddles - read 'em and weep suckers!

And Extreme Sport is my middle name - Polly "Extreme Sport" Anna they call me. Tennis, cartooning, statistics, You name it, baby, if it's wild and fast and crazy you'll find me right there in that semi ergonomic chair pumpin' it out.

Umm ... I like thinking up new angles, though, Rogue.

Maybe there is a somewhat higher percentage of thrillseeking alpha male drummers than those playing violin or bass? A few drummers of a certain type have died in fast cars, haven't they? But I doubt the difference would be huge, though. How about a correlation between drummers with tatts and speed?
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Quote:
Wild and craaazy here! Man, I got this souped up Corolla whatsisname that goes faster than any rickshaw in town. I'm built for speed, not comfort, baybee! That's why I'm hammerin' out them 120bpm paradiddles - read 'em and weep suckers!

And Extreme Sport is my middle name - Polly "Extreme Sport" Anna they call me. Tennis, cartooning, statistics, You name it, baby, if it's wild and fast and crazy you'll find me right there in that semi ergonomic chair pumpin' it out.

Umm ... I like thinking up new angles, though, Rogue.

Maybe there is a somewhat higher percentage of thrillseeking alpha male drummers than those playing violin or bass? A few drummers of a certain type have died in fast cars, haven't they? But I doubt the difference would be huge, though. How about a correlation between drummers with tatts and speed?
Wait a sec...thought you were still in your Phil Rudd-esque philosophy of pocket grooving.

I'm more of a laidback person, not really wild or anything.

...but I have met a drummer who is just off this planet, like with freaking ADHD or something...

he doesn't play solidly, is left-handed but prefers to play right-handed with a right-handed kit (shockingly, occasionally switching to open-handed when he gets tired quickly and blaming it all on his first drum teacher who didn't ask about his left-handedness), listens to Nirvana (obviously where he gets his 'raw' (ie. unsolid) drumming nature from), uses huge sweeping arm movements to strike drums really loudly, and uses the hi-hat only for mindless bashing which leaves the next drummer at the gig with a discombobulated hi-hat clutch (ie. someone like me).

...oh and he does that thing at the end of a song where he absolutely bangs every surface of the drum kit...

...and yeah, what do you call that thing, song ends, drummers rolls around on toms or washes cymbals thing that he does?
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

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Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
Wait a sec...thought you were still in your Phil Rudd-esque philosophy of pocket grooving.
LOL - yep, duck for cover then Polly "Extreme Sport" Anna is around ... a wild ride for any octogenarian!

BD, if I Phil Rudded in my current band you wouldn't hear anything but drums. Think Ringo-meets-Jim Hodder-after-having-a-few-too-many ...

I'm sure there are some out-there Speed King drummers on the Forum. The petrol-head threads here are always busy.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

As far as the "drummer's gene" goes, I've seen many kids who HAVE to bang on pots and pans when they're younger grow up to get into music. Not necessarily drums, but there's a little "something special" that I think many musicians have...a draw to music and expressing themselves, and, yes, taking life experiences and hobbies to the extreme. I wouldn't limit it to drummers, per say, but a drummer with the "gene" will take their drumming and art farther and more serious than, say, a drummer who didn't bang away on pots and pans when they were younger.

Of course, there are exceptions to EVERY rule (except this one).

I, for one, didn't bang on pots and pans when I was younger, but I have the drive, motivation, and intellect to fully immerse myself in whatever I'm doing to the extreme, for the sheer love of it. I do want to go skydiving some day, but I'm not in any hurry to, especially since having kids...
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Interesting comments...maybe it's where I live?

No I wasn't referring to ADHD or ADD types at all. Far from it. I've actually had to substitute teach in public school ADD types and it wasn't fun and games, by any means. And I have met many musicians both in bands and in symphony orchestras.

It just appears to me that as a group, drummers seem to be more the Keith Moon type than the Charlie Watts type. More on the wild side than the conservative side.

And especially around church musicians and orchestral types: strings, woodwind, and horn players. Almost always, whenever I'm playing in a "conservative" gig, I continually get the attiitudes shoved in my face that hark "oh, you're a drummer...interesting...you must have been a wild child...how did your parents cope?" Even if I'm there to just play tympani, bells, or tamborine and I'm dressed appropriately for the gig. "The Drummer" always gets this stigma.

Wheneve that happens, I play into it and reply "Yep, I'm a wild and crazy sumbitch. You'd better keep your distance or else you might get hurt. Does your momma know you're here?" Always good for a laugh. When playing in a honky tonk, some redneck runs up and shouts: "You're a dummin' sumbitch, boy! Damn that sounds good!" It never ceases to amaze me....

Still it bothers me that the rest of our musical cousins consider us "wild" and "uncivilized" even though we have gentlemen and conservative ambassadors like Charle Watts and most of us don't run around throwing TV sets out of hotel windows.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_drummer View Post

I continually get the attitudes shoved in my face that hark "oh, you're a drummer...interesting...you must have been a wild child...how did your parents cope?" Even if I'm there to just play tympani, bells, or tamborine and I'm dressed appropriately for the gig. "The Drummer" always gets this stigma.
Still it bothers me that the rest of our musical cousins consider us "wild" and "uncivilized" even though we have gentlemen and conservative ambassadors like Charle Watts and most of us don't run around throwing TV sets out of hotel windows.
Interesting thread rogue_drummer, and i do agree with you.

I do get those comments rubbed in my face pretty often aswell. the "oh, you're a drummer, well try not breaking anything on stage ok?" type of comments. I think we do have a reputation of being the most restless and wild of all the musicians. That might come from the Bonzo or Moony image (my dad told me about Keith driving a Cadillac into a hotel swimming pool while touring with The Who).
I myself like fast cars ( allthough im not old enough to have my driving license =P) , extreme sport (i allways get hurt but thats fine with me), and i love playing insanely fast so i do fit into rogue_drummer's drummer stereotype.
I have nothing against the fact that other musicians consider us as crazy and wild, but as long as they still have a due respect towards us, because very often people disrespect us and consider that we just make noise without serving the music, and that really annoys me.
As strange as it may seem, despite the fact that im a pretty wild kid and i listen to Metal, i do enjoy sitting behind a four piece set up and just to groove with a nice Afro Jazz band once in a while ; )
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Thinking about this, (maybe too much...).

When we were kids, were we banging on pots and pans 'cause we were trying to unleash the inner drummer, or just looking for attention?

I could see how this type of behavior at a young age could develop into the "reckless" stereotype we see.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

I think there's an idea that drummers are wild and crazy because it's least refined of instruments. You HIT them. And now that rock has become part of the establishment, HIT is seen to be equal to HIT HARD.

Even though my appearance is the epitome of an old hippie, people have always been surprised when I say I'm a drummer. They always assume that I'm either a keyboardist (I wear glasses and therefore an intellectual) or a singer (I'm a woman and therefore refined and untechnical).

Then there's always an assumption that I'm a closet beast and I get interested looks when I explain that I'm actually not a basher but a simple accompanist who uses brushes a lot.

BTW, I was diagnosed ADHD about 10 years ago. I find that a combination of nicotine, coffee and creative activity keeps me sane(ish).

Are there any other ADDers here?
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Cool....I don't fit any of those.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Choppers View Post
What kind of gene do you have if you've played guitar, bass, drums, brass instruments and you sing?
Gene Simmons.................
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

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Gene Simmons.................
I guess that's better than Richard Simmons.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

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Gene Simmons.................
LOL shame on you, GD. Gene Krupa!
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

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Originally Posted by rogue_drummer View Post

Any thoughts on this subject of this "Drummer's Gene"?
I tend to think that drummers are some of the most sensitive of any musician. I've known 7 drumming souls who have committed suicide.

I honestly don't know any wild and crazy drummers. I do know a few who are serious about their art and perhaps nervous about their abilities.

Although I do have a history involving many dangerous pursuits including parachuting and other such things. I do not see myself as extreme though.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Well, We have to get back on the time machine and ask those Generals and Swiss mercenaries, on what they thought about the " The Drummer's Gene."
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Quote:
BD, if I Phil Rudded in my current band you wouldn't hear anything but drums. Think Ringo-meets-Jim Hodder-after-having-a-few-too-many ...
Wait a sec...isn't Phil Rudd's philosophy about holding a good pocket and letting the rest of music take front stage...unless...Phil Rudd-ing isn't simple enough for you *GASP!*
...anyway...about this thread...

You know, what you are talking about is why all those lame drummer jokes come about:

Non-musician: "What's the difference between a bank robber and a drummer?"
"You can negotiate with a bank robber"


Non-musician: "What do you call a drummer with a mobile phone"
"Hopeful"


Non-musician: "Hey what do you call a drummer with a car...?"
"employed!"


*sarcasm ensues*

Me: "LOL, so funny!"
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

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Wait a sec...isn't Phil Rudd's philosophy about holding a good pocket and letting the rest of music take front stage...unless...Phil Rudd-ing isn't simple enough for you *GASP!*
Wakey wakey hand off snakey, BD. I was pretty obviously talking about volume. Phil Rudd plays LOUD. I'm not a loud player and have to tone it down even more to play in my current band. Most times I play about as gently as this guy (without his groove and class, obviously) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngxaUjIYX1Y. I don't think he's a fast cars kinda guy :)

If you heard my things in the Your Playing area you'd know I play simply but with more nuance than our more famous De Stijl drummers, although I obviously don't have Phil's famed deep pocket or I'd be touring the world and playing huge stadiums.

Ian Paice was my first drum idol and I was a mad thing behind the kit in my youth but age and inability to play kit at home has slooowed meee dooowwwnnn ....
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: The Drummer's Gene

Quote:
Phil Rudd plays LOUD.
Phil Rudd doesn't need to hit the drums loud anyway, the studio techs just mix and adjust the volume...

...Phil is very good with dynamics too...but that drummer was awesome, solid, groovey, not too complex, dynamically aware and concentrating with just enough nuance to not be called a drum machine...

...playing loudly really limits your dynamic range, playing moderately gives a drummer room to use a range of different dynamics (louder and softer with more sensitivity etc.) and helps the studio engy with less unwanted overtones resulting from dented pinstripes.
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