Another Frustrated Drummer....

Visitor Q

Member
So I've been playing in this noise rock fusion very avant garde band that is heavy on improv for awhile now. I've been having a blast, my band mates are great and I've actually have become a much better player due to having to keep up with all the weird structures and rhythms. But... I'm not sure if I'm right for the band.

The problem is every time I attempt to play one of the songs written by the guitarist the groove completely changes. The song either becomes too technical or grooves too much. Most of these songs are older and were created with drummers who are well...aren't really drummers. It has nothing to do with being stiff or not being able to play loose, it is the time is all over the place, there is little to no structure it is just noise and I don't know how to play this way. Today the guitarist jumped on the kit to explain to me what he wanted and I was just lost. I had no clue how to imitate it. I felt a bit better when the bass player chimed in confused and said " So you want him to play sloppy?".

Basically, it is some bands just want that sloppy unpolished amateur feel to their music. I get it and this is not the first time sadly this has happened to me. It is just frustrating because I've spent so many years trying perfect my playing only to be asked to throw it all out the window. Has anyone else ever come across this? Any suggestions? :)
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
It's a west coast thing. They put a premium on making people think they aren't actually trying. It's actually deceiving because they are trying hard to attain that look, they actually have a whole closet full of sloppy T-shirts one for every occasion. Like wow they are just so lucky. It's pretty annoying, and the music sucks, but that is how they do it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
tragedy... or opportunity?

A chance to learn to play a left handed kit perhaps?

Lemons/lemonade... just saying.
 

Visitor Q

Member
It's a west coast thing. They put a premium on making people think they aren't actually trying. It's actually deceiving because they are trying hard to attain that look, they actually have a whole closet full of sloppy T-shirts one for every occasion. Like wow they are just so lucky. It's pretty annoying, and the music sucks, but that is how they do it.
Lol, funny and sadly somewhat true. I'm actually in and play in Long Beach California...


tragedy... or opportunity?

A chance to learn to play a left handed kit perhaps?

Lemons/lemonade... just saying.
I've tried holding my sticks in all sorts of weird ways hoping to get a different feel, but it didn't workout. I might actually try setting up left hand to see if that helps, thanks for the suggestion. :)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
It's a west coast thing. They put a premium on making people think they aren't actually trying. It's actually deceiving because they are trying hard to attain that look, they actually have a whole closet full of sloppy T-shirts one for every occasion. Like wow they are just so lucky. It's pretty annoying, and the music sucks, but that is how they do it.
So is this why all those guys on the east coast are so anal retentive? Who knew?
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I am surprised no one else has said it, but don't try to be a square peg in a round hole. If the music isn't for you and you are struggling to play it, maybe its not the right band for you. I am sure there are a ton of opportunities in Long Beach, I would recommend looking around and seeing what else is out there that better fits your style.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
In a situation like that where I can't hear anything to latch on to, I look to the bass player and try and listen what he is doing to try and sync up with him somehow. Is his playing in those types of situations impossible to latch on to as well? I would be looking to him as a life preserver.

If everyone is playing "separately".....and there's no common thread.....sounds like you can do what you want, as long as the basic time is steady enough. If the time is not steady, wow I don't know what to say except to fly by the seat of your pants. That's a high skill too.

Can you further explain what you mean by "the song grooves too much".

That's like saying this ceak tastes too good. What's wrong with grooving too much?
 

Visitor Q

Member
I am surprised no one else has said it, but don't try to be a square peg in a round hole. If the music isn't for you and you are struggling to play it, maybe its not the right band for you. I am sure there are a ton of opportunities in Long Beach, I would recommend looking around and seeing what else is out there that better fits your style.
I feel as though it is a double edged sword for him and me. Oh one hand he may not like that I can't play what he hears in his head, he does however enjoy the fact that he has someone who can actually play well and keep up during improv sections.

For me, joining another band is an option, but I have enjoyed the freedom this band has provided me thus far that I'm not sure I'd get with another band. But if he continues to ask me play these things and the freedom I enjoy slowly gets stripped away, I might not have another choice but to pursue something else.



In a situation like that where I can't hear anything to latch on to, I look to the bass player and try and listen what he is doing to try and sync up with him somehow. Is his playing in those types of situations impossible to latch on to as well? I would be looking to him as a life preserver.

If everyone is playing "separately".....and there's no common thread.....sounds like you can do what you want, as long as the basic time is steady enough. If the time is not steady, wow I don't know what to say except to fly by the seat of your pants. That's a high skill too.

Can you further explain what you mean by "the song grooves too much".

That's like saying this ceak tastes too good. What's wrong with grooving too much?
I wish I had a recording of what he wanted me to play, I couldn't make heads or tales of it. I don't think the bass player could either. Due to the structure of the music if I lay down a straight beat it becomes very "Rock-ish" feeling which is what we are trying to avoid. If I try to phrase the music differently it becomes more a "Funk/Fusion" sort of thing which the guitarist isn't happy with either. I often just solo over a lot of it,using odd phases and going over the bar line trying to give it a chaotic feel, but then I'm told it is way too technical. The guitarist told me yesterday "I just need to practice playing this way", I don't know what "This way" is, I would but I have no idea what I would practice.

After making this thread yesterday, I've decided I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to tell him basically "This how I play, if you don't like it find someone else", but in nicer terms. The guy is great and I really enjoy playing with him, but this isn't a paid project, just a couple of older guys having fun. Once it stops being fun it is time to move on. :)
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
So is this why all those guys on the east coast are so anal retentive? Who knew?
At least they aren't anal and uptight about, their sloppy T-shirts and overly loud noise music, like that's cool. I was at at job interview once where they flew me in. The interviewer said something to the effect, "You're wearing a tie, don't you know this is the Bay Area"... I mean to tell ya, they take that nonsense seriously there. I personally don't like it because clothes off the rack don't fit me, and custom fit designer clothing cost an arm and a leg.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
At least they aren't anal and uptight about, their sloppy T-shirts and overly loud noise music, like that's cool. I was at at job interview once where they flew me in. The interviewer said something to the effect, "You're wearing a tie, don't you know this is the Bay Area"... I mean to tell ya, they take that nonsense seriously there. I personally don't like it because clothes off the rack don't fit me, and custom fit designer clothing cost an arm and a leg.
Hey man, don't throw us all under the bus 'cause you went to the Bay Area. We're not part of them ;)
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
My t-shirt that I'm wearing today reads "Don't Bro Me if You Don't Know Me", it also has a small oil stain on it, and I have gigged with it on.

I just want to say be patient. A sound like that needs time to develop. It's not a microwave band. Think of the sound as being in a slow-cooker. How much tastier will the music be when it finally reaches its full potential?
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Hey man, don't throw us all under the bus 'cause you went to the Bay Area. We're not part of them ;)
I'm just saying that for some of us achieving the ultimate in non-chalance is too much effort and not worth it anyway, the pervading social norms just aren't broad enough to fit everyone in this way.
 

yakbutter

Senior Member
I've played with people who want the drums a certain way but can't speak in musical terms or even sing the beat they're thinking of. At that point I stop caring and do what I want. If this dude can't even suggest a drummer that he likes, then forget it.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Hey man, don't throw us all under the bus 'cause you went to the Bay Area. We're not part of them ;)
Being a native of San Jose, I can tell you that we feel the exact same way about LA. They need to just cut off the state at the grapevine and give everything south of that back to Mexico.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Worst sentence in the English language: "I'm not a drummer, but ______." Fill in the blanks with anything idiotic a guitar player or bass player tells you.

I feel for you. If you can't understand what he's telling you and he can't explain what he wants, play whatever yoiu want to play as long as it sounds decent.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
Fill in the blanks with anything idiotic a guitar player or bass player tells you.
Guitarists are like diva's or solo violinists. As long as they are in the forefront everything is cool.

An old guitarist friend once told me... if at the end of a gig all the complements are "Wow that guitarist is great" that means the guitarist sounded great. If the complements are "Wow the band sounds great" that means the drums and bass were the glue that held the band together. A good bassist is really a percussionist with a string to pluck. And yes I did say that "a good bassist" is....

My advice (not that it means anything) is to take this opportunity to go find a band that has an electric bassist that also knows how to play drums then you can synch up in perfect alignment.

Or better yet! Start your own thing. Auditions, the works.
 
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