Apparently I am a Ghost


Senior Member
I was at a party on Saturday night where there were 12-15 people that had seen my band play. All the conversations involved telling me and our guitarist that we sounded good and they really enjoy hearing us play.

Though there were at least 6-7 that didnt even know I was the drummer.

Now I admit- when I first started playing live- I couldnt get enough cymbals up in front of me to hide from people! I'm down to 2 crashes now and I have them postioned fairly low so that I can see and interact with the crowd.

This situation brought about 2 feelings in me and I dont know if its a good thing or a bad thing.

Personally I'm a little put out that these people didnt know it was me straight away- yet on the other hand- all I want to do is play for the band and the music. This means I am pretty happy that I disapeared into the music and was not noticed as this tells me I'm doing something right.

I'm not flashy at all- but I'm also not one to hide at the back anymore. Just not sure if I should be happy with how people see the band or if I should do something about it?


Silver Member
I don't think there is any getting around the fact that most people don't look at / focus on / care what we do.

Happens to me often, I found taking a solo at some point and having the rest of the guys leave the stage or move to the side can help.

I really don't let it bother me, as long as they liked the band, I could care less if the recognize me.

It does kinda suck though, I agree.


Senior Member
I have always had the impression that people hear/feel the drums and Watch the guitarist and vocalist.

Only other drummers really pay attention to drummers. Your first job is to provide the time and support the music. Being noticed is secondary.



Platinum Member
Yes, I've encountered this many times.

Guy in crowd; Wow, did you see that last band? They were fantastic!!

Me: oh, thank you.

Guy: why are you thanking me?

Me: That was my band, I was up on stage

Guy: Oh, I didn't notice...


Platinum Member
My tactic is to wear a fedora hat (which is not the most common stage attire) and do loads of little stick tricks. If they still don't notice me, I choose to take it as a compliment: At least it means I didn't mess up badly enough to draw attention to myself :)


Platinum Member
I think you need a little spotlight where you are introduced. My favorite thing is to not do a free time solo where everyone else leaves the stage but to have the bass and maybe one other instrument keeping time and do something groove heavy with a little flash over it. That way folks keep dancing while the attention is being focused on the drums. It reinforces in their minds that the reason they're enjoying the music is that they are dancing to the groove.


Senior Member
Is it a big goal of yours to be noticed for being in a band?

The way I handle it: Do they hear me? Do they hear what I'm playing? If so, then I wasn't a "ghost", i had a genuine effect on their listening experience. Talking with others who love music, everyone listens to music differently. Most listen to the rhythm subconsciously without realizing it. Rhythm is very primal and its more primitive than hearing melody in our brains. I notice it when playing.. drummers can hypnotize an audience and envelope them in their music. When it's so good, it can be so primal and subconscious that the listener might not even notice what the drums and rhythm was, but they felt it.

Anyways, I play for those moments more than wanting to be noticed by friends. It's its own thrill, true influence over a number of people over 10 songs in a 45 min set

But hmm... don't discount putting on a good show. If you're playing in a "bored" fashion then you probably won't be noticed much. If you're playing with flair, and energy, and are really driving the band, then I have no doubt you will be noticed.


Senior Member
How could he think about drumming in those gloves?!!!!!

Like I said in the OP I actually like the fact that the band sounds good and I'm not noticed- as to me that tells me I'm doing good.

It was just an internal ego type thing that flared up! I am at the back for a reason- lead front man singer I am not!!!


Platinum Member
A wise man (and fellow DW member) once said something like "90% of punters in the crowd may or may not be aware that there were some drums on stage".

Par for the course....get used to it or develop an act that gets noticed. :)


Platinum Member
A wise man (and fellow DW member) once said something like "90% of punters in the crowd may or may not be aware that there were some drums on stage".
Hey, I've played in places where I'm pretty sure 90% of the punters weren't even aware there was a band on stage, much less drums.


Platinum Member
I've worn some pretty outrageous outfits on stage, and still not been noticed.

All eyes go to the singer.

Even with Tommy Lee's outfit (or lack of) he had to come out from behind the drum kit during his solo for people to notice how little he was wearing.


Platinum Member
No doubt about it, most of us drum for the love, not the glory.

Being part of a group that's making glorious noise is much fun and it's a bonus if we're acknowledged as part of the entertainment. It's especially helpful for hotel management and bar staff to recognise you so you don't get charged for drinks (maybe) and don't get stung for the door charge after the break :)


Platinum Member
I find that being the lead vocalist helps in this respect lol. Also if you've not done so already, some time spent on the weights + a high protein/low fat diet might help out...
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It was mentioned in another thread recently, that the majority of the audience you are playing to are non-drummers. So chances are, they won't notice you unless you're doing something really out of the ordinary, or you screw up.

Personally, it's nice to be recognized as having a good set, but at the same time not being noticed is a kind of way of people telling you that you didn't screw up.

Blowing everyone's mind is nice too, but most musical styles don't call for it, and then you'd just be overplaying to get noticed.


Senior Member
See, the problem is that you sit down for the whole gig and no-one looks at someone sitting down....

Try putting your drums on a riser and then stand up when you can do parts that don't need feet. Flames and lights may help too......


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would give my left ___ to be on a stage again playing my drums, doing what I like, music, and if I wasn't noticed that's OK. I would use the breaks to walk around and introduce my self. Keep playing and be happy.