ARE YOU A DIVE BAR DRUMMER?

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Not a dive bar drummer. My band is older ladies and gentlemen who have professional careers outside of music that just do it for the fun, buzz, and love of playing. We usually shoot for the nice places where us older folks would be happy to attend. We were just getting up and running and had a bunch of gigs lined up. Ive been practicing like I never have before and hope the guys and gals are too so we can come back strong. But no dive bars. In my mind Im an amateur intermediate with a heck of a lot to offer the music in terms of feel, groove, and excitement. Many of you on here, rightfully so, would probably laugh at that and say, "aww how cute, he thinks he can play!"
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
In my mind Im an amateur intermediate with a heck of a lot to offer the music in terms of feel, groove, and excitement. Many of you on here, rightfully so, would probably laugh at that and say, "aww how cute, he thinks he can play!"
I wouldn't look down upon you at all. That's exactly what music is made of: "feel, groove, and excitement." In a lot of cases, anything beyond those elements is just drumming, which can be quite anti-musical when its goal is to showcase itself. I'd rather hear music than some guy soloing on a thirty-five-piece kit. The second example has always done less than nothing for me.
 
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MntnMan62

Junior Member
I aspire to be a dive bar drummer. In fact, I just started jamming with a local guitar and bass player for fun. The primary goal is to have fun and hope to play occassional gigs at a couple local dive bars nearby. I've been playing for 45 years, off and on. When I was a teen we had a "basement" band that played the typical classic rock you would hear from that general era. In college I played in the school's jazz ensemble and studied snare drum to improve my technique. I also took some lessons from a local jazz drummer. I also played in the house band of a dinner theater in the downtown of the city (Buffalo, NY) as well as the house band of a school sponsored "variety show".

When I graduated my career aspirations took precedence and I didn't really play much until about 2004 when I joined a musicians networking group. They put musicians together with other musicians who had day jobs for the purpose of jamming and playing for fun. They would hold open jam sessions that were based upon skill level. From that I ended up in a female vocalist fronted R&B band and we did a bunch of showcases in Greenwich Village at The Bitter End and The Red Lion. Then in 2006 my job began to pick up as I was elevated to a more senior position. And that takes to me to last year when I finally decided to start playing again and began jamming with some people here in NJ for fun. Then Covid-19 hit.

Besides the dinner theater gig and an occassional fill in gig here and there, I haven't made much money from drumming so it is very much a hobby. I consider myself intermediate. I have studied from some very good players and at different points of my life have put in some significant time learning and practicing. Add to that my preferred choice of music for listening is probably Fusion and Funk/R&B. So, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Tower of Power, Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc. And my main influence musically is Frank Zappa. So I have an ear for complexity and groove. I just haven't played consistently enough to rise to the level of being able to play the stuff I enjoy listening to most. I'm ok with that. No regrets. And life goes on. So now I have more time on my hands and am making use of that. I'll have to see what is in store for me from this point on.

My equipment is the same kit that I've had from day one. My parents bought me a Slingerland Stage Band four piece set in White Marine Pearl when I was 13. Over the years I took my busboy money and added things to it. I bought a second mounted tom (Slingerland WMP but not a Stage Band model). I then did find a Stage Band 9"x13" WMP tom so that replaced the early unmatched one. I bought two Roto-Toms. I bought a Premier 16"x14" WMP floor tom (for $20 if you can believe that) to augment my Slingy 14"x14" floor tom. I added cymbals. So today I'm playing the now 5 piece Stage Band kit which is 20" bass, 8"x12"and 9"x13" mounted toms and a 14"x14" floor tom, a 10" Roto Tom, the Premier 16"x14" floor tom, my original Manny's Music (NYC) by Zildjian 14" hi hats, a 20" mini cup Zildjian ride, 16" Zildjian medium crash, a Paiste 8" splash, a cracked 18" Manny's Music by Zildjian ride/crash (only used as a crash) and a 17" Zildjian China. I have some very old Evans Hydraulic blue batter heads on all the toms and bass drum and Remo clear (Ambassador?) reso heads on all but the Roto for obvious reasons. And I have a black Remo reso head on the front of my bass drum with a Slingerland logo sticker across the top. I have Remo Ambassador coated heads on my two snares. One is the 5 1/2"x14" Slingerland Stage Band model that came with the kit and I recently acquired a 5 1/2"x14" Pearl Sensitone steel snare. I'm really digging the Pearl snare right now. A totally different sound than the wood Slingy. My hardware is a Pacific 2 leg high hat stand, DW 7000 double bass drum pedals ( still learning how to play them both) and a bunch of boom and regular cymbal stands. I am thinking of selling the spare Slingerland 9"x13" mounted tom since it is duplicative and doesn't match anyting else I have. And I'm thinking of selling the Premier 16" floor tom only if I can find a 70's vintage 16"x16" Slingerland floor tom to replace it for a reasonable price. I also want to buy an 18" Zildjian medium thin crash to replace the cracked one I'm using now. I even am considering having Chicago Drum Co. make me a Slingerland Stage Band replica 10"x7" tom to complete the 7 piece layout. Having them make a matching floor tom would probably be cost prohibitive but might consider that if I don't find a reasonably priced Slingy 16" floor. And I'm planning on replacing all the tom batter heads with Remo Clear Pinstripes for some better stick response and better tonal quality.

So, that's that.
 
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J-Boogie

Gold Member
I aspire to be a dive bar drummer. In fact, I just started jamming with a local guitar and bass player for fun. The primary goal is to have fun and hope to play occassional gigs at a couple local dive bars nearby. I've been playing for 45 years, off and on. When I was a teen we had a "basement" band that played the typical classic rock you would hear from that general era. In college I played in the school's jazz ensemble and studied snare drum to improve my technique. I also took some lessons from a local jazz drummer. I also played in the house band of a dinner theater in the downtown of the city (Buffalo, NY) as well as the house band of a school sponsored "variety show".

When I graduated my career aspirations took precedence and I didn't really play much until about 2004 when I joined a musicians networking group. They put musicians together with other musicians who had day jobs for the purpose of jamming and playing for fun. They would hold open jam sessions that were based upon skill level. From that I ended up in a female vocalist fronted R&B band and we did a bunch of showcases in Greenwich Village at The Bitter End and The Red Lion. Then in 2006 my job began to pick up as I was elevated to a more senior position. And that takes to me to last year when I finally decided to start playing again and began jamming with some people here in NJ for fun. Then Covid-19 hit.

I Besides the dinner theater gig and an occassional fill in gig here and there, I haven't made much money from drumming so it is very much a hobby. I consider myself intermediate. I have studied from some very good players and at different points of my life have put in some significant time learning and practicing. Add to that my preferred choice of music for listening is probably Fusion and Funk/R&B. So, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Tower of Power, Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc. And my main influence musically is Frank Zappa. So I have an ear for complexity and groove. I just haven't played consistently enough to rise to the level of being able to play the stuff I enjoy listening to most. I'm ok with that. No regrets. And life goes on. So now I have more time on my hands and am making use of that. I'll have to see what is in store for me from this point on.
I dont think you'll have any trouble reaching your goal. Love that Zappa is main musical influence, right on!
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
The bar we play at regularly is described on yelp and such as a "dive bar." It kinda bugs me though, it's a nice, clean place with food i can confidently recommend And eat when we play with no fears of gastric exuberance. A nice place with security cameras in the parking lot and women can feel comfortable.
I have played dive bars, this is not one of them. But whatever, google it, it's a #divebar.
Self taught but coached by fellow musicians here and there. Also glad to coach anyone who ever asks in whatever way I can.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Ah, I drew a distinction between a likely interpretation of a British pub & my understanding of the US descriptive of a dive bar. In my mind, if I relate dive bar to some British pubs, I'm thinking about the pre club crowd high street low rent variety.

Pubs, I still play, but only decent ones, and increasingly infrequently.
The notorious "Urban Dictionary" had a perfectly succinct description IMO.
Code:
Dive bar
A well-worn, unglamorous bar, often serving a cheap, simple selection of drinks to a regular clientele.

The term can describe anything from a comfortable-but-basic neighborhood pub to the nastiest swill-slinging hole.
Some people love them, some hate them. Personally, I'm a fan of a good place with good people in it, and I don't pay attention to the labels like that. I think one's personality would play a lot into it. Some are more comfortable with more comfort and others like a little rough around the edges and cheaper prices; maybe even slightly more interesting clientele. I've sat in very nice bars downtown conversing with stock traders over cocktails and also at some very questionable dives eventually working up the nerve to say hello to the guys with the biker getup and tattoos next to me. Both are interesting conversations.

I'm curious if there's a term for it in the UK? I know you call bars "pubs", but is there another term for the ones you wouldn't take a first date unless you were really sure they like a little grit?
 

RickP

Gold Member
I have been playing gigs for over 45 years .
always had a day job but hugged regularly all this time . Currently I play in two bands and sub on others when asked .
I play a wide variety of gigs from Dive bars to Weddings and Corporate events . Since the Pandemic I have been doing a variety of outdoor gigs - driveway social distancing , BBQs, Birthdays etc . All outdoors . My indoor gigs are all on hard stop for now, but fortunately people are starved for live music and my Cover Band is very popular in our town and we have been getting a lot of requests for use to perform . We are currently booked till the end of August so far .
The Big Band I play with has been shut down for now and not sure when it will start up again . We have done a couple remote recordings/videos so that keeps me interested .
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The notorious "Urban Dictionary" had a perfectly succinct description IMO.
Dive bar
A well-worn, unglamorous bar, often serving a cheap, simple selection of drinks to a regular clientele.
My notorious brain makes a perfectly succinct comparison.

Posh bar: A fabricated, superficial bar, often serving an overpriced, pretentious selection of drinks to an ostentatious clientele.

Maybe the dive bar isn't half bad after all.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I'm planning on replacing all the tom batter heads with Remo Clear Pinstripes for some better stick response and better tonal quality.
I read the entire saga thinking, “This guy’s the shizzle.” Then I read the above and thought, “Pinstripes for better tonal quality? Is he mad?”

Sidebar, your honor.

I’ve never played new Pinstripes but I’ve replaced dozens (hundreds?) of ‘em on church kits. They were terrible. They were so dead they looked like cow udders from guys pounding them hard in an attempt to get “stick response and tone”.

So, to all y’all Remo guys, what is so great about Remo Pinstripes?

~ Evans User
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
So, to all y’all Remo guys, what is so great about Remo Pinstripes?
They are super easy to tune, sound good out of the box, and dont have too many overtones to deal with. Personally I'm not really a fan of that wet sound anymore. Drums can still go thud and have some life to them. I absolutely detest ebony pinstripes.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
They are super easy to tune, sound good out of the box, and dont have too many overtones to deal with. Personally I'm not really a fan of that wet sound anymore. Drums can still go thud and have some life to them. I absolutely detest ebony pinstripes.
I recently replaced the Ebony Pinstripes on my toms and bass drum with Coated Pinstripes. I like the coated version more. They still bring out lower tones and keep sustain in check, but they're a lot less plasticky than their ebony brethren. I started missing the texture of Coated Ambassadors, which I used on my entire kit for so many years.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I recently replaced the Ebony Pinstripes on my toms and bass drum with Coated Pinstripes. I like the coated version more. They still bring out lower tones and keep sustain in check, but they're a lot less plasticky than their ebony brethren. I started missing the texture of Coated Ambassadors, which I used on my entire kit for so many years.
Yeah that plastic black film really does something to the head, like it's a third ply and not a coating.

I like a coated PS3 on my snare. That's about as close as I'm gonna get anymore.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Yeah that plastic black film really does something to the head, like it's a third ply and not a coating.

I like a coated PS3 on my snare. That's about as close as I'm gonna get anymore.
I'm back to my trusty Coated Ambassador on my snare, as well as the use of a strip of painter's tape for overtone control. I doubt I'll stray from the Ambassador again for snare purposes. I love its feel and sensitivity.

If nothing else, the downtime of last few months has allowed me to experiment with heads in ways I might not have otherwise.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I read the entire saga thinking, “This guy’s the shizzle.” Then I read the above and thought, “Pinstripes for better tonal quality? Is he mad?”

Sidebar, your honor.

I’ve never played new Pinstripes but I’ve replaced dozens (hundreds?) of ‘em on church kits. They were terrible. They were so dead they looked like cow udders from guys pounding them hard in an attempt to get “stick response and tone”.

So, to all y’all Remo guys, what is so great about Remo Pinstripes?

~ Evans User
Everything is relative. They are much heavier two ply with oil than the Pinstripes. So if you think the Pinstripes are bad, take a listen to the Evans Hydraulics. And if the Pinstripes are good enough for Steve Gadd, they are most definitely good enough for me. Have you ever played Evans Hydraulic oil filled heads? It sure doesn't sound like it. And you call yourself an Evans User? Hah. :p

And
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
going to steal your format CM (royalties on the way!!)

I am an old school Straight Edge hardcore punker, so dive bars and punk houses were my second homes as a young'n

played my first gigs in high school in the dive bars and punk houses on Ohio State's campus and in C-bus back in the early 80's

Here's my summation for you, Goose72:

What's my playing level? Intermediate/Advanced. I've been drumming forty-six years, I'm formally trained with a Bachelors of Music Ed. , and I've always taken the instrument seriously. Did the whole school band thing, and also can play bass guitar and piano. In college, I learned how to play all of the wind instruments as well. I also write and arrange music for marching band/indoor drumline groups.

What style do I play? I grew up playing to Styx, Rush and Kansas, as well as Dave Brubeck, and much of Motown's catalog. Discovered punk and metal in the early 80's and added that world to my tool box. Only recently - in the past 5 years - did I add country...

Have I played dive bars? Yes. Proudly. Willingly. Sometimes, the best gigs/memories happened there

What other venues have I played? A very wide variety: school dances; bars; weddings; played at CBGB's; formal concerts in college; musicals/pit orchestra; church gigs; the typical band gigs in mostly original metal/punk bands; played The Ohio State Fair a few times; parades; street festivals; protests; studio musician jobs on drums and bass guitar

Have you been paid to drum? More often than not, yes.

Have you taught? Yes. I have been a Percussion Instructor/Assistant Band Director all of my life. 30+ years at the same place. Built the program up from the dust...
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Ha - yea I get that.

A lot of the kids I'm talking about already have cool gigs and are endorsed etc.

It's more a generation gap - they approach the instrument different than I do and I think of lot us that a little older do. It's just the evolution of the instrument - which I'm sure everyone generation has experienced. I bet people that grew up swinging with dance hall bands probably hated fusion and said the the same thing about Gadd and Weckl, etc.

I just feel old when I hear them play - but luckily I can always practice what they are doing :) It's just not built in.
Yeah, the "game" has definitely changed, hasn't it. There are people with endorsements who ONLY do Instagram. Wild. But hey, more power to 'em.

Totally. When watching some of these kids I'm starting to hear myself say, "That's stupid", and have to remind myself, no, "That's different".
I think we would all be lying if we denied that we were turned onto drumming by "some kid throwing down"...and I think it is funny to hear how many musicians deny this...on other instruments too...

and when i see some young guy throw down, it does not turn me off...it pisses me off, and I get a pair of sticks and go!!! The past 5 years have been trying to master double bass and blast beat speed on set. Trying to get my hybrid rudiments, grid patterns, and tenor movement patterns dialed in for marching...Years ago it was Latin stuff and developing better 4 mallet chops on marimba...

I want those kids on my lawn so I can steal their ideas and put them in my tool box!!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
They are super easy to tune, sound good out of the box, and dont have too many overtones to deal with. Personally I'm not really a fan of that wet sound anymore. Drums can still go thud and have some life to them. I absolutely detest ebony pinstripes.
same here RE the Ebony Pins....

I used to use Pins on my set, but have gravitated to Emporer Clear batters and Ambassador Clear reso's
 
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