Bands with Two Drummers - Is There Really a Point?

Chunky

Silver Member
Good advice, Bon. Do you find the extra rhythmic accountability forces you to listen more acutely? Difficult to avoid unintentional flams.

Drum jams are fun, though. These days I'm more conscious of not making a continuous din. Tinnitus will do that.

Yeah I agree, it would be pretty damn tricky to avoid unintentional flams. Even to a click the other drummer may sit on a different part of the click and then you one of you would have to surrender to the others time but, that may or may not happen depending on the players.

And improv fills would be out of the question surely?
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Yeah I agree, it would be pretty damn tricky to avoid unintentional flams. Even to a click the other drummer may sit on a different part of the click and then you one of you would have to surrender to the others time but, that may or may not happen depending on the players.

And improv fills would be out of the question surely?

I guess it's like playing with a drum machine in that you'd just have to concentrate harder on hitting everything on the button.

I can imagine agreeing on parts where one player pulls right back or maybe does something textural while the other plays lead drum voice, which could include improv without worrying about perfect synch.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Good advice, Bon. Do you find the extra rhythmic accountability forces you to listen more acutely? Difficult to avoid unintentional flams?
When I was in a two drummer band, the other drummer had a very unique sense of beat placement that I absolutely worshipped. He had this patience with stomping on his kick on the downbeats and I had to listen very carefully and take a deep breath in order to really hit it with him. It helped that I wanted to be him as it was, so playing along with him really enabled me to get into his head. But he was just training wheels so when he stopped, I came unglued. What an experience!

To give you an idea of his playing style, he can be heard here:
http://youtu.be/il066mCId1s

Later when I played in TAD (his former band), I got to play his part on this song every night and I was grateful for my time spent in this other band with him where I was really able to soak up his style. He's still one of my all-time faves though sadly he doesn't play any more ... :-(
 

con struct

Platinum Member
In the seventies I saw Frank Zappa play the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. He had Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson on drums, along with Ruth Underwood on mallet percussion, Ian Underwood on woodwinds, I think George Duke was on keyboards, it was the band that recorded the Roxy album. A hell of a band to be sure.

That's the one time I witnessed two drummers working as ensemble players, and it was dazzling stuff. Every muso in the audience got his money's worth that night, no doubt about it. What a band! This was during the gas crisis, all the lines at gas stations. I'd flown down from NY to see the concert, and Atlanta didn't have any gas either.

So it can be done. It just takes a specific focus on arranging for those two drumkits. You should have seen these two guys. I would love to hear just the drum tracks from the recordings that were made on that tour.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Good advice, Bon. Do you find the extra rhythmic accountability forces you to listen more acutely? Difficult to avoid unintentional flams.

Drum jams are fun, though. These days I'm more conscious of not making a continuous din. Tinnitus will do that.

We both have a pretty good meter so it's not so bad during the song, but there is a flam now and then. The endings are the hardest. He does better endings, so I lay back and try to accent it, but it's hard to catch that last hit with him because it's based on feel and not so much meter.

If you think about it though, drum lines have many drummers all in synch. drum circles usually a have a steady beat going, it's a little more sloppy. But, ya, if you got somebody drumming with you that has a bad meter, it can be frustrating if he speeds up or slow down. The awarenes of the tempo is heightened so you can really tell when it happens, especially if you're the one with a good meter. I tried it with a couple other guys and it just didn't work. So the drummers have to have some chemistry together, IMO.
 
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