Best piece(s) of advice you've gotten from this forum?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've gotten so much good advice from this forum, I thought it would be cool to share. Here are the two that stick with me:

1. I know I've said this so many times you're probably sick of it, but treating my drumming as if I'm an independent contractor as opposed to a band member has changed my life for the better.

2. Here's a good one when it comes to buying and selling: If you are having a hard time to get someone to take your money, it's time to walk away from the deal.

How about you? What's the best advice you've gotten from DW?
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Hey PPG, could you explain #1 ? Thks
Happy to!

A band member's job (from my experience) can include any of the following:
  • Playing all gigs. Even if it's an acoustic gig, you should be there with hand drums or play with rods or something. If someone books your band for an acoustic show and the band doesn't tell you, then your feelings may get hurt.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy studio time/gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy merch.
  • Possibly using funds to rent studio space.
  • Has a voice in major band decisions.
  • Helps with bookings which involve dealing with countless emails and phone calls, pricing, travel/directions, and dealing with schedules of 3-4 other band members.
  • If all of the other band members want to play a couple of benefit concerts for no pay, you pretty much have to go along with it to be a team player (playing benefits isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, organizations take full advantage of bands who do so frequently).
  • In addition to drums, you may be responsible for handling the PA gear as well.
  • Other duties may include auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

As independent contractor:
  • You don't have to play ALL the gigs. Granted you may want to, but if a band doesn't hire you to play a gig after you've already played a couple, then it's totally cool! Just let them call you when they need you. No harm, no foul.
  • You don't use your own funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear, studio time, merch, or rehearsal space.
  • No band meetings!!! No worries about major band decisions.
  • You don't have to do anything that has to do with getting bookings. If you've never been in charge of bookings, you have no idea how much time and effort this takes.
  • You don't have to do free gigs if you don't want to. You can, but there is zero obligation to do so.
  • While you absolutely should help with load in/out with PA gear, you aren't in charge of it. So you don't have to worry about dead mic cables and bum equipment.
  • You don't have to worry about auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

In short, you are basically paid to show up to a few rehearsals, play a gig, get paid, and leave. There's so much other stuff you don't have to deal with. Don't like the gig? Don't do it, and no one's feelings get hurt. You can concentrate on playing good music with some cool musicians and maybe make a little bit in the process.
 
Last edited:

moodman

Well-known member
Happy to!

A band member's job (from my experience) can include any of the following:
  • Playing all gigs. Even if it's an acoustic gig, you should be there with hand drums or play with rods or something. If someone books your band for an acoustic show and the band doesn't tell you, then your feelings may get hurt.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy studio time/gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy merch.
  • Possibly using funds to rent studio space.
  • Has a voice in major band decisions.
  • Helps with bookings which involve dealing with countless emails and phone calls, pricing, travel/directions, and dealing with schedules of 3-4 other band members.
  • If all of the other band members want to play a couple of benefit concerts for no pay, you pretty much have to go along with it to be a team player (playing benefits isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, organizations take full advantage of bands who do so frequently).
  • In addition to drums, you may be responsible for handling the PA gear as well.
  • Other duties may include auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

As independent contractor:
  • You don't have to play ALL the gigs. Granted you may want to, but if a band doesn't hire you to play a gig after you've already played a couple, then it's totally cool! Just let them call you when they need you. No harm, no foul.
  • You don't use your own funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear, studio time, merch, or rehearsal space.
  • No band meetings!!! No worries about major band decisions.
  • You don't have to do anything that has to do with getting bookings. If you've never been in charge of bookings, you have no idea how much time and effort this takes.
  • You don't have to do free gigs if you don't want to. You can, but there is zero obligation to do so.
  • While you absolutely should help with load in/out with PA gear, you aren't in charge of it. So you don't have to worry about dead mic cables and bum equipment.
  • You don't have to worry about auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

In short, you are basically paid to show up to a few rehearsals, play a gig, get paid, and leave. There's so much other stuff you don't have to deal with. Don't like the gig? Don't do it, and no one's feelings get hurt. You can concentrate on playing good music with some cool musicians and maybe make a little bit in the process.
I was in a band where, after a band member embarrassed us on stage, quit the band saying "I'm not in this band anymore, I'll come to gigs and play, but I'm not IN this band!" The band didn't last long after that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Shut up and play, a pearl of wisdom generously offered by WhoIsTony?

I particularly needed to understand that.

It doesn't just apply to music. It works well in my personal life as well.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The following mandate isn't so much a form of advice I've garnered from the forum as it is a snippet of wisdom I've reinforced through my experiences here: Nothing related to drumming should be taken too seriously.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The best advice I ever got wasn't from here. My older brother told me this while teaching me how to do electrical work.

He said "If you're working too hard, you're doing something wrong. There's a better way."

Applies to almost everything.

Working hard is OK. Working too hard is the issue. Sit down and re-think.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
I picked up playing the drums again after a 20-year hiatus, and this site has been an invaluable resource for getting back in the game.

Fellow members sharing sound files, videos, and photos, as well as their own positive and negative experiences with gear have greatly influenced my purchase decisions. My entire current rig is the result of feedback from the DW fam, including my snare (LM402), shells (Gretsch Renown), cymbals (Paiste 602/Big Beat/Signature), and hardware (Yamaha Crosstown). Members have also influenced me on what NOT to buy based on their personal experience. Also, It's best to go and listen to drums and cymbals in person to see what sound YOU like.

A few other nuggets I've picked up from this forum:
* Practice your rudiments on a practice pad often. This has helped me regain my college chops more than playing my kit
* How to properly tune drums
* The nuances of different cymbal alloys, shell materials and drumheads
* You cannot soundproof a room with blankets our acoustic panels, rather you need to build a room within a room.
* Introduced me to many rudiment and practice resources
* You cannot get the same sound you hear in your favorite song with the exact same gear, as your favorite song has been mixed during post-production
* It's almost always better to buy pre-owned gear instead of new
* Countless other tips, tricks, and modifications
* Introduced me to Tommy Igoe and Hal Blaine

Most of the above might be found elsewhere online, however, the DW community consistently provides information and experience with their own entertaining twists.

I've also learned that:
* Bernhard, Bermuda, Andy, and GruntersDad do an outstanding job of keeping threads relevant and civil
* Odd-Arne Oseberg's teaching advice is priceless
* PorkPieGuy starts topical, entertaining threads
* Vintage Old School and C.M. Jones provide good content with a personal flair.
* Bo Eder is worth the price of admission, alone

A select few frequent posters come off as contrarian and insecure and enjoy taking shots at other drummers.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
To me, 99% of this forum is about random opinions and, regarding applying something to my own playing and studying, i am not caring too much about random opinions..

There are about 3-4 members/teachers whose replies i always read and take pretty serious..

For the rest, not too much..

I prefer to listen to people in real life, which are people whose playing i know and people whose knowledge i trust..

Meaning, regarding drumming, the best advice will always be..:

Find a decent real life (or Skype) teacher and just play and study as much as you can..

Thats about that..🙂
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Always useful for homework before a major purchase. I'd rather listen to what fellow players have to say about gear than any kind of sales pitch.

Majorly grateful to Andy for all the advice when I built my snare 5 years back.

Looking forward to gigs starting again. Been a while since we've had a band drama!
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Happy to!

A band member's job (from my experience) can include any of the following:
  • Playing all gigs. Even if it's an acoustic gig, you should be there with hand drums or play with rods or something. If someone books your band for an acoustic show and the band doesn't tell you, then your feelings may get hurt.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy studio time/gear.
  • Possibly using funds made from gigs to buy merch.
  • Possibly using funds to rent studio space.
  • Has a voice in major band decisions.
  • Helps with bookings which involve dealing with countless emails and phone calls, pricing, travel/directions, and dealing with schedules of 3-4 other band members.
  • If all of the other band members want to play a couple of benefit concerts for no pay, you pretty much have to go along with it to be a team player (playing benefits isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, organizations take full advantage of bands who do so frequently).
  • In addition to drums, you may be responsible for handling the PA gear as well.
  • Other duties may include auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

As independent contractor:
  • You don't have to play ALL the gigs. Granted you may want to, but if a band doesn't hire you to play a gig after you've already played a couple, then it's totally cool! Just let them call you when they need you. No harm, no foul.
  • You don't use your own funds made from gigs to buy/replace PA gear, studio time, merch, or rehearsal space.
  • No band meetings!!! No worries about major band decisions.
  • You don't have to do anything that has to do with getting bookings. If you've never been in charge of bookings, you have no idea how much time and effort this takes.
  • You don't have to do free gigs if you don't want to. You can, but there is zero obligation to do so.
  • While you absolutely should help with load in/out with PA gear, you aren't in charge of it. So you don't have to worry about dead mic cables and bum equipment.
  • You don't have to worry about auditioning new members, firing members, developing set lists, dealing with wives/girlfriends of fellow band members, and a lot of other things.

In short, you are basically paid to show up to a few rehearsals, play a gig, get paid, and leave. There's so much other stuff you don't have to deal with. Don't like the gig? Don't do it, and no one's feelings get hurt. You can concentrate on playing good music with some cool musicians and maybe make a little bit in the process.
So, what do you do when you're in a band and you want the contractor role in said band?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The best advice I ever got wasn't from here. My older brother told me this while teaching me how to do electrical work.

He said "If you're working too hard, you're doing something wrong. There's a better way."

Applies to almost everything.

Working hard is OK. Working too hard is the issue. Sit down and re-think.
Absolutely. "Too" is the operative term. That's the theme of my point as well. Take drumming seriously, just not "too" seriously. When we become myopic and grave about an activity, our performance suffers in turn, as does the joy we extract from it. Do the best you can and let the rest go, keeping in mind that unrealistic expectations siphon satisfaction quite efficiently.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I come here for the community aspect. I like to help my fellow drummers when I can. I also like to type and enjoy putting my thoughts down to share with others. I feel some on here may take my opinion as over-bearing. I think that's more from the approach I have to online discourse. I particularly hate prefacing thoughts with the words "I think". I prefer to be challenged on my contributions rather than just be accepted as another opinion. I'm really wanting conversations, and in some cases challenging conversations, on drumming with emphasis on playing and performance. The gear aspect is less important to me because I simply don't have the $$$ to go out and get a new set every couple of years. Not to mention I don't play as a profession, and therefore not getting regular access to other drums and gear that some of the pros here are getting.

I kinda think of DW as composed of two main camps: pro drummers and hobbyists/students. The former (sans those that teach) seem to generally care about gear and less about the gritty details of practice, hand technique, how proper diet affects things, etc etc. Consequently there seems to be frequent disqualification by pros here on topics that, while they may be seen as minor or irrelevant, are important to those less experienced. And I think this sometimes thwarts discussion by those less experienced for fear of being discredited or disqualified. How to fix that I have no clue. Maybe a non-pro area of DW where teaching is prioritized over pure information exchange about the latest gear.

End of rant :)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I come here for the community aspect. I like to help my fellow drummers when I can. I also like to type and enjoy putting my thoughts down to share with others. I feel some on here may take my opinion as over-bearing. I think that's more from the approach I have to online discourse. I particularly hate prefacing thoughts with the words "I think". I prefer to be challenged on my contributions rather than just be accepted as another opinion. I'm really wanting conversations, and in some cases challenging conversations, on drumming with emphasis on playing and performance. The gear aspect is less important to me because I simply don't have the $$$ to go out and get a new set every couple of years. Not to mention I don't play as a profession, and therefore not getting regular access to other drums and gear that some of the pros here are getting.

I kinda think of DW as composed of two main camps: pro drummers and hobbyists/students. The former (sans those that teach) seem to generally care about gear and less about the gritty details of practice, hand technique, how proper diet affects things, etc etc. Consequently there seems to be frequent disqualification by pros here on topics that, while they may be seen as minor or irrelevant, are important to those less experienced. And I think this sometimes thwarts discussion by those less experienced for fear of being discredited or disqualified. How to fix that I have no clue. Maybe a non-pro area of DW where teaching is prioritized over pure information exchange about the latest gear.

End of rant :)
It depends upon the definition of pro. While drumming has never been my full-time job, I've earned a fair amount of money from both gigging and recording over the years. Would that make me a semi-pro? Regardless, I don't submit to the ideas of players who are full-time drummers. First, that they earn their entire living from drumming doesn't mean they play better than I do, nor does it grant them a more valid knowledge base. Second, I'm confident enough in my own ability to think and to assimilate information that I'm comfortable drawing my own conclusions on all matters related to drumming and defending my own ideas. I don't see the input of "pros" in the forum as a limiting force at all.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
It depends upon the definition of pro. While drumming has never been my full-time job, I've earned a fair amount of money from both gigging and recording over the years. Would that make me a semi-pro? Regardless, I don't submit to the ideas of players who are full-time drummers. First, that they earn their entire living from drumming doesn't mean they play better than I do, nor does it grant them a more valid knowledge base. Second, I'm confident enough in my own ability to think and to assimilate information that I'm comfortable drawing my own conclusions on all matters related to drumming and defending my own ideas. I don't see the input of "pros" in the forum as a limiting force at all.
Give it some time. You've only been a member for a few months :)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Give it some time. You've only been a member for a few months :)
I hear you, and your point is a fair one. I'm not challenging it at all. My take is this. If we define "pro" as a drummer who earns his or her entire living from playing, all that means to me is that he or she chose drumming as a full-time career, whereas I did not. Other drummers have no reason to feel inferior for selecting part-time status, semi-pro status, or however they wish to classify themselves. Some pro drummers are great players. Others are just average players who got REALLY lucky. I'm not intimidated or supplicated in the presence of either. The quality of an idea is independent of the person who expresses it. I concede to quality ideas, not to the rank of those who communicate those ideas.
 
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