Drums on an acoustic-ish gig?

Haydenr25

Junior Member
So I've just joined a band with a bassist I know who were originally an acoustic duo going electric. One plays rhythm and sings, other plays lead. After a few weeks of practicing we've got our first gig this weekend. The lead singer still plays acoustic guitar, the lead player plays electric with clean/distortion. We've learnt a few of their songs and a couple of covers and we're all set for our first gig.

On the 1st December we have another gig lined up. This one being a more "acoustic" gig. Me and the bassist have been discussing tonight if it's worth playing this one or letting the other two take it and we can run merchandise and socialize with the crowd. It just seems like the easier option.

So would you take the acoustic gig and just adapt the drums/bass or sit this one out and mingle/sell the CD's?
 

groove1

Silver Member
Take all gigs and take your playing on all of them seriously. You should be able to play at a whisper to very loud if you are a drummer. Almost all my gigs these days area acoustic
bass, unamplified grand piano, acoustic guitar, flute, etc. Smaller sticks (I like Firth AJ6's,
rods, brushes etc can be part of your equipment). A flat ride cymbal is great for these type of gigs. I understand if it's only one time it could be too expensive to gear up. If you plan on doing more of these in the future, add to your gear so you have what you need.

A lot of drummers don't like the "quiet type" gigs because they end up trying to play very quietly on a kit that is really set up to be played louder on. Scaling down the size of the drums etc can be a lot of fun. I play "quietly" with my arms moving just as much as if I was playing in a much louder setting by using the small sticks, small drums etc. Just a thought.
 

Haydenr25

Junior Member
It's going to be a one-off as the gig was booked before I joined the band. However the other members have welcomed me and the bassist to play with them on both gigs. I'm torn between going for it or seeing it as too much hassle for one show.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Agree you should learn or be able to play at all kinds of dynamic levels.
I think so-called acoustic gigs are great and do-able with a 'quieter' drummer and drumset. A smaller kit, one large cymbal works, playing lightly, using brushes or rods, blanket over or insidethe bass drum, dampened snare drum, smaller sticks....
There are many, many ways to quiet your drums down, even to a cafe size venue for acoustic gigs.
A good and old example is Dave Grohl's playing on Nirvana's Unplugged set.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
It's going to be a one-off as the gig was booked before I joined the band. However the other members have welcomed me and the bassist to play with them on both gigs. I'm torn between going for it or seeing it as too much hassle for one show.
Whats the hassle? Just experiment with muffling, multi-rods, and playing things with a lighter touch and no tricks.

I did a couple coffee shop gigs with hats, snare, bass drum, and a small ride and learned a crapload of new skills. You may find it valuable and fun!
 

Haydenr25

Junior Member
Whats the hassle? Just experiment with muffling, multi-rods, and playing things with a lighter touch and no tricks.

I did a couple coffee shop gigs with hats, snare, bass drum, and a small ride and learned a crapload of new skills. You may find it valuable and fun!
It's not going to be much hassle to play, we practice at lower volumes to conserve our hearing so I do know how to play with dynamics. Half of our practice time i play with multi-rods anyway so we can hear any mistakes easily.

hould of mentioned this earlier but the location of the gig makes it awkward for me to get to. It's also not been confirmed if we're sharing drumkits with anyone else, heck it hasn't been confirmed if any of the other acts are taking drums. Plus it's only a half hour set. So in my shoe's would you bother organizing a lift up there or not?
 

Popcorn Mogul

Senior Member
in the band I'm in there is a bass, me, lead & singer, and acoustic. Everything I'd plugged in and the lead chap switches between an acoustic and electric guitar.

I don't know why I'm putting this on, but it's all written now...
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I've done tons of acoustic type gigs. Sometimes with a full kit, sometimes with a scaled back version of the kit, sometimes with a snare, splash and brushes and sometimes with congas or djembe or other hand percussion like shakers/cabasa etc.

Play it, make it work and have a blast doing it, is my take on it. You're a new band, use it as an opportunity to hone your craft, develop your act and gel together as a unit.

No-one ever got worse by playing a gig and gaining experience........just as no-one ever got better by sitting in the crowd flogging CD's.
 

sethlowden

Senior Member
It sounds like you don't want to do it, and you are looking for support here in your decision. I would play. Do the gig with a cajon and a shaker if the gear is a hassle.
 

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
One of my weekly gigs is a coffeehouse open mic. You can play soft with multi rods and brushes. Regal Tip makes theses brushes called "fat Cat" brushes. They have many poly bristles, so they get nice fat sound. Not loud but good and beefy for a nice back beat if you need them too. Muffling the snare can lower volume, too. Sometimes I go for a "dead" 70's sound. It works behind the folk rock stuff some people play. It's fun, creative and little challenging. I've even done a night or two with just a Djembe and tambourine. Don't wimp out, go for it and have fun!
 

Attachments

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've done many acoustic and semi-acoustic gigs.

Usually with a very scaled down drum set, and often supplemented by percussion instruments I had laying around or borrowed from a friend.

Bring some hot rods, some wire brushes, and just have fun with it.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
On scaled back gigs I have one kit set up pretty muffled and use rods, brushes, or SD5 sticks and for really low volume coffeehouse playing I use a djembe, mounted tambourine, shakers, and a crash-ride.

Whether you choose a rig based on space or sound level I'd highly recommend playing in some fashion. Maybe I'm afraid of becoming the "guy that hangs out with musicians" drummer joke but I love playing too much and I hate the notion many people have that drums and percussion are ONLY loud instruments. Besides, I'd never want to be the "optional" member of a group, just the adaptable one.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Half hour set hard to get to that you don't have to play? I'll go against the crowd. I would skip it since it's not necessary. Barring the proverbial bus you'll have plenty of chances to play gigs that are more suited to you to which you can bring better preparation.
 
Top