Drums - On Stage Position

PauloF

Junior Member
Hello everyone,
What do you think about being on the front, playing sideways to the audience, facing the other elements of the band?
Have you ever tried? do you think it will afect the acoustic of the show (outside, inside)?
Personaly as a drummer, i really hate to be on the back, and i like the ideia of be on front, having more interaction with the audience.

Here's one example of what i'm talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOyvCqfuU2I
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If I could I would. Usually there's not enough room. There's no rules. Your guitar players and other front people might offer resistance, or maybe they will be all for it. See if it flies in your world.
 

MLdrum

Senior Member
I would love to play like that, I have tried it a few times with a band I'm in (at our rehearsal space (inviting friends and doing intimate concerts) and 1 gig). I feel a more direct and continuous contact with both audience and the rest of the band. It's also sort of nice when the rest of the band doesn't have to almost completely turn their back on the audience to look me in the eyes. I think especially a lot of jazz people play with the drummer on the side facing inwards because it's easier to maintain contact and communicate.

But as Larry stated, usually there's not enough room for a setup like that :s
 

porter

Platinum Member
I think I might try the left of stage thing or maybe just on the left of the front lineup. My band is only a 3 piece so it wouldn't be too hard.

I always liked how Mike Portnoy did it at his Transatlantic concerts (some of the best music ever written IMO), especially how him and Neil's risers allow them to sort of keep eye contact over the guitarists.
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I have one regular gig where I have to set up like that out of necessity. It's nice because eye contact with the other band members and the audience is much better. Normally I'm stuck in the back and I'm REALLY tired of looking at the singer's butt all night long.
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
Phish have used that stage set-up for years. I recall a brief period in the early aughts (post Farmhouse) when Fish's kit was put stage centre at the back. I guess it didn't stick as they went back the the old way and still use it. I don't think it affects the balance of sound too much if you have a decent PA and know how to use it effectively. Depends on the kind of music as well.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I like to be hidden away at the back, out of the way as much as possible. The last thing I want is to be looked at when playing lol - bands like Devo, Kiss and Slipknot have the right idea.
 

PauloF

Junior Member
Nice, thanks for the answers.
I also found some bands using the drums on the front-center like Battles. I think it's pretty cool.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Night Ranger used to do this. I always thought it was weird, personally. :)

Kelly Keagy sang lead on some of the songs, probably bkg vox on the rest, so it made sense for him to be up front. Further, his rig was turned sideways (hi-hat side) to the audience, so when he turned left amd sang into the mic, he was facing them.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have a theory as to how drummers ended up in the back in the first place. It's been that way going back at least to the big bands, with only an exception or two where the drummer was featured in the middle of the band with a clear view. It was a while before Buddy Rich and a few others actually moved to the front.

Let's go back to the early days of recordings. There were no mixing boards to speak of, and balance was achieved by literally moving players closer or farther away from the single microphone. Naturally, the drummer went to the back. I suggest that such positioning was maintained when those groups played live. Orchestras have typically been arranged in the same way, I also assume for balance purposes somewhat.

Fast forward to the more animated era of music: rock. Because the drummer typically sits and can't dance or move around, the guitar & horn players remained up front so they could put on the show. A riser certainly helped the occasional animated drummer be more visible, and TV and ultimately concert video allowed everyone to be seen up close regardless of position.

So drummers in the back is a rich tradition, tested by the occasional drummer who happens to front the band and call the shots. :)

Bermuda
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I like drums and one other instrument, like keys, side by side, toward back, like the Band always did. The arrangement in that vid is unique but not my preference.
 
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