Electronic kit not plugged in...


Gold Member
It never ceases to amaze me what drummers have to go through in order to just rehearse or play a gig. Crappy rehearsal spaces with no room, crappy venues, arrogant band members who think they can tell drummers how and what to play, bad organization, inept band leaders, bad or broken "house" kits, drunks wanting to show off, the list goes on and on.

Maybe I'm getting old and cranky, but where has the professionalism gone? Whatever happened to musicians being considered "professionals"? To drummers being considered "professionals"?

This week I am playing a venue with a 40 piece choir and several other instrumentalists. The music is top-notch by several well-known composers. I have to play an electronic kit. A nice Roland high end model. No biggie.

I get to the rehearsal early and damn if the electronic kit wasn't even plugged in, the hi-hat pedal was missing and the bass pedal wasn't hooked up. OK. I go find the hat pedal and plug in the bass. No problem. The issue I have is the speaker for the drum kit is missing and there is no extension cord to be found since the kit is a good distance away from any electric socket.

The sound guy is no where to be found. I can't locate the speaker, and an extension cord is nowhere. Ok, I'm beginning to get annoyed. And the other musicians are starting to file in. I tell the director. He tells me the sound guys can't make rehearsal and to just play the kit as I normally would and wing it with no sound.


So......the rehearsal goes well, I play my heart out all the while listening to the choir and other instruments, and barely hearing myself play. I've played this particular song before by this composer, so I'm wondering what in the hell I'm doing sitting in rehearsal going through the motions. The director can barely hear my taps on the kit's pads, the choir and band can't hear me, so.......what am I doing here?????

After rehearsal, I get compliments saying I sounded great. Um......whatever.....

Anyone else have these problems?????


Senior Member
WOW. No, I've never had anything like that happen, I was just amazed at your story. I hear some absurd stuff around here, but that's just rediculous. That sounds like it must have felt like being in the twilight zone or some kind of weir parody or something- just sitting there, drumming on a kit that's not even plugged in, watching everyone else making real music, and on top of it being told you sounded great at the end of the whole thing. Absolutely surreal, it just blows my mind.

My worst and most frustrating experience involves a band I was in called "Halfway House". The bandleader/songwriter referred to it as "Sweeping Orchestral Pop Rock", and his ego (at least musically speaking) matched the overblown description- His ability, however did not. He had an absolutely terrible sense of time and tempo. This was compounded by the fact that he used a looper pedal on his guitar to introduce all kinds of synth string/atmospheric layers and whatnot. So he plays his riff or whatever, steps on the pedal about an eighth early (or some random subdivision, like in the middle of a 16th), next thing you know his stupid riff is looping and it's like 3 bars and 7 eighths long or something. I'm absolutely pissed at this point, and he just keeps layering stupid string effects of varying lengths, everything's a mess, things are feeding back because of all the layers, I'm trying to play beats to match his stupid riff that's not even in any kind of time. Meanwhile, he's getting hammered on whiskey, and slamming my cymbals with his guitar any time he feels like it. The audience is having fun laughing at the train wreck on stage, and the band leader is thinking his awsome musicianship is responsible for this. Talk about his ambitions exceeding his ability. Anywaaaah, that's my "I can't believe I'm here right now" story.


Senior Member
Two great stories. Now here is mine.

The last band I was in our lead singer was a drunk ill tempered slightly overweight scary dude that had no job and had a wife that was a stripper. Do I need to continue? Haha. So we had a Halloween show and he and his wife get STUPID drunk before hand. Next thing you know his wife is in the mens bathroom vomiting all over the place pleading to divorce our lead singer five minutes before we go on stage. We always started off with an in your face ridiculously hard song compared to the rest of our set to grab the attention of the audience. So right before the lyrics come in our piss drunk soon-to-be divorced lead singer decides to rip his shirt off and do the show bare chested. I think he forgot that beer muscles aren't actually real and that he has gained about a hundred pounds since high school. He stumbled through our entire set with his freakin shirt off and blew his voice out trying to scream in our final song.

If only I had videotaped it.


Senior Member
Haha that story sucks! But I wouldn't hate on the rooms we practice in. I'm in a 4 piece rock band that plays in a dank building in a room that just barely fits us all. Sure the sound is a bit diff than what we sound in an open-space gig, but the energy is always close to 100% and it never fails to be a great time practicing all night. Not every band can afford a swank room with AC and van gogh on the walls =P.


Gold Member
Oh yeah, I wasn't bashing most rehearsal spaces. You are correct. You have to rehearse where you can. I was bashing teeny tiny spaces where my drums barely fit and I have to contort myself to make it happen and the guitars barely have enough room and whenever we take breaks or whatever, we have to climb over all of the equipment, somebody farts and it takes all the air from the room, etc. LOL

It gets on my nerves whenever I jam with someone I have to 1) help them move furniture out of the way, usually a sleeper sofa, or other heavy stuff, 2) rehears in the spare bedroom in between two twin beds, 3) have to keep the volume way down because someone in the house has a headache or isn't feeling well, or has to wake up early the next day, 4) isn't prepard to have people over to jam or rehearse, and we might "wake the baby" etc. The list goes on and on.