How do you deal with fellow percussionists in your group who do not practice?

topgun2021

Gold Member
In my jazz band at school, myself and another student switch between kit and auxiliary/sitting out.

There were two songs that we were supposed to practice two songs to see what song we were better at:

Diggin on James Brown - Tower of Power http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YELx9HUHH4w

You've Always Made Me Happy - Blood Sweat and Tears http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxWSOuNsN20

I practiced each song 40+ plus times in one week. He never even listened to the recording we got once.

He plays the second song. Poorly. Missing important hits, incorrect patterns, not looking for ques and missing spots where he is supposed to stop, not following the chart well, not even touching the ride cymbal.

I tried to help him by pointing where the band was in the chart, and he told me to stop.

He is one of those guys who has a hard time with word instructions and does better writing things out.

He also used to be a massive pot head and I think that messed up his head a bit.

I have some major kinks to work out myself for some other tunes, and I plan on some drum shedding,.

What is a nice way to encourage him to practice and actually care about the songs?
 

hewi5134

Junior Member
Hopefully, your jazz director may realize that you are committed and practice, and recognize you for this. If you get promoted to "first chair" and get all the songs, it could give the slacking drummer more motivation to work on the tunes.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Hopefully, your jazz director may realize that you are committed and practice, and recognize you for this.
Agreed.

Trying to 'force" someone into doing something they don't want to do is simply not your cross to carry. All you can do is be accountable for yourself. Unless you are the bandleader or the guy writing the cheques, then it's not your call. Rest assured his lack of dedication will be noticed sooner or later and he'll be found out. Very few people have time for "passengers"....musically or otherwise. Just keep working hard, learning your parts (and his too if you feel it'll help) and who knows....you may just find yourself with a full time spot.

Of course you can always give him a 'kick in the pants' and tell him to lift his game if he's serious about this....but if he doesn't listen then so be it. Just make sure you're ready to jump in when asked. ;-)
 

Algorithm

Senior Member
I've been in bands with people that don't practice, and I'm happy that I'm not in a band with them anymore.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Violence. Just do it, Topgun. You know you want to ...

:)

Seriously ... isn't it up to the band leader to do with players who aren't together enough? I thought the band was excellent BTW
 

Redfern

Senior Member
I dont think ide even worry about it, surely this works in your favour? Ide sit back and enjoy being the one to be picked for everything time after time, im sure once he starts noticing the difference in both your playing and you getting picked or promoted all the time, he may start upping his game, leave him to it i say.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
That is my favorite BS&T song and one of my favorite songs overall. I play it on my iPod when i'm working out at the gym. I would kill to be able to play it in a band.

Just keep focusing on bettering yourself on your parts and let the teacher take care of the rest.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Our set list is is 10 songs, so I doubt I'll be put on all the songs with drum set. All he does is say, "Practice more!", "Listen to the tunes!"

It seems he does great when every single note is transcribed, but general transcriptions are not his thing.

I try not to worry about it, but last year he actually stopped playing on a song for about 4 measures because he got lost in a 6/8 groove.

I do want to throw things at him, but that will only get me kicked out of school. Not going to do that.

Upside is that we would play each others parts if one of us misses class or is working on another part. So It would show that way that I know his material better than himself.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I thought the band was excellent BTW
Pol that band is excellent. That's Tower of Power, not the Topgun's jazz band lol. Maybe it's time for that cup of coffee?

Topgun, what do you mean by "switch between kit and auxiliary"?

Does that mean you two are playing simultaneously? Is he messing you up? Or does he blow it all alone?
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Pol that band is excellent. That's Tower of Power, not the Topgun's jazz band lol. Maybe it's time for that cup of coffee?

Topgun, what do you mean by "switch between kit and auxiliary"?

Does that mean you two are playing simultaneously? Is he messing you up? Or does he blow it all alone?
I wish I was David Garibaldi >_>

Larryace: Our Jazz band plays classic (Miles Davis for example) and contemporary (ToP is an example).

Since two drummers signed up for the class, there is going to be one person on the kit and one person not playing. For the classic songs, it makes sense that one person sits out while the other plays, adding congas, timbales, and a tambourine detracts from Birth of the Cool.

We also play three Latin songs. One person plays timbales while the other plays congas. All parts are covered (A friend of our instructor and former touring musician will play bongos if you are wondering about that).

For the contemporary tunes there are drums set and axillary parts. You can eaily create a conga part for Diggin on James brown, and there is some tambourine stuff on You've always made me happy. I could probably hit a cowbell a lot on the AeroSmith Medley.

In actuality I probably would only not play anything for two to three songs.

He screws up on his parts. Imagine You've Always Made me happy with the money beat And playing through the section with the hits/not stopping on rests/not even touching the ride cymbal/zero cross sticks. That was what happened.
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
Open and honest communication in a non-threatening way. Think through what you are going to say and make it win/win.

GJS
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Pol that band is excellent. That's Tower of Power, not the Topgun's jazz band lol. Maybe it's time for that cup of coffee?
I think a bullet between the eyes would be more appropriate for that one ... put the sick animal out of its misery ...

I was listening out for a percussion error and thinking "Wow, this band is incredibly slick and solid. Can't hear anything wrong at all" lol
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You're just so incredibly adorable Pol, Listening to ToP thinking it's a high school jazz band. You get more loveable by the hour lol.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
Listen, College bands are 2 to 4 years older thatn HS. Makes a little diff. Practice yo a $ $ off and the utha mutha wont matta.

Drummer..............if you are better you will play. I know....I have been there and lost.....AND won. Rock On!
 
Honestly it isn't something you should worry about. If he isn't pulling his weight, then the director should talk to him or call him out. You can make some comments about, "the drummer on the recording goes to the ride cymbal there". When I was in jazz band in college and we had 2 drummers, we would each go out and listen to each other and give comments. I loved it. There are some things that he pointed out that i didn't notice and it made me sound better.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Honestly it isn't something you should worry about. If he isn't pulling his weight, then the director should talk to him or call him out. You can make some comments about, "the drummer on the recording goes to the ride cymbal there". When I was in jazz band in college and we had 2 drummers, we would each go out and listen to each other and give comments. I loved it. There are some things that he pointed out that i didn't notice and it made me sound better.
I would love it if he was receptive to that. Last year I suggested he try to practice something on a 6/8 groove because it was a little shaky. Then when I messed up in concert band during a practice, he sarcastically said, "Maybe you should work on that hurr durr."

To which I responded, "This is the first time I have seen this part, of course I am going to practice it later.

He later stopped mid song playing that groove during the concert, and I fixed my part.

It's like he doesn't care. Which is sad because he wants to be a music teacher.
 
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