Best advice ever: Shut up and play (thanks Tony)
It's helped me more than I can say.
It's helped me more than I can say.
Hey there, I'm on the Metro Detroit side of MI.Possibly.
The other post asked where I am located. I'm in West Michigan..
Currently filled with gentrified areas i/e craft beer and wine places; and dive bars. Not much in between. There might be room for an originals band in the classic rock style (Greta Van Fleet, etc..) so I'd like to try that maybe. That'd be my wheelhouse.
I see some originals bands around, but I don't 'get' the music at all. Neckbeards and washboards and fiddles and bongos.
This can, under normal circumstances, be a very effective method of discovering opportunities. For over three decades now, I've carried business cards that read "Session Drummer." Handing them out to other musicians has been very beneficial over the years. Word of mouth is always the best means of promotion, and people are more likely to remember you if they possess a conversation and a material item as reference points. Direct contact is powerful advertising.In general, just take these experiences and get on with it. Check out EVERY band in the area, in person. By a drink. Applaud. Smile. (Even if you don't dig the music.) Introduce yourself, and ask if they know any bands looking for a drummer.
We were doing that last year (learning a new song individually and playing it cold at a gig), and into the beginning of this year (before Covid). It was a lot of fun. We were playing so often that we really didn't rehearse.I'm in a band that never rehearses together. We just show up and play, and do new songs cold. We all just take an agreed upon version of the song, learn it separately, and air it out on stage. It normally works fine. There's no hanging out, we just show up, set up, play, get paid and split. Even on breaks we go different places.
I kind of like that scenario.
If most drummers don't care, then I will really really try to get over it.I'd try to work on getting over that mental block of "I must use my own kit" personally... For a show, whatever, I guess I sorta see why people care about that (I don't)... But for a rehearsal it doesn't really matter if your stuff sounds top shape, honestly the sound of the drums is one of the least important aspects to live band sound. As long as they're audible it almost never matters.
It'll also get you used to it for those times where you CANNOT use your own kit, and I've had plenty of gigs where the house kit is the only kit... Often in downtown areas or places without a lot of room in general, or when fast band changeovers dictate.
I really appreciate this. I need more things to say. I say wrong things all the time apparently. If I talked the whole band into doing some Michael Schenker and the lead guitar had never heard Schenker...I'd kind of expect them to say "jeez this is all new to me so it'll take a minute". I go into these situations, and I have to learn 90 percent "never played" material (and I already know/play a shit-ton of music) so yes I'm a little sensitive to the grumblings.I feel that if a band is auditioning a bunch of drummers, they should supply a functioning kit. I've seen it both ways, either works. Consider it a test of your gamesmanship to be able to make any situation work. It's just an attitude adjustment on your part. I learned it when I went to take some lessons and the first thing the teacher said was don't adjust his kits, learn to play whatever is in front of you. That's a skill that will help you rise above many obstacles. Look at the bright side: if you get the gig, you'll have a set at the rehearsal space that you can adjust to fit. That is worth its weight in gold imho.
The other essential skill you're learning the best/hard way is interpersonal skills. One, never blow up, lose your cool, rant, etc. Be easy to work with, while holding your ground and expecting mutual respect. Also, don't talk negative about yourself. Like saying to your band "I'm new to originals, it'll take me a bit to get this". Don't sell yourself short, and fake it til you make it, brother! They won't even know the difference. Instead say "These songs are great, really great. This is gonna tighten up quickly."
Last, on the change of direction the band took: we've all seen it before, the band schizophrenia. It started as this, evolved to that, and then it died. Beware the ever changing band scheme, when possible go into a project absolutely clear about what it is. For instance, when this guitarist auditioned and then started lobbying for a new direction, you might have said "look, we are a cover band. I wish you luck on your other band though". Hold the line hard regarding what it is. I had a Steely Dan cover band morph into a wedding band, that no longer rehearsed on a day I could host so i had to play an electric kit at rehearals in a lousy location, and then the band blew up because the people who needed all the concessions had more endless issues. All in a couple months. Classic story.
Good luck! Remember, clear direction, be fun to work with, be prepared, and most of all enjoy yourself!
I gave up drinking 20 years ago (yes..I know that might be my problem!) and I never was a bar hopper. I have to be "on" at my job (Engineer) and that social interaction drains me. Maybe I should start drinking again...seems to loosen people up. Yeah..West Michigan is really big on "Americana" and "Roots" music for some reason. It's Michigan. There are many bands out now that I'd call NWOCR (new wave of classic rock) so I'd like an originals project in that vein.Hey there, I'm on the Metro Detroit side of MI.
I audition, rehearse, and perform on house and/or band kits regularly, but the kits are usually adjustable. I bring my own stands, pedal, and cymbals, and snare -- but I'll only add to the kit as needed. It's just something I've gotten used to. I draw the line at e-kits, though; it's just not the same instrument.
As far as West MI goes, it seems to me that there are more "roots" and "jam" bands over on that side. A classic rock cover band may not have an audience in that area, anymore. I'd check to see what sort of bands are playing at Founders Brewery, and maybe develop or join something that would work for that crowd. I've played there in the past with a reggae band, and a Zappa tribute. So it seems they prefer oddball stuff.
The guitarist that joined a cover band and turned it into an original music project, really changed the goals and processes of that band. In an original project, it's expected that individual parts will be adjusted by other members. Usually, the drummer isn't offering ideas on how, for example, the guitar parts should be played, due to lack of guitar and theory knowledge. So in those original music situations, it's expected that you'll take input from other members, and be able to give it, constructively, if you have something to offer. By contrast, in a cover band, the goals are more clearly defined. The parts are known ahead of time, and individuals do their best to figure out how to play the parts. Not much to argue over, musically speaking, if everyone is doing their homework.
In general, just take these experiences and get on with it. Check out EVERY band in the area, in person. By a drink. Applaud. Smile. (Even if you don't dig the music.) Introduce yourself, and ask if they know any bands looking for a drummer.