Let down by a drummer with chops but no ability

no talent

Senior Member
Recently we played another multi-band gig with a backline. There was a metal band the followed us and when they were getting set, the drummer was ready first so he started to warm up. I was blown away, this guys was like Joey with the lightning fast double bass and crazy fills. however when the band actually played as one, he was awful. One example was his timing. while he was amazing by himself, he couldnt lead or follow the group. On song breaks he was always that half beat off, early or sometimes late coming in with the crash and it was painfully noticeable. the bar owner was standing with me and kept rolling his eyes whenever the guy missed the cues. I was really surprised because during his warm up I was impressed and actually felt intimidated by his skill and was thankful we didn't follow them. I think maybe time keeping was the last thing this guy as interested in learning.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Playing with a band is a different skill set than developing chops. You wonder why some amazing technicians are still playing in their basement. Then you see something like this, and you understand.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
As a drummer in an original metal band, I see this phenomenon every week. I came to the conclusion years ago that the faster the feet, the worse the hands. Its like guys put all of their time and effort into developing the chops necessary for blast beats and they ignore everything else. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but for the most part it holds true.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
And in this moment it becomes blindingly obvious that the more important skillset is to be able to play the music, not impress people at soundcheck.

I don't blame drummers. It's the culture they get started in. As you go along, you realize what's important and what's a waste of time. This drummer is going through the same thing we all are going or already went through.

He just hasn't reached his epiphany yet. He hasn't gone through that critical door yet. It's OK.

It's almost a shame that everybody else can see the problem except the person making the problem. That's the embarrassing part of not understanding how you are coming off.
 
As a drummer in an original metal band, I see this phenomenon every week. I came to the conclusion years ago that the faster the feet, the worse the hands. Its like guys put all of their time and effort into developing the chops necessary for blast beats and they ignore everything else. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but for the most part it holds true.
This, oh this. I'm in two different metal bands making the rounds and I see it as well. Young kids who can, for right or wrong, nail 16s at 230 bpm but once you ask them to groove they fumble around like a monkey trying to drive a car with the same result-- a wreck. Now I won't ever claim to have the fastest feet in the world, but when I started out I made sure to work on my groove and timing first before I worried about channeling my inner Lombardo. What good is all that footwork if you can't keep basic time?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
You lost me at Joey (jordison) but I saw this happen once at a bar in Sydney...

Drummer setup, was playing all these awesome solos... band came in... the guy was pathetic.

It's the classic case of working on your chops but not being able to keep time.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
This is actually more common than not, in my experience.

You walk into guitar center, you see all these cats pulling licks that I can't hope to do. I go see local bands setup and the drummer just jamming, pulling licks that I can't hope to do. See the drummer play, (s)he's substandard, at best. Its like most drummers just can't play with others.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
This is how I know I don't suck. I can't play any of the hot shit. But I receive regular invitations to play with people who enjoy playing with me.

That's the win.
 
I read an article awhile ago.
Reading it, I almost thought it was about me. Maybe it was.
An old pro drummer heard a guy playing in a club.
The guy did not sound good.
After the set, he walked up to the younger player and said,
"Man what are you doing up there?"
The guy said, " I am trying to create something new."
The old pro said, "What about just keeping good time?"
I think that happened to me.
When you are young and inexperienced, you don't prioritize that function.
Too bad because............IT IS THE MAIN FUNCTION and JOB.
Keep good time, don't rush beat 1, make sure 2 and 4 are in the pocket and don't speed up on your fills.
Some of those fills or maybe all of them are not needed to make a record that people want to listen to.
I think I am ranting now.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
Reminds me of a time out on tour, my band opened for a local outfit with a small following.

The drummer had an almost Queensryche-esque setup; just seeing it assembled was impressive. Then the guy sat down and ran through a few fast, complex fills, some of which ended with a kung-fu like snap at the china crash BEHIND HIS HEAD. It was like watching someone do their katas. I was prepared to be blown away, as well as have my own performance completely eclipsed.

And then when the band started...the guy was terrible. Grooveless, toothless, and constantly trying to implement the rehearsed fills he'd been trying out at line check (which worked exactly NEVER).

Then I realized that the guy had memorized and rehearsed specific movements, but not musical accompaniment; it really WAS like katas - rote replication, with no regard for integrating with the band. Quite a lesson that night.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Thank you so much for this thread. I feel better now.
I always feel bad that I don't have the chops necessary to play a cool warmup.
Nor do I have the chops to play by myself when someone says " show me what you can do".

I need the band to show you what I can do.


.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Expositions are but one facet of the performance side of music. Playing with a band requires a certain empathy, and it's either god-given or practiced.

On the flip side,

I've also seen performing band-musicians flub dozens of studio takes back-to-back because they can't play in a different room then their mates. It's not because they can't play the parts, it's because they're a fish out of water.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I always feel bad that I don't have the chops necessary to play a cool warmup.
I don't like the audience to hear any drums at all until I start playing. I do check my tuning using the finger in the middle and tap near the lugs harmonics, real quiet. Drummer warm ups annoy some people. I've received compliments from other musicians for not playing in between songs, and not doing obnoxious warm ups. I don't like noodling on any instrument actually. I don't like when people give away the song by playing a part of it before it's announced/started. Crap like that bugs me.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I don't like the audience to hear any drums at all until I start playing. I do check my tuning using the finger in the middle and tap near the lugs harmonics, real quiet. Drummer warm ups annoy some people. I've received compliments from other musicians for not playing in between songs, and not doing obnoxious warm ups. I don't like noodling on any instrument actually. I don't like when people give away the song by playing a part of it before it's announced/started. Crap like that bugs me.
I can relate to that. I love to just sit there until the last possible moment. I'll put up with all my band mates noodling and bullshit and then right when..

.. hit that down beat and go.

It peeves me a little when everybody else practices when we should perform.

Oh well. Band shit.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I can relate to that. I love to just sit there until the last possible moment. I'll put up with all my band mates noodling and bullshit and then right when..

.. hit that down beat and go.

It peeves me a little when everybody else practices when we should perform.

Oh well. Band shit.
The 'reveal' is what we used to call it. Suspense builds... When the lights come up and the music starts, there's supposed to be a moment of awe. It doesn't work unless everyone participates.
 
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