Need advice or just yoour thoughts.

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nhzoso

Guest
OK here goes, My situation is 46yo and I been playing about 6 yrs now. I started with lessons and got together with a few guys about 4 months after taking up drums. I still took lessons for about 2-1/2 yrs but was always trying to learn new songs with the guys and never fully dedicated to learning rudiments and such.


In the last 2 years we have gone through 4 singers and 2 bass players. I am not sure one of the guitar players is 100% commited either as he is in another gigging band and never really seems to learn our songs but ya know he is a good guy and we all get along but I think we are just something for him to do on off nights and he always cancels for 1 lame reason or another atleast 2 times a month and we only get together once a week.



We have dreams of playing out but at this point there is no way i see it happening but I do enjoy playing with them, I also got lumped in with some guys who are married to my wife's co-workers, great guys and we always have fun but the music is baaad. I stick it out because it's different from what I play with the band but I am starting to wonder if playing with a bad band is a good thing?


Anyway I took a week off of drumming and just got back at it tonight, trying to learn green eyed lady by sugarloaf and I am totally disgusted and upset with my lack of playing smoothly and my bass drum foot is freakin horrible. All the songs I play with the band are 2-4 and never do i have to do anything really challenging and we have 30+ songs.


I am starting to think I need to take a break from one or both of these bands/jam sessions and get back with an instructor and just concentrate on learning the instrument for about 6 months before playing with people again, Though everyone always says playing with others is the best way to learn but I feel I never really put enough time in from the get go
.

Has anyone ever done anything like this? I really do not think I can learn properly with the added stress of having to learn new songs to as they always seem to interfere with each other and having a full time job and family does not leave alot of time for learning.


I hate to do it too because my bass player just bought a new PA system and I just bought mics and a monitor and we really get along but I feel I am going nowhere right now and really want to concentrate on drumming and maybe go through 1 or 2 of the many many instruction book/dvd's I have. pretty much you name and I have it but I don't think I have watched more than 1/4 of any of them.


sorry this is getting long so I will stop now. what are your thoughts? Thanks for your patience. especially if you read it all : )
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
We all feel this way from time to time.
It is best to play with people who challenge you.
I would keep playing with the people whom you are playing with while you look for others.
I would also take more lessons.
You will find the right people to play with in time.
Don't worry to much about gigging. If you like playing then play for your own personal enjoyment first.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'd say do NOT quit the bands just to practice.

It's hard enough to find a band, walking away can make it harder to get back in. You don't want to risk getting labeled as that guy who quit.

Finding another group of guys who are willing to give a 46 yr old who doesn't have a ton of experience behind him a chance is not easy to come by.

Yeah, with a job and family, finding time to practice is tough. I'm in that boat myself these days. But anyone can sit in their practice room and learn beats, rudiments, fills, etc, but not everyone gets a chance to play with other people they get along with.

You got into drumming and being in a band to have fun.
As long as fun is being had, that is the goal.

Anything else is just gravy.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Take it easy, don't do anything rash.

You can learn a lot of drums without knowing rudiments, because most rock drumming isn't rudiment-based, and much of rock drumming is fairly specific to each song (especially for the first 100 songs you learn!). But learning the rudiments will help you to navigate difficult drum parts more easily, and the technique that you'll acquire in the process will help you to play faster, cleaner, and with less effort. You will also improve the musical side of your playing -- you'll groove harder and have better timing. Get with a teacher who isn't "just a rock guy" though. Someone who has a thorough understanding of the 40 PAS rudiments, or went through marching band or a drum corps will have more resources and better practice methods. You need to make sure that what precious little practice time you do have is spent wisely.

It's a safe bet that your band is going through members because there is little incentive for anyone to hang around for the long term. No gigs, and members who don't progress on their parts? No thanks!

Talk with your band and find out what everyone's goals are. If everyone wants to play gigs, then book any gig you can 4-6 weeks from now. Decide on all the songs you'll play and go do it! If members won't commit to the gig, then that's fine, but they should say so now so you can find a temporary replacement.

Make sure the gig pays at least some money. It doesn't have to be much, but you will be unable to find a replacement if there is no pay involved (and from the sound of it, you will most likely need at least one replacement).

Explain to your band that you'd like to play more challenging material. When suggesting a song, ask each member individually if they are able to play their part, since you might not be aware if, say, your guitarist is intimidated by a particularly difficult riff or solo, or the vocals are impossible to sing, or whatever! If your suggestion is denied because the band doesn't like the song, then remind them that you learn the songs they like, and you are simply asking that the favor be returned.

Full time work plus family is a lot, so it's important to make your practice sessions as efficient as possible. Are you able to practice 3 times a week? If you are organized about when you practice, for how long, and what you practice during those times, it's manageable. Ask you teacher to write out for you how long to practice which items, so you can have a "to do" list in front of you as you practice. DVDs are great but they can't listen to you and watch you play and tell you how to improve!
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Brent's about hit the nail on the head.
YOU need to take the situation in hand as you sound likely to be the most committedly concerned member of the band.
Plan a next rehearsal to include a few beers with your friends after rather than, as happens often, you all just ghost away after the rehearsal.
Discuss what people want out of the band, honestly and openly.
And plan from there.
If you all want to gig (and you probably all do if you all take the time to discuss it with each other) then get a gig booked for about six to eight weeks yonder (even if it's just stepping up on an open mic session, suss out how long you will be on, get your setlist sorted, then dedicate rehearsals to playing that set list as tightly as you possibly can.
With any band there must be targets else it just becomes boring.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I'm currently in a situation that references some of your frustrations. My advice is to keep your options open, but try to correct some of the band/player unreliability issues. I see zero benefit in walking away from opportunities to play with others. If nothing else, it offers the opportunity to place what you practice on your own/lessons into a real world musical context.
 
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nhzoso

Guest
Thanks everyone I really appreciate it. I was so upset with my playing last night that I was sitting there thinking, 'what the hell am I doing, why am I bothering with this. All this practice and money and I still suck! Then you guys reminded me that it's for fun, I already have a career and a good job so why am I stressing over it..LOL

I am not gonna bother talking to the band about goals as we have already done that and all agreed but than 2-3 practices in a row get cancelled for one reason or another and we are right back where we started. So I guess I will continue playing with both and learn as much as I can and try to play my parts as smooth as I can and if something else opens up down the road than I will have no problem moving on and I am sure they will all understand.

In the mean time I may just try stephens drum closet or mikes online lessons, not as good as private I know but then again the convenience factor and price is hard to beat and I am still learning something. I am gonna think about this for a few weeks though before jumping into it.

I think I need to sit down and physically write out a practice routine as well rather than walking downstairs and going hmmmm, what shall I work on now?

Thanks again everyone I guess we all need a little reality check every now and then to keep things in perspective.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I also think of quitting the band a lot. I've quit many bands. Some for good reasons, some for not so good reasons. Reasons I do not care to go into, but just to say that some things cannot be resolved, like moving away or another band member copywriting your song in his name. There's so much menusha going on all the time. We musicians are tempermental creatures. My current situation is great, we all get along good and the music is great. My only problem is that it started as twice per week, now it's once per week. I'm paying $120 per month for only four practices, plus I get to keep my drums set-up over there. So that's like $30 per practice. I barely scrape by every month with all the bills I got. SoCal ain't cheap, man. It kinda stinks right now from a monetary sense, but my drumming has improved and it keeps me happy, so no matter how much the analytical side of me wants to lead me in another direction, my intuitive side says "stick around" because of all the reasons in the previous comments in this thread.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
In the mean time I may just try stephens drum closet or mikes online lessons, not as good as private I know but then again the convenience factor and price is hard to beat and I am still learning something. I am gonna think about this for a few weeks though before jumping into it.

I think I need to sit down and physically write out a practice routine as well rather than walking downstairs and going hmmmm, what shall I work on now?
It's good that you've already spoken with the band about its goals! Now you should tell them that you don't want to have "band practice" anymore, but that you will happily attend a rehearsal. Rehearsals are for rehearsing, which means that musicians come together to play the parts they've practiced, and practice is what happens individually, outside of rehearsal. If you spend 5 minutes practicing your part while 3 people stand there, you are wasting everyone's time. If you cannot play a particular part of song because it needs additional practice, then simplify it or leave it out, and learn the other parts of the tune. This way, everyone can play the song start to finish as a band, in order to work on the song's structure and discover other challenges. Perfection isn't the goal; progress is!

If there's one thing for which you shouldn't resort to online lessons, it's the rudiments! Technique is so important, and it will save you huge amounts in the long run if you have that personal interaction. Although we often share many of the same pitfalls, no one can say for certain what YOU need to do to see improvement, except someone who is there watching you play.

Also, when you're working on technique, you'll naturally "forget" about proper technique as you play, and will need to be "reminded" often as you try a particular skill. No shame in it whatsoever -- that's what teachers are for! But there's no way for you to be "reminded" unless someone else is there with you.

If you must go online for lessons, I'll recommend Skype lessons with Bill Bachman (who is a member here). I own his DVD and book and refer to them all the time with my students. Bill's the man! :)

Psychologically and socially, the best option is to see a teacher for lessons. When you travel to a teaching studio, you go into their world, and see them as the authority. So, you're more likely to practice, and more likely to commit to the teacher's approach rather than your own. You'll also see other students coming and going (and probably meet some other players your age!), and this peer pressure will encourage and motivate you. You're not just paying for the teacher's time; you're paying for the experience of being a student! The benefits of a real-life teacher are so many, that anything else is a waste of money in comparison.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Some of us were in the shed for alot more than 6 years before we came out, you know ;)
Aint that the truth!

I had drums since I was in grade school but didn't really play with anyone else until I was about 24.

My advice is to keep playing with others and spend as much time by yourself as you can. Some people derive their pleasure from simply being able to play well. Others, like me, want to be part of creating more than a drum part. I want to be a part (or two or three) of the music.


And, ........I always thought that Green Eyed Lady sounded like Yes even though it was a few years before their time.


And, I'd chuck the DVD's and pick up the sticks. You don't need any kind of diddles to be a proficient drummer. Hell, you can be a great drummer without ever bouncing your sticks.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
There is nothing like playing in a band with others for developing your 'feel' and dynamics, but its no fun if you are not happy with it. I've been in this many times. Great to get out of the shed, but not if you're not enjoying the situations you are in.

Don't like the poor level of commitment of your bandmates? Talk to them, let them know you want more...or else you will be moving on. They might wake up.
Like playing out but with others who are as committed as you? Fine, change bandmates. Find other dudes on Clist.
Want to work on your skills/technique? Find more time on your own to do that.

Also, are your practices jams with no plan, or ones with an agenda and goals? The latter makes for progress.
 
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nhzoso

Guest
There is nothing like playing in a band with others for developing your 'feel' and dynamics, but its no fun if you are not happy with it. I've been in this many times. Great to get out of the shed, but not if you're not enjoying the situations you are in.

Don't like the poor level of commitment of your bandmates? Talk to them, let them know you want more...or else you will be moving on. They might wake up.
Like playing out but with others who are as committed as you? Fine, change bandmates. Find other dudes on Clist.
Want to work on your skills/technique? Find more time on your own to do that.

Also, are your practices jams with no plan, or ones with an agenda and goals? The latter makes for progress.
Thanks, practices are pretty much no agenda as we are usually coming off of a 3 week layoff and end up playing the same 20 songs or so to refamiliarize, then we drink a few beers, shoot the shit and come up with 3 new ones to work on which no one but me and the other guitarist seem to work on..LOL ehh it is what it is I guess.

Since I wrote this yesterday and read all the responses I have looked internally and concluded alot of the problem is with me.

I could have practiced for about an hour and a half tonight but played around on the computer and am now watching football. I guess if I decide to just get a routine and enjoy it everything else will fall into place one way or the other. I do really enjoy playing but lately it seems the will to get started is not there, once I get going I love it though.

Kind of like going to the gym, I have never left the gym thinking man I feel like crap and wish I did not do that but getting to the gym is the hardest part.

I will fix this..
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
In the mean time I may just try stephens drum closet or mikes online lessons, not as good as private I know but then again the convenience factor and price is hard to beat and I am still learning something. I am gonna think about this for a few weeks though before jumping into it.

I think I need to sit down and physically write out a practice routine as well rather than walking downstairs and going hmmmm, what shall I work on now?

Thanks again everyone I guess we all need a little reality check every now and then to keep things in perspective.
And don't forget that Cobus guy. (I might be partially kidding on that).

There's that cool one (I think it's called Drum Academy) where Billy Cobham, Thomas Lang, and another percussionist (I forget his name) where you can submit your playing to one of them (you pick who), and they come back at you with suggestions and things to work on. How cool would that be to get critiqued by Billy Cobham? I might look into that one myself, but I live in L.A., so finding a pro to learn from isn't hard out here. I just have to kick my own a$$ sometimes.
 
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