non-specific criticism

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
You’ve played a song with the band exactly the same way you’ve played it a hundred times. The singer tells you the “groove is a little questionable.” I listen to the recording and can find nothing wrong with it. This is the same singer that’s complimented me many times. I ask what the issue is and there is no response.

Could this be the classic situation that I’ve read about on here where the next time you play it they say how great you did it and nothing has changed?
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Wait....did you say singer? The singer was critical?

Lol...

I would chalk it up to hormones and let it go.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Some people will criticize something or someone, and offer no way to improve the situation, or even a specific thought about what, exactly, is the problem. I call these people #$$holes.

Groove is everyone's responsibility, not just the drummer's. You can nail the click on-center, and space every 8th note, triplet, and 16th beautifully, and with a touch of elegant swing. But if someone else is f--ing up the timing, the groove will suffer. You can't play all the other instruments from the drums. By all means post the recording, and, more than likely, we'll confirm that nothing is wrong, at least on your end.

Good bandleader: "Hey, did that tune feel alright to you? I felt like something was off. Can we listen to the recording together?"
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I'll listen to a song and it makes me cry. The words and music go together, it flows so well. I feel the emotion in the song and I cry because it's so beautiful.
A good example is, Piano In The Dark. It makes me cry. Other people listen to that song and feel nothing. Why is that?

.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
I'll listen to a song and it makes me cry. The words and music go together, it flows so well. I feel the emotion in the song and I cry because it's so beautiful.
A good example is, Piano In The Dark. It makes me cry. Other people listen to that song and feel nothing. Why is that?

.
They can't hear the mistakes?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
If I'm feeling good on a song and I think it's working well, and someone makes a nonspecific comment like that, I don't necessarily take offense, but neither do I let it lie. In most of the playing sitches where I am right now, I'm confident and comfortable enough to try and figure it out with the commenter. And most times we can sort it out. But that self-confidence and comfort has to be there both ways.

Generally speaking, this sort of passive-aggressive behavior doesn't wait until months into the band relationship to show itself. It's one of the things I'm alert to from the beginning, and if I detect it, I'm only to happy to point it (or myself) out the door.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
You’ve played a song with the band exactly the same way you’ve played it a hundred times. The singer tells you the “groove is a little questionable.” I listen to the recording and can find nothing wrong with it. This is the same singer that’s complimented me many times. I ask what the issue is and there is no response.

Could this be the classic situation that I’ve read about on here where the next time you play it they say how great you did it and nothing has changed?
It's his time of the month.

Tell him to buy his own microphone. That usually scares em off!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Some folks don't have a large vocabulary when it comes to music, and often in a band situation not everyone has the same vocabulary. Maybe "the groove is questionable" is as good as he can describe it.

Honestly when it comes to feel I think a lot of us can think something isn't quite right but have a hard time explaining it, or even choose the wrong words to describe it. That's what this sounds like to me.

Maybe it was a tiny bit faster or slower. Maybe your were a little more or less busy. Maybe he doesn't like what you're playing, and finally worked up the courage to bring it up gently.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I would have finished the conversation. Every instrument has a place in "the groove". One of them may be off but it could be anyone.

In 10 minutes you could probably pick the song apart and find out what's missing or different. It could be one note that some is playing. More than likely, it is a note they shouldn't be playing.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Some folks don't have a large vocabulary when it comes to music, and often in a band situation not everyone has the same vocabulary. Maybe "the groove is questionable" is as good as he can describe it.

Honestly when it comes to feel I think a lot of us can think something isn't quite right but have a hard time explaining it, or even choose the wrong words to describe it. That's what this sounds like to me.

Maybe it was a tiny bit faster or slower. Maybe your were a little more or less busy. Maybe he doesn't like what you're playing, and finally worked up the courage to bring it up gently.
I like this answer and this approach.


.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think his vocabulary probably includes the words,"that was pretty good but dragging in parts"
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Some folks don't have a large vocabulary when it comes to music, and often in a band situation not everyone has the same vocabulary. Maybe "the groove is questionable" is as good as he can describe it.

Honestly when it comes to feel I think a lot of us can think something isn't quite right but have a hard time explaining it, or even choose the wrong words to describe it. That's what this sounds like to me.

Maybe it was a tiny bit faster or slower. Maybe your were a little more or less busy. Maybe he doesn't like what you're playing, and finally worked up the courage to bring it up gently.
Like Jim, I think you've probably nailed the problem, Winston. Especially if the singer is a typically good guy, and this was uncommon coming from him.

I, too, think it would be a brave gesture if DrummerCA35 would allow us to hear the recording. It's an intimidating thing to do, I know, but it would allow us to more accurately comment on the performance. Game?

GeeDeeEmm
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Here are several things to consider:

1. If the singer who is normally complimentary thinks something is amiss, I'd pay attention. With that said, the singer needs to be more specific in what feels amiss.

2. Maybe it's not the playing, but maybe it's the tone of a specific room. Maybe the bass's EQ is off a little. The guitar may be using a different effect. Maybe someone is playing a little louder than normal. Maybe the guitar amp is pointed too close to the singers head.

3. Maybe the singer is having an "off" day. There are some days that I feel so off my game that I swear I could criticize the groove in "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire (which in my opinion is 100% perfection).
 

Otto

Platinum Member
If he cant be specific then you should review the recording together.

If you are not recording every practice and performance, start....now.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
this is typical

someone pissed off or bothered by something unrelated and just wants to complain about something to someone.

I see this on almost a daily basis

shrug it off and say something like ... yeah, I'll work on that
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
this is typical

someone pissed off or bothered by something unrelated and just wants to complain about something to someone.

I see this on almost a daily basis

shrug it off and say something like ... yeah, I'll work on that
I second that. I once had a singer tell me “I want the kick to go Boosshh” in a rehearsal room. As if I had a full a triggered midi setup with me at his rehearsal.

Also, consider the source when hearing criticism. The word of an experienced producer should be heeded more than that of a screamo kid who hasn’t played to more than his friends.
 
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