Our drummer needs assistance

Kennaz

Member
I play in a four piece blues and rock band in west central AZ. Our drummer, Neal, and I share the singing duties. I have switched over to an ipad for storing my sheet music; Neal has not. His eyesight is not that great, so I have been enlarging the font on the lyrics/chord charts and putting it all in bold. He sets his music on a stand sometimes alongside of him and sometime out in front of his kit. Our last gig he struggled seeing the music to the point of my having to step in on the vocals. I wish he would memorize the damn music, but that’s Neal. Anyway, I saw a drummers clip on stand for the electronic drum rack and he purchased one. Apparently, it did not work for him. He said he had no room on the rack where it would not be in the way. Does anyone have some ideas that I might offer up to him. Much appreciated.
 

Janet Tambour

Junior Member

BruceW

Senior Member
I play in a four piece blues and rock band in west central AZ. Our drummer, Neal, and I share the singing duties. I have switched over to an ipad for storing my sheet music; Neal has not. His eyesight is not that great, so I have been enlarging the font on the lyrics/chord charts and putting it all in bold. He sets his music on a stand sometimes alongside of him and sometime out in front of his kit. Our last gig he struggled seeing the music to the point of my having to step in on the vocals. I wish he would memorize the damn music, but that’s Neal. Anyway, I saw a drummers clip on stand for the electronic drum rack and he purchased one. Apparently, it did not work for him. He said he had no room on the rack where it would not be in the way. Does anyone have some ideas that I might offer up to him. Much appreciated.
Any chance you can post a photo of the clip, or a link to the product online, so we can see how it mounts, and perhaps come up with an idea?
 

Kennaz

Member
could he set up a stand alone stand, like a lite stand, or mic stand near his kit that he can attach the clip on stand too? The also, used to, b4 everyone had a phone, make magnifying glasses 8x10" - ah looks like they still do: https://www.staples.com/staples-sheet-magnifier-2x-magnification-8-5-x11-52372/product_2831809, you will need a spacer so he can see it from his throne.
You know, I have one of those. I am on it.
I am getting to the point where I feel, much more of this and I’ll become his enabler. Not gonna happen. Letting him fail is an option, but at what cost to the band. I’m not there yet and, darn it, he’s a good drummer and singer.
 

calan

Silver Member
Ahh another smart @ss, like me. Love it. How does that old saying go? “ You can lead an ass to water but you can’t make him drink.”
There's some wisdom there nonetheless. If the guy can't see the issue (ha), or does nothing to address the issue, that's kind of where you are.

Neal should making this post and looking for solutions.
four piece blues and rock band

electronic drum rack

He said he had no room on the rack where it would not be in the way
These are some of the more pertinent data points.

So, we can gather that your drummer is using an ekit, and the context, and what you've tried.

First, I don't buy that there's no room on the rack. Because I have an ekit with a music stand mounted on the rack. That being said, I wouldn't gig with it, especially were a singer, because it obstructs sight lines and isn't visually pleasing.

I don't see how the iPad/tablet isn't the way to go. Or just learning the damn songs.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Tell him to get some glasses or you are finding a new drummer.
This is a legitimate response. If he has a hard time seeing the words, so be it. I'm assuming Neil drives a car and uses the same eyes to not see road signs, pedestrians, and other traffic that he does while drumming?

If Neil doesn't want to wear glasses, there are also contacts, corrective contacts, and corrective surgery.

Neil might not care that he cant see. Eventually he will harm someone if he can't see what is going on around him clearly. That's not his decision to make. He also might hurt himself.

I'm -8.25 right eye -8.75 left, blind as hell. If I dont wear my glasses, I cant see more than 6" in front of my face. I'm sure Neil is not this bad, but no one will convince me that just a bit of blindness is okay. It isnt.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
Ahh another smart @ss, like me. Love it. How does that old saying go? “ You can lead an ass to water but you can’t make him drink.”
Not sure how I got quoted into the smartazz discussion, when i wasn't even trying...however, I can go there when need be, or opportunity presents itself ;)

But with no photo or illustration, I have no idea how to help you. What I do, on the songs that i'm just learning the words and haven't gotten them completely memorized yet, is to have the words typed up, in as big a font as I can squeeze on a page, and usually fold the paper the long way, so its now a 4" wide, 11" long sheet. Then I have some gaff tape on hand, and stick the sheet on my cowbell, which is just to the right of the hi-hat, and to the left of my smallest rack tom. Then I can peek at it if need be, and it isn't in the way of stuff.

Now I only do that for a song or two all night, so its not a great solution if he needs to have a whole lot of lyric sheets...

If he's really struggling, an iPad is the obvious answer, and there are countless different mic stand holders that could likely be adapted in any number of ways with the different racks and stands he is already using, or have a dedicated stand for it completely.
 

calan

Silver Member
If he's really struggling, an iPad is the obvious answer, and there are countless different mic stand holders that could likely be adapted in any number of ways with the different racks and stands he is already using, or have a dedicated stand for it completely.
That's pretty much it. Find out where Neal wants the words to be, and work backwards from there.
 

roncadillac

Member
You know, I have one of those. I am on it.
I am getting to the point where I feel, much more of this and I’ll become his enabler. Not gonna happen. Letting him fail is an option, but at what cost to the band. I’m not there yet and, darn it, he’s a good drummer and singer.
He may be a good drummer and a good singer but it sounds like he is not good at both simultaneously. You may have to go the Don Henley/Phil Collins route and have someone else play drums for songs that his vocals are critical for, this isn't typically an option for weekend warrior musicians unfortunately. I do agree that this sounds like you'll be enabling.

I can play a blazing fast death metal style blastbeat... For about thirty seconds tops. I'm not going to join a death metal band and say "well guys, I guess all our songs will have to be less the thirty seconds". That's not cool. Just as it's not cool for this guy to basically be like "I'm going to play drums AND sing but I can't see the words and refuse to learn them or adapt to a different way of having lyrics on stage so I'm going to instead constantly mess up my words (also probably mess up my drumming in the process) and stress you out every day over my own stubbornness and if you don't like it then you have to spend your time and money figuring out a better solution for me. Cheers."
 

Kennaz

Member
That's pretty much it. Find out where Neal wants the words to be, and work backwards from there.
I actually gave him an older ipad i had but he struggled with it. I know there is a solution. He just needs to find what works for him. I am just trying to offer up ideas.
 

Kennaz

Member
He may be a good drummer and a good singer but it sounds like he is not good at both simultaneously. You may have to go the Don Henley/Phil Collins route and have someone else play drums for songs that his vocals are critical for, this isn't typically an option for weekend warrior musicians unfortunately. I do agree that this sounds like you'll be enabling.

I can play a blazing fast death metal style blastbeat... For about thirty seconds tops. I'm not going to join a death metal band and say "well guys, I guess all our songs will have to be less the thirty seconds". That's not cool. Just as it's not cool for this guy to basically be like "I'm going to play drums AND sing but I can't see the words and refuse to learn them or adapt to a different way of having lyrics on stage so I'm going to instead constantly mess up my words (also probably mess up my drumming in the process) and stress you out every day over my own stubbornness and if you don't like it then you have to spend your time and money figuring out a better solution for me. Cheers."
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I am of the belief that this Neal’s last hurrah and as a mate and friend, I want to see him succeed. My goals are fairly simple and being able to play with people I get along with is part of the equation. Having said that, it is all up to Neal.
 

Kennaz

Member
There's some wisdom there nonetheless. If the guy can't see the issue (ha), or does nothing to address the issue, that's kind of where you are.

Neal should making this post and looking for solutions.These are some of the more pertinent data points.

So, we can gather that your drummer is using an ekit, and the context, and what you've tried.

First, I don't buy that there's no room on the rack. Because I have an ekit with a music stand mounted on the rack. That being said, I wouldn't gig with it, especially were a singer, because it obstructs sight lines and isn't visually pleasing.

I don't see how the iPad/tablet isn't the way to go. Or just learning the damn songs.
Amen to that.
 

BGDurham

Active Member
Neal should be working on this problem and his band mates should tell him so in a kind way. You will spend a lot more time and energy on finding a solution than he would if he put his mind to it. He can ask us.
 

roncadillac

Member
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I am of the belief that this Neal’s last hurrah and as a mate and friend, I want to see him succeed. My goals are fairly simple and being able to play with people I get along with is part of the equation. Having said that, it is all up to Neal.
I legitimately appreciate your attitude towards the situation and that certainly is awesome of you to think of your friend's needs! I'm sure you'll be able to work something out. Is it too far past being able to just sit down and have a chat about it? Maybe invite him out for a dinner or a beer and explain the concern and how you really want to work with him regarding this. Nothing you've said so far can be taken as "screw this guy" so you realistically should be able to explain it to him exactly as you did to us without ill feelings. *Edit* nevermind, I just read that you did speak to him about it.

Beyond everything else mentioned so far the only other thing I can think is maybe try to find a karaoke type app for the iPad? This way instead of a whole 'page' of tiny words, it's just the current words for the part of the song you are at going along with the tempo of the song?
 

roncadillac

Member
Neal should be working on this problem and his band mates should tell him so in a kind way. You will spend a lot more time and energy on finding a solution than he would if he put his mind to it. He can ask us.
Well said, I was going to suggest having him jump on here to as well.
 
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