Pet peeves about drumming, other than schlep

jazzerooty

Junior Member
The schlep sucks. I play a minimal bop kit. But they're the Gretsch style Canopus, and tough on a guy in his 60s with a bum shoulder. I hate small stages, where you spend a lot of time setting up and adjusting the kit. Then the guys want you to move your set further back, or more to the side, etc. Makes a man feel somewhat defensive. Oh, yeah, move the drums for your fat ass, huh? The hang up is admittedly mine. I hate playing for some--this will come off sexist, so sorry--torch singer, who objects everytime you go to sticks. I've had gigs where I swear I was making swishing motions with brushes ABOVE my snare drum and just playing hats on two and four. There're a few singers I love to play with--ones who know when the chorus is coming around, and can play arrangers piano, or just have the gift. But they amount to two of them. Club owners are natural enemies, period. Getting shorted on bread. Being told what to play. Getting fired mid-week because they wanted "smooth jazz." The groans go on forever, folks. I've been at this shit since 1969.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
The schlep sucks. I play a minimal bop kit. But they're the Gretsch style Canopus, and tough on a guy in his 60s with a bum shoulder. I hate small stages, where you spend a lot of time setting up and adjusting the kit. Then the guys want you to move your set further back, or more to the side, etc. Makes a man feel somewhat defensive. Oh, yeah, move the drums for your fat ass, huh? The hang up is admittedly mine. I hate playing for some--this will come off sexist, so sorry--torch singer, who objects everytime you go to sticks. I've had gigs where I swear I was making swishing motions with brushes ABOVE my snare drum and just playing hats on two and four. There're a few singers I love to play with--ones who know when the chorus is coming around, and can play arrangers piano, or just have the gift. But they amount to two of them. Club owners are natural enemies, period. Getting shorted on bread. Being told what to play. Getting fired mid-week because they wanted "smooth jazz." The groans go on forever, folks. I've been at this shit since 1969.
See, all that ego crap went away for me after 40 years of playing bass professionally. Don't get me wrong...I still have a giant ego, but place me closest to the money and I'm happy. I even got over my hatred of putting me on risers, but I still hate to be forced to sing leads on it or in the back of the stage. As a drummer, though, I love risers so people can see me sing or my Buddyface when I do something hard. My Buddyface game is strong, bro!

Also, I would rather get direction or be dictated a line than play something that I think is good but isn't. I wish all musicians were more like that, but they're not. But come up with a better part than me and I get to take credit for it? Any day of the week, man!
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Four mics: Kick, snare, overheads placed á la Glyn Johns method. It’s a wet sound in that it captures the entire kit and the room’s response/acoustics.

The Load in/Load out: The schlep can be a real drag. What’s worse is, drummers must (not “should”) show up first (the FOH loves that and will actually smile), and leave last (because of all the other crap on stage has our kit trapped in the back). By the time all their crap is cleared and gone, the only people left are drunk yappers who wanna talk about their favorite bands while I am concentrating on packing all my parts away. They’re like gnats. That’s so peevish.

Snare Drums: They are a primary voice of the kit. Some day you will find a snare drum that produces the most perfect sound. Even more perfect than your current perfect snare drum. And you’ll buy it, and play it, and enjoy it, and love on it and polish it and clean it, and when you take it to band rehearsal to share your wonderful, perfect-sounding snare drum, no one can hear its perfection. You will be left eating your cake alone. Total peeve.

Bass drum pedals: Every 3–5 years your footwork will suck and you will think it’s the pedal. This is CORRECT!. Hustle out to your nearest shop and try out all 457 pedals available. Don’t forget to try the direct-drive, accelerator cam, rolling cam, and the spy cam. By the time your have finished the trials you will realize the pedal you have isn‘t that bad and what was really needed was just a little hamstring & Achilles stretching.

Bassists: They can either make you sound and feel amazing or suck the life outta the party. Choose wisely.
The Glyn method: Tried it with two, and I don't have a room that sounds worth a crap, so I think I'm going to have to program them if I want to get this slew of old man banjo-punk songs I wrote done before I croak.

Schlep's a given.

Snare drum: -I- will notice your new snare drum if it looks a little different, pal :D I got ruined at an early age by my vintage Ludwig, so I'm pretty keyed into great snare sounds. But most musicians make everything they own sound like they want them to, so subtleties sometimes get lost.

Pedals: I'm still at every 3-5 minutes for thinking that, so all I'm thinking now is do I want to replace the sloppy hinges in my 5000's or enjoy how they stick to my foot.

Bassists: I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. We'll see what happens when we jam. But I'll always try to work with you as best I can. Doesn't mean I won't plow all over your bass drum occasionally, but that's an artistic choice, and I'll give you a few shots of your own. I think you'd enjoy it, till you play a part that's all wrong for a song :D
 

roncadillac

Member
Or a Slim Jim Phantom set:

View attachment 112472

Slim Jim got the best hookups of anyone and didn't spend much time schlepping and setting up.
I actually employed this exact set up of bass, snare, and ride only in a 6pc Mars Volta style prog band for awhile. I occasionally did this with my trippy dub band. I frequently did this with my spaghetti western surf rock band. I was in a thrashy cowpunk band where I set up like this for loud gigs and played just a snare drum with brushes for our 'quiet' gigs. I'm a huge fan of the most absurdly minimal kit I can use while still serving the music.
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
for me, it is when things don't set up the same, even after spending hours marking things, and being super anal about it..
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I actually employed this exact set up of bass, snare, and ride only in a 6pc Mars Volta style prog band for awhile. I occasionally did this with my trippy dub band. I frequently did this with my spaghetti western surf rock band. I was in a thrashy cowpunk band where I set up like this for loud gigs and played just a snare drum with brushes for our 'quiet' gigs. I'm a huge fan of the most absurdly minimal kit I can use while still serving the music.
Word. Anything bigger than a 5-drum and you're making another trip to the car. Bring next to nothing for a gig, meet and shack up with Britt Ekland and a host of supermodels...I'm in.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
for me, it is when things don't set up the same, even after spending hours marking things, and being super anal about it..
I'm going to do my best to get over that one in a hurry. I know I'll never set them up the same way twice and I've accepted it. I just need to make my limbs accept it.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I'm going to do my best to get over that one in a hurry. I know I'll never set them up the same way twice and I've accepted it. I just need to make my limbs accept it.

yeah...it is driven by OCD for me. And has gotten bbetter over the years. In the past, a difference of even a cm could throw me off for a whole gig
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
So what are your pet peeves? I don't want to fall into any traps along the way if I can help it.

There are several downsides besides moving them:

  • I guess the biggest one is cost...especially quality cymbals. If you are a heavy hitter, you will need to replace heads and sticks more often which can be costly as well.
  • If you are out gigging and forget one item, you're screwed. A guitar player forgets his amp or a pedal? No problem, just go direct. A drummer forgets his stick bag or kick drum pedal? He ain't playing.
  • Dealing with setting up in small spaces.
  • If you aren't good at "playing to the room," then you will lots of complaints about noise level.
  • Storage can be a pain if you don't have the room.
  • It can be difficult to find time to practice if you have a day job, family, etc.

IMO, it's still worth it though.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
If you are out gigging and forget one item, you're screwed. A guitar player forgets his amp or a pedal? No problem, just go direct. A drummer forgets his stick bag or kick drum pedal? He ain't playing.
This is HUGE and a reason that I use a checklist when packing gear for a show. I leave nothing to chance. I forgot my drum rug once and it turned out to be an issue. Won't make that mistake again.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
This is HUGE and a reason that I use a checklist when packing gear for a show. I leave nothing to chance. I forgot my drum rug once and it turned out to be an issue. Won't make that mistake again.

I have a huge roadcase I carry everything in.

219834922_4689078004453857_2489670523943307424_n.jpg
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Other than that and the schlep,
What's "Schlep"?

The time I have to get there to set up ahead of everyone else.
I disliked this to the point that I whittled down my set up to be only what I need for the show I'm playing. 99% of the time, it's nothing close to what I used to haul around.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Schlep is Italian for the carry.

I thought it was German...

the group of parents who help haul all of our marching band stuff around have always been called The Schleppers. For a couple years, they wore those little green GErman hats with the red feather in them, just to embarras the kids
 
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