Proliferation of drummer-less bands

daledrums

Member
Acoustic-electric guitar and bass players. Seems like it's the popular thing out here in fly-over-land.
Anyone else have that feeling...?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Drummers are easily replaced with a drum machine or an organ, so no need to deal with a personality-who needs them. We are just dinosaurs waiting for extinction. This is a global site reflecting the global extinction event we see-and there are so few of us. It's a sad state of affairs. I say throw the guitar player under the bus if anybody-or the singer. Ego-hogs. You ever notices if something goes wrong with a song-it's the drummers fault. Who always gets the girl/man-it ain't the drummer. See we aren't even reproducing so extinction inevitable. Nah we'll be OK.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Drummerless groups aren't new. There are just a LOT more artists/bands out there (than say, in the '60/70s) so the actual numbers are higher. But as a percentage of musical-instrument-playing groups, I'd say little has changed. I suspect hopeful rock drummers in the early '60s were angry that Peter Paul & Mary, The Everly Bros, Kingston Trio, etc. didn't typically have a band with them.

If you're talking about someone using a machine, that also goes back to the '60s with rhythm boxes that were hopelessly limited then, yet extremely cool today. That was more often a space-limitation issue (such as supper club with a baby grand piano or larger) as opposed to not wanting to pay a drummer.

Bermuda
 
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Macarina

Silver Member
I think some of it due to venues like bars, wineries, patios, restaurants, etc, can book a 2 person (acoustic guitars/keyboard) setup with relative ease and the patrons are happy with the minimal music accommodations.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I think some of it due to venues like bars, wineries, patios, restaurants, etc, can book a 2 person (acoustic guitars/keyboard) setup with relative ease and the patrons are happy with the minimal music accommodations.
That's also true, not all music must include drums. It's not even a question of anyone 'settling' for less, it's a question of what's appropriate for the venue and the patrons. I suppose a vocalist might be similarly upset for not being hired by a guitar & piano player, when the venue just wants instrumental background music. In that situation, the guitarist and pianist should be grateful that the owners don't simply play an instrumental music CD.

I don't ever look at a non-drummer group and think 'oh, they need a drummer and I'm being cheated out of a gig'. How a particular gig is handled is not my call. The vast majority of live gigs do have drums, so it's no big deal.

Bermuda
 

Juniper

Gold Member
If you're talking about the singer-songwriter types that have popped up just using loop pedals it seems to be a trend that's gotten really popular due to the Ed Sheeran types.

Most gig line ups (in London anyway) will normally have one as the opening act.

Some are good and work well without a drummer, some less so. Not a trend that's going to threaten the drummers place long term, in my view as there have been drummerless bands for decades already, as a Bermuda has already mentioned.

They are just using a new(ish) tool to boost their performances on stage.
 

daledrums

Member
Yes, lots of factors. A minimalist, folk-ish revival is my view. That, and too many people going to music venues looking only to visit with each other and in-so-doing can appear to “support local music”, even if it’s someone who’s mastered a handful of chords on their acoustic-electric, and has acquired a two channel powered speaker and thus won’t interrupt their conversations. Life’s a bitch.
;)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
It would be easy to say, bands with no brass. All bands has brass, some strings back in the 30's and 40's. Then the large clubs closed and bands became more mobile. Drum machines, synthethisers, keyboards etc all do the drums now and some of the one man entertainers, have everything but lead guitar and vocals .
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
One word: Bluegrass.

Not only are they drummer-less, but they shudder at the thought of adding any sort of percussion to their set-ups.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
A lot of the smaller venues around here have gone with the solo or duo acts at generally $100 per person per night. And true, they're essentially background music. If they want to bring in a bigger band, they better bring a crowd with them for support, otherwise the venue just won't pay for it.
 

HeadForTheSticks

Junior Member
In my neck of the woods there are a lot of one man bands playing with backing tracks. Ahhhhhh yes, the energy of a singer/guitar player interacting with a laptop!
But I can see why artist and venues go this route. The venue can pay less and the artist pockets all the cash and it opens him/ her up to more venues that may want a lower volume "band". I find it boring and sterile. Seeing musicians playing off of each other is what makes live music appealing to me. All that said I've been asked to play a Duo with a singer/guitar player and backing tracks. I'll do the gig because I want the work. It's getting harder everyday to find paying gigs for full bands.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
A touring drummerless electro punk duo emailed us out of the blue the other week to ask if they could do a 30 minute set ahead of our pub gig. We checked them out on youtube just in case. They were awful and the lack of drummer struck me more as novelty value rather than an artistic statement. In the wider scheme of things, acoustic acts have always been around and the "Guitaraoke" guys have been in my neck of the woods for years, it is what it is.
Thinking back over 30 years we enrolled a bass player from a drummerless duo. They were awful as well, I think with them it was the case that no sane drummer would want to join them. FYI he wasn't a bad player and he had a fantastic image, it was when he was left to his own devices in the duo and given a microphone that he went downhill.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Of course there are genres of music with no drums but I don’t think drummers need to learn another musical instrument to remain relevant. But it can’t hurt either I guess . I’m pretty mean on spoons, and I can take washboard lessons from GruntersDad. Maybe accordion it’s kept “one” drummer we know working LOL.
 
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