Proof other musicians don't care how drums sound.

AZslim

Senior Member
All,

I recently went to an audition where they said they had a drum set. As usual, it was the worst piece of crap imaginable. It was an early 80's Slingerland with snare batter tunes so low, the the head felt like I was playing a floor tom. The snares barely touched the bottom head and couldn't be adjusted. The rest of the set was just as bad or worse. he hi hat was bent and couldn't be adjusted. The cymbals were complete crap A Camber crash and a B8 ride and hats.

I've seen this a lot. Now, I can understand them not wanting to spend a lot of money.

What I don't understand is at not at least admitting it sounds like crap and least have drummer friend try to do something with it. Even a crappy set can sound OK properly tuned with decent heads.

These guys happily played away with me playing this piece of crap. They even wanted me to join the band, which didn't, but not because of the drums.

Yes, I know to bring pedal cymbals and snare to a situation like that and I did bring a pedal and throne. (I'm 6'5" and drums are almost always set up way too short for me.)

But the bottom line is I don't think they really care how crappy the drums sound.
 

shemp

Silver Member
You have a good point....they were probably just very happy to have you there and obviously your playing transcended the tone of the drums.

Sorry it did not work out...even if it was your call. Sooner or later the right project will find you
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
I wonder just how many musicians will notice the differences in rides, beyond the stick ping, or snare drums, beyond whatever crack they hear. Of course, maybe the guys you played with like the sound of a snare drums that sounds like a newspaper.

Hey, guys go out and use cymbals with holes cut in them, that sound like fancy trash can lids to others.

I recorded material for a CD on a beginner's set. Worst snare drum I ever laid sticks to. The bass pedal, beginner's. The throne ... my legs were numb by the end of the session. Yet the sound the guitarist got for the drums is pretty good. I was shocked. I did bring some of my own cymbals, though. I ended up renovating the set for further recording, but the snare hit the garage and stayed there. I found him a good one on ebay.

I do believe most musicians do not notice the differences between various levels of percussion instruments. I would notice the difference between guitars or bass, or saxophones or trumpets. Of course, I wouldn't ask someone to play a trumpet all banged up, either.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Great thread Slim, are you in the Phoenix area?

Heart really touched on something I had been thinking about. When I was playing more rock/rockabilly stuff I was using a 24" APX ride, basically a Paiste 2002 knockoff so bright and glassy tone. On separate occasions I had 2 different musicians, one was a drummer, come up to me and go on about how much they liked the sound of my ride. The 24" now occupies the spare cymbal bag in the laundry room as I never use it and opted for darker, jazzier sounding pies.

I haven't ever had someone tell me how much they liked the sound of my new HH and K rides. It seems that rock musicians and anyone in the rock vein really doesn't care about the subtle intricacies of our rides so long as they can hear it.
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
Imagine auditioning a bassist or guitarist and insisting that they use axes with warped necks, crackling pots/plugs and the string action a good inch off the fretboard. Also, they have to use a Pignose amp with a 2 to 1 plug (so they can both plug in, you see). If the vocalist is along, he gets to sing/scream into a conical cheerleader megaphone.

Your drums would be whatever you are most comfortable with.

It would be a short audition I'm sure.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Most pop and rock bands don't want a drummer so much as someone to make drummy sounds that sound like what you hear in other bands. They are usually too busy listening to themselves and other melodic and harmonically relevant to worry much about drums unless something goes wrong.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's hard to get a good unmiced acoustic drum sound. I mean the majority of drummers I hear don't get a sound that I would call good. So you can't blame the guitarists. Perhaps they never left the basement and don't know any better. Familiarity breeds acceptance.

That said, it does seem that the prevailing attitude is that because drums are hit, nothing matters in the slightest. It's the rare group that understands and is sympathetic to the drummers requirements.
 

porter

Platinum Member
'I went and played with some people whose drumset sounded bad but they still liked my playing, so other musicians don't care how drums sound."

Great argument, there.

I don't disagree with the fact that musicians might not care how bad the drums themselves sound (or perhaps they just know that it sounds bad and ignore that aspect) but the thread title implies that this is some universal truth, which... it's really not.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It depends on the musicians I don't think I've come across someone who absolutely doesn't care what drums sound like, but there are definitely some who have preferences as to what I use, particularly when it comes to kick & snare.

I suppose most drummers don't know or care about the difference between Tele and a Strat, but guitar players are fanatic about it and those differences are apparently night and day to them. I know acoustic, 12-string, electric, and what some FX are... but that's it. A guitar's a guitar to me.

A drum's a drum to someone else.

Bermuda
 

edvia

Senior Member
About 12 years ago I auditioned for this guy who had me come over to his house and insisted that I play on his kit as-is, even though I brought my snare, cymbals and a pedal. The snare had to be the most god-awful thing I'd ever played, head totally loose and completely out of tune, yet when I whipped out a drum key to try to make it sound at least somewhat better, he stopped me, declaring that he hates "poppy" sounding snares. When I said that I wouldn't make it poppy but just wanted it to sound decent, he still wouldn't let me touch it. Needless to say, I had a quick audition and promptly got the hell outta there. Funny thing is, the thing that captured my attention about his Craigslist post was that he claimed to have recorded with Vinnie Colaiuta. Somehow I think he was full of shit :)
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I suppose most drummers don't know or care about the difference between Tele and a Strat, but guitar players are fanatic about it and those differences are apparently night and day to them. I know acoustic, 12-string, electric, and what some FX are... but that's it. A guitar's a guitar to me.

A drum's a drum to someone else.
Yup. I found that when I played (primitive) keys with a garage (actually, attic) band for a year. You definitely focus on the instruments with which your parts most relate - I found it was usually guitar and vocals.

As long as the drums made the appropriate drummy sounds and didn't get in the way all was fine. In hindsight, I treated the drums like a chair that I would "sit in" but hardly spared a second thought. On the other hand, as with a chair, if there's a major malfunction you can't miss it!
 

makinao

Silver Member
Judging by how many badly setup kits I've played, I think a lot of DRUMMERS don't care how their drums sound.
 

AZslim

Senior Member
I understand they won't hear the difference between Gretsch or a DW, or different brands of cymbals. But geeze, it's a little discouraging to think all that practice we do for subtle things like ghost notes, grace notes, rim shots, where we hit the cymbal, how much we open the hi hat , etc, etc, doesn't really mean squat to most other musicians if they are satisfied with a set so bad, they can't hear them.

I'm going to be positive and tell myself that when I do bring my drums they will unconsciously notice and I will get the gig just because it 'feels' better.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I played guitar in previous bands and I was obsessive about a good drum mix. Obviously I respectfully minded my own business regarding my drummer's kit sound, but my last drummer insisted I, not the engineer, mixed his drum sound in the studio and always wanted my input on his live sound.
Coincidentally he also swore I had the best guitar sound he'd ever heard.
 
Last edited:

AZslim

Senior Member
Great thread Slim, are you in the Phoenix area?

Heart really touched on something I had been thinking about. When I was playing more rock/rockabilly stuff I was using a 24" APX ride, basically a Paiste 2002 knockoff so bright and glassy tone. On separate occasions I had 2 different musicians, one was a drummer, come up to me and go on about how much they liked the sound of my ride. The 24" now occupies the spare cymbal bag in the laundry room as I never use it and opted for darker, jazzier sounding pies.

I haven't ever had someone tell me how much they liked the sound of my new HH and K rides. It seems that rock musicians and anyone in the rock vein really doesn't care about the subtle intricacies of our rides so long as they can hear it.
No. I'm in Tucson. Nice to meetcha.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I love my toms wide open and tuned tighter, and when I have to play a kit that has zero sustain due to muffling and slack tuning... it's a real adjustment. Like I know it could sound so much better but there's nothing I can do about it. Probably no one else notices but I sure do.

Still, keep on smiling, and unless I let on with my own facial expressions, no one knows the difference. Best not to let on. Like if someone says, hey you sound good, thank them but spare them the negative commentary lol.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I went to an audition like that once. The singer contacted me and he said that the band considered themselves to be very professional. He said that there was a kit there that was in good shape because the guitarist who owned the house also played the drums fluently. He gave me a list of 4 Rock standards that they wanted me to play with them that I saw as a good spectrum for them to judge me by.
I figured that I would encounter something like this; Ludwig 5 piece kit with a complete set of Zildjian A's, Emps over Ambs tuned to medium tension, Iron Cobra single pedal, and a nice soft Roc-n-Soc throne.
You know, your average Rock kit.
Boy was I wrong!
The audition was 20 miles away from my home and I arrived 10 mins early. I discovered that they were auditioning another drummer ahead of me. I was asked by the Guitar players wife who greeted me to wait outside for a few mins. I thought, how rude to audition drummers so close in time that they would run into each other. I listened to the other drummer finish up.
I was lead into a finished basement studio. I passed the other drummer on the way in.
There it was, A Pulse 5 piece kit with whipped stock heads that were tuned so loose that a tension rod had fallen off and was lying on the floor by the bass drum.
No throne, a standard dining chair 18" in height substituted. I set my throne at exactly 24 inches.
Crap pedal with the spring torqued all the way up tight.
Zild A hats, at least there was one good thing on the kit. The rest of the pies were junk.

I thought for a few moments as I studied the kit. I addressed them and I said, "Im sorry guys, its just not going to work out". I wished them luck and I went home.
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
There it was, A Pulse 5 piece kit with whipped stock heads that were tuned so loose that a tension rod had fallen off and was lying on the floor by the bass drum.
No throne, a standard dining chair 18" in height substituted. I set my throne at exactly 24 inches.
Crap pedal with the spring torqued all the way up tight.
Zild A hats, at least there was one good thing on the kit. The rest of the pies were junk.

I thought for a few moments as I studied the kit. I addressed them and I said, "Im sorry guys, its just not going to work out". I wished them luck and I went home.
this thread is getting gooooood!

im grabbing popcorn.
 

edvia

Senior Member
I addressed them and I said, "Im sorry guys, its just not going to work out". I wished them luck and I went home.
In retrospect, I totally wish that I had done just that. It wasn't even a band I was auditioning for, just one guy. Should've gotten right out of there the second he told me not to use any of my gear.
 

shemp

Silver Member
Part of the craft of drumming, from my perspective, is gear and tone. Seems pretty apparent. We put lots of effort into that area; my policy is that I use my own gear. Being in a band is not worth compromising ones craft over so, hey, if folks think they are somehow going to dictate how we will navigate an audition, maybe it's not going to be a good fit.

If they are not a huge name touring act, offering scale or a weekly salary, or some very desirable act that is going to vault you to fame and fortune, then it's a two way audition and I say have your own policy about gear, whatever that is, and stick to it.
 
Top