So what do they really know?

stevo

Senior Member
This is a result of a prior thread.
For those of us in bands, and for those of us who are counting,
How many of us find that the guitar player/singer don't really understand we (song structure) are operating off of a timing signature?
The intro is counted, the versus, chorus, bridge... How many drummers find themselves math wizards by default?
The songs intro is just an arbitrary thing? that during the lead, it's arbitrary they can come back into the song whenever... ?
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
Yeah, it is amazing what some non-drumming band members hear in their little coconuts sometimes. I just have them repeat what they are doing just to see if they know what count they are on. Most of the time, they don't or can't duplicate what they just did and have no idea what the count is. So, I just politely show them and ask them to play a measure shorter or longer and then pick back up the chorus or verse etc.

Lets face it, if the drummer is telling the band "we are off" who in their right mind is going to argue? That is our job!
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
I have witnessed this dillema plenty of times. I have come across guitarists & vocalists that have made up thier own counting system that doesn't make any sense at all except to themselves. I used to try to help such ones understand basic song structure if I came across this mindset, though I was usually told.. "you're just the drummer." That was when I usually picked up my gear and walked away and never looked back.

It appears that sole creativity is encouraged in guitarists and vocalists at the expense of pushing basic song structure/timing asside. All I have to say to that is... "have fun."
 

drummydude

Senior Member
Lets face it, if the drummer is telling the band "we are off" who in their right mind is going to argue? That is our job!

You said man. Well put. But from my experience, it's usually the non instrument playing lead singer, who coincedently is in love with himself and believes in his mind he's the reason the band is so successful. (I'm venting. Sorry)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
This is a result of a prior thread.
For those of us in bands, and for those of us who are counting,
How many of us find that the guitar player/singer don't really understand we (song structure) are operating off of a timing signature?
The intro is counted, the versus, chorus, bridge... How many drummers find themselves math wizards by default?
The songs intro is just an arbitrary thing? that during the lead, it's arbitrary they can come back into the song whenever... ?
Pretty much every band I've ever been in.

Including being in bands with people who had very advanced knowledge of harmony and theory, who could compose almost a full symphony, but still didn't understand the bridge was 8 bars of 4/4 and still waited for me to play the appropriate fill to know to go to the next part.
 
I don't think I've ever been in a band where anyone but me knew anything at all about theory. It never fails to amaze me. I had a bass player once show up to practice after the guitarist and I had written a song without him, and when we showed him he told us that there wasn't any way to put a bass line under the intro because "there aren't any chords!". It was picking pattern as opposed to a chord progression.

"Its just a bunch of notes, I can't do anything with it! I'll just not play in that part."

Mind you, this was a really really good bass player. The guy could slap like you wouldn't believe. A dream for a drummer to play with too because almost all of the slap rhythms he played were based off of a drum rudiment book he had when he was a kid. Paradiddles and whatnot. The only problem was that I wanted to kill him every time he opened his mouth. I didn't even speak to him for like 3 months once. Hate that guy.

I've gotten used to bandmates that couldn't count since then. The only thing that still gets me is when my guitarist shows me a riff that starts with a pick-up note. Like if he starts the riff on the 1/8th note of the 4th count and he doesn't tap his foot or count it off or something we get off of each other by an 8th note. I'll be thinking the down beat is in one place when its actually an 8th note ahead of me. lol I don't know if that made any sense, but I'm sure it happens to other people too.
 
R

Royal

Guest
How many of us find that the guitar player/singer don't really understand we (song structure) are operating off of a timing signature??
I sometimes have to change/simplify the last bar of a drum intro or flying solo(few bars) etc. so we can guarantee the lead guitar will come in EVERY time we play the song.
Never the bassist or the Hammond "driver"...always been the lead guitarists. Bless 'em.

He's good at everything else, so we forgive him...but wind him up as much as we can.
 

jcdrum14

Member
I was once in a band with two guitar players who had completely different concepts of time. One basically understood what meter was, but the other used actual time instead of beats and measures. He would say, ok about 5 seconds after this chords progression we would do this and then 15 seconds later we'll do that.. oh my god it was torture
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
As drummers we're indoctrinated on the importance of time, since we're the backbone of the band. Some guitarists, bassists, etc. will place importance on it but so far, in my (very short) experience - most don't and rely on YOU as the drummer to keep everyone in line.

I played in a little jazz/fusion outfit for 6 mo. w/ some VERY experienced cats...about 30 yrs on my 2. The bassist had INSANE chops and could literally play anything, it was very intimidating at first - until I realized he couldn't so much as count to four.

This made for a very frustrating experience because as the band leader, he placed all the blame on me when he lost count. If we played in six, it was like pulling teeth. I got fed up one day and played a click through the PA while we played and everyone noticed all at once that it was his fault. I was vindicated...but eventually quit the band because of the tension he and I had.

I've had one guitarist out of the three that I've been in bands with so far who had good time and he was 10x the musician that the rest of them were. I miss that guy with all my heart. :)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I was once in a band with two guitar players who had completely different concepts of time. One basically understood what meter was, but the other used actual time instead of beats and measures. He would say, ok about 5 seconds after this chords progression we would do this and then 15 seconds later we'll do that.. oh my god it was torture
Oh my, that is hilarious! And must have been very, very frustrating.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I was once in a band with two guitar players who had completely different concepts of time. One basically understood what meter was, but the other used actual time instead of beats and measures. He would say, ok about 5 seconds after this chords progression we would do this and then 15 seconds later we'll do that.. oh my god it was torture
Comedy gold!

I find it tough to work with people who do solo acts on the side, just them and a piano or guitar. They don't wanna be patient and wait for 1 to come around, they just jump ahead and start another verse on 4 or even worse on the and. So there I am coming down on the snare on their newly appointed 1, and then they look at me with the stink-eye like I'm the lost guy on the stage.
 
We're the rhythm section. Means we keep the beat, and are trusted of keeping the beat, so if they're off then that's on them.

short but that's how I feel.

I will say this though, drummers are the ones most likely to rush the tempo. I'm not saying all drummers and Im not saying all the time, but it is more common that the drummer will speed the tempo than any other member.
 

Guz2

Senior Member
...Uh oh. I'm a drummer and I do the same thing as these guys. When I'm playing to a song I usually wait for a certain word in the vocals or a part in the guitar to know when to change beat/do a fill. Bad habit?
 

theindian

Senior Member
I have been lucky lately to work with people who are generally educated about music (melod & ryth). Although the guitarist sometimes confuses me when writing songs by refering to broken 16th's (ie 1e+ 2e+) as triplets.
 

jer

Silver Member
...Uh oh. I'm a drummer and I do the same thing as these guys. When I'm playing to a song I usually wait for a certain word in the vocals or a part in the guitar to know when to change beat/do a fill. Bad habit?
Not if you were drumming for James Brown.
 

stabmasterarson

Senior Member
one guitarist in my band thinks I'm always speeding up the songs on him when he's hung over, but in reality he's just playing like a bag of shit. I prove it to him over and over, my 16th note on the ride is the same no matter what else I'm playing underneath it, he still thinks I'm going too fast.


He also can't count and relies on me to do fills between every different riff and to throw cymbal accents on every important note in a riff, or he falls behind the tempo, then blames me for playing too fast. very annoying as I was a bass player for 15 years before drumming and know how to play with a drummer.
 
one guitarist in my band thinks I'm always speeding up the songs on him when he's hung over, but in reality he's just playing like a bag of shit. I prove it to him over and over, my 16th note on the ride is the same no matter what else I'm playing underneath it, he still thinks I'm going too fast.


He also can't count and relies on me to do fills between every different riff and to throw cymbal accents on every important note in a riff, or he falls behind the tempo, then blames me for playing too fast. very annoying as I was a bass player for 15 years before drumming and know how to play with a drummer.
God I hate that. The bass player I complained about before used to insist that every song was way too fast. When I would ask him to show me how slow he would prefer it to be, he would literally cut the tempo in half. It was just retarded.
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
...Uh oh. I'm a drummer and I do the same thing as these guys. When I'm playing to a song I usually wait for a certain word in the vocals or a part in the guitar to know when to change beat/do a fill. Bad habit?
It definately can be if you are pursuing a career in music. You should look into lessons if you can afford it. A drummer who can't control timing is a drummer without a job.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I have always played with competant musicians, or I don't play with them more than once. If you are playing with people like that, you aren't going to be growing as a musician, you'll be dragging them instead of learning from/growing with them.

Guz2, yes, that is a very bad habbit, and one that you will want to break. Getting into the "math" of drumming, though it can be intimidating, will open a ton of doors for you, and make you be able to function as the "rock" of the band. If you are waiting for the right word, and the right word doesn't come (vocal mistake, whatever), you need to be the steady thing that helps get everyone back on track.
 

drummer girl09

Senior Member
Comedy gold!

I find it tough to work with people who do solo acts on the side, just them and a piano or guitar. They don't wanna be patient and wait for 1 to come around, they just jump ahead and start another verse on 4 or even worse on the and. So there I am coming down on the snare on their newly appointed 1, and then they look at me with the stink-eye like I'm the lost guy on the stage.
That is one of my pet peeves! It bugs me so much that instead of people waiting for the measures to come around while they wait for it, they totally cut the corner and screw up the timing. It gets under my skin.


I love it when the people I play with rely on my for timing, but it is scary, thinking about it. But when they think they have the perfect timing, and rely on themselves, that is when you have a problem. Some times you have to set them straight on who the drummer is, and it might not be pretty. But then sometimes you have a cocky drummer that thinks he has the perfect time, but he isn't so great at it at all so the band mates really have to rely on their own timing.
 
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