Stupid things people have said or asked you about playing drums while gigging

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Support act drummer turns up really late and the drummer spays - “I’ve got no sticks and I busted my snare can I use yours “.......Nope

Also had a support act drummer come up i to me and state/ask ”we really like to put on a good show and part of our show means we kinda have fun with the drums ... your not going to be precious about the kit are you (points to my Noonan Stave kit with Brady and Ayotte Keplinger snare). My response ” what do you mean by....”have fun” his response you know kind of jumping on it and some glitter bombs and fake blood, My response ”No get your own kit for that”.
Thankfully in the minority, but there are some incredibly stupid people who play drums out there. I'm not going to call them drummers, as that adds a degree of credibility ;)
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Thankfully in the minority, but there are some incredibly stupid people who play drums out there. I'm not going to call them drummers, as that adds a degree of credibility ;)
Yeah there re some real dip-shits out there, it’s important not to get caught in their web of nonsense, if at all possible I always send an email/ text a week before a kit share reminding my fellow drummers on the bill that they should bring their own snare and cymbals and kick pedal. Most but not all comply.

Not often said on DW but there is a huge gulf between amateur and a regular gigging drummer who has to deliver consistently both in terms of music/sound/performance and most importantly how they work with others (promoters/venue staff/other bands/other drummers).
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Support act drummer turns up really late and the drummer spays - “I’ve got no sticks and I busted my snare can I use yours “.......Nope

Also had a support act drummer come up i to me and state/ask ”we really like to put on a good show and part of our show means we kinda have fun with the drums ... your not going to be precious about the kit are you (points to my Noonan Stave kit with Brady and Ayotte Keplinger snare). My response ” what do you mean by....”have fun” his response you know kind of jumping on it and some glitter bombs and fake blood, My response ”No get your own kit for that”.
I had a wedding guest ask if he could play a punk song on my kit because he'd bought his own sticks, my guitarist beat me to the punch and asked him if he'd bought the rest of his kit with him too. The kit was my old Ludwig with Ks.

Another one I get all the time and I can't believe nobody has mentioned is, "Does your wife come to all your gigs with you?"
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
In probably only about the second or third gig I’d ever performed one audience member asked me if his mate could play the drums. I said no. The drummer (who was a notable player on the local scene) was shaking his head. He continued with the encouragement that “he’s a better drummer than you”. My reply, “why on earth would I let him play if he’s going to blow me off the stage then?”, which got laughs from the audience and the drummer who sat further back in his chair to emphasise that he wasn’t playing.
Another gig was played in a massive pub with a clear load in from behind the kit up a small flight of steps. I loved it, spacious with place to put my cases and spread out. Unfortunately it also provided space for one audience member to set himself up on the steps and engage me in a full blown conversation while I was playing. I can’t remember what it was about or tye full details of how I got him to leave but I have a memory of saying something along the lines of “I am in the middle of a gig so I’m a bit too busy to talk to be honest”.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I’ve put a lot of effort into getting a great band together, writing then rehearsing and organising with the venue and now we have an audience and the hard work is about to pay off you think you deserve the fun.....NO get your own gig Or at the very least pitch in, do some work.
An excellent point, the gig itself is the “fun” element of the whole endeavour, the end point after hours of travelling and setting up that was preceded by weeks of organising that was preceded by months of rehearsing that was preceded by years of learning. Oh, and financial expense!

Not often said on DW but there is a huge gulf between amateur and a regular gigging drummer who has to deliver consistently both in terms of music/sound/performance and most importantly how they work with others (promoters/venue staff/other bands/other drummers).
Absolutely, I was recently thanked by an audience member in the half time between sets for all the work we were doing to entertain the pub. She had been there since 7pm and for the first time had seen the number of trips back and forth to our cars, the amount, size and weight of gear we had carried, and the time and effort that went into the 5 of us assembling our backline, light rig and PA before we started our gig at 9pm....with smiles on our faces. She said that she’d never seen the work that went in beforehand and thought that bands just turned up and played. Until a musician has entered the fray themselves maybe they don’t appreciate that the act of playing the instrument for a couple of hours is only a small percentage of “gigging”
 
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The Modernist

Senior Member
I had a wedding guest ask if he could play a punk song on my kit because he'd bought his own sticks, my guitarist beat me to the punch and asked him if he'd bought the rest of his kit with him too. The kit was my old Ludwig with Ks.

Another one I get all the time and I can't believe nobody has mentioned is, "Does your wife come to all your gigs with you?"
Who takes a pair of sticks to a wedding?
 

The Modernist

Senior Member
An excellent point, the gig itself is the “fun” element of the whole endeavour, the end point after hours of travelling and setting up that was preceded by weeks of organising that was preceded by months of rehearsing that was preceded by years of learning. Oh, and financial expense!



Absolutely, I was recently thanked by an audience member in the half time between sets for all the work we were doing to entertain the pub. She had been there since 7pm and for the first time had seen the number of trips back and forth to our cars, the amount, size and weight of gear we had carried, and the time and effort that went into the 5 of us assembling our backline, light rig and PA before we started our gig at 9pm....with smiles on our faces. She said that she’d never seen the work that went in beforehand and thought that bands just turned up and played. Until a musician has entered the fray themselves maybe they don’t appreciate that the act of playing the instrument for a couple of hours is only a small percentage of “gigging”
My band were talking about this the other day. The playing you do for free, its the travel/carrying heavy stuff/setting up/repeat when finished that you get paid for.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I just have to shake my head when someone tries to have a conversation with musicians while they are playing.

Would these same people chat up an NFL quarterback while playing if they had the chance?

Probably not because football requires complete concentration where music....if you are a musician you should be able to play every song ever written and every song not yet written, and have a deep conversation while doing so. You should be able to play songs you never knew existed.

When we are asked if we know song X and we don't...and people don't understand why...I should ask them to speak in the language of the Bush people of New Guinea, and not understand when they can't do it.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
"What sort of music do you play?"

"It's all Motown and soul stuff mate."

"Will you play some George Michael?"

"No mate, it's all Motown and Stax."

"Yeah, but you're all musicians, you should be able to play anything".

"Like I said mate, Motown and soul."

"Fair enough - will you play some Meatloaf then?"
Oh, man. I hear you. We play a lot of James Brown and JB's, some Sly, some Meters a couple of Stax tunes, occasionally a Motown tune (25 Miles by Edwin Starr), and we've had 'can you play any Oasis?'Also a girl once came up to us after a gig of said funk and soul and said, 'I never thought I'd like jazz, but that sounded really good.'
 

Vandalay

Member
"Deejaying is far worse.."

Amen to that, I had a 30+ year on-air career, and in that time, I maybe dj'd 3 functions...the crap you have to put up doesn't justify the money..
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
People are crazy I've had three incidents where people stuck a pistol in my face. Why would a 400 lb man feel the need to carry a .357 magnum is beyond reason? Most homicides are from people who know each other-so some issue arises one gets mad at another and happens to be carrying-now sitting in prison because of a moments anger. Nothing against guns I've got a bunch of them (pistols, shotguns, and rifles) but the reason I'll never carry a pistol in public places (cause I got a short fuse and I know all those sitting in prison thought they would never do such a thing too). One grandfather and all his sons-my uncles- carried a pistol in their pocket till they day they died. They didn't mind pulling it out to place on a table in public places or pulling it on someone-including one Uncle on me. Hey that's four times I forgot about him-arguing over Vietnam war. I see what side of the family I got my anger management issues-jeez.
Clearly he's overcompensating for something else of his.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
our keyboard player is our best musician (pro level). Every once in a while he’ll say something like, “hey Pete, can you play like tisss tisss dooom, tisss tisss dooom?”

Oy Vey
 

Iristone

Member
"Who's gonna mike you up with condensers?" and "How could anyone else use the mic if it's done miking your bass drum?" Both in snarky voices. Last straw, I've been miking myself ever since.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've had people think it's fun to come up and try to shake my hand or yell into my ear about something inane whilst in the middle of a song. Not a fan of that act.

One time since the song allowed it I put my right stick under my arm and shook his hand mid-song, thinking he'd go away. Nope. He was so impressed that I could do what he expected me to do (play while shaking hands) that he took that as his "okay" to come up several more times and then even try to influence other people to do it.

Now I just shake my head and if they're really insistent I yell "I'll talk with you when I'm done".
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've had people think it's fun to come up and try to shake my hand or yell into my ear about something inane whilst in the middle of a song. Not a fan of that act.

One time since the song allowed it I put my right stick under my arm and shook his hand mid-song, thinking he'd go away. Nope. He was so impressed that I could do what he expected me to do (play while shaking hands) that he took that as his "okay" to come up several more times and then even try to influence other people to do it.

Now I just shake my head and if they're really insistent I yell "I'll talk with you when I'm done".
Are you done yet?
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Playing a "freebie" at a friends place in Haight Ashbury 1970 (or there abouts!) with a lot of pretty loose people doing the hippie dance. You know, swaying around in circles and waving hands in the air like they're shooing away flies. Just finished playing our version of Pinball Wizard and an older guy (we were 18-20 years old and this guy had to have been 30!!),,,anyway the older guy wearing round John Lennon style sunglasses riding low on his nose came up and quietly asked if we knew Spirit in the Sky. We each looked at each other, then back at the older guy...."Yeah. We know it. How about we play it for you next, Mr. Leary?" "That's cool." He said and walked a few feet away to watch us play. Don't think there are many guys who've actually played a request from Timothy Leary. And yeah, as we played he started doing the hippie dance.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
My after getting off stage an walking up to the bar

Guy: "Did you see that band, they were killer!

Me: "Thank you, I am actually in the band"

Guy" "You are????"

"Me "yeah, that was me playing the drums"

Guy "Oh, I didn't notice..."
 
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