why do people think drummers are flaky?

dkerwood

Silver Member
How many people think drummers are just the guys who couldn't play anything else? And quite honestly, how many times is that true?

The dumb drummer stereotype has its roots in concert band. It doesn't take much talent to hit the bass drum on the beat. After all, Mr. Holland was able to teach a football player to do it by pounding time on his helmet! Drummers also tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to not reading music but rather playing by ear. In high school, I can't TELL you how many bell parts I had to memorize because I couldn't read it fast enough to hack it. Even today, I play in a community band and still make up certain parts when they're difficult to read. And I'm a music teacher!

Also, the drummer is in a much more vulnerable and transparent position. If a clarinet misses a cue, there's generally someone sitting next to her to pick it up. If a timpanist misses a cue, it's blatantly obvious. If a trombone player misses a rehearsal in most groups, it's not a huge deal because there are a few more in the row. If a drummer misses, suddenly the snare drum part isn't there. It's much more obvious and attention getting. Tempo variances are often attributed to drummers and are more noticeable by everyone in the group than other mistakes- when the drummer rushes, EVERYONE has to rush. If a trumpet player rushes, he's just ahead of the rest of the group.

Other musos think that because they have to read melody AND rhythm, they're superior to drummers who only read rhythm. They don't take into account the fact that they're reading half notes and quarter notes while we're reading complex sixteenth note sextuplet patterns, syncopated with dotted eights. I do have to admit, though, that you can often stand back in the percussion section with a pair of crash cymbals and never read a note- just watch for the director to point at you.

I find that musicians in general are flakes. I've flaked out of church services because I overslept on Sunday morning. Save for the band I'm in right now, I've never been in a band that lasted more than a few months due to musician flakiness.

Heck, even in my current band, we just hired drummer #5 in as many years. Drummer 1 moved to New Jersey 4 or 5 months after we started the band (after telling us over and over that he intended to stay), drummer 2 flaked on us after three gigs (including the audition gig), and drummer 3 never even made it to a gig because he was still so mad at us for originally picking drummer 2 over him. Drummer 4 stayed with us for close to 4 years, but when the bassist and I both moved 2 hours north (her for college, me for work), gigs became difficult and he finally suggested that we find another drummer so the band could continue. Now THAT cat was definitely NOT a flake.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
we're not flakey...much. actually we are. but not so much. hang on no we're not...er..alll the time. hold on... yes... no....er, what was the question again?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I don't know about flaky... but this threads got me thinking if there is a pattern to the type & personality of the average drummer

here's what I think.

Drummers tend to be ( in general...):

1) Athletic, muscular, strong, fit.

2) Aggressive type A personalities... quick to get irritated..can handle themselves in a brawl.

3) Definitely not stupid, but not the smartest guys in the band.

4) Most of them can juggle ( what a weird quirk )

5) Very romantic guys. They dont sleep around as often as they fall in love

6) Loners, mostly. Wont go out of their way to start a conversation, but pleasant when talked to ( the exact opposite of guitarists )

ya, I suppose you could call all this....flaky.



...............
 

BenYS

Junior Member
You can't put everybody in the same basket.

Every drummer has a very different personality like any other musicians in a band. Why a guitar player or bass player would smarter than a drummer, or vice versa.

Why a drummer should drink more beer than anybody else?

Why a drummer input would be less important than another musicians?


All that are clichés and doesnt make any sense to me.
 
The popular conception of the drummer in the public mind is that we are just animals who failed down to the drums because we couldn't wrap our heads around an eleventh chord or whatever.
Yeah, I love that idea that we're the guys in the band who just couldn't handle the guitar. But it has its good points too. Like waiting for some cocky guitarist to tell you why he's god 'cuz he knows what a locrian mode is.... then totally ripping the guy apart in a music theory discussion. Or, if you've got one who likes to tell you you're off beat (i.e. not following him), then start pointing out every time he's out of tune. They love that.

I'm probably just an a-hole, but that stuff makes my day.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
I don't know about flaky... but this threads got me thinking if there is a pattern to the type & personality of the average drummer

here's what I think.

Drummers tend to be ( in general...):

1) Athletic, muscular, strong, fit.

2) Aggressive type A personalities... quick to get irritated..can handle themselves in a brawl.

3) Definitely not stupid, but not the smartest guys in the band.

4) Most of them can juggle ( what a weird quirk )

5) Very romantic guys. They dont sleep around as often as they fall in love

6) Loners, mostly. Wont go out of their way to start a conversation, but pleasant when talked to ( the exact opposite of guitarists )

ya, I suppose you could call all this....flaky.



...............
I don't agree with this really. I can see it as a stereotype but really this guy who is a drummer and one of my mates is definetly not the athletic type shall we say, not even remotely. Definetly not aggresive at all, in fact one of the most passive people i've ever met in my life, he's studying biomedicene in uni. I don't know what medical school is like in the US but here it is one of the hardest courses you could possibly ever do. Dunno about the juggling or the romance but definetly very sociable and nice to talk to at the same time.
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
Generally, drummers and bassists stand out of the limelight and stop the guitarists and singers make timing issues. People think that all drummers are good for is keeping time, that's because drummers like Phil Rudd and Charlie Watts don't actually bother to play anything original. I don't know where I'm going with this. Byeeeee :p
Why, who's done what they've done?? The Stones and ACDC are two totally different things. I don't see Charlie doing what Phil does at all, or vice-versa. So, by default, they're doing different things hence making BOTH of them pretty original.

Aaaaaannd, you forgot to add Ringo, doesn't he belong in this "doesn't actually bother to play anything original" category?
 

ChannelFish

Junior Member
Part of it is my fault because I actually am kind of flaky. But that aside, this is a pretty ridiculous thing to discuss. Especially the merits of a 'typical drummer'...I would drop a bunch of cliches about stereotypes but we've all heard them before and we know the moral of the story. But, most stereotypes are about a specific race, sex, social group and they're mostly untrue. How on earth could giant sweeping generalizations about a group of people, who's only common trait is the instrument they play, come close?
 

baz

Silver Member
most stereotypes are about a specific race, sex, social group and they're mostly untrue. How on earth could giant sweeping generalizations about a group of people, who's only common trait is the instrument they play, come close?
...so now you are stereotyping stereotypes.

Where does it end.

Barry
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...so now you are stereotyping stereotypes.

Where does it end.

Barry
Barry, honestly, you gotta write a book.


About anything.

Hows "Confessions of a drummergoalie & other stereotypes" as a suggestion for a title?
 
B

Big_Philly

Guest
Drummers tend to be ( in general...):

1) Athletic, muscular, strong, fit.
...
What about Gene Hoglan? Or Dennis Chambers? Not exactly what I would call athletic. Though they may be pretty strong.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
I keep hearing drummer jokes and that drummers come and go and are the biggest flakes of the band.

Can someone explain why drummers get a bad rep? haha
Because we can be very selective in who we chose to play with and a lot times that decision is not made until after a the relationship has started to develop be it a few rehearsals or a few years. It is hard to decide who is the right person to play with and sometimes it's hard telling people you are not interested in playing with them. So you just start to "flake".
 

aydee

Platinum Member
What about Gene Hoglan? Or Dennis Chambers? Not exactly what I would call athletic. Though they may be pretty strong.
You know what I mean , BP.... big n' beefy qualifies... what I meant is that you dont get a lot of drummers who look, walk n' talk like Jimmy Page.

( yeah, yeah, now post some exceptions to the rule, all ya lawyers! )
 

Nickkk

Member
I don't know about flaky... but this threads got me thinking if there is a pattern to the type & personality of the average drummer

here's what I think.

Drummers tend to be ( in general...):

1) Athletic, muscular, strong, fit.

2) Aggressive type A personalities... quick to get irritated..can handle themselves in a brawl.

3) Definitely not stupid, but not the smartest guys in the band.

4) Most of them can juggle ( what a weird quirk )

5) Very romantic guys. They dont sleep around as often as they fall in love

6) Loners, mostly. Wont go out of their way to start a conversation, but pleasant when talked to ( the exact opposite of guitarists )

ya, I suppose you could call all this....flaky.



...............
if any member of the band im in revealed they could juggle i would punch them in the face immediately.
 
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