Why is it so hard for the band to follow me?!?!


Senior Member
So my worship leader makes me play along to a metronome live during rehearsals and services... Which I have no problem with since I only ever practice at home along to a met.. But there's just one problem...

The band doesn't know how to follow a drummer!

Ugh it drives me insane! Usually I just count off to the beat then turn the darn thing off ASAP because its so difficult... But sometimes I actually try to keep time by playing along to the met for as much of the tune as possible but it is soo hard.

The worship leader always tells me the band will follow my time-the metronome's time- but I usually lose everyone by the first chorus and by that time I have no choice but to shut it off and follow the leader/rest of the band..

Which I have no problem with except for the fact that after each tempo-challenging go at a tune the leader looks at me and says "we sped up/slowed down here" at the exact spot where they all took off from my time.

Bottom line, it's really hard to play along to a click when the band doesnt follow you xD lol... I'm sure all of you have dealt wiht this at some time or another, but I just needed to blow off some steam xD

Jack Boyd

Senior Member
In rehearsal only: stick to the metronome and eventually everyone will hear the problem and learn to follow you.
That's worked for me.


Platinum Member
It's not that they won't follow time, its that they can't comprehend playing with a set time.
If you've ever recorded with a click and found that you need to stop every take to remove the click out of each players phones until they only hear the drummer (who still has the click in his phones), you will understand that some players just can't play with a click. It screws them up.
When they get loose, they force the tempo and it wreaks havoc with the timing.
When there are too many overdubs, the drums which initially had a good feel, sound held back.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I kind of agree with your leader guy. If you keep steady time and practice together a lot eventually the others will learn to follow you. It might take months though.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
At the next rehearsal amplify the metronome. Make it really loud. Maybe using the microphone.
Don’t play the drums. See if they can play the whole song with the metronome.

Besides if you were hitting 2 and 4 on the snare drum through the whole song it would be just like the metronome.

I like Dre25's comment......... LOL



Senior Member
I've found that it works best when the drummer plays to the click, and the rest of the band follows the drummer, no click. Why some musicians have so much trouble with the click, I don't know. Most can follow a drummer well enough though.

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I can't even imagine playing with people who have these kinds of problems. haha!

Of course, this is coming from somebody who has never had to play to click. I can play to a track though, and I'd imagine they are playing to a click or something like that.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member

I wouldn't go as far as saying that xD

Individually everyone can play at least decent if not very well...

But I dunno they just can't play along to a drummer's time lol
The only thing I can think of in defense of your band/leader is maybe you're rushing a certain fill or something and the rest of the band is running with it. You should really look at yourself, even when I know I'm probably right, I still take criticism on board.

But if you're right and your band leader is wrong then maybe just switch the click off and forget about it, or leave. I have been there, I chose to leave.


Platinum Member
Well, you're in a shit band.


If it's frustrating for you, leave. It's not worth it. It kind of sounds as if you're the scapegoat, or you're letting them walk all over you, or there's something more to the story you haven't shared. With the story presented, as is, with all the information given and no assumptions about these guys being friends or anything, I would say, "leave."


Senior Member
Well it only works perfect ,when every member plays with the click.
If only the drummer plays with the click and one member or more can't follow for some reason,It will sounds really bad.and everybody will look to the drummer to hold the time?.
So what i do in that situation ill will start with the click and if the band will not follow il will follow the band ,and shut down the click.
If you do that it will sound ok and the band will gets beter at time every time you starts with the click, you will see that they will follow more every time you start the song but that will take time.[hehe]

And they have to practice to with the click, off course!

Because i think everybody/member responsible for own time! not only the drummer!!
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New Tricks

Platinum Member
If it's rehearsal, turn up the click so everyone will hear it.

I think it's the only way they will learn, unless they practice alone with a click.


Senior Member
The worship leader always tells me the band will follow my time-the metronome's time- but I usually lose everyone by the first chorus and by that time I have no choice but to shut it off and follow the leader/rest of the band..

Which I have no problem with except for the fact that after each tempo-challenging go at a tune the leader looks at me and says "we sped up/slowed down here" at the exact spot where they all took off from my time.
All right, then. Next time, beat him to the punch. Don't let your worship leader take control of that situation. He clearly has no idea what's happening.

Next time, don't give your worship leader a chance to say anything. You say it first. If you wait too long and he opens his mouth, interrupt him. He's the worship leader, not the tempo leader! And don't tell the group "we" sped up — tell them, "This is where people stopped following me. Half of you increased the tempo, and dragged the other half with you. Who's having trouble hearing me?" Or something like that, that best describes what occurs.

Figure out a solution based on how they react to what you say. If they don't believe you, record them on your phone and make them listen to it.

Take charge!


Gold Member
Yep... turn up the click.

Who is not following you? The singers?

Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Do all the singers use vibrato at the same time?

Do all the singers start the songs very slowly and emotionally?

If that is the case; they are not inclined to listen to the beat... they are all wrapped up emotionally with the song.

Tough call. I have a general rule regarding P&W vocals. If they are not slightly out of breath during and after the song, you're playing too slow.

Emotional singing and gaudy displays of incessant vibrato or clashing vibrato's is a sure sign that (a) they are too emotional, (b) they have a heartfelt desire to pull everyone down with their smarmy vocalization.

How are the dynamics working out?
Does the guitarist insist on sounding like Nickelback on EVERY song?
Are there 1 or 2 Divas that only want things their way? No matter what it takes to have their way?

Are you the time keeper or what?

Try a 1 on 1 with Team Leader and see what transpires.
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Gold Member
I find that people who play the same instruments tend to make timing mistakes at the same time and in the same way(oh nose here comes that B chord again), when they do this it can have a disorienting effect, because you sound out of time. Also, people will often follow the melodic lead(section leader), whose sense of time maybe off, or it may be on, but he is playing a counter point intentionally. There are any number methods to combat this from crashes and toms to throughing in a full bar rest and pick up notes and fills. On occasion, you can even go with it. Though I expect that most church bands don't care beans about rhythm, and would be just as happy with third chair singer skipping to my Lou on drums.


Silver Member
Lots of good advice in here already.

As someone who once had to try and assist a group of vocalists at a church with learning a song (that they never managed to master and as such was never performed), I can relate an experience.

Basically, we listened to the song. I played nothing but straight time, with a dominant focus on the hihat. The singers just simply could not keep in time with me, and I was rock solid on the beat. It got to the point where I was subtly increasing the volume on the hats to 'encourage' them to notice it more, still didn't help.

Nancy has already mentioned this: Stand up for yourself! When the songs are playing, YOU are in control. Don't follow the musicians, they have to follow YOU. If they go out of time, it's their prerogative to get back into it. But you do have to make sure that you ARE keeping good time without the metronome.

I don't know how old you are, it's definitely harder when you're a teenager if you have to stand up to people older than you, but for me these days I've been playing so long and with so many different people, plus I know my time is solid, that I can speak my mind freely and do so without hesitation if there is an issue. A one-on-one with the music leader is also a good way for you to express your concern and frustration that the musicians aren't following you.

Oh, and another way to get people to pay attention is to play louder. Then when they complain, you can say "Sorry, everyone kept going out of time so I thought they couldn't hear me properly." :)


they are not following you because they shouldn't be following you .... they should be keeping time WITH you .... right along side you

the collective band is simply not riding the same wave... it is as simple as that

this is common when you get a group of people in a room who cannot keep time and have no idea how to listen

a player needs to
- first and foremost know if they are not playing in time with the room ... you would be surprised how many don't even know they are not in time.... unbelievable
- second be able to adjust to the time in the room
- then lastly be able to keep steady time and ebb and flow with everyone who is behind an instrument as a unit

now I say all this assuming that you are playing steady ... or at least someone in the room is staying true to the count off
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Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
... you would be surprised how many don't even know they are not in time.... unbelievable
Oh man, is this so true. I played a gig recently in which the singer was so far off the beat on a 6/8 slow tune I had to just tune him out. After the show, he was totally surprised when I brought it up to him.


Singer/songwriters seem to be especially prone to this, in my experience.