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  #1  
Old 03-11-2019, 07:20 PM
Nilsdrums Nilsdrums is offline
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Default Drum placements on stage

Hi!

I have been wondering this for quite a while, why do some bands make the drummer sit so far back on the stage?
There are bands that put the drummer more forward closer to the audience(And some even at the front but thats very rare) but some seem to place the drums as far back as possible for some reason.
Why is this? I like to be much closer to the edge(So I get closer to my bandmates and more visible to the crowd).

And it can't be because of space cause the others have way more than they need or use on the stage.
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2019, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

There's a tradition of the drummer being in the back or more integrated into the band, starting in the big band days. Although, some drummers had a more prominent position. It seems to be a case of the bandleader's preference, and it's very subjective. It's not that the drummer is being hidden, because 99% of the time, they're on a riser for better visibility.

In general though, I'd say that those who sing lead tend to be placed up front*, and drummers are rarely the lead singer. Even when they are, they may or may not be placed up front - Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) was up front, Don Henley (Eagles) was not.

Doesn't really matter to me, I doubt that many people attend any of my bands' gigs to see me. I just enjoy playing, and I get paid no matter where they put me.

Bermuda

* Even other players may not end up in the front, whether they sing or not. Many bands have the bass player and maybe another guitar player behind the singer/s up front.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Its a balance thing and stage ergonomics too. Usually you put the bigger bulkier things more out of the way, to open up the stage. Usually tons of cables running up to drums and amps, so makes sense to keep them out of the way to prevent tripping hazards. Also tougher to move around the stage when a big drum set is blocking you off from the other side of the stage.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:17 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

In addition to everything else already stated, the drums have a lot of microphones on them in larger stage setups, so moving them to the front of the stage potentially creates lots of bleed and feedback issues from monitors and amps.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:58 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

If we play a wide stage, the four of us set up in a line, drums included. Im 2nd from the right.

If its a squarer stage, the three guitar guys stand in front and I sit behind with the amps. Sitting among the amps may help the timing a fraction?
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2019, 12:07 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilsdrums View Post
why do some bands make the drummer sit so far back on the stage?

Damn, how big are the stages you play on ?

We are lucky to get a 16' deep stage. I need 6' so that only leaves 10' for the front people to work in and the monitors often take up some of that.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:20 AM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

If everyone is sitting down it might not matter that much, but if not you'd be in the way.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:43 AM
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Rattlin' Bones Rattlin' Bones is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

I dunno...most larger jazz ensembles seem to have them to their right along with bass.
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Last edited by Rattlin' Bones; 03-12-2019 at 05:47 AM. Reason: add pic
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

One of the best concerts I've ever been to was The Pat Metheny Group c. 1988 (Wertico on drums) and they had a grouping of musicians I'd never seen before, very similar to the photo below.

I saw his trio in 2010 (Sanchez on drums, McBride on bass) and they used a similar grouping.

Having the drums to his immediate left must be a preference of his.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Dang, 90% of the "stages" I play we are always cramped for room. Being "too far back" is never a problem.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2019, 04:23 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Drums do take up quite a bit of real estate. When there's barely enough space, it's usually a matter of logic and space conservation.

Depends on the level gig you do. My gigs are normally....you have to do the funky drummer contortion shimmy to get behind the kit :)
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:46 AM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

When I was gigging my kit was pretty large, death metal go figure. There were a couple of times I got to set up in front because I didn't fit on the riser, or the headlining drums were already on them. There were a few times when only I fit on the stage, so everyone else stood on the floor. And then there was this one bar we played at that had a Jagermeister bottle half wall dividing the stage into front and back. I would have to set up behind it. That always sucked, felt like the odd man out being behind a partial wall.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
When I was gigging my kit was pretty large, death metal go figure. There were a couple of times I got to set up in front because I didn't fit on the riser, or the headlining drums were already on them. There were a few times when only I fit on the stage, so everyone else stood on the floor. And then there was this one bar we played at that had a Jagermeister bottle half wall dividing the stage into front and back. I would have to set up behind it. That always sucked, felt like the odd man out being behind a partial wall.
Maybe this should be its own thread of weird stage setups. I have played a few that make no sense whatsoever.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:03 PM
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BertTheDrummer BertTheDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

I think a lot of drummers don't want to be up front in the spotlight and like being back in the back.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:43 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

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Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
I think a lot of drummers don't want to be up front in the spotlight and like being back in the back.

.........and behind the fog :)
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Sometimes the drummer takes visual cues from the singer or other musicians, that's kind of hard to do if they are behind you. Plus, there only needs to be one person behind the drumkit, not the entire band.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

I was in a band for a while that really liked to put me up front and center stage. I wasn't such a fan of the arrangement for a few reasons.
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:08 PM
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  #18  
Old 03-16-2019, 04:52 PM
Nilsdrums Nilsdrums is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Drums do take up quite a bit of real estate. When there's barely enough space, it's usually a matter of logic and space conservation.

Depends on the level gig you do. My gigs are normally....you have to do the funky drummer contortion shimmy to get behind the kit :)
That's true!
But some have drummers unnecessarily far back. Like this stage set up for example. The drums could easily be much closer without the others having to little space. But I guess the band usually discuss where to put drums and amps etc so it might be a personal preference of the drummer?
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  #19  
Old 03-16-2019, 04:57 PM
Nilsdrums Nilsdrums is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by slhanks04 View Post
Sometimes the drummer takes visual cues from the singer or other musicians, that's kind of hard to do if they are behind you. Plus, there only needs to be one person behind the drumkit, not the entire band.
Yeah that's true, I didn't really mean the drums being in front of the others but just closer to them. It wouldn't make much scene to have a drum kit in front of all of the others(I wouldn't want that kind of stage set up) but i just prefer being closer to my bandmates. But I guess bands usually discuss this and drummers being way in the back are sometimes personal preferences of the drummer or other members
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  #20  
Old 03-16-2019, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilsdrums View Post
That's true!
But some have drummers unnecessarily far back. Like this stage set up for example. The drums could easily be much closer without the others having to little space. But I guess the band usually discuss where to put drums and amps etc so it might be a personal preference of the drummer?
If you are doing a gig that needs that many monitors and that many amps, I don't think I would want to be in front of those amps.

With that stage layout that is obviously a large production. You probably wouldn't want things closer due to bleed over, another reason why drums aren't sitting next to all your vocal mics and junk.
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:44 PM
Nilsdrums Nilsdrums is offline
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Default Re: Drum placements on stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
If you are doing a gig that needs that many monitors and that many amps, I don't think I would want to be in front of those amps.

With that stage layout that is obviously a large production. You probably wouldn't want things closer due to bleed over, another reason why drums aren't sitting next to all your vocal mics and junk.
Yeah might be cause of bleed through but still there are some bands that put the drums close to lead singer and the others which seem to work fine as well without too much problems. Plus you could put the amps closer as well if the drummer don't want to be in front of them
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