Jump to content

Why, Why, Why can't I find a drummer!?


Lord Sausage
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to get a wedding/function band up and running. I know some great drummers however, this means they all have loads of work. Everyone we audition is always nowhere near as good as they say they are, loads of crap. It's doing my nut in. This is the hardest time i've ever had trying to get a band of the ground.

That is all, as you were!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously though, it is a problem. Good drummers don't answer ads for drummers, IME. Good luck with the search - it is a hard road, but it IS possible. Presumably you want to form a wedding/function band to make a bit of cash, so this would likely attract a decent hitter if you can tempt them in with the promise of loot. And free beer. And cake.

Edited by discreet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I"m a drummer first (boo!) and a bassist second. I'm a pretty experienced drummer (hiss!) and a terrible bass player - I've done lots of function bands etc, and had the pleasure of auditioning countless times for innumerable projects that never made it past the rehearsal room. A lot older and a bit wiser, I think a lot of time it comes down to mismatched expectations.

For example, I find a lot of bands auditioning for drummers are looking to replace someone, and so when you turn up you're immediately at a disadvantage because you don't play like their previous guy. A classic is "Bob/Jim/Dave didn't play it like that, he played it different. Why can't you do that?" without ever explaining what Bob/Jim/Dave played!

Another mismatch is in expectations for how close to the record you want the tunes played. I take the view unless told that it has to exact (for, for example a tribute band), then a reasonable approximation (i.e. the same groove, the same main fills but perhaps not every single ghost note or flam) will suffice, but then I've often had people say "that's not how it is on the record!". To which I've replied "yes, and neither are the mariarchi horns and bassoon solo you've put in, but you don't complain about that!" More seriously, people are happy to pick up the drummer for omissions but will themselves skip a tricky melodic part or solo. Everyone expects the drummer to just play like the record, without sometimes realising that the rest of the musicians aren't doing that.

Finally, I often get told what I'm playing doesn't sound like it does on the record. It's taken me a while, but I've finally realised what people are getting at - they take the whole drums and percussion track as 'the drums' and when you're not playing the drum part, tambourine 16ths and conga part all together they get the hump, not to mention your drums sounding different live to a close miked, gated and compressed studio kit...

OP, not saying for one second this is the problem you're facing, but from behind the kit the experiences can be just as frustrating!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Jakester' timestamp='1424724007' post='2699736']
...I've often had people say "that's not how it is on the record!". To which I've replied "yes, and neither are the mariarchi horns and bassoon solo you've put in, but you don't complain about that!" More seriously, people are happy to pick up the drummer for omissions but will themselves skip a tricky melodic part or solo. Everyone expects the drummer to just play like the record, without sometimes realising that the rest of the musicians aren't doing that...
[/quote]

People don't listen properly. Decent players can emulate covers accurately to a certain extent using technique and effects (and playing the bloody arrangement properly), but trying to make the drums in particular sound like thirty different drummers playing in thirty different studios on thirty different songs in an hour and a half is a bit of a tall order really.

[quote name='Jakester' timestamp='1424724007' post='2699736']
...I often get told what I'm playing doesn't sound like it does on the record. It's taken me a while, but I've finally realised what people are getting at - they take the whole drums and percussion track as 'the drums' and when you're not playing the drum part, tambourine 16ths and conga part all together they get the hump, not to mention your drums sounding different live to a close miked, gated and compressed studio kit...
[/quote]

A lot of 'musicians' can't or won't listen accurately enough to distinguish the separate strands in a piece of music, which is why they can't play their parts properly even when they think they are. You just can't get the staff.. :)

Edited by discreet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Jakester' timestamp='1424724007' post='2699736']
I"m a drummer first (boo!) and a bassist second. I'm a pretty experienced drummer (hiss!) and a terrible bass player - I've done lots of function bands etc, and had the pleasure of auditioning countless times for innumerable projects that never made it past the rehearsal room. A lot older and a bit wiser, I think a lot of time it comes down to mismatched expectations.

For example, I find a lot of bands auditioning for drummers are looking to replace someone, and so when you turn up you're immediately at a disadvantage because you don't play like their previous guy. A classic is "Bob/Jim/Dave didn't play it like that, he played it different. Why can't you do that?" without ever explaining what Bob/Jim/Dave played!

Another mismatch is in expectations for how close to the record you want the tunes played. I take the view unless told that it has to exact (for, for example a tribute band), then a reasonable approximation (i.e. the same groove, the same main fills but perhaps not every single ghost note or flam) will suffice, but then I've often had people say "that's not how it is on the record!". To which I've replied "yes, and neither are the mariarchi horns and bassoon solo you've put in, but you don't complain about that!" More seriously, people are happy to pick up the drummer for omissions but will themselves skip a tricky melodic part or solo. Everyone expects the drummer to just play like the record, without sometimes realising that the rest of the musicians aren't doing that.

Finally, I often get told what I'm playing doesn't sound like it does on the record. It's taken me a while, but I've finally realised what people are getting at - they take the whole drums and percussion track as 'the drums' and when you're not playing the drum part, tambourine 16ths and conga part all together they get the hump, not to mention your drums sounding different live to a close miked, gated and compressed studio kit...

OP, not saying for one second this is the problem you're facing, but from behind the kit the experiences can be just as frustrating!
[/quote]do you want a job!? ha ha!

I'm the same groove kind of guy. Play the important bits, recognisable bits. For all instruments. Don't miss the tricky bits.

I totally know what your saying. I never look to replace the old guy with someone the same. I just like replacing good for good.

Edited by Lord Sausage
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most decent drummers already have gigs so you need to get one on the gig and then thats your audition
as well as paying them so they now know the score.
If you can't offer them work... then it is more difficult.

I tend to offer them gigs and go from there....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]d[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]ecent players can emulate covers accurately to a certain extent using technique and effects (and playing the bloody arrangement properly), but trying to make the drums in particular sound like thirty different drummers playing in thirty different studios on thirty different songs in an hour and a half is a bit of a tall order really.[/font][/color][/quote]

Agreed - we do our best, and you can to some extent change sound by technique etc but unless you're using a leccy kit (which brings all its own attendant problems) the basic sound is the basic sound.

[quote][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]You just can't get the staff.. [/font][/color] :)[/quote] :lol:

[quote][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]do you want a job!? ha ha![/font][/color]
[/quote]

If you're Bath/Bristol way, happy to audition, but I have loads of work and I'm not as good as I say I am ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Nicko' timestamp='1424775106' post='2700219']
Not sure that drummers are any more difficult than guitar or vox to be honest.
[/quote]

While true that it's difficult enough to find ANYONE who is really good at what they do and persuade them that you have something to offer, I've found it harder to find decent drummers than anyone else. Though it's really hard to find proper keys players, too. All IMHO, of course.

Edited by discreet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a frustrating four months, we finally replaced our departed drummer. Fortunately, our new drummer does [b][i]not[/i][/b] play things the same way that the first one did - which is just as well as the main reason we parted company with him is that his style was not compatible with our (mostly original) material.

I think drummers are probably the hardest band members to recruit - particularly for us bass players. Our guitarists and singer have already said words to the effect of "he's fitting in well, let's get some gigs booked" despite my warnings that things will get worse before they get better! That's not me being a doom-monger, it's just that following his audition, our new drummer obviously learned the songs as we had recorded them with the old drummer. If we want him to play them in his own style (which we do) then that is going to take time and the rest of the band will then have to reconstruct the songs from the bottom up. This affects the bass player first of course...

Still, hopefully it will all be worth it come the summer when we are once again a unit and ready to gig!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate it when a gtr suggests a drummer...and if he is a friend, look out BIG TIME, as this means
the gtr or proposer wants him in at all costs.
Most gtrs players would not know a drummer for love nor money, IME...so I make sure it is a band vote
on such things and even then... it is still very dodgy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1424777295' post='2700254']
I hate it when a gtr suggests a drummer...and if he is a friend, look out BIG TIME, as this means
the gtr or proposer wants him in at all costs.
[/quote]

Just because a guitarist suggests a drummer it doesn't [i]necessarily [/i]mean that said drummer will not be any good... :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1424777295' post='2700254']
I hate it when a gtr suggests a drummer...and if he is a friend, look out BIG TIME, as this means
the gtr or proposer wants him in at all costs.
Most gtrs players would not know a drummer for love nor money, IME...so I make sure it is a band vote
on such things and even then... it is still very dodgy.
[/quote]

Bass player should always have the final yes/no on the drummer. If the bass cant gel with the drums there is no hope. I dont think the other band members realise how important the combination is until its not working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Nicko' timestamp='1424777595' post='2700258']
If the bass cant gel with the drums there is no hope.
[/quote]

It's not just musically, either. I did an audition where we worked very well together, but the drummer had taken an instant dislike to me for some reason. So that was the end of that. Thhhpp! Is what I said. Or at least I thought it, anyway. Along with a rude sailor word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='BigGuyAtTheBack' timestamp='1424778117' post='2700273']
...Now we have wee Joe who can play virtually anything, in time and understands dynamics. We treat him like the god he is!!!!!
[/quote]

Yes, when you find a good one you have to do pretty much whatever it takes to keep him - even if in all other ways he's an arse! :D

Edit: I'm sure your drummer's not an arse, though and neither are any of the drummers I'm currently working with, just to make that perfectly clear! :)

Edited by discreet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...