Topic: Drummers Rights  (Read 1843 times)

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shedbuilder

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Drummers Rights
« on: October 20, 2004, 03:47 PM »
I'm in a band and we are doing final mixing to 4 songs.
The music was written by both guitarist as were the lyrics and melody. The drum feel and was done on a drum machine very basically straight 4/4 or 3/4 patterns with the odd elimentary fill (might as well be a metronome!) I have put my part in and the drums sound like a decent drummer has played on them, so as far as i am concerned as performed and are written by me which make the drum machine sound like a metronome in complexity and feel. Trouble is that I am getting no credit on the 'demo' as they are stating that all songs are by the 2 'Songwrighters'.
It seems that they wish to get a publishing deal off the back of this and will give no credit or percentage to the rest of the band if succesful (unless they decide to pay out of their own pockets through the goodness of their own heart  ::)). I have objected as i'm helping them to their goal through my perfomance and standard of playing but in theory could get fek all and be sacked as soon as the recording is finished.
Where do I stand?
Can I object and pull the plug on my performance leaving them with a drummless void?
Nothing is in writing, i've not been paid as a session player (thaught i was part of the band!) and have conrtibuted to the recording costs.
I like others no doubt feel like i'm being shafted..

HELP!! :'(

Offline Bart Elliott

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Drummer's Rights
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2004, 04:29 PM »
In this situation, there's not a lot you can do.

As the drummer, your role was drum programming. You did not write the lyrics, you did not write the music. These two elements are the ingredients that can be copyrighted, published, etc. If you were creating an album, you should get credit (liner notes) for the drum programming. As far as submitting the "demo" for publishing, record deal, etc., they are correct ... it doesn't involve you.

I know it's hard, but this has been going on for decades. I can't tell you how many times I've offered composition, arrangement and production assistance ... and get no credit. That's the way it is.

Typically you should get something for your work. A studio musician would be paid for the demo session, but has no rights to the song ... even though his/her grooves and arrangement ideas make the tune.

You should ask for $$$ for the time you spent programming. But that's all you are entitled to. If they sell the song(s) or get a publishing deal, the songwriters should compensate you for your time ... but that's all. Typically these things should be discussed in advance.

You are learning the cold/hard facts about the music business. Sorry it's not going the way you'd like ... but that's the way it is. Next time look out for yourself ... realizing that you didn't write the songs, so nothing is in it for you monetarily unless you get it up front or some sort of contract.

Perhaps you should look at this as an opportunity to gain experience with drum programming and the music biz. You never know, someone may hear the demo and want to know who did the drum programming. You might gain some exposure from it ... and at the very least, more experience.

shedbuilder

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Drummers rights Pt2
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2004, 05:23 PM »
I made an error in explaining, The 'songwrighters' gave me a CD with the rough songs/arrangements on them with a drum machine playing over the top when I joined the band.
I listened, and came up with my own, some very loosly based on the basic feel from the CD over a 6 month period.
I physically played the drums in the studio (some in 1 take  8). The song arrangements were amended in certain instanced as a result of what I had played gave ideas etc.  and my performance made the songs sound like songs (their words)

No programming was involved! smash those machine things!!!

As the band is now unworkable for me due to arrogance from the 'Songwrighters' (they state they even wrote the drums and they were 'fine tuned' by me!!!!!!!!!) and in theory being used as an unpaid session player (was under the impression i was actually in the band and have paid to the recording costs) I thaught F*** them i'll take my drums and performance with me, do the same rules apply or can I do anything at at all?

Remember a drummer is for life, not for christmas!!

Sorry its late over here!

Offline Bart Elliott

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Drummers rights Pt2
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2004, 05:54 PM »
Same rules apply; sorry.

Next time ... don't pay for studio time; not when the demo is for the songwriters. If the demo is for the band to get more work, that's a different story.

If you wanted to a jerk, you could refuse to allow them to use your drum parts ... but is it really worth it? Whatever you play is yours; you own the copyright. When you are paid to play, it's "work for hire" and you no longer retain your rights to what you've played. If they start distributing the music and it get's played on the radio, you'd have some rights there ... and should be compensated. Since there was no written agreement, one way or the other, having the music distributed for profit or aired in the media (TV, radio, film, etc.), would take it to a new level ... and you could sue for royalties.

I say ... let it go ... and never make the same mistake again.

 

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