Topic: R-E-S-P-E-C-T  (Read 3333 times)

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  • Guest
« on: June 15, 2002, 11:37 PM »
Forgive me while I gripe.

Do drummers have to constantly be "on" . . . on duty advocating for their "privilege" of contributing their 2 cents in a band?
My feeling is that we, as drummers, put the time in just like everybody else. I think we deserve to collaborate on decisions and be heard.

Sing along with Aretha now!  8)

Our band is not a backing band for a star vocalist. It was not put together by a leader who hired a bunch of sidemen. It's a merger of two bands and so, after being together for about 6 months, the small group dynamics of jockeying for position ... for POWER, has reached a turning point. I think we're in adolescence.

Here's an analogy I heard once: Teams, groups, bands...are like the human body. A lot of different parts with different purposes, but all working for the collective whole. The lowly a*s*s*h*o*l*e doesn't get much thought or attention. It's even considered in a lower class as body parts go. But go without taking a s*h*i*t for a couple weeks, and it suddenly becomes very important in the protocol of other parts.

"Don't set up yet, we have to decide where we want you."

That drummer-object thing...does it have a voice?

My gig rug is very important to me. It's the first thing I carry into a venue, to reconnoiter the situation, get the lay of the land, unroll it and stake my claim to some real estate. It's a nice durable, commercial, low-pile berber remnant, bound along the edges, and custom-sized for the exact footprint of my kit. I have it marked with the placement of all the stands, pedals, kick that I can quickly duplicate my setup for consistency. None of the pieces, even cymbals, overhang the rug. It's the exact footprint of the personal space I need. (To the guitarist: "Could you remove a string and squeeze the remaining ones together? This is a tight bandstand, we have to create some space.")

Last week the sax player was overheard asking the rhythm guitarist... "Do you think this set list would vibrate off if I put it on the bass drum?"
When I came back I found it paper clipped around a tension rod. Do y'all think I should nail my set list to the sax player's back next week? Oh... I forgot... since
drummers are objects, their instruments are community furniture. No need to ask an object if it minds anyone utilizing one of its objects. Band etiquette. Oh, and btw, it was left there for me to remove after the gig. I didn't say anything then, so as not to disturb the vibe. We had a job to do. Picking one's battles as they say.

I'm sure there's more. May I reserve the right to add more to this thread later? ::)


  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2002, 10:32 PM »
I hear ya man-
Don't want to go on and on about negative things myself but I find that especially with practice sessions...  
Can some one please fill me in on why it isn't necessary for the drummer to be 100% ready to go (like everyone else) for the rehearsal to start.  "What - you need a different mix in the monitors to hear the other band members???- Well we'll get that for you in a minute but lets go on ahead and get started for now..."
WHY WHY WHY???  Its like you stated Groovsmyth- we're just furniture.  
Now about some solutions to the problem.  Anyone out there got some tried and true methods aside from simply packing it in to let them see what it would be like witrhout a drummer???  (I've done that on occassion-not quit the whole set, but in practice simply not starting until I get what I need).  I think some of the problem might stem from certain people feeling that the drums are there just for time keeping purposes.  Certainly that is foremost but I am not a solo drummer- I don't just do my own thing ever-  I feed off of what others are doing while I play- it sets a whole mood for me to play within to be able to hear what everyone is doing (even the vocals)

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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2002, 10:58 PM »
You know what ....... I think you all need to find a creative way to put your foot down and say NO!

People will continue to walk on you as long as you let them. Most of the time, people are just oblivious to the drummer's needs (that's just a nice way to say that they're idiots; I'm trying to be positive here ... LOL).

I've kind of got a reputation about being picky, anal and a bit of an ass ... but in the end (no pun intended), I think people respect me for it. Just be nice ... but firm.

"NO ... we're NOT going to just go ahead with this rehearsal. We're going to take the same time with my monitor mix as (you would want or get) on YOUR monitor mix. I refuse to play until we deal with this issue. It won't take long and I really appreciate your patience and understanding." Stand up and get out from behind the drums when you say this. People WILL make a path for you.

Now ... some people, usually the singers, will NOT like hearing this from you.  If they don't ... too bad! Especially in a church setting, it's supposed to be a team ministry and everyone has to work together. You need to educate them and let them know that to rehearse now and get the sound check later ... well, it will make the whole rehearsal futile and a waste of time for you.

Here's something I've done ... and it's very effective. When they refuse to take the time for your monitors, start playing out of time, really soft or really loud. When the turn around and GLARE at you ... just say "sorry" and let them know that you can't hear what's going on. Ask for a moment to get your mix set.  ;D

If you have another musician who is taking up all the time and constantly leaving you none ... I would start FIRMLY informing him/her (during THEIR sound check) that although getting their monitors set is important, to please be mindful of the time as YOU will be needing some time with your monitor mix as well.
They can't win. I can give you all plenty of ammo to utterly annihilate your peers.  ;)

Groovsmyth, I think you will just have to be the "jerk" and let these people know that what they are doing is not acceptable. I think if you do it and not lose your cool ... even do it with a smile ... they'll get the idea. You have to treat them like little children ... because that's how they are acting ... thinking of self and to hell with everyone else ... all I want is my cookie!


  • Guest
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2002, 06:15 AM »
Great thread.

It is just people man.  In general, they are plain ignorant/selfish and in a musicians case they usually suk, are insecure and have an ego problem to boot.

My band is awesome...I play with the greatest couple of guys BUT....

I encountered drummer predjudice last weekend when the opening act (who was raving about there drum machine saying it never missed a practice or if it was a live drummer was drunk when it did show up) was skunking on drummers.

After that I proceeded to set up behind their cheesy set making a nice clamour  and a cymbal case that I happened to drop- that one got a few glares.  And anyone who freaking glares at me, I let them have it.   I've even trashed kits, thrown sticks at singers, quit on the name it.  If they piss me off I get even for usually takes alot...and if I get kicked out?  So what.


  • Guest
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2002, 06:05 PM »
I'm a reasonable person.

I expect my band to be reasonable, too.

At this point, I'm not dependent on the band for income.

I play music to have a satisfying, joyful experience.

If you want me to be an "employee", you better be offering some serious bucks.

If you don't have the serious bucks to offer, you better have the satisfying,  joyous experience.


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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2002, 11:49 AM »
Hey I don't want to sound like I'm full of myself but If a band or a band leader can't give me the respect that I deserve then screw them, I'm out.  If your good at what you do as most of you are others will call you.  I'm in the mind set that they need me more then I need them, there is a lot of work out there for us so no need to sweat one!


  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2002, 09:02 AM »
In cases where I'm substituting for the regular drummer I try to be as professional as possible and do as good a job as possible.  9 times out of 10 that will get me a call back, and I'm treated with respect as well, no matter what kind of music or band it is.

I have found, though, that jazz groups in general value drummers more, and are much more willing to listen to what I have to say.

Respect must be earned, though.  If you're late to the gig, don't know your part, and get drunk during the first break, don't expect to be treated well.  Show up prepared, on time, and play your parts well and you'll be treated like the musician you are.

Felix, when you made a lot of noise and disruption while the opening act was getting ready you just reinforced their opinion of drummers.  You'd have been much better off to act so as to demonstrate the advantages of a live drummer.


  • Guest
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2002, 02:33 PM »
i'm with drumlooney, and i used to have this problem because i have a big set. my rug is 91in by 80in and my drums barely fit on there, and our guitar player told me to downsize my set or he was gonna kick me outta the band. the problem he didn't realize was i have all the PA and bass amp. so needless to say my set never went down in size it only went up, and hes no longer with us (nullify)


  • Guest
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2002, 01:07 PM »
I just wanted to share my "favorite" line.

This is a quote from a conductor that I played under once.

"Musicians follow me, drummers stay here."  

So being the "nice guy" that I can be sometimes I went with the "musicians".  I was asked why I was there, and I said "I'm a percussionist, not just a drummer."  From then on out the drummers where included in everything, except tuning of course.



  • Guest
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2002, 03:15 PM »
haha that's hilarious peter :D
well right on you were.. indeed you hear it all the time.. my music teacher gave me this example when he explained to me about brass bands..

he told me people teach pupils that a brass band consists of so many (@$%# forgot how many :p should've payed more attention i guess :D) musicians, and 3 percusionists... :D
off course, anyone with a little knowledge will immediately refer correctly a drummer being a musician, just like a singer, guitar player, etc is a musician

anywayz .. i think from the start you should make your position as a drummer clear, from the beginning you should be 'in' everything, as in, discussing along your bandmembers, giving critisism, comments, just find your position in the band from the start, if you feel like you're beginning to become object, rather then a fellow musician in the band, you're too late...


  • Guest
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2002, 09:16 PM »
I agree that the drummer should be included in all band activities.  But since the only "band" I have been in consisted of me and my cousin just jamming, I can't really say much.

I am from an extremely small town in Virginia, USA.  It sucks really bad, nothing but country and bluegrass people here.  It really sucks.  No music scenes within hundreds of miles of me.  :(

Well, there you go.  My sad story, sorry if really doesn't fit the topic.


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