What Should I Do?

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Post Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:47 pm

I'm in a rock band program for school (seperate from my out-of-school band with different people) with some good friends of mine, but we're having some issues. The music they like to listen to is kind of unknown screamo and post-punk, all very complicated drumming. Now usually I would be very interested in playing it and excited to learn the beats, but I feel really pressured to learn the stuff quickly, mostly because the guitarist and bassist already know the songs they want to play. I have pretty different music tastes and because I'm outnumbered I can veto songs but I can never really make suggestions of my own. I'm frustrated by the band dynamics in a big way and don't really have a lot of fun anymore. The problem with quitting is that they're my friends, and that they'll be screwed if I leave the program (they won't have a drummer for their band).

What do you think, should I leave it and screw em? Should I say something to the group and maybe risk alienating my friends? What would you do?
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Post Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:24 pm

If you go ahead and learn the songs, you will probably end up a better player in the long run for having worked at something new to you. When another band comes along that is playing the kind of music you like, then part ways with the old band and do what makes you happy. They will find another drummer and if they are true friends, they will understand.
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Post Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:49 am

markt36264 wrote:If you go ahead and learn the songs, you will probably end up a better player in the long run for having worked at something new to you. When another band comes along that is playing the kind of music you like, then part ways with the old band and do what makes you happy. They will find another drummer and if they are true friends, they will understand.

Good advice for the drummer in you, but...You also need to do what is best for you as a human. Putting yourself in a situation you truly don`t want to be in is gonna stress you to the breaking point.
LIke it says above me, THey will find another drummer and if they are true friends......

I have, on more than one ocassion, left a band because it I wasn`t enjoying myself. I play to enjoy my talent, not exploit it. I personally couldn`t allow myself to play music I didn`t enjoy. I talked to the other members and voiced my concerns. Sometimes they were willing to bend, other times they weren`t. I`m willing to give in if the others are as well, BUT, not to the point that my own creativity is cut-off. I don`t try to act like a diva, and say "my way or the highway" but, it will always show through my drumming when I`m not into it. That`s not being fair to me or the band or the people paying to watch and listen. I ultimatley chose to be a tad selfish and ensure I have hapiness. Otherwise I move on.
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Post Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:28 am

If they are your friends, talk to them. Let them know how you're feeling and what your concerns are. Try and come to a compromise where everyone gets to pick songs. i.e.- if you need 40 songs and there are 4 guys, each gets to pick 10. But also remember it's not necessarily what you want to play, but what your fans want to hear. Play those songs and do them in a way that makes you happy.

You'll only be left with regrets if you don't talk to them. If they are your friends then everything will be ok.

Also, a band is a relationship, you have to learn to get along with everyone if the band is going to last. That's why you see so many people hopping from band to band.

my 2 cents...

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Post Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:54 pm

you could learn the songs and all that. i would sit down with em and explain the situation and how ya feel. if they are friends and really care. they will figure somethin out
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Post Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:56 pm

I've played both ends of that scale as a studio musician (with minimal say in the creative process) all the way through being the primary composer and arranger in my own band. Bands can be difficult animals....Each player has to be willing to give and take and allow each other member to bring their own style to the table. Doing so usually requires a LOT of communication between members. It should be easy to talk to them about it if they're your friends, and they should want you to get your licks in too. Hopefully, they'll let you have your style as a player, and give you some songs to help you shine, but you are similarly obligated to do the same for them. If they're asking you to try something new, don't be afraid to ask them to do a little of the same. Just back up your end and deliver the best you can when they ask you to.

At the end of the day, a lot of bands aren't meant to be, but give it the best opportunity to be a positive experience you can before giving up.
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Post Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:09 pm

Just be honest with them. I know from experience. I was in the same situation. I spent 4-6 mos trying to do the right thing and struggle with my displeasure of the songs. I was so miserable with the material they had chosen.
I would tell them you have tried this and it's not what you want to do.
Or find them another drummer as your replacement.
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Post Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:41 pm

Well first you have to ask yourself if this is the band you want to play with? And in my experience them wanting you to learn songs quickly... well thats just because they just want to throw the band together and play and not focus on the important things like playing songs correctly. I also believe band practice is not really practice, practice is something you do at home on your own. Get your chops down, know the song inside-out. I usually break songs down into parts intro, verse, chorus... I per-fect each section before moving on.. this also works good with the entire band. Learn at your pace play 'well' .. I'd rather hear you play 5 songs to perfection and 20 songs really sloppy.
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Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:57 am

All you should do is just make some suggestions to them and if they say no then leave the band. Unless if u really like the band then suck it up and try to learn the beats.
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Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:37 am

Well there is a lot of good advice already on this thread. What Alien drummers says regarding friends and relationships is perfect. Mark's advice pointing out that this may help you as a player is also great. As is the advice by the others.

So how can I add to it? Well probably only by stating that working musicians often have to play music they may not listen to for pleasure. I know this has certainly been the case for myself. But at least I was playing music and that is better than digging a ditch or facing a blast furnace burning at 2600 celcius.

Were I you, I would continue doing the gig until they can find a replacement. Perhaps you can also help them find another drummer. This sort of good natured help is often returned in kind later down the track. Much musical success has been helped through word of mouth communication.

As for the set list? If you think this is bad, just wait until you've done 50 one nighters in a row playing Englebert Humperdink material.

A gig's a gig after all. Some are more glamorous than others. But they will all help add to your experience and as such each one has its own value.
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Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:01 am

Oh and just to add to this, I'd like to offer something that happened to me when I helped some "friends" with recording sessions and showcase gigs.

I had recently been robbed and did not have a car. I was also not gigging at the time. My friend, G, who had a pretty inexperienced amateur pop band, called me. His exact words were: "Hi Dale. Can you help me and my band? We need a great drummer to play some sessions and a few gigs until we can find a drummer. Will you help us?"

At the time I had already been working professionally for some time. But I had some spare time and said: "Sure mate. Of course I'll help you. No worries."

So I recorded for them in a very nice studio. Six songs, if memory serves. I arrived at the studio about 10.00 am. By the time we got sounds in the studio and recorded, I was out of there by about 3.00 pm.

I then played some shows with them and it all went as well as could be expected. Although I was playing with a bass player who had no pocket at all. It was a bit trying for me. Seriously, these guys were so unprofessional that during a first set, after the second song no less, G turned to me and said, and I quote.

"Man, I can't hang on any more. I have to have a piss!"

He then ran off stage leaving me with my mouth agape. So I filled in the space by playing a solo until he returned and we resumed the set.

Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. Remember what Alien drummer said about egos, relationships etc? Well listen to this.

The bass player had a new girlfriend. Apparently she had been telling this guy how awesome he was. And how the band was so great and would go far. With this in mind the band had a party.

Now remember, I was not a member of this band and was only doing them a favour. I did not charge for the sessions or the gigs. This was all given freely by myself to my friends. All the takes on their recordings were first takes. This saved them a lot of money.

But I didn't have a car.

Now at this point I had actually done the gigs I'd agreed to. As far as I was concerned it was over. So I attended the party to help them celebrate.

Now before I move on, there's something more. This bass player had moved into a house with a famous soundman. I met him at the studio in fact when I played the session.

When I arrived at the party I greeted him and he slunk away as if embarrassed. I was thinking "What's going on??" (He'd not actually heard the recording at the time.)

It was then that the bass player came to me and sacked me from the band!

I was not a member. Nor would have joined.

You know why I was sacked?

Because G was sick of picking me up to help them showcase their band. He knew at the start my car had been stolen.

I haven't spoken to these people in ten years. It made me look bad in front of the soundman to be kicked out of such a piss poor band. It was not good all round.

And I'd just helped out.

So you need to be careful with your friends.
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:53 am

agreed. broadening your playing status is always a good idea. however music is mainley about loving it. and having fun what your doing, what i would do. play this "gig" alot of emo is done half time, which as ull kno is a popular punk beat try and do it, ull probably get a bigger vocabulary, and after if your not loving or having fun anymore, its time to move on dude. :)
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:09 am

It is always good getting thrown in at the deepend as a drummer, its a good way of learning, and is how the buisness works alot. You will after this have more experience of this genre and is good to have as many things "under you belt" as possible. They are your freinds though and that is important! if you realy dont like the way the band works just continue as long as you have to, then leave without causing freindship problems!

Hope this helps!