Your job in a band

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SmellsLikeIan
groove master
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Post Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:12 am

CP drummer wrote
but how would you like your bassist, who knows crap all about drums to help you write YOUR parts. i think a drummer should focus on his instrument, and play the best beats he can with the song at hand.

Sorry, dude, but I beg to differ. Sometimes a second opinion is a good way to look/listen "outside yourself" and if you have a strong connection with the bass player, he may be able to give you good ideas once in a while. Don't let ego get in the way of improvement. Just because it isn't your idea doesn't mean that it is a bad one, maybe even better than one you had. I've had guitar players, singers, etc. give me helpful advice, and sometimes the person(s) who wrote the song had a different idea in mind before they even played it for you the first time. And Dale, you're absolutely right about song writing and publishing being where the money is. Diversify. Learn to play another instrument. It really helps your perception, so that you're not hearing things from a drummer's standpoint alone, but listening to the song as a whole.
yee freakin' haw
Dale
session drummer
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Post Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:35 am

SmellsLikeIan wrote:CP drummer wrote
but how would you like your bassist, who knows crap all about drums to help you write YOUR parts. i think a drummer should focus on his instrument, and play the best beats he can with the song at hand.

Sorry, dude, but I beg to differ. Sometimes a second opinion is a good way to look/listen "outside yourself" and if you have a strong connection with the bass player, he may be able to give you good ideas once in a while. Don't let ego get in the way of improvement. Just because it isn't your idea doesn't mean that it is a bad one, maybe even better than one you had. I've had guitar players, singers, etc. give me helpful advice, and sometimes the person(s) who wrote the song had a different idea in mind before they even played it for you the first time. And Dale, you're absolutely right about song writing and publishing being where the money is. Diversify. Learn to play another instrument. It really helps your perception, so that you're not hearing things from a drummer's standpoint alone, but listening to the song as a whole.


I couldn't agree more. I actually believe that there is a problem with many drummers. That problem is that some drummers exist solely in a world of drums. Technical aspects of playing often have little to do with the music at hand. I recall an MD interview with Bruford, back in 1983, where he commented on this and said he was amazed how many drummers get caught in this trap and never escape it. I believe a guitarist and a bass player concerned with chord progressions have more relevance to music and songwriting than a paradiddle.

Steve Jordan's DVD is a perfect example of a world class drummer divercifying and growing as a result. He specifically mentions how learning the bass made him more aware of the 1/4 note than ever before. He then goes on to play bass (upright and electric), guitar and drums.

The drums are but one part of a more important whole. Music is about communication. How can you communicate if you don't know the other's language?
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
Smitdog
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Post Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:14 pm

I write some tunes and do some back up vocals...Alot of the younger drummers often overplay. Your main function for the band is to lay down a good solid groove. This is something that I really grasped when I was playng in a country band for a couple of years.
My back ground was hard/classic rock but the pay was amazing and the musicianship was top notch. I would say to any drummer to hook up with some country players for even just to jam with - it will amaze you how good they really are.
-cp- drummer
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Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:15 am

Dale wrote:
Tell that to Phil Collins. Jack DeJohnette. Bill Bruford. Phil Gould. Gary Husband. Allan White. And a host of others.

Song writing and publishing is where the money is.


i understand, but like i said, it is set in the beginning of the deal that phil collins is the main songwriter/lyricist, along with all of the others in that list. but in a band like mine, we all do our separate things and meet in the middle, right?

well said - publishing and writing IS everything. madonna's writers probably have more money than her, discluding books and merchandise sales.
Check out my band Crashed Pulse!

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automaster31
drumming adept
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Location: oneida, NY

Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:24 am

keeping track of equipment and costs but not shelling out the $. I also take part in writing some of the music and changing it if I feel it doesn't fit well.
metaldrummer
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Location: Folsom, California

Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:37 pm

currently the Bassist, guitarist and I are writing lyrics. The other guitarist is just mainly practicing some lead stuff.

Playing wise, I like being the one who structures more things. Since I played guitar around the time I started playing drums, and being in the School concert, and marching band programs(playing clairinet) I know musical structures pretty good I think. So I like forming those ideas in my head and structuring them.

I think I would be the "frontman" in musicianship wise, since everyone in the band only focuses, and only has experience with the guitar.
Favorite Drummer: Jason Bittner

Currently in a band. Starting after High School
Hooker
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Post Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:33 pm

Musically, I don't really "write" anything, but I do a lot with arranging and finishing the songs. Businesswise, I do EVERYTHING. I book the shows, I make the flyers, I get the shows in the papers, I manage the website, I do the graphic design work, and I do all the networking.

It's weird but a LOT of other drummers I've met are in the same boat, where they are the only one who handles the business aspects. Anyone else in this predicament?

But actually, I enjoy handling all the business. At least I know it will get done. Plus, it basically gives me job security within the band :D
Dale
session drummer
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:21 am
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Post Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:45 pm

If you do everything you should become the manager and take the 18%.

I'm serious.
I don't know what I'm talking about!

"Don't play FOR people. Play WITH people."
- Papa Jo Jones
metaldrummer
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Location: Folsom, California

Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:35 am

yeah, seriously

I don't know why it seems like the drummers do more. Maybe because in most bands the drummers are "the smarter ones"

I will end up getting "hook ups" with venues and merch guys down the road, since no one else in my band focuses on the "business" aspect of things
Favorite Drummer: Jason Bittner

Currently in a band. Starting after High School
Cameraman
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:02 am

I write a lot of the lyrics, and I play piano on softer parts without drums.
[Insert quote here]
steel_city_drummer
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Location: Hamilton, ON

Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:03 am

i help with arrangements and lyrics. i play guitar as well so i help with riffs as well.
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TrunJun
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Location: Denver, CO

Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:26 am

Any drummers job in the band inherently is to keep the song tempo steady and to make the different parts of the songs flow into each other with ease. Since there are elements of core in my band, I also have the luxury of being able to compose parts (mainly the breakdowns and transfers and bridges). It all depends on A) who your bass player is and how tight you play as a Rhythm Section and B) how much work you do at home (as with anything)
Its not even that hard to play, its just hard to count! Fuck it!
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Guy&i
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:26 am

i always try to do more than just play drums...
i put a lot of melodic thinking in my playing style to suit the guitars and singing... mostly the singing...
i take small part in writing the lyrics and i always add more guitar parts to the compositions the guitarist brings
i also produce the album we r working on right now and arrange the recording sessions and rehursals...

sometimes i feel like i have to get my band mates to play their instruments too.... :)
Jah Bless
chooza_looza
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:10 am

At the moment i am playing guitar for my band while we are searching for a permanent guitarist. However while i am recording songs at home i do play both guitar and drums on each track.
Once we get a guitarist i will be based on drums again but i will prob pitch in with riffs and stuff. I also sometimes take part in lyrics but its really not my strong point. And i do put a lot into the composition of our songs. I always have my say.
UNIONVILLE
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:11 am

i help with arranging the riffs that the guitar players bring to the table and suggest ideas for transitions and whatnot. i think everyone in the band should be somewhat involved in the writting process. this way, everyone feels good about what is being wrote and what is being played.