Famous Drummers Recording Mistakes

DrummingJorge

New member
Hey my fellow drummers. I guess I'm being a bit rough on myself. My band and I have been recording for an album. In laying down my drum tracks I missed a cymbal stroke on the ride while playing a swing pattern. In listening to the playback I cringed. The engineer and other bandmates said it was barely noticeable and that it wasn't worth re-recording the track. Personally I would have gone back because lately I've been a perfectionist.

I guess I'm looking for words of encourangement. Any examples of known recordings where the drummer makes a mistake and it's left in? I'm told Ringo made drumming mistakes here and there on recordings that were left and not corrected.

Thanks!
 

Rockula!

New member
Charlie Watts is known for being extremely reliable
The intro to "Start Me Up' has that slight staggered feel at the beginning
He was searching for the spot to come in
One of their most popular songs ever and he makes a mistake starting the song!

I like the mistakes
Pro tools is sanitizing the recording industry
 

THE EXPOSED

New member
Its pretty easy to find mistakes on live records and on bands earlier records. Theres a ton on the first MOTLEY CRUE album TOO FAST FOR LOVE. I even found a guitar mistake at the beginning of the song Doctor Feelgood which they used pro tools on and produced the hell out it so thats kina cool.
 

davidedrums

New member
I don't know I think mistakes are cool that proves that humans are not perfect not machines. Most people won't notice any mistakes unless they are very noticiable.

I find when I hear recordings that I did, I hate all of it because I am also too much of a perfectionist. Maybe it is good to be a perfectionist!!
 

mute

New member
think of it this way: no one will notice any mistake on your drumming unless they are a drummer (and maybe some other musician) and then, if they do, they’ll probably just listen more to it and talk about it more.

even if anyone does notice, they’ll likely think that you meant it. at least, they’ll never be sure. unless it’s huge, of course. sure, I can barely listen to what I’ve recorded but other people generally enjoy it until I start talking about it.
 

drummert2k

New member
you're in a studio and dont have to nail it the first time. if you're unhappy with it go back and even just punch the part in. but if your unhappy now, the longer it goes and the more you hear it the more you're gonna wish you would have redone it. its not the rest of the bands or the engineers part. its yours. if you dont like it, its definitely worth taking the time to fix.
 

Asimgeekhan

New member
drummert2k":gfd36v7b said:
you're in a studio and dont have to nail it the first time. if you're unhappy with it go back and even just punch the part in. but if your unhappy now, the longer it goes and the more you hear it the more you're gonna wish you would have redone it. its not the rest of the bands or the engineers part. its yours. if you dont like it, its definitely worth taking the time to fix.
agreed.

im studying to be a studio engineer, and i've been involved with music since i was 9. basically if you make a mistake its like missing a note in a song just skip it and move on. but if you make a mistake and have the opportunity to change it the way you want it then take that opportunity to do so. especially when your recording, you want to lay down what you have been practicing and rehearsing, and what sounds good.
 

ratfinkdrummer

New member
Some of my faves are: Charlie Watts' bad clam on the chorus right after the solo in "I'm Free", Keith Moon's late snare hit on the 3rd chorus of "Boris the Spider". I like these. One I don't like is Carl Palmer's akward fill on, I believe, the 2nd chorus of "Lucky Man". I guess it's the fact that the song is what matters, as well as the feel, not the precision of the performance.
 

steveund

New member
I read an interview where Buddy Rich said he would rather record Live instead of a recording studio, because you get what you play the first time. Mistakes and all. You have an audiance to judge you by.

He said something to the fact that recording in a studio and being able to fix notes and punch in and out is not truely catching you in a performace. And recording is suposed to be just that and true performance.

So it's really up to you, if you want to go and fix it, go for it. As a matter of fact tell them you don't feel like the album should be released with mistakes like that on there. If that's how you feel about it.

But do think about the many drummers that just say "oh well."

I recorded with a guy that engineered and produced two of Tom Petty's albums, and he said he'll hear one of the songs come on the radio and he'll go, "There's that mistake, that mistake, and that mistake."

So it's really not a big deal, and you are talking about one small part on a song. Don't sweat it. For the most part, make it part of the song, learn just how the mistake was made and just play it that way Live.
 

Flatliner

New member
If you listend to early satana there's a lot of times where once they break out of 4/4 time the whole band loses it, and they left it on the record!

I'd go back and fix it, but I'm a complete perfectionist and even after I've finished something I always think I could have made it better.
 

SideshowBob

New member
I was told once that if you make a mistake, wait a few bars and make that same mistake. try to make it seem like you meant to do it even if you didn't. sometimes this can produce some interesting fills or accents.
 

Rooster

New member
DrummingJorge":29vzqt5s said:
Hey my fellow drummers. I guess I'm being a bit rough on myself. My band and I have been recording for an album. In laying down my drum tracks I missed a cymbal stroke on the ride while playing a swing pattern. In listening to the playback I cringed. The engineer and other bandmates said it was barely noticeable and that it wasn't worth re-recording the track. Personally I would have gone back because lately I've been a perfectionist.

I guess I'm looking for words of encourangement. Any examples of known recordings where the drummer makes a mistake and it's left in? I'm told Ringo made drumming mistakes here and there on recordings that were left and not corrected.

Thanks!
I don't know the make up of your band nor what type of music you're doing,
if you're not happy with the track then redo it. Remind your fellow band mates that the recording is perminent, and you want to do it again.
I find that too often guitarists are far too forgetful about how important a good drummer is, and how the drummer only gets one shot to get it right.
The guitarist can and usually will go back and re-record their parts more than once, don't get me started on layered tracks.
I wouldn't settle for anything short of what makes you happy as a drummer.
I will advise that you don't be to hard on yourself, and force yourself to get it perfect, because it will come thru in your playing...don't handcuff yourself.
Here are some examples of famous drummer screw ups: Alex Van Halen
flubs a snare hit on D.O.A.(Van Halen II) listen to the first snare hit on the 2nd time around the riff after the drums kick in. John Bonham: Now I don't know the name of the song, but it's on Physical Grafitti. On this song it appears after the guitar solo, and Bonhams foot just falls to pieces.
I hope this helps...
 

Johnny Cat

New member
DrummingJorge":1lhk1jpz said:
Hey my fellow drummers. I guess I'm being a bit rough on myself. My band and I have been recording for an album. In laying down my drum tracks I missed a cymbal stroke on the ride while playing a swing pattern. In listening to the playback I cringed. The engineer and other bandmates said it was barely noticeable and that it wasn't worth re-recording the track. Personally I would have gone back because lately I've been a perfectionist.

I guess I'm looking for words of encourangement. Any examples of known recordings where the drummer makes a mistake and it's left in? I'm told Ringo made drumming mistakes here and there on recordings that were left and not corrected.

Thanks!
Yeah, Ringo has made a few booboos in the past, but not really glaring ones. They were more like where he meant to go back to the hats but kept playing the ride for a part, or vice versa. Keep in mind though, that especially on the early 60s recordings, those were all 2 track and 4 track recordings. He didn't have the luxury to really go back and fix things that were nitpicky, especially with the schedule The Beatles were on, cranking out 2 albums a year plus singles, touring, acting in two films, and interviews and all the other mayhem that came with being a Beatle.

If it were me I would still want to go back and fix it, but I would weigh the pros and cons of possibly wasting other people's time (and money). If those aren't an issue, go back and do it again. If they are, well, maybe let it rest the way it is.

And a mistake here or there can make it more real.

One of my favorite moments from the first time I saw Neil Peart play was when he fucked up a fill in New World Man. And I mean he totally botched it. He went for a tom that he hasn't had on his kit since he put the ride cymbal there in its place. Hillarious! It was very encouraging to see one of my heroes make mistakes from time to time like me (well, with me they are moreso :p)
 

st3v3n

New member
mike portnoy, scenes from a memory... if you listen about half way through there is a subtle kick note that is totally off rhythm. it was obviously a mistake but he left it there and now when i play along i try to add that extra kick in there. those mistakes can make the song sing more that it can hurt them.

that one off kick makes me more interested in 4 way independance than ever because it can be quite a challenge to get it right on and with the dynamic that it carries.

it makes things real and can sometimes plant new ideas in your head for off the wall shit to do later. i say leave it unless a four year old hears it and laughs at you. ( by that i mean obviously terrible mistake )
 

Gaddabout

New member
DrummingJorge":2p83998b said:
Hey my fellow drummers. I guess I'm being a bit rough on myself. My band and I have been recording for an album. In laying down my drum tracks I missed a cymbal stroke on the ride while playing a swing pattern. In listening to the playback I cringed. The engineer and other bandmates said it was barely noticeable and that it wasn't worth re-recording the track. Personally I would have gone back because lately I've been a perfectionist.

I guess I'm looking for words of encourangement. Any examples of known recordings where the drummer makes a mistake and it's left in? I'm told Ringo made drumming mistakes here and there on recordings that were left and not corrected.

Thanks!
Steve Gadd himself had moments like this. In fact, he forgot how the "fast montuno" ended on his own instructional video and plowed right through the outro! Instead of doing it again (time was short, studios cost money) they left it in. It ended up being more charming than shocking. I've heard other moments in his playing where he went back to the hi-hat at first rather than the ride cymbal, forgetting that the chorus was doubled. *shrug* I might be the only person who noticed these things because I was listening only to him.

Here's a rule to remember: Almost NOBODY is listening to the drummer. Your bass is there, your snare is there, and the average person tunes out all the other stuff. So unless you're having time problems, there won't be many moments like the one you describe that are worth going back and punching in for.
 

lee

New member
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Steven Adler's mistake at the start of Sweet Child O' Mine. After the snare/floor tom fill he starts playing the beat on the hi-hat, then quickly switches to the ride. It's about 30 seconds or so into the song.
 

xdoseonex

New member
SideshowBob":28bcxeva said:
I was told once that if you make a mistake, wait a few bars and make that same mistake. try to make it seem like you meant to do it even if you didn't. sometimes this can produce some interesting fills or accents.
this is true. honor your mistakes with repetition. a lot of drummer make up realy cool parts that way. i'd have to say one of the more famous drumming mistakes that was left on a recording was Steve Gadd in Steely Dans "aja" in which Steve Gadd accidentally clicked his sticks together and everyone thought it was purposely because it sounded amazing. Steve Gadd was also honored for having the "best solo over a vamp" in that song
 

Eiren

New member
There's quite a few mistakes on various Opeth recordings. One that sticks out most memorably to me is on the track Master's Apprentices.

I have seen Opeth live quite a bit (I can see myself on their Lamentations DVD!), and the drummer was always the weakest link in that band for me. So was pleased to see him go last year.
 

Johnny Cat

New member
Eiren":rekm6xew said:
There's quite a few mistakes on various Opeth recordings. One that sticks out most memorably to me is on the track Master's Apprentices.

I have seen Opeth live quite a bit (I can see myself on their Lamentations DVD!), and the drummer was always the weakest link in that band for me. So was pleased to see him go last year.
Wow, I totally disagree. The two times I saw Opeth I'm sorry to say it was with Axe. He can't play Opeth's songs for shit! He was really sluggish and sloppy, went off time numerous times, and missed a pile of things. He completely butchered the ending of Deliverance and crucified White Cluster, and played When WAY too fast. I read interviews with Peter where the band was telling him slow down all the time. Nowhere near Martin Lopez when he was at the top of his game. His drumming on Ghost Reveries is some of the best drumming I've ever heard. It's not his fault his imminent deterioration hampered his playing, but, to each their own, :)
 
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