I suppose this relations advice more then anything else
Our drummer is really good, like really good but he is ridiculously indisciplined
We play covers and our own songs but no matter what we play there are three main problems on the drums
1. loads of fills. Their cool fills, but there can be too much of a good thing
2. Really loose beat. What he plays changes every time. He has no consistency in his beats, even if they are good. Sometimes he can get away with improvising but when we stop and he doesn't, or end a song and he doesn't realise it sounds just terrible
3. He never has any idea where he is in a song. I think this is mostly because when he practices he never listens to the song. This is linked with 2 as he just guesses what to do and forgets what worked last time. I think he is a little bit in his own world, as if he is playing on his own.
I play the drums as well and show him what to do, but he just forgets. The real problem is that he takes criticism really badly, he always looks as if we've just told we hate him and wish he would die. Not angry, just sad
Also he is a nice guy and we are close friends and I value this friendship. I think kicking him out would ruin this so none of that please
Build a device that lets you pass an electric current through his junk every time he does something stupid, and you'll train him out of it in no time.
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Pass on the wisdom of John Bonham, who said that to be a truely great drummer you must know what not to play.
Drummers > Guitarists.


Edit: After reading the OP he doesn't sound like that great a drummer
Last edited by whoomit at Apr 10, 2012,
I've been playing drums myself ever since I was 7, and he seems like the typical Keith Moon-ish drummer. Tell him to play a cool drum lines with some ghost notes on the snare, hi-hat tricks and so on and so forth. Laying down the basic drum line and building it up with a some phrasing every now and then, is a good thing to do. It gives a rather monotone drum beat a cool sounding twist. That's what Bonham did.
Blow him every time he plays something cool, then he'll keep doing cool things, and you'll never go hungry.
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If he can't keep a simple rhythm down and always forgets where he is in the song, he's not a good drummer.
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Wow TS, that's exactly how our drummer was. Eventually he started showing up less and less til we kicked him out. That was more the declining friendship though.
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If he can't keep a simple rhythm down and always forgets where he is in the song, he's not a good drummer.

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Tell him to stop focusing on himself and listen to the overall sound.
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how much input does he have in writing? he might just be bored, having had no input on the song bar perhaps the drum line.
for me at least, hearing or playing a part that i wrote or had input on is much more interesting and fun that just playing what i've been told to write
Last edited by moody git at Apr 10, 2012,
I was in a band with a drummer like that, not much to do really; all drummers have ADD
Challenge him. Tell him that you bet he cant play a full song on nothing more than the kick, snare, and hi hat and see how quickly his playing tightens up. Tell him that as long as he can maintain the groove and the beat, that he can do whatever else he wants--as long as he stays in the pocket. This is where your bassist needs to reel him in while you're playing, because if your drummer won't be the timekeeper and pacesetter, than your bassist will have to.
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2 thoughts.

1. Shock collar.

2. Record what you play and play it back to him. If it really sounds as obnoxious as you say, it should be obvious when you play it back, which opens the door for fixing it.

If you go with option 1, please videotape it!
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he always looks as if we've just told we hate him and wish he would die. Not angry, just sad

I love this part
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Drummers > Guitarists.

Pretty much this

And I hope this doesn't happen to me... I got 3 bands looking for a drummer and I don't wanna be like the guy in the OP
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You need to remind him of the drummers main job. That is to keep the band in the right beat. If he can't do it, then might as well play without one. Tell him to lay off the fills, and try mastering the song before adding anything else.


For my band's drummer,we learned pretty quickly that he couldn't be leashed easily because of his beat creativity. When he did his try-out, we actually limited the kit down to a kick, hi-hat, snare and crash to ensure things that your drummer does wouldn't happen to us. No toms, no rides, just the very basics. He still impressed vastly, but didn't complain until we gave him the okay and welcome into the band. He figured we were really testing him, and I personally don't regret it.

I'd suggest taking my path since it worked for me, but I obviously don't know your drummer well enough to know how he'd cope with a stripped down set and criticism. In the worst case, if he dissapoints with a minimal kit, you at least have a valid reason to let him go.
do what gnr did to steven adler, hide all his drums save the snare kick and hi-hats
He sounds like many rockers--Good at rocking out on his instrument but immature as a musician. I like the suggestions so far: Shrink his set, have think about the whole band and the role of the drummer, and maybe some Ritalin?
Is he by any chance into church. Don't laugh. When I started going on my own accord--not because I had to--I quickly got into playing in the church band. I really learned about the "Feel" of the songs and nuances, and it opened my bass playing up to different styles. There was a bunch of the less-is-more approach as well. Just a thought
It doesn't matter how skilled he is, if he can't play with the band, it isn't really worth it. When you talk to him, try to make it clear that you are trying to help him; He's gonna have to learn to take criticism like an adult one day, and he has the luxury of being able to learn to take it from a friend, rather than just be slammed with a hard truth or ultimatum by a stranger.

Think of that next time you are not allowed to laugh.
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