Page 1 of 2
#1
Me and a couple guys like to get together every once in a while and call ourselves a band. The drummer just isn't any good though. He plays with the band like he plays by himself; he thinks that playing a beat for 14 beats and throwing in a 2 beat solo is acceptable throughout the entire song. He plays fills during the verses, he plays fills during the guitar solos, he plays fills all the time. When I try to tell him that he isn't the star of the show he gets all defensive, unreasonably attacks my playing (he doesn't know a thing about bass), and plays his fills twice as often.

I know I know, kick him out of the band. Trouble is, we've been friends for like seven years, we even moved in together for college. I've tried telling him that there isn't a drummer in any of his favorite bands that plays as many fills as he does, I've tried offering to teach him music theory. He just blows me off and sulks in his room. If I decide to stop playing with him my home life will be hell and our guitarist will be pretty bummed.

How do I tell him that his playing isn't working without hurting his feelings?
#2
As far as I can tell, there is no way. although if its just jamming its not a huge deal, maybe you and the guitar player can find another drummer, but still play with this guy sometimes.
If you do really want to stay with him, say that a band is only as good as its drummer, and if he doesnt do what you want him to he cant play with you.

but this has never happened to me before so what do I know...
GUITARS
Burswood Acoustic
Squier Affinity Strat
Fender Tele Deluxe
BASS
Ibanez Jetking bass
AMPS
Marshall MG30DFX
Peavey max 158 bass amp
Fender Bassman 250
1979 Carvin of some sort
And some pedals
#4
if you have the ability record a jam session and make him listen to it, hopefully he will hear the error of his ways and rectify them. and if not then load up your stuff and jam at your guitarist's house and when the drummer asks why he missed the memo tell him that its not fun when he does his own thing regardless of whats good for the "band"

or invite a second guitarist that doesnt know the guy and get a fresh unbiased opinion from someone uninitiated to the group


hope all goes well
#5
just sit him down somewhere quite and get all you band to tell him.

or drug him then rape him
#6
hey i know exactly what you mean. i play bass myself and when the drummer goes into his own little world he often dosent understand what kind of strain this puts on you.

hmmm. that is a tough situation you have there though.
not sure what you can do...

they do have these cool things now, though, called electric dog collars. i have one for my drummer, and it works great!
#7
just tell him straight up man, don't be afraid to confront him
it doesn't matter if he's your friend or not, if he f*cks up you need to tell him until he finally gets that it isn't working
I'M A COWBOY
#8
"Dude, you really need to get it together, we all love playing with you, but your really slamming out too many fills, they rock, but they're coming too frequently and we'd really like to you to just cut them down a little bit, you can still play them, just not as much. We don't wanna have to work with anyone else, but doing all the fills is really affecting our sound negatively, please just change it just for us" and make sure that the band is backing you.
#9
Sounds like you could probably do better, regardless of him being a friend or not. I've had a similar situation and he has to realize the error of his ways, trying to accommodate him will just not work. If you can't work out issues amongst you without taking offence and giving unreasonable backlash (like him insulting your playing) your band won't be able to last long.
Gear
Hamer Standard XT
1963 Burns Split Sonic
Boss DD-7 (w/ Tap switch)
BAJA Real Tube Overdrive
Vox V847 Wah
Digitech Whammy IV
Boss TU-2
Vox AD50VTXL
#11
Sounds to me like he's a kid hitting drums. Not a drummer
axe 'im- unless you just wanna fool around - thats the direct answer
#12
Quote by smashyourguitar
they do have these cool things now, though, called electric dog collars. i have one for my drummer, and it works great!


hey, that was my idea!

...and if that fails, tie him to a chair and hammer his balls with a stapler.
(I'm a master or torture )
#13
Cover some Slayer, that should tire him out.

But seriously, write some songs that give him a good (but reasonable) amount of pickups and fills. Fills before solos are always somewhat cool. Also, explain to him that the best percussion players know when to be silent.

The drummer in my band is similar, but not as bad. He likes to randomly go double time throughout the songs, then wonders why we can't play our (already pretty fast) riffs in time with his drumming. To make it worse, he's starting to utilize double kickers in all of their glory.

Also, if he's playing too loud, to the extent that you can barely hear the guitarist(s) and yourself during practice, just stop playing altogether. If he doesn't notice, then quit the band (or kick him out or whatever) because he seems like a pretentious prick. If he does notice, either turn your amp up or tell him to cool it or you'll quit.

I dunno, none of that will probably work at all, but just trying to help out.
#14
Quote by ChrisMill5
Me and a couple guys like to get together every once in a while and call ourselves a band. The drummer just isn't any good though. He plays with the band like he plays by himself; he thinks that playing a beat for 14 beats and throwing in a 2 beat solo is acceptable throughout the entire song. He plays fills during the verses, he plays fills during the guitar solos, he plays fills all the time. When I try to tell him that he isn't the star of the show he gets all defensive, unreasonably attacks my playing (he doesn't know a thing about bass), and plays his fills twice as often.

I know I know, kick him out of the band. Trouble is, we've been friends for like seven years, we even moved in together for college. I've tried telling him that there isn't a drummer in any of his favorite bands that plays as many fills as he does, I've tried offering to teach him music theory. He just blows me off and sulks in his room. If I decide to stop playing with him my home life will be hell and our guitarist will be pretty bummed.

How do I tell him that his playing isn't working without hurting his feelings?


You are going about it the wrong way, methinks. He doesn't seem to take crticism well, but who can blame him, you don't seem to be able to crticise constructively.

So are you in a band, or do you just jam? If you just jam, just have fun. If you think he is stoppoing you having fun, then jam without him. If you are actually a band, then you need to be communicating with each other to get the best results. If all the members can do is bicker and put each other down then you aren't going to make any progress and you still won't be having any fun.

And as for not wanting to kick him because life will be hell. Would you rather play with him indefinitely at the detriment to your enjoyment of the band\jam group then kick him out and injure hell for a shorter finite period of time.

Weigh up your options, start to communicate effectively, and if you still can't work it out; kick him from the band, or even better, leave yourself.
#15
Buy a drummer trainer. Basically, it's a brick or other heavy object.

- Is your drummer stupid?
Is he unable to hold a 4/4 beat?
Does he fail to wear deodorant on a regular basis?
Drummer trainer is the solution for you! Any time your drummer expresses a trait that you find irritating and inappropriate, simply throw the drummer trainer at the drummer's head!
Disclaimer: Even though the chances of brain damage for the drummer are low, we cannot be held responsible for your own safety if the drummer becomes sentient / figures out how to use the drummer trainer on you.


Or, you could talk to him, for a very long time and tell him you might have to get a new drummer if he doesn't shape up.

|_|0|_|
|_|_|0|
|0|0|0|
▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄
#16
Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. The three of us used to be in a band a few years ago with another guy. The guitarist we have right now quit, so the remaining three changed our name and achieved moderate local success. But that guitarist quit the band (the Yoko effect) and the guitarist who quit before joined up again. Basically, the drummer and I have been working together for a number of years. As I've learned more about music (I haven't ALWAYS been this great), I've been more and more irked by his playing.

I've read on other threads that getting the band to unite against the lame duck is a good response, but the guitarist is too shy to confront him with me.

supersac: if I write a song and even hint at what kind of beat I'd like to hear with it he flies off the handle, let alone me telling him where it is acceptable to do fills or not.

comicbookguy95: we do record jam sessions and I don't think he can hear the problem. We used to listen to almost every session right after we jammed and he just didn't hear anything wrong with it.

Dio10101: great idea, but I can't get the guitarist to back me on it. The drummer will ask the guitarist if he agrees, he'll give a mas o menos answer and the drummer will just think I'm a controlling prick.

Myshadow46_2: perhaps I'm not very clear in my criticism, though I taught both of my above mentioned guitarists how to play and they both said I was much nicer than any teacher they'd had. We do sometimes jam without him but he gets upset if he finds out we did. I really like your argument: "Would you rather play with him indefinitely at the detriment to your enjoyment of the band\jam group then kick him out and injure hell for a shorter finite period of time." The answer is the finite time one.

I appreciate everyone's help, I joined UG just yesterday so I could post my predicament and everybody was not shy about offering help.

As for beating him senseless, he would just kill me in my sleep. Thanks though.
#17
Tell him to take some lessons
or just kick him out and tell him his drumming doesnt fit with the music you want to play. just because you guys dont jam together anymore doesnt mean you cant still be friends
[img]http://cdn.gs.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/v.gif[/img]
#18
I'll give you a drummers perspective of what you said to him. "You suck at drums, please just keep time and stay in the back where no one can see you. I'll be up here shredding and getting all the attention." So maybe he is playing fills a bit excessively, but who said you can't ply fills during verses or solos? Obviously you don't like it because it is taking away from your spotlight, but I don't think he wants to always be shoved in the back and unnoticed.

I don't know if he really is playing too many fills or you just think that, but either way he should be playing them correctly. There are spots in songs that are meant for drum fills, maybe he hasn't figured this out yet.

I wouldn't kick him out because he is your friend and because I don't really believe he is doing anything wrong. If you still have a problem try a little more constructive approach, and say how about a fill here, or say I think the verses should be toned down and the choruses need to be loud and full. DO NOT say "you're not the star of the show" because that will just piss him off and he'll probably play more fills just because you said that. I teach drums so if you need more advice just ask.

Also I read everyone whining about their drummers playing stuff that is too hard for them. Personally I do that a lot, I'll play switch from eighth notes to quarter notes, I'll play a syncopated beat. I like to challenge my bassist to make sure he is always on top of his game.
Last edited by MR. Goodcents at Dec 11, 2009,
#20
play hardball you pussy.
go find another band and tell him you're playing with them now, EXCLUSIVELY, because he refused to compromise... whether or not that's actually the case.
#21
Quote by MR. Goodcents
I'll give you a drummers perspective of what you said to him. "You suck at drums, please just keep time and stay in the back where no one can see you. I'll be up here shredding and getting all the attention." So maybe he is playing fills a bit excessively, but who said you can't ply fills during verses or solos? Obviously you don't like it because it is taking away from your spotlight, but I don't think he wants to always be shoved in the back and unnoticed.

I don't know if he really is playing too many fills or you just think that, but either way he should be playing them correctly. There are spots in songs that are meant for drum fills, maybe he hasn't figured this out yet.

I wouldn't kick him out because he is your friend and because I don't really believe he is doing anything wrong. If you still have a problem try a little more constructive approach, and say how about a fill here, or say I think the verses should be toned down and the choruses need to be loud and full. DO NOT say "you're not the star of the show" because that will just piss him off and he'll probably play more fills just because you said that. I teach drums so if you need more advice just ask.

Also I read everyone whining about their drummers playing stuff that is too hard for them. Personally I do that a lot, I'll play switch from eighth notes to quarter notes, I'll play a syncopated beat. I like to challenge my bassist to make sure he is always on top of his game.


I appreciate where you're coming from and I can see how someone could take it the wrong way, but I've also been on the receiving end of criticism and I'm fairly confident in my knowledge of the do's and don't's of constructive criticism. I'm not upset that it takes away from my spotlight because I'm a firm believe that bass should be felt more than heard, I think it distracts from the natural chord flow that either the guitarist or I wrote. He thinks that every fill is the same no matter what, I ask him to emphasize fills that transition between verses and choruses because I feel they lead the listener into a new chord progression. But he knows only one type of fill and I believe it confuses the listener. They have no idea when the verse ends, when the chorus starts, when the solo is over, etc. because every fill is the same volume, the same amount of time from the last fill, and of the same variety.

I personally believe that a subtle fill is so much more powerful than banging out 8th notes as hard as you can. I've never actually told him that he's not the star of the show because that's a pretty rude thing to do and I respect him as a friend. But he has a slight inferiority complex that prevents him from wanting to hear anything I say. I come from a family of musicians and music is easy to me; none of his family possess a great musical prowess, and he resents me for it.

I wouldn't be mad if he played things that were too hard for him because to me, that's the best way to get better at your instrument. But he is the only musician I've ever met that doesn't think playing other people's songs makes you a better musician.

If I need more advice I think I will take you up on your offer, thank you.
#22
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
Just out of curiosity, could you post one of your jams so we can here how much he actually takes over?


I'm pretty new here and I don't know how to do that, but I think I have a good example that I'd be happy to post when I figure it out.
#23
Save the the recording as an mp3 then click 'My Profile' in the top right of the UG page. After your profile loads you should see a bunch of links on the left hand side, under your profile picture that say "Edit Profile", "Account Settings", "My Messages", "My Subscriptions", "My Mp3s" .etc. Click "My Mp3s" the select the "Upload New" tab on the page that pops up. That should give you the info to fill out and upload your recording ;D
#24
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
Save the the recording as an mp3 then click 'My Profile' in the top right of the UG page. After your profile loads you should see a bunch of links on the left hand side, under your profile picture that say "Edit Profile", "Account Settings", "My Messages", "My Subscriptions", "My Mp3s" .etc. Click "My Mp3s" the select the "Upload New" tab on the page that pops up. That should give you the info to fill out and upload your recording ;D


Concise and efficient, that's my kind of man!

The recording is called "Example". This was a song that the band had laid out the groundwork for but never really took it much further than the idea phase. What you'll notice is that he plays a fill at the end of nearly every bar. Maybe I'm over-analyzing but to me, the drum fills distract from the guitar's rhythm. Our guitarist didn't come up with that riff thinking that his slightly swung ending chords would be overpowered by eighth notes on the drums.

I know that this is just a jam session, but he does the same thing when we are writing songs too, it's hard to sing over drum fills like that.
Last edited by ChrisMill5 at Dec 12, 2009,
#25
To be honest, as a drummer, I don't think he's overly playing too many fills. I admit, I'd barely play half that amount but if I was sitting back, listening to the song and not focusing on the drums in particular I don't think it would really stand out. But then again, it obviously sticks out to you guys and it's not his song so I can see how it would get to you.
#26
Quote by ChrisMill5
I appreciate where you're coming from and I can see how someone could take it the wrong way, but I've also been on the receiving end of criticism and I'm fairly confident in my knowledge of the do's and don't's of constructive criticism. I'm not upset that it takes away from my spotlight because I'm a firm believe that bass should be felt more than heard, I think it distracts from the natural chord flow that either the guitarist or I wrote. He thinks that every fill is the same no matter what, I ask him to emphasize fills that transition between verses and choruses because I feel they lead the listener into a new chord progression. But he knows only one type of fill and I believe it confuses the listener. They have no idea when the verse ends, when the chorus starts, when the solo is over, etc. because every fill is the same volume, the same amount of time from the last fill, and of the same variety.

I personally believe that a subtle fill is so much more powerful than banging out 8th notes as hard as you can. I've never actually told him that he's not the star of the show because that's a pretty rude thing to do and I respect him as a friend. But he has a slight inferiority complex that prevents him from wanting to hear anything I say. I come from a family of musicians and music is easy to me; none of his family possess a great musical prowess, and he resents me for it.

I wouldn't be mad if he played things that were too hard for him because to me, that's the best way to get better at your instrument. But he is the only musician I've ever met that doesn't think playing other people's songs makes you a better musician.

If I need more advice I think I will take you up on your offer, thank you.

So after listening to the recording I agree he does play fills pretty often. However, the way the song is structured in the verses the fills don't seem entirely out of place. He did play the same two fills the entire song. He sounds like he needs some practice. Teaching drums I can definitely identify where he is comfort wise. I know that drummers who are not completely comfortable with their skills will either play no fills, or fills way to often and it sounds like that's where he's at. He also got off time in some parts, and it sounded like he even stopped playing during one of the choruses. I would encourage him to get some lessons or practice more on his own. I wouldn't kick him out though because like you said he is your friend, and his playing is not too bad. If you can afford the time he will get better just by playing in the band more. Also your family has nothing to do with how natural a person is at music. Nobody in my family has ever played music, but somehow I play 3 instruments and teach lessons.
#27
Some of his fills fit, however some of them do seem really bad placed. its the sort of thing though that learning when to play and when not to, is something that you learn from experience and not from being told "Your Overplaying" Which May leave him with a bitter feeling.
#29
Quote by MR. Goodcents
So after listening to the recording I agree he does play fills pretty often. However, the way the song is structured in the verses the fills don't seem entirely out of place. He did play the same two fills the entire song. He sounds like he needs some practice. Teaching drums I can definitely identify where he is comfort wise. I know that drummers who are not completely comfortable with their skills will either play no fills, or fills way to often and it sounds like that's where he's at. He also got off time in some parts, and it sounded like he even stopped playing during one of the choruses. I would encourage him to get some lessons or practice more on his own. I wouldn't kick him out though because like you said he is your friend, and his playing is not too bad. If you can afford the time he will get better just by playing in the band more. Also your family has nothing to do with how natural a person is at music. Nobody in my family has ever played music, but somehow I play 3 instruments and teach lessons.


Perhaps in this song the fills kinda fit but he does same thing in a version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with loud long fills at the end of every bar. I do believe he is in a comfort zone, but he's been in the comfort zone since I started hanging out with him in 2003. I'm afraid I can't afford the time any more, which is why I've come to this forum. I didn't mention earlier that he took two years of drum lessons when he was younger (he's been playing for almost fifteen years) but he quit because he "didn't like it when they told me what to do". I did mention that he's the only person I've ever met that doesn't think practice makes perfect. I thank you for your words of advice.
#30
Quote by ChrisMill5
How do I tell him that his playing isn't working without hurting his feelings?
EVERY time he plays an out-of-place fill ... STOP.

That's right stop playing. "Too much, man. Keep it simple."
Then back up and start over.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#31
Tell him you want to play a show, get some covers and say you're gonna cover them exactly how they are and make him learn the drums exactly like they are on the record. Beat for beat. Then maybe he'll get a feel for how drummers should be
I hate my sig
#32
Quote by ChrisMill5
Perhaps in this song the fills kinda fit but he does same thing in a version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with loud long fills at the end of every bar. I do believe he is in a comfort zone, but he's been in the comfort zone since I started hanging out with him in 2003. I'm afraid I can't afford the time any more, which is why I've come to this forum. I didn't mention earlier that he took two years of drum lessons when he was younger (he's been playing for almost fifteen years) but he quit because he "didn't like it when they told me what to do". I did mention that he's the only person I've ever met that doesn't think practice makes perfect. I thank you for your words of advice.

Ya you can't really do much about people that half ass it and don't try to get better. And I was saying he's not in a comfort zone, but he'll never get there if he doesn't practice. He should be much much better after 15 years of playing, honestly I can get some of my students to playing at his level in a month if they work at it.

I would suggest finding another drummer and forming a band with him. At the same time have the occasional jam with your friend to keep him happy. If he asks why he's not in the band just be honest and say it wasn't fitting with what the rest of the band thought the sound should be.
#34
Aaaargh he plays a fill at the end of every Bar!!!!! man thats irritating. How old is the guy? Has he had formal training? Cos that is seriously amateur material. Rest of the jam sounds good though dude. Groovy chill out stuff.
Gear
Hamer Standard XT
1963 Burns Split Sonic
Boss DD-7 (w/ Tap switch)
BAJA Real Tube Overdrive
Vox V847 Wah
Digitech Whammy IV
Boss TU-2
Vox AD50VTXL
#35
Someone: Good advice, but tried it last year. He said "If you don't like my playing, find another drummer". Maybe I should have...

Quantum: He thinks other drummers are boring, I've mentioned before that he's the only person I know that doesn't think playing other people's stuff helps you learn.

Goodcents: I appreciate your insight especially, being a drum teacher and everything. I do think it might be time to cut the cord. We had two gigs schedule last night that our guitarist blew off (I know how to pick em eh?) so it will be easy just to move on.

sedated: Are you suggesting we're good enough to cover Rush? I would be honored, but I wholeheartedly disagree

Fraydawg: Glad you like the rest of it, sometimes we have a good thing going, other times not so much.

I appreciate everything everyone has said, but it seems like all your ideas to tame him are things I've already thought about or tried. Looks like I should just let him back out to the wild.
#37
Quote by ChrisMill5
Someone: Good advice, but tried it last year. He said "If you don't like my playing, find another drummer". Maybe I should have...
lol. Real simple. If it was my band (I'm assuming it is your band) and somebody said that to me, I'd turn it right back on him. "Nope. We're doing it my way. If you don't wanna do that, you know where the door is."

I think you're stuck with the way things are.
His will is obviously stronger than yours.
And you don't have the nerve to get him out of the band.
Accept it. You lose.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#38
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
I think you're stuck with the way things are.
His will is obviously stronger than yours.
And you don't have the nerve to get him out of the band.
Accept it. You lose.


nice poem dude.
#39
Quote by GrisKy
nice poem dude.
Thanks man. How about a limmerick?

A guitarist once said to his drummer
All these fills you play are a bummer
The drummer said: Chris,
My ass you can kiss
'cuz I won't take advice from a strummer
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#40
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
Thanks man. How about a limmerick?


Or a haiku?

Your will is too weak,
The drummer will play his fills.
Accept it - you lose.
Quote by Ed O'Brien
“It’s not genius. It’s just that if you want something good to come out of something, you have to put in a lot of effort. That involves a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.”

http://urbanscarecrow.bandcamp.com/
Page 1 of 2