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#1
I don't think this drum forum is enjoyed by as many people as it should be so I decided to make this thread which any musician should have an opinion about. Write a check-list of what qualities your drummer is required to have and what qualities would be nice but aren't completely necessary. Here's mine:

Required:
-Must know the basics of rhythm (you'd be surprised how often I've said "give a few 16th notes here" or "this song is in 6/8" and heard the response "thefudge does that mean?")
-Must be able to add in a few flashy fills without screwing up the timing
-Must have a bit of independence between the limbs
-Must know at least a little bit about jazz, blues, or anything with swung notes
Preffered:
-Knows traditional grip (it just proves that they spent time on their technique)
-Knows time signatures in depth
-Can play some contrasting rhythms (polyrhythms) between the limbs, at least some simple ones, they aren't that tough
-Have a little internal vault of latin, african, funk, and country rhythms to choose from
-Can sort of lead instead of follow...this is the nicest, but least expected thing for me to find in a drummer, I love it when a drummer has the balls to switch things up mid-song and make us all struggle for a moment to figure out what to do, I've jammed with a couple people like this but its very rare to find them, none of them live close enough to me to form a band with :p

Now its your turn!
#2
I'm usually involved with atleast 2-3 bands at any given time and if for some reason I'm not available on drums then I'll go out and find myself a replacement, or if a band I play guitar in needs a new drummer then I'll go out and look.

Having said that, what I do look for are these:

- Able to keep solid time and not go OTT or be too flashy.

- Should be able to work out the time signature and tempo by the end of a couple of bars or 10 seconds of opening riff being played.

- Know some level of theory or be willing to learn.

- Knows 16th, 8th, quarter and 32nd notes and the differences between them.

- Is capable of being able to play more than one genre of music and doesn't rely on a double bass pedal.

- Musical tastes should be somewhat open minded, but not in the condescending way

- Be able to GROOVE! man, it's all good playing a beat, but you gotta find your own way of playing it and not just play it for the sake of playing it!
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
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They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#3
those are a lot of requirements. all i look for in a drummer is that he has a good sense of rythm and he's fun to jam with
#4
TS You've gotta have trouble finding drummers like that? I dont think its fair to expect all that unless you're a virtuoso guitarist/bass/singer in return haha.

I have an ace drummer in my band, but i know exactly what i look for in other drummers.
- Fun to be around, no point having a boring ass drummer.
- Be able to sit on a groove
- Know about dynamics and how to create that within a song
- Mix up ryhthms seemlessly, adds dimensions to songs and helps when working out the feel of an idea.
- Be able to convey his own ideas to the band about our roles.
- Enjoy playing a range of styles, having knowledge in playing them allows you to tap into any influence when trying to write.

Thats pretty much it, i know a tonne of crazy good drummers but some of them are missing something and usually its knowing when to open the taps and go for it, or sit on a groove and add subtle stuff.
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#5
Being able to keep time. A drummer that can only do a basic rock beat but does it in time is better than somebody that can do all sorts of complex rhythms but is constantly speeding up and slowing down.
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#7
On top of what most people already said the drummer should be able to compliment the entire band, basically fit in perfectly and add to the music (in a way, for example, that the song would never be the same without the drums)
#8
To the couple o' guys criticising my taste in drummers, please note the difference between REQUIREMENTS and PREFERENCES. Those requirements are anything any drummer should have in order to call themselves a true drummer, anything less than that and you're just some punk who hits things with sticks. The prefferences are just things I really like in drummers and that I personally have learned to do with drums, I don't actually expect anybody to meet my prefferences, but if I'm trying two drummers, they both meet all the requirements, but one has a few more of my prefferences, I chose the one with my prefferences. The requirements aren't strict at all.
#9
There's no such thing as a true drummer
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
They let black people on Fox now?

They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#10
Quote by Niiko
There's no such thing as a true drummer

......Are you high?
#11
For me, being a metal oriented guitarist my requirements are:

Double kick to a fairly decent extent.
ability to play fast but stay in time.
know when to add fills and be able to do them while staying in time at high speed.
Know how to join with the other instruments for accents.
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#12
Quote by TMVATDI
......Are you high?


Are you high?

Saying something like "True" drummer is purely subjective. And to me, a worthless and pointless comment that just insults people that like to play for fun, no matter how good they are.
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
They let black people on Fox now?

They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#13
Quote by TMVATDI
-Knows traditional grip (it just proves that they spent time on their technique)


WTF?

Thats like saying I want a guitarist that can play with his feet, just to prove he has worked on his technique. Completely unnecessary.

Playing traditional grip requires completely relearning how to play the drums. If any drummer thinks they have learned everything there is to know in matched grip, they probably have a lot more to learn than they realize. Taking the time to learn traditional grip means ignoring other, more important aspects of practicing the drums.

Except Neil Peart. He may actually know everything.
#14
Quote by leo4sf
WTF?

Thats like saying I want a guitarist that can play with his feet, just to prove he has worked on his technique. Completely unnecessary.

Playing traditional grip requires completely relearning how to play the drums. If any drummer thinks they have learned everything there is to know in matched grip, they probably have a lot more to learn than they realize. Taking the time to learn traditional grip means ignoring other, more important aspects of practicing the drums.

Except Neil Peart. He may actually know everything.

traditional grip is nowhere near as hard as a lot of people think it is. if i were to compare it to guitar, i'd say something more like "knows fingerstyle." fingerstyle vs. picking to me is very similar to match grip vs. traditional grip. it does NOT require completely relearning drums at all, it only requires learning how to hit drums with good left hand technique in a different way. why do you think it is all good formal drumlines require snare drummers to use traditional grip? i know why it was invented and everything, cuz the way the drums were angled before made it hard to hit matched, but why do you think they kept it all these years?


@niiko, its just the fundamentals of drumming, if anybody is drumming "just for fun" and doesn't know the important stuff, they shouldn't be trying out for a band in the first place.

edit: plus the traditional grip was only a prefference, not a requirement.
Last edited by TMVATDI at Aug 28, 2011,
#16
Quote by TMVATDI

its just the fundamentals of drumming, if anybody is drumming "just for fun" and doesn't know the important stuff, they shouldn't be trying out for a band in the first place.

edit: plus the traditional grip was only a prefference, not a requirement.


That's complete and utter bull. There are plenty of good drummers out there that don't know anything about jazz, blues or anything with swung notes. Or can groove well and not be good at playing flashy fills.

It's not a fundamental, it's a preference. If people want to play in bands and just play drums without learning your so called requirements and fundamentals, then I say let them. Doesn't make them some punks that just know how to hit things hard.
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
They let black people on Fox now?

They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#17
Quote by Niiko
That's complete and utter bull. There are plenty of good drummers out there that don't know anything about jazz, blues or anything with swung notes. Or can groove well and not be good at playing flashy fills.

It's not a fundamental, it's a preference. If people want to play in bands and just play drums without learning your so called requirements and fundamentals, then I say let them. Doesn't make them some punks that just know how to hit things hard.

Being able to play a fill is a fundamental...How the hell can anyone call themselves a drummer if they don't even play a fill once in a while? And knowing what a swung note is...ANY musician, not just a drummer, should know that! That's basic rhythm! When I write a song with swung eighth notes, am I supposed to play with a drummer who doesn't know what those are? Just play straight eighths the whole time and totally contradict the rest of the song? That just doesn't make sense. I suppose if someone can play interesting grooves it makes up for a lot, but its actually a lot easier to play simple grooves with a few cool fills, I look for less than you think.
#18
Quote by TMVATDI
Being able to play a fill is a fundamental...How the hell can anyone call themselves a drummer if they don't even play a fill once in a while? And knowing what a swung note is...ANY musician, not just a drummer, should know that! That's basic rhythm! When I write a song with swung eighth notes, am I supposed to play with a drummer who doesn't know what those are? Just play straight eighths the whole time and totally contradict the rest of the song? That just doesn't make sense. I suppose if someone can play interesting grooves it makes up for a lot, but its actually a lot easier to play simple grooves with a few cool fills, I look for less than you think.

Drumming has no prerequisites, it's an instrument


Do whatever the hell you want with it
#19
Quote by TMVATDI
Being able to play a fill is a fundamental...How the hell can anyone call themselves a drummer if they don't even play a fill once in a while? And knowing what a swung note is...ANY musician, not just a drummer, should know that! That's basic rhythm! When I write a song with swung eighth notes, am I supposed to play with a drummer who doesn't know what those are? Just play straight eighths the whole time and totally contradict the rest of the song? That just doesn't make sense. I suppose if someone can play interesting grooves it makes up for a lot, but its actually a lot easier to play simple grooves with a few cool fills, I look for less than you think.


Your whole argument is abysmally stupid. A drummer that doesn't know anything about swing notes is likely not even going to go audition for a band that plays such music. Do you think.... say..... Paul Cook is going to audition to play with Tony Bennett, The Count Basie Orchestra, or John Pizzarelli? It's incredibly doubtful. If you write songs with swung 8th notes, are you even going to hire someone who can't swing? What's that? No? That's what i thought. And being able to play a fill is not a fundamental. Fills are a frivolity; there are quite a few fine session players out there who play very few, and sometimes outright mundane, fills. The ability to play an interesting groove is far more desirable than playing boring grooves with a bunch of flashy fills. Are you going to say Stewart Copeland isn't a real drummer because he's not flying around the kit like Carl Palmer? I'm having real trouble following your logic. I've worked with guys like you in the past (and I'm sure the rest of the folks on here have as well). Guys that are always on the drummer's case because he only has 4 limbs, or he can't use his penis as a third arm. I was in a technical metal band with a guy for a while who would argue that i wasn't a serious drummer because i opted not to use blast beats during certain sections. There is nothing in this world more infuriating than a person who doesn't know dick about the drums dictating in a condescending manner what you should and shouldn't do behind the kit. Stick to practicing your own instrument and don't presume to lecture drummers as to what we should know or what we should be able to do. And put a lid on your damn ego while you still can otherwise you're going to be playing in your bedroom alone.
#20
Quote by TMVATDI
traditional grip is nowhere near as hard as a lot of people think it is. if i were to compare it to guitar, i'd say something more like "knows fingerstyle." fingerstyle vs. picking to me is very similar to match grip vs. traditional grip. it does NOT require completely relearning drums at all, it only requires learning how to hit drums with good left hand technique in a different way. why do you think it is all good formal drumlines require snare drummers to use traditional grip? i know why it was invented and everything, cuz the way the drums were angled before made it hard to hit matched, but why do you think they kept it all these years?

Because it's tradition, hence the name "Traditional grip".

By the way most of these requirements seem pretty easy to me, I should join a band.
#21
Quote by Second Rate
Your whole argument is abysmally stupid. A drummer that doesn't know anything about swing notes is likely not even going to go audition for a band that plays such music. Do you think.... say..... Paul Cook is going to audition to play with Tony Bennett, The Count Basie Orchestra, or John Pizzarelli? It's incredibly doubtful. If you write songs with swung 8th notes, are you even going to hire someone who can't swing? What's that? No? That's what i thought. And being able to play a fill is not a fundamental. Fills are a frivolity; there are quite a few fine session players out there who play very few, and sometimes outright mundane, fills. The ability to play an interesting groove is far more desirable than playing boring grooves with a bunch of flashy fills. Are you going to say Stewart Copeland isn't a real drummer because he's not flying around the kit like Carl Palmer? I'm having real trouble following your logic. I've worked with guys like you in the past (and I'm sure the rest of the folks on here have as well). Guys that are always on the drummer's case because he only has 4 limbs, or he can't use his penis as a third arm. I was in a technical metal band with a guy for a while who would argue that i wasn't a serious drummer because i opted not to use blast beats during certain sections. There is nothing in this world more infuriating than a person who doesn't know dick about the drums dictating in a condescending manner what you should and shouldn't do behind the kit. Stick to practicing your own instrument and don't presume to lecture drummers as to what we should know or what we should be able to do. And put a lid on your damn ego while you still can otherwise you're going to be playing in your bedroom alone.


My thoughts exactly.
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#22
Quote by Second Rate
Your whole argument is abysmally stupid. A drummer that doesn't know anything about swing notes is likely not even going to go audition for a band that plays such music. Do you think.... say..... Paul Cook is going to audition to play with Tony Bennett, The Count Basie Orchestra, or John Pizzarelli? It's incredibly doubtful. If you write songs with swung 8th notes, are you even going to hire someone who can't swing? What's that? No? That's what i thought. And being able to play a fill is not a fundamental. Fills are a frivolity; there are quite a few fine session players out there who play very few, and sometimes outright mundane, fills. The ability to play an interesting groove is far more desirable than playing boring grooves with a bunch of flashy fills. Are you going to say Stewart Copeland isn't a real drummer because he's not flying around the kit like Carl Palmer? I'm having real trouble following your logic. I've worked with guys like you in the past (and I'm sure the rest of the folks on here have as well). Guys that are always on the drummer's case because he only has 4 limbs, or he can't use his penis as a third arm. I was in a technical metal band with a guy for a while who would argue that i wasn't a serious drummer because i opted not to use blast beats during certain sections. There is nothing in this world more infuriating than a person who doesn't know dick about the drums dictating in a condescending manner what you should and shouldn't do behind the kit. Stick to practicing your own instrument and don't presume to lecture drummers as to what we should know or what we should be able to do. And put a lid on your damn ego while you still can otherwise you're going to be playing in your bedroom alone.

your point that someone who doesn't know swung notes shouldn't audition for a band with swung notes makes perfect sense...so since i'll probably never be in a bad that plays absolutely nothing but straight notes ever, i think those drummers shouldn't audition for my bands.

i think people are misinteperating my taste for fills. very very very very simple, very very rare fills, are probably the most interesting, i'm only asking for someone to have some taste in when to fill, when not to, and how the fill should sound. just some basic ability to think...it doesn't take anything crazy, i'm not aking for flippin polyhythms and a 3rd stick being played by the guy's friggin armpit, all you have to do to put in decent fill once in a while is know how to breath, count, and play drums with the basic technique that beginning drummers learn. and by basic technique all i mean is they know how to prperly hold the damn stick and hit the damn drum...

i'm a DRUMMER before i'm any other kind of musician. so i know what i'm talking about. infact, i barely ever play other instruments in a band. i'm just saying that if i am playing something other than drums in a band, my requirements are that the guy can PLAY THE DAMN DRUMS. my prefferences are a bit higher than most, but my requirements are NOT that crazy. i almost never play heavy styles like metal, so i'm not looking for a guy who can play fast and crazy or hit the dums with his dick...just someone how can jam and A) keep up with the songs i write and B) not bore the hell out of me.
Last edited by TMVATDI at Sep 2, 2011,
#23
Quote by TMVATDI
I-Knows traditional grip (it just proves that they spent time on their technique)
Now its your turn!

False. Many drumset players at my school play tenors. They practice hours a day on match grip, working on fixing their technique. Trad is only good for tiled snare. The only reason drumlines have kept is because, w/ the exception of SCV, it looks ****ing awesome. Hi-moms, cross-overs, thumb rolls. But really, with a flat snare there's no need for trad grip.

I need:
-Powerful playing (this can come down to basically being loud and keeping steady time)
-Ambition (one of my fav jam buds plays rhythms too complicated for him. With each rhythm he gets down, he gets better. This is only too a certain point, of course.)
-Ability to switch time sigs easily. I write stuff like 5/4, 4/4, 5/4, 7/8, 6/,8/, 5/4, so my drummer really needs to be able to do that.
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Last edited by bry0n at Sep 8, 2011,
#24
Rebooting topic:

Currently, I record all my stuff by playing each instrument myself and bouncing the tracks.

If I were to look for a drummer, my top concern is that they can play the drums, but otherwise:

Necessity:
Drummer can at least double kick
Drummer is comfortable with a double bass pedal ^^^ duh
Drummer is consistant in skill, it doesn't vary from day to day (long story, use your imagination)
Drummer can fabricate complicated but followable base rhythms
Drummer can consistantly fabricate unique fillers
Drummer's style is similar to mine (Otherwise we would become a different band)
Drummer can solo
Drummer's personality can not be impossible. The drummer has to be a reasonable person that I can work with without getting pissed off at.

Optional:
Hexa Kicking: We all wish for it but none of us can have it
Drummer can solo extremely fast: Again, something I can live without, but it's nice for those really metal endings that are way over-used where everybody just hits every note at the same time and in any other way makes as much noise as possible **** yeah **** yeah

I'm a really picky person when it comes to finding a drummer; it's so important to find a drummer that really defines your style, so much can change just by adjusting the fillers in between 4 or 8 bar counts.

The last quality about the personality is the most important. I've had a guitarrist or two that was nearly impossible to deal with. They wanted to be the center of the show and they didn't want to cooperate in practices because they were too busy admiring themselves. plus they both played SG's (no offense SG players but I haven't had good experiences with most of those who have em; not a big fan of the body style either)...but the point is find somebody you can deal with and you can go from there. Sometimes it's bad to be picky like me....a lucky combination of random styles sometimes is the key to success...just look at Boston. That's what happened for them.

I'm pretty young still, I'm not seriously considering music for a career yet, but what I do matters to me a lot so that's why I'm so speciffic.
#25
Quote by bry0n
False. Many drumset players at my school play tenors. They practice hours a day on match grip, working on fixing their technique. Trad is only good for tiled snare. The only reason drumlines have kept is because, w/ the exception of SCV, it looks ****ing awesome. Hi-moms, cross-overs, thumb rolls. But really, with a flat snare there's no need for trad grip.

there are benefits to both match and traditional when it comes to the full drum kit. tenor players usually use match grip, and you're right about snares. you CAN have a drummer who spends a lot of time perfecting technique and has the most amazing match grip technique in the world, i'm not saying that's impossible, but knowing traditional grip and being able to actually use it quickly says "i've spent time figuring out how to do this." if i had a drummer who only knew match grip, i'd have to pay closer attention to analyzing their technique...if they know traditional grip, i can easily tell just by looking. its harder to hold the stick traditionally and be able to play rolls and such without sounding sloppy, so if they can do that, its a great indicator that they've got good technique, but a strictly match grip player can definitely be just as good. i also write styles that traditional players may find easier than match players. my band recently played in front of people for the 1st time (just 1 song at an open mic night), i'm the drummer, and for the 1st half of the song i play match grip, but the second half i play traditional. when your right hand is on the ride and especially when its swinging, match grip can feel sort of lazy, like the stick could just fall to the drum head at any time, i feel more comfortable in those kind of beats with traditional grip, my drum teacher tells me its a "stricter" grip that keeps me and some others tighter/less sloppy (and he is NOT the type to look down upon match grip, its just a comment he made once). it can also be easier to move your left hand farther to the right of the set with traditional grip, i know it is for me. on the other hand, if someone's got a big kit that extends to the left of them, those parts will be easier to hit with match grip. i prefer traditional grip players when i'm playing a with a different drummer because it tells me that they really have a good foundation, but its NOT a necessity (just look at the list, its under "prefferences") because match grip players CAN be just as good and CAN have that foundation, its just harder to tell.
Last edited by TMVATDI at Sep 11, 2011,
#26
As a metal guitarist who is actually currently looking for a drummer, this is, in order, what I am looking for in a drummer:
-a person that I can get along with for extended periods of time
-someone that technically has the chops required to not only play what is in my mind but come up with something one step better
-someone that has a good sense of groove: knows when to not overplay, but can also whip out what is necessary when it is
-someone with tastes that match up with mine---this one is tricky because I personally want someone with similar tastes HOWEVER different tastes make for new and interesting combinations...so there needs to be a balance
#27
Using ability to play traditional grip as a water mark for a drummer's skill is absolutely absurd. Why would someone who plays a full kit exclusively waste their time relearning how to play with traditional grip instead of honing their skills with matched grip? It sounds like you just have a massive ego and think anyone who doesn't play exactly the way you do can't be as good.

#28
Quote by TMVATDI
Nonsense


Shut up. You don't know what you are talking about.
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#29
I know very little about drumming stuff. But as a bass player what I look for is that we 'lock in' very well after a few jams of getting to know each others playing styles.
#30
Quote by RiotRiotUpstart
Using ability to play traditional grip as a water mark for a drummer's skill is absolutely absurd. Why would someone who plays a full kit exclusively waste their time relearning how to play with traditional grip instead of honing their skills with matched grip? It sounds like you just have a massive ego and think anyone who doesn't play exactly the way you do can't be as good.

you obviously didn't read half of my last comment.
#32
None of you have ever been in a real band. Most likely your drummer is the one guy who you can actually shows up.
#33
Quote by ibugppl
None of you have ever been in a real band. Most likely your drummer is the one guy who you can actually shows up.


(Invalid img)
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
They let black people on Fox now?

They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#34
Quote by Niiko
(Invalid img)

lol i'm not really an internet guy so i've never seen this before, i laughed pretty hard

and steve08 there are way chunkier posts around this site, in general i think musicians have that sort of attention span yaknow
#35
Quote by TMVATDI
lol i'm not really an internet guy so i've never seen this before, i laughed pretty hard

and steve08 there are way chunkier posts around this site, in general i think musicians have that sort of attention span yaknow


Neither am I, just saw it in the pit and laughed hard at it

But seriously, I don't think being able to move around the kit and reach areas have much to do with ones grip since that's more or less down to the player and what one finds comfortable. I'm actually the opposite of you, I find things to the left of me just as easy to reach when using traditional, sometimes easier depending on the fill and the sticking used.
Neo Evil11
Quote by jambi_mantra
They let black people on Fox now?

They also let white people into the KFC and the NBA now.
#37
Quote by Second Rate
Guys that are always on the drummer's case because he only has 4 limbs, or he can't use his penis as a third arm.

Changed my mind, I need them to do this.
#38
Quote by runfrodorun

Hexa Kicking: We all wish for it but none of us can have it



In 20 years, I have never heard that term....
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#39
What is hexa kicking anyway? I've played drums with several multi platinum bands from the Seattle/Portland region back in the 90's and never heard that term.
Not taking any online orders.
#40
Quote by CorduroyEW
What is hexa kicking anyway? I've played drums with several multi platinum bands from the Seattle/Portland region back in the 90's and never heard that term.


We're supposed to be wishing we could do it though
I love all 5 (sold a couple) of my Carvin X-100b's.
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