#1
So we're writing songs, and our long time drummer says that he plays the same beat in every song. While not entirely true, he does kind of play similar beats in a lot of songs. We're a punk/folk band. So he wants to try doing different stuff, which is fine. The problem here is, is that the stuff he's trying often, doesn't work, or it sounds bad, or it doesn't fit with the song, etc. We want to encourage creativity but at the same time we want what's best for the song. It's not like we're telling him how to drum, but we will say like, hey this doesn't work, stuff like that, which happens to all of us, but it seems like he's having hard time coming up with something that both works, and satisfies his creativity. How do you guys deal with situations like this?
#2
Have you ever tried writing songs around drums, it sounds like drums are something coming in after everything else is written. Ask him to come up with some new beats, pick some he likes and write a song around it
#3
Make him listen to Black Sabbath for inspiration. Bill Ward has like best beats ever, in my opinion!
#4
There's one of two things happening here, maybe both: your drummer is lacking skill or your band is writing rhythmically repetitive music .

Assuming your drummer isn't inherently deficient, since there's no fix for that, try to change up your composition process. Purposefully pick different tempos and, more importantly, write some songs in 6/8 or 6/4 - that will definitely mix things up. I'd also suggest you write a song around a drum beat he has created that he enjoys.

Listening to a band that has the same beat going on every tune is not really enjoyable, so you should make this a priority if you don't want to bore your audience.
#5
Quote by thetinysurvivor
Have you ever tried writing songs around drums, it sounds like drums are something coming in after everything else is written. Ask him to come up with some new beats, pick some he likes and write a song around it

This.

But being in a band requires compromises. If all did exactly what they wanted to do, the band's music would sound like crap. You need to play what the song needs. Band isn't a bunch of solo artists playing together. Band is a team.

So just tell your drummer that his "repetitive" beats sound great for the music you play (if they really do). You could also ask him to write a song.
#6
Quote by countervail
...The problem here is, is that the stuff he's trying often, doesn't work, or it sounds bad, or it doesn't fit with the song, etc....



I'll play devils advocate here and ask the rest of the band the question- can you guys play in time? Not everyone can.

As far as mixing up the beats...making them different... just get a drum machine....or listen to YouTube...or listen to some freakin records..... and get the drummer to copy some beats. They don't have to be exact replicas...the drummer can just use those beats as a jumping off point for something that sounds different to the usual.

Sometimes I want to hit drummers with blunt objects... but I have to again re-ask... in relation to "it sounds bad" and "doesn't fit" etc..... is everyone in the band being honest about their own abilities....? Or are they just slamming the drummer?

Drums are not melodic or harmonic. Hence...you can mix and match pretty much any beat with any instrumentation and it will sound good if the music itself is good.
#7
I'm not suggesting that you guys do anything rash. But if it's a chronic issue, then it might be worth asking whether he is the right drummer for the band. Not all drummers (or guitarists/bassists/singers) will fit in all bands, obviously.

I like writing all sorts of different kinds of music, with different tempos, feels, etc., but I understand that not every band does the same.

Sometimes I will have the same feeling if I'm playing drums or bass in a band. And while I would contribute to songs, the singer/rhythm guitarist and lead guitarist were the primary songwriters. I'm big on asking "is your drumming (/bass playing/guitar playing/singing) serving the song? Is what you're doing on your instrument pushing the song forward, rather than holding it back? I'm always trying to give each song a unique feel, even if the tempo/rhythm/progression is similar. But sometimes I take that too far, and realize it, and pare it down to something simpler. It's all in the interest of serving the song, and personal egos have to take a backseat.

Then again, I've never been concerned with staying within a genre, so can't really comment on that side of it.