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What should a band look for in a drummer?

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(@marshallsw)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Topic starter  

A guy just started working at my work a week ago, and I found out he was a drummer.
So we're going to give him a shot in our band.
Well. I've noticed by listening to a couple of failed drummers that speed doesn't matter...at..all.
What does matter?
The ability to keep beat? what about creativity?

You're a god among insects, never let anyone tell you different.


   
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(@hummerlein)
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I'd go with ability to keep beat above all and then take other things such as creativity into account.


   
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(@steve-0)
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The ability to keep the beat, above all (in my opinion), is what matters. I mean, you can be the flashiest drummer in world but if you can keep time then it's useless to have a band. Of course, alot of drummers can keep good time so another good thing to look for is dynamics: alot of drummers hit the drums REALLY hard ALL THE TIME, and although this isn't bad if you play punk or metal all the time, it really can be annoying (trust me on this one, lol). Another good thing to look is how the drum during a song: do they know when to throw in a complex fill and when to throw in a simple fill like a cymbal crash? do they know when to be loud and when to be quiet? I think this awareness is a really important thing. Anyways, I think that these are some things that you should look for.

Steve-0


   
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(@greybeard)
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If he knows the price of a pizza quattro formaggi with extra onions, mushrooms and pepperoni.........................!

apart from that Steve-O has good advice

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(@undercat)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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As a former drummer myself, I'll weigh in...

Keeping the beat goes without saying, I would be no more likely to take on a drummer that couldn't stay in time than any other member of the band. That's music 101.

Beyond that, I look for musicianship. As sad as it is, drummers are often not take seriously as musicians, and they act the part: they start hitting things and you're supposed to play along with them. Drums are an accompaniment instrument: they do not define melody or tempo, they only follow it, accent it, flesh it out and push it when needed.

I look for a drummer who shows that he understands this by his playing.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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 sirN
(@sirn)
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As long as you have a Bass player that can translate for him, you should be ok. :lol:

check out my website for good recording/playing info


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Speaking as another former drummer...

Musically:

The beat, the beat, the beat. Everybody keys off the drums, or it sounds like crap. If he/she wants to step out in time, keep that stuff to the solos.

Finesse. That's the dynamic control Steve-0 talked about.

After that it depends on the style. For blues or jazz, somebody with a sense of swing - delaying the 'and' count (while still keeping the beat) to make it move. If you want to cover Inna-Godda-Da-Vida, or similar tunes with distinctive solos, somebody who can do it with a sense of authenticity - it's part of the tune, not just 14 minutes to wail away.

Practically:

Somebody who owns a van. You won't be putting his set in the back of your Chevette with the Marshall stack, will you?

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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Undercat,

Just had a question reagrding your post "they do not define melody or tempo, they only follow it, accent it, flesh it out and push it when needed. "

Now I don't consider myself a musician in any sense of the word but I always thought the drummer was basically driving the tempo, where goes the drummer so goes everyone else. So your comment about drummers only following the tempo kind of throws me.

Am I missing something.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@tim_madsen)
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Sense of timing (beat) and not on drugs.

Tim Madsen
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until they know how much you care.

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(@e-sherman)
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"Now I don't consider myself a musician in any sense of the word but I always thought the drummer was basically driving the tempo, where goes the drummer so goes everyone else. So your comment about drummers only following the tempo kind of throws me."

The tempo/ beat/ groove should be well known and familiar to all the members of the band. Typically in the rock the bass and especially drums keep the tempo, in reality everyone should be foucused on the groove. The drums just tend to make it more obvious to the listeners.

You can listen to solo aucostic performances and they can still drive the tempo.

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 sirN
(@sirn)
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One with a sense of humour.

check out my website for good recording/playing info


   
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(@wes-inman)
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In my experience, the VAST majority of drummers cannot keep a beat. I know that sounds incredible, but I think it's true. The problem with most drummers is that they overplay. They want to play fills and rolls all the time. And besides messing up the groove, this is what also causes them to go out of time.

So you want a drummer who plays mature. Who keeps a rock-solid beat and plays with dynamics. No one ever talks much about Ringo Starr, or Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones but they are just awesome drummers. They keep the beat perfectly and give the music a groove. I think one of the greatest reasons for the Beatles success was Ringo's perfect drums that drove the band. He loved to ride the cymbals!

The drummer for AC/DC is awesome too. Rock solid.

As for personalities, well, they are drummers. They are all CRAZY.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
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They are all CRAZY.

You'd have to be to lug all that gear around!!!

When I go to see my buddies band (Train of Thought), at the end of the night I always help Ed (they're drummer) out. You can't help but feel sorry for the guy.

Think about it, I've seen bands that leave they're drummer behind and go out to the crowd and have a grand old time. Never to look back once at they're drummer and offer help. Of course that doesn't happen with "signed" bands because they have a rodey!!!!!!!!!


   
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(@metaellihead)
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(@undercat)
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Undercat,

Just had a question reagrding your post "they do not define melody or tempo, they only follow it, accent it, flesh it out and push it when needed. "

Now I don't consider myself a musician in any sense of the word but I always thought the drummer was basically driving the tempo, where goes the drummer so goes everyone else. So your comment about drummers only following the tempo kind of throws me.

Am I missing something.

If a song demands driving, everyone has to contribute, if a drummer is driving and no one is coming, it just sounds like they can't stay in time. A good drummer feels when it's happening and accents it, they can hear wheather the singing sounds like it's dragging or when it's being forced out too quickly, and will work to coordinate the band in fixing it.

The main point I am really trying to make is that too many drummers seem to take the music and attempt to pull everyone through it, without really listening to what's going on, and that doesn't work.

The fact that their instrument doesn't play notes is no excuse to keep it from playing MUSIC.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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