Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bad Habits

In the days before electronic tuners, I played with two guitar fuss-budgets. They were great players, but were ruthless about playing in tune. And so they tuned (and tuned, and tuned...) and, although basically a good thing, it could get tiresome.

Some drummers have habits -- some useful, some not -- that can drive people nuts. Here are a few that come to mind.
Long noisy setup at an inconvenient time
Arrive during the dinner hour, make lots of noise while setting up, do a lot of 'sound checks', and drag it out for an hour and a half, and you'll not make many friends.

Taking up too much room 
Having a huge drum set can be cool, but is it really appropriate for the venue? For the music? Or maybe you like to plunk down your modestly sized kit in the centre of the stage and expect everyone else work around it. Not cool.

Diddling between tunes 
Nobody came to the show to hear the drummer demonstrate triple-flub-a-doubles between numbers. Noodle on your own time.

Practicing 
By all means, try new stuff on the gig, but save out-right practicing for home. Something that needs improvement or that has nothing to do with the song has no place on the band stand.

Too busy, attention-seeking, etc.  
There's a difference between exciting playing that propels the music forward and obnoxious noise that simply says, "Hey, check me out!"

Not listening 
A band is an ensemble ... a team. So be a part of the team by keeping your eyes and your ears open. 

Playing too loud 
A real give-away here is someone who likes to say, "I'm a heavy hitter." What it usually means is that this drummer is going to play as loud as possible no matter what.

Lack of respect: to band, employer, other musicians 
You're there as a guest and as a professional. Act like it. Also remember the golden rule and never dis’ other players (who may be friends of the people you're working with/for).

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