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Author Topic: Are drummers classed as people?  (Read 10397 times)

Stefan Autsa

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Are drummers classed as people?
« on: 27 May 2007, 03:07 »

When Dave Mustaine was asked what he would be if he weren't a musician, he replied "A drummer".

Do drummers deserve such flak? Are they really that bad a group of people? I'm sure many of the musicians - this includes drummers - here have stories related to our tubthumping chums, either positive or negative. Are you a drummer? Refute these claims with your own testimonies of intelligence and musical skill! Or do you have any other stories related to the hapless sticksmen of fame and notoriety? Unfortunately, the few I have are negative.

I was once in a band with a sticksman for whom the concept of 3/4 was totally beyond him. How hard is it, says the non-musician? Well, count to three. And then keep doing it. Yes, it's that hard. Also, he had to be kept in time with my tapping foot, for he had troubling keeping the beat correctly. And he'd do gigs dressed as someone from Slipknot, with a gasmask and boiler suit. The thing was, after every song he took the gasmask off, as he couldn't see or breathe properly when it was on, and when we'd start the next song, he'd put it back on and fumble his way through the next song. Not to mention arranging a gig for us when we only had one song practiced. And other things too stupid to mention.

I now work alone. As the joke goes, "with a drum machine you only have to punch the information in once"!
« Last Edit: 27 May 2007, 03:09 by Stefan Autsa »
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MadassAlex

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #1 on: 27 May 2007, 03:57 »

A good drummer is your best friend.

A bad drummer is your worst enemy.
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Dimmukane

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #2 on: 27 May 2007, 07:42 »

A good drummer is your best friend.

A bad drummer is your worst enemy.

This is more or lesst the truth. 
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Thrillho

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #3 on: 27 May 2007, 07:44 »

A good drummer is your best friend.

A bad drummer is your worst enemy.

Bingo.

Drummers as a whole don't suck.

Sucky drummers suck. I have a drummer who knows nothing about time signatures, but he can play in the wacky timings I give him, so good for him.

The most important thing a drummer needs to be able to do is keep time. So, they can't keep time, no matter if they can play along with their favourite song in 13/4 time...if they can't keep time themselves, they're useless, more or less.
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Stefan Autsa

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #4 on: 27 May 2007, 10:11 »

It must be noted I'm no musical expert, as I know little to no musical theory, be it about time signatures or what have you; I just hit my guitar and make loud noises. I just thought it might be interesting to see other peoples stories to do with drummers, as they seem to pick up this reputation as being minus human. So please don't take this thread as "all drummers are crap", but as a "mutual discussion of our drummer chums".
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #5 on: 27 May 2007, 11:30 »

I'm trying to think of examples of bands who have crap drummers but are still great, but nothing comes to me.

Y'know, other than bands who don't have a drummer at all, or the drummer is so buried in the mix you barely know there is a drummer. Loveless comes to mind for the latter.
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Thrillho

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #6 on: 27 May 2007, 12:16 »

I think Ringo is underrated as a drummer. He may not have been hugely technically skilled, but I think he was very intuitive and knew what to play for what song, which is more than a lot of drummers.
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Ernest

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #7 on: 28 May 2007, 02:01 »

Well, that's all that really matters.  The thing is, some of us drummers get too specialized, and some of us never graduate past 4/4.  It's sad.  Fortunately, I'm one of the drummers who can play many different time sigs, and I think I'm not really flashy either.  I'm definitely no virtuoso, but I'm solid.  I think I'm a good drummer.  Everyone I've played music with has liked me and been impressed by my skills.  I think I am a good example of a drummer who is a good guy, doesn't suck, and is definitely a musician.
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MadassAlex

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #8 on: 28 May 2007, 02:30 »

Well, that's all that really matters.  The thing is, some of us drummers get too specialized, and some of us never graduate past 4/4.  It's sad.  Fortunately, I'm one of the drummers who can play many different time sigs, and I think I'm not really flashy either.  I'm definitely no virtuoso, but I'm solid.  I think I'm a good drummer.  Everyone I've played music with has liked me and been impressed by my skills.  I think I am a good example of a drummer who is a good guy, doesn't suck, and is definitely a musician.

STFU and start breeding.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #9 on: 28 May 2007, 04:35 »

It's an old idiom that a band is only as good as their drummer.

With a couple of famous exceptions (the Beatles, JAMC), I hold that it's true in the vast majority of cases.

god...i thought om were good but apparantly they really suck...so do Sun O))) for that matter
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Scytale

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #10 on: 28 May 2007, 05:33 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onZhf0XQwJU

Frost is generally considered to be a fucking amazing drummer but he absolutely kills the band 1349 for me because the drums are always so hgih in the production and all you can hear is the hyper fast blast beats
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Stefan Autsa

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #11 on: 28 May 2007, 06:11 »

god...i thought om were good but apparantly they really suck...so do Sun O))) for that matter

I think the rule applies mainly to bands with a drummer, than without. Those bands are still good, because they have no drummer rather than having a bad drummer to bring down their overall sound. You could argue that those bands have decided that drums would not work, and that for their songs to work better, they did not put any in at all. Thus, you could argue they have good "drums" rather than bad, because they chose what they thought worked the best for those songs.

Maybe? I don't know.
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Reno

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #12 on: 28 May 2007, 07:01 »

To quote the PS2 Version of Guitar Hero 2

"Life for musicians is hard, for drummers its impossible."

Spinal Tap lost a lot of drummers, some to accidents and some to random acts of spontanious combustion.

I personally find drummers in general to be an okay sort, if a bit loopy.  Usually a lot loopy.  I think it has something to do with sitting on a little stool and hitting synthitic animal skin and shiny, flat pieces of metal with a couple sticks all day.  Think about it, wouldnt that make you a bit nuts too?  I knew a drummer once that had 2 bass drums in his kit.  He used one for hitting, and had the other one outfitted as a beer fridge.  Cooling unit and all.  Another would double dose his ritalin right before practice so as he could conentrate on the rythyms better.  We made yet another use chopsticks instead of his normal ones so we could hear the lead guitar over him. 

All good people, finest kind.  Just.....well, odd.  Maybe that is what makes them good.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #13 on: 28 May 2007, 08:34 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onZhf0XQwJU

Frost is generally considered to be a fucking amazing drummer but he absolutely kills the band 1349 for me because the drums are always so hgih in the production and all you can hear is the hyper fast blast beats

That dude's an animal.  O.o

Drummers are people.  They just don't get the recognition or respect as musicians as say, guitarists.  I play guitar mostly, but i also dabble with bass, piano and drums occassionally.  Drums are a lot harder than they seem.  Especially for people who aren't very coordinated.  Like me.

I know a couple cool drummers.  I haven't heard them play though.
« Last Edit: 28 May 2007, 08:37 by imapiratearg »
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #14 on: 28 May 2007, 09:31 »

There is a worrying correlation between crazy and drummers, it has to be said. I fit the mould perfectly. I mean... I am a complete perfectionist, so when working out any rhythms I'll go through a million different ones before I hear one that sounds right, then I'll go over and over and over it until it's right, completely embedding it in my brain.

I've also got OCD, so you know, if I don't get it right then my whole world will collapse or something.
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Stefan Autsa

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #15 on: 28 May 2007, 09:52 »

I've always wanted to play the drums, actually. There is something cool about looking like an Octopus with chopsticks!
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #16 on: 28 May 2007, 11:19 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onZhf0XQwJU

Frost is generally considered to be a fucking amazing drummer but he absolutely kills the band 1349 for me because the drums are always so hgih in the production and all you can hear is the hyper fast blast beats

Q: what the hell happened in that video?
A: Nothing.

Maybe the art of being able to hit a bass drum "really really" fast is lost on me.


The better drummers I've ever played with have been a little loopy.  This one kid I knew in high school literally did nothing but play his practice pad, or practice on his kit.  Then he went to recieve ever scholastic musician honor imaginable, graduated from Northwestern for jazz drumming or something and is at U of Illinois for graduate school for drumming.  I don't think he ever developed normal social skills.
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Scytale

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #17 on: 28 May 2007, 11:36 »

I think it's more being able to play that fast and stay in time that is the hard part.

I was putting that up to debunk the bands as good as their drummer myth. Frost is I guess well regarded as a good drummer but he's playing drives me nuts.

A lot of my favorite bands are 1 man projects like, Buzum, Nargaroth, Judas Iscariot etc, the drums on their albums are sloppy as all hell, especially some of the JI albums, I think the imperfections actually make the music better.
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Thrillho

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #18 on: 28 May 2007, 15:07 »

There is a worrying correlation between crazy and drummers, it has to be said. I fit the mould perfectly. I mean... I am a complete perfectionist, so when working out any rhythms I'll go through a million different ones before I hear one that sounds right, then I'll go over and over and over it until it's right, completely embedding it in my brain.

I've also got OCD, so you know, if I don't get it right then my whole world will collapse or something.

Funny, you don't look anything like your depiction in the comic.

As for that video, obviously the 'band as good as its drummer'...being technically skilled like that does not necessarily make a good drummer. Just like being able to shred doesn't make a good guitarist necessarily.
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ALoveSupreme

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #19 on: 28 May 2007, 19:18 »


I was putting that up to debunk the bands as good as their drummer myth. Frost is I guess well regarded as a good drummer but he's playing drives me nuts.


That makes more sense.  After posting my response, I felt like kind of a dick, though the overall sentiment of my statement remains.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #20 on: 29 May 2007, 23:22 »

Chris Wilson, who is Ted Leo's drummer and a veritable bear of a man, is a percussion God.  Seriously, he is 1/3 of why Ted's live performances rock.  He also collaborates on Ted's compositions.  I have seen him play so hard and fast and authoritatively that I swear sparks actually came off that hi-hat.  If any of you are longtime Scarygoround fans and you remember the Deathmantis band, Chris Wilson is basically looks like that drummer (a veritable bruin of a man doomed to pound on his drums until his arms turn into pure rock or whatever John A. wrote in his inimitable manner) but his musical genius is irreproachable.

The drummer myth was funny in Spinal Tap but it's not even remotely true.  And don't even get me started on the bassist bullshit (leaving aside Death From Above 1979, just watch live performances by Air, Spoon or Explosions in the Sky if you want to worship the bass in the indie/post-rock/electronic context).

The funny thing is that a really good drummer isn't a machine or metronome as sometimes depicted but a creative and vital foundation for the band.  Of course that requires interesting percussion lines, a rarity in classic rock, and one of the most interesting things that alt/indie/post/what-ever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-it rock has to offer to the world.

Oh yeah, and Janet Weiss.  I've seen her in Sleater-Kinney and now in the Jicks.  Just picturing that woman play percussion makes me happy.

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Patrick

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #21 on: 30 May 2007, 01:20 »

Pilsner, 9001 internets for mentioning Janet Weiss. It's nice to hear somebody using the toms for something other than the occasional drum fill.

Points for Chris Wilson as well. I wish the bassist would get into the live performances as much as him, but that's a different story. Also, BEARD.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #22 on: 08 Jun 2007, 01:05 »

@ Frost: I always preferred Hellhammer.

Oh man, mad drummers. There was this guy I worked with once, everyone called him 'Mad Mike'. He was a fucking machine, but he was off his head all the time and was known to play his drums with parts of his body if he dropped or broke a stick. I've heard he once knocked himself out mid-gig headbutting a cymbal. The worst incident I ever saw was when he was playing in a local Isle of Wight sludge band called Overlord. They churned into this extremely slow doom breakdown that was supposed to last about 20 seconds...and Mike forgot to change time signatures. For six or seven minutes. Though I gotta say, the band and even the audience weren't too pissed off. Some of the kids who hadn't worked out what was happening were a bit miffed, but the rest of us moshed in slow-motion whilst the bands two guitarists eventually ended up back to back playing the slowest improvised solo ever.
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Scytale

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #23 on: 08 Jun 2007, 01:53 »

I had the pleasure of seeing Hellhammer live when I saw Arcturus about 2 months ago, he is pretty good and is a bit more restrained then Frost.

As far as Norwegian BM drummers goes Fenriz gets my vote, least skilled from a purely technical point of view but he's pretty damn creative, the drum fills and things Darkthrone uses are really interesting, especially tracks like "To Walk the Infernal Fields", "Crossing the Triangle of Flames", "Hordes of Nebulah", "Paragon Belial" etc... 
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SpacemanSpiff

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #24 on: 08 Jun 2007, 04:20 »

As a drummer, I think I can say: Drummers are musicians and should be accepted as such. They have to be in it for the music, because, come on, what else do they get?
Recognition? Yeah, from other drummers maybe. Then there's the constant jokes (most of which are actually well deserved though) and the fact that you can ruin an entire song by not keeping time, which means that you'll be the only one on stage not completely drunk.
And of course the best part, girls. "You are in the band too? Whatever. I didn't see you on stage."
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Ernest

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #25 on: 08 Jun 2007, 08:02 »

Then there's the constant jokes (most of which are actually well deserved though)

Huh?  How are they well-deserved?
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SpacemanSpiff

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #26 on: 08 Jun 2007, 11:02 »

How many drummers do you know that can't keep time and constantly miss the point in the song where they should come in? I know quite a few. So those jokes do have a basis.

Also, I think quite a few jokes, regardless of the target, do have a certain relation to reality, either because quite a few people are the way the jokes describe them or because a large fraction of another group perceives them as such.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #27 on: 08 Jun 2007, 12:15 »

anybody seen The 69 Eyes live? i'm not really that into their recorded music but i'd see them live again if they were playing with someone else i wanted to see. mostly because of their drummer. he's not particularly "talented" in the technical aspect and the drums for all their songs are almost identical but he's super flashy and has the craziest, most exagerrated style i've ever seen.
every movement he does he just makes several times bigger than it needs to be and it looks awesome. he reminds me of the 80's tommy lee.
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Stefan Autsa

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #28 on: 08 Jun 2007, 12:46 »

How many drummers do you know that can't keep time and constantly miss the point in the song where they should come in? I know quite a few. So those jokes do have a basis.

Also, I think quite a few jokes, regardless of the target, do have a certain relation to reality, either because quite a few people are the way the jokes describe them or because a large fraction of another group perceives them as such.
What's black and blue and lies in a ditch?
A guitarist who told too many dumb drummer jokes.

There are equal amounts of jokes for bassists, guitarists, vocalists etcetera so I guess it's just in the name of equality. 
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #29 on: 08 Jun 2007, 13:41 »

god...i thought om were good but apparantly they really suck...so do Sun O))) for that matter

I think the rule applies mainly to bands with a drummer, than without. Those bands are still good, because they have no drummer rather than having a bad drummer to bring down their overall sound. You could argue that those bands have decided that drums would not work, and that for their songs to work better, they did not put any in at all. Thus, you could argue they have good "drums" rather than bad, because they chose what they thought worked the best for those songs.

Maybe? I don't know.

Um, Om has a drummer, and he's fucking awesome.  I don't know where you got the idea that they didn't.  Chris Hiakus owned when he was in Sleep and he owns now too.

I can't believe nobody else caught that.
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #30 on: 08 Jun 2007, 14:08 »

There is definitely some kind of attitude among other musicians, that drummers "just hit things" which requires less musical talent, and therefore drummers are somehow less than musicians. I do not agree, but I've encountered it myself many times. I play keyboards, winds, and some guitar no problem, but the few times I've sat behind a drum kit and tried to do anything, it's been pretty embarassing.

Many drummers do seem to be insane, or at least not quite right. I've met many other musicians who are a bit nuts, but there's definitely a higher percentage of drummers who are crazy. Maybe it has to do with the fact that playing their instrument is easily the most physically demanding of all. I mean, they spend five hours a night beating on things. That's how they create their art. Could there be a connection?
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #31 on: 08 Jun 2007, 15:49 »

Well, let me insert my two cents...

I'm a drummer.  I'm also a Music Composition major at the University of North Texas.  The reason, I think, that there are so many bad drummers is because drums are probably the easiest instrument to pick up and play without any knowledge.  Think about it - when you go to Guitar Center, everybody walks through the drum room and just taps on stuff with a stick.  With a couple minutes of practice just to get coordinated, you can play a basic rock beat (and the entire AC/DC repertoire...)  But with guitar and other instruments, you have the whole concept of pitch added, so you can't just tap a guitar and make a "decent" sound.  You have to have a basic understanding of some chords and progressions and scales.  So overall, the reason there are so many bad drummers is because they need the least amount of musical knowledge in order to "get by".

However, I've known and played with way too many bad guitarists, bassists, vocalists, etc.  I mean, how many guitarists learn from tabs and never know anything about chord progressions, scales, structure or anything?  I've been in bands where I, the drummer, know more about what the other guys are playing than they do. 

The worst musicians of all, in my opinion, are vocalists.  Everybody knows how to talk, and with some practice, you can develop the ability to stay on pitch.  But they have no concept of any music theory at all.  I guarantee that in your high school choir, at least 30% of the people don't know how to read music and probably over 70% don't know how to sight sing.  They just listen to what they are supposed to sing and memorize it, so they never learn how to read music, much less anything about music.  At school, the worst musicians in every one of my theory classes are always the vocalists.  Oh well.

I'm not trying to get all high and mighty here, so hopefully nobody thinks that.  In a nutshell, I'm just trying to say that there are plenty of drummers that are great musicians who know theory and everything.  But there are a lot of drummers who don't know anything about any of that because it's such an easy instrument to just pick up and play.  Hopefully this all makes sense to you guys.

--Ryan
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Stefan Autsa

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #32 on: 08 Jun 2007, 16:24 »

Well, let me insert my two cents...

I'm a drummer.  I'm also a Music Composition major at the University of North Texas.  The reason, I think, that there are so many bad drummers is because drums are probably the easiest instrument to pick up and play without any knowledge.  Think about it - when you go to Guitar Center, everybody walks through the drum room and just taps on stuff with a stick.  With a couple minutes of practice just to get coordinated, you can play a basic rock beat (and the entire AC/DC repertoire...)  But with guitar and other instruments, you have the whole concept of pitch added, so you can't just tap a guitar and make a "decent" sound.  You have to have a basic understanding of some chords and progressions and scales.  So overall, the reason there are so many bad drummers is because they need the least amount of musical knowledge in order to "get by".

However, I've known and played with way too many bad guitarists, bassists, vocalists, etc.  I mean, how many guitarists learn from tabs and never know anything about chord progressions, scales, structure or anything?  I've been in bands where I, the drummer, know more about what the other guys are playing than they do. 

The worst musicians of all, in my opinion, are vocalists.  Everybody knows how to talk, and with some practice, you can develop the ability to stay on pitch.  But they have no concept of any music theory at all.  I guarantee that in your high school choir, at least 30% of the people don't know how to read music and probably over 70% don't know how to sight sing.  They just listen to what they are supposed to sing and memorize it, so they never learn how to read music, much less anything about music.  At school, the worst musicians in every one of my theory classes are always the vocalists.  Oh well.

I'm not trying to get all high and mighty here, so hopefully nobody thinks that.  In a nutshell, I'm just trying to say that there are plenty of drummers that are great musicians who know theory and everything.  But there are a lot of drummers who don't know anything about any of that because it's such an easy instrument to just pick up and play.  Hopefully this all makes sense to you guys.

--Ryan

It does make sense.  I was going to say " guitars are cheaper!" but you're right. And even then, drums need tuning and various other things to consider as well, so the bad drummers are assuming it's a far simpler art than it is.  And as for the other arts, I've played with awful musicians playing other instruments; I've played with a bassist who only used two fingers on his fretting hand, and a vocalist who insisted on improvised lyrics.

I've played for a while now, and I know chords and how to put them together into good progressions, but hell if I know the names!  I can't remember the names of many things actually; I know the scales up and down the fretboard, but I don't know what they're called.  But I like to think I can play in a group and communicate or receive ideas, even if I lack the technical jargon, and that's the main thing; if you can't do that, no matter how good or bad you are, then there's no band, just musicians. (not sure what this paragraph had to do with drums, but hey! whatever)
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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #33 on: 08 Jun 2007, 17:23 »

The worst musicians of all, in my opinion, are vocalists.  Everybody knows how to talk, and with some practice, you can develop the ability to stay on pitch.  But they have no concept of any music theory at all.  I guarantee that in your high school choir, at least 30% of the people don't know how to read music and probably over 70% don't know how to sight sing.  They just listen to what they are supposed to sing and memorize it, so they never learn how to read music, much less anything about music.  At school, the worst musicians in every one of my theory classes are always the vocalists.  Oh well.

In this statement you have perhaps redefined hypocrisy. You complain about people not giving respect to those that deserve it and then you go and dismiss another group of musicians entirely. I have some degree of proficiency in four instruments (trombone, euphonium, and hopefully the flute and guitar will be a little farther after this summer) and singing is by far more challenging out of any of them. There is more conscious thought that goes into singing every moment than there is with any other thing I have ever played. Singers have almost the same issue that you have described with drummers, there are so many that think they can do it just because they can produce a basic sound. Also, the singing that I do has greatly helped my theory and other instruments.

I guess what I am trying to say is at least we're not clarinetists!
Before I get hate mail, that last line is a joke
« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2007, 17:27 by IronOxide »
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Thrillho

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #34 on: 09 Jun 2007, 12:33 »

The worst musicians of all, in my opinion, are vocalists.  Everybody knows how to talk, and with some practice, you can develop the ability to stay on pitch.  But they have no concept of any music theory at all.  I guarantee that in your high school choir, at least 30% of the people don't know how to read music and probably over 70% don't know how to sight sing.  They just listen to what they are supposed to sing and memorize it, so they never learn how to read music, much less anything about music.  At school, the worst musicians in every one of my theory classes are always the vocalists.  Oh well.

So being able to read music is more important than being able to hear it and join in almost immediately? Fuck that, man. Theory isn't everything. My drummer knows no theory, and he can still play the crazy-ass bullshit that I write in weird time signatures because he's just a naturally brilliant musician and he can write his parts more or less on the spot. He couldn't read music and I sure as hell can't, but that's never stopped us.

Among several other music instruments I play - including drums to a rudimentary extent - I am a vocalist, and while I may not be able to read sheet music off the page, I can figure out keys, chords, harmonies allsorts just from listening to it, and I write, arrange, play and record my own music by myself, as well as being in a band. This thread has been mostly about debunking the drummer myth, and talking about the pros and cons of a good and a bad drummer. I don't think anyone has out and out said that drummers are bad musicians aside from Dave Mustaine, and he's not in the thread last time I checked. Your post was massively hypocritical.

Music is meant to sound good, and who gives a crap if you know what scale you're playing as long as you make it sound good? That's the attitude I've always taken - though I do know about the keys, and do know a handful of scales and some theory - and I've got along just fine. In fact most of my best material has come from deliberately ignoring the obvious.

In fact, most of the lesser musicians I've met have been people who do know theory. Most particularly pianists - and I'm not saying pianists are shit, just this particular subsection of pianists that I have met - I find will often be able to play something from music directly in front of them, but have no ear training, no improvisational skills and no compositional skills. That may make them a good 'musician,' but what good is it otherwise?
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RyanT

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #35 on: 10 Jun 2007, 08:06 »

I never said that in order to be a good musician, you have to know music theory. 

However, if you think about it, that sort of holds true.  Having a knowledge of musical terms and theory allows you to communicate your ideas in a more concise, more concrete manner (or at all... I've seen plenty of guys have some idea but they can't express what it is to the other people in the band, so it never comes to fruition).  If you play by yourself all the time, of course you don't need to know any music theory because whatever works for you works for you.  But as soon as you have other musicians you're playing with, there is an element of communication that needs to go on between you.  That can happen with terms outside the standard world of music theory.  But think of it this way...  when you talk to someone online or something, using things like "lol", "brb", and other similar phrases are faster ways to explain what you mean to say to that person.  When they understand what those terms mean, it works great.  If you and your band have some group of musical terms that work for you, great.  But if you don't, it's like trying to explain all of those lol and brb terms to your mom - it takes a lot more time and they might not even get it. 

If you really want to get into this and debate/argue, I guess I can.  Define what you think makes a good musician and then we can talk.

--Ryan
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Scytale

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #36 on: 10 Jun 2007, 08:42 »

Well I think you can only get so far by leaning on theory, you can have the most brlliant theoretical musicians around but most of the music they write sounds stale, emotionless and dry, eventually your going to have to make an instinctual sort of leap and allow yourself to write outside the confines of theory.

Then again I'm one of those pianists Dynamite Kid mentions at the end of he's post. I taught myself to play piano by reading whatever sheet music I could get my hands on and bashing out the notes. I'm pretty good at playing when someone sticks some music in front of me and I do sight reading or whatever.

Ask me to play along by listening to the radio or something and I'm hopeless. I definately don't have an 'ear' for music. I don't really know a thing about key signatures or chord progressions. I started getting lessons a year ago, suprisingly enough the teacher tells me my technique is pretty good. Rather then teaching me a bunch about theory and technical exercises and things most of my lessons have been aimed at teaching me how to improvise and I guess its sort of paying off as now I have a pretty good idea what notes/chords sound ok when they are strung together into a passage etc.

When i'm playing with a band, which admitadly isn't that often the lack of theory has never been an issue I've always had free reign. The guitarist will come up with a riff and I'll sit at the keyboard and work out something that sounds complementary to it, no real dramas. I don't know what it like as a drummer, I program the drums in the music i record and thats always been a prety straight forward task.
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MadassAlex

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #37 on: 11 Jun 2007, 00:37 »

Well I think you can only get so far by leaning on theory, you can have the most brlliant theoretical musicians around but most of the music they write sounds stale, emotionless and dry, eventually your going to have to make an instinctual sort of leap and allow yourself to write outside the confines of theory.

The catch here is that theory is truely limitless... there's a theoretical name for anything and everything you could ever do. Nothing is ever "outside" theory.
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rabidcentipede

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Re: Are drummers classed as people? - Yes!
« Reply #38 on: 18 Jun 2007, 08:03 »

Yeah... I'm a drummer, and while I am not going to claim to be too good (I haven't been playing for long), I still wanted to add in my opinion here.

Listening to various kinds of music, I have noticed that there is a LARGE variety in the quality and complexity of the drumming. As people have already said, certain bands have almost the same drum beat for all of their songs... these kinds of bands, sadly, use drummers basically as metronomes.  However, some bands, like Rush, have awesome drummers who add a lot  to the music.

Also, when I play around with my friends, we are usually just jamming or doing some completely weird cover of some random song, so it isn't really that important whether anyone plays anything "right," it just has to sound good.
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RaggedDruid

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Re: Are drummers classed as people?
« Reply #39 on: 19 Jun 2007, 02:44 »

Chris Vrenna is living proof that drummers = awesome.
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