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instrument cases
tight bond
incompetency
Give The Drummer Some
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I want to draw some attention to the guy behind every member on stage.....The guy who has the most instrument cases to drag around; The guy who absolutely has to drive a vehicle of size in order to accommodate his equipment. The guy who seems to catch the most heat when the volume gets out of control onstage. It's the Drummer!!! But how did you guess? Did the article title give it away? Well at any rate, we're gonna' move him to front stage for a minute.

A unique instrument. As a bass player, I am constantly thinking about Drums! Drums! Drums! Why such constant attention to thebeat master? Well, in case you didn't know, there usually exist's amusical infactuation between a Bassist & Drummer!In fact, whatever tecnique I choose to employ onstage is certainly contemplated with my Drummer in mind.I heard the great Bill Dickens, world renowned bassist refer to himself as a frustrated drummer. His testimony made all the sense in the world, proving what I actually felt, as amuch younger and inexperiencedBass player at that time....thus proving the point that the two artist's are in actuality "one"......two that just seem to mesh together in some confusing way....almost like the reese's peanut butter cup; The chocolate is nothing without the peanut butter.

Music and theory instruction does not teach in detailthe tight bond between bass and percussion. This bond seems to mutate down the line, sometimes it stems from a personal relationship between the two musicians,.... What matters most is the sound that results from this this connection. Hense, my opinionated viewis that relationships, though nice to have, are deemed optional when it comes to musicianship, in general. An example would be watching Henry Mancini and hisOrchestra of 50 Musicians perform one of his many sell-out concerts. The likelyhood of even half of the members of that Orchestra going out to dinner togetherafterwards is pretty unlikely, would you not agree?

He plays too loud! ...ever heard this remark? I have to say, sometimes it is true but not in all cases. Actually, what oftenhappens is that others who make repeated mistakes tend to blame the drummers volume as a scape-goat, an excuse for flaws or incompetency. I can remember being called to perform in an event requiring3 rehersals playingR&B vocal songs. The 4 vocalists never made even 1 rehersal. I guess they were too busy.

Of course they did show up at the show, dressed to impress and with the whole "look at me" attitude. Well when they were introduced, right away the lead singer demanded a wireless microphone, in addition they began to sing but complaining between songs that the drummer was too loud. We spoke earlier of howthe Drummer is sometimes unfairly blamed for playingtoo loud and this was one of such occasions, in fact everytime a mistake was made on their part, we were looked at as if it was the bands fault.

A Drummers solo. There is a certain level of restraintthat a drummer shoulddevelopewhile performing but when he takes a solo, it should be obvious what he is trying to convey. Whether he is expressing frustration or simply telling his musical story, he can take this opportunity to do this when he is called on to take center stage..... thus having heard the remark, "lets give the drummer some!" during a performance onstage.He doesn't necessarily need to showcase all of his talent or for that matter, he doesn't usuallyplay with the same intensityas during a song where the beat is complimentary to a song featuring for an example, a melodic classical piano.

The theory of music is in part, positioning oneself where his presence is seen and felt but not to the exclusion of others. Yes drummers take a lot of blame and though in some cases it is well deserved but there are many more drummers that have taken the time and resources to learn how to make music a very special part of their lives, utilizing all of the tools of the tradeand I feel that this should be acknowledged, so why not "Give the Drummer some"....yes, let your Drummer know how much you appreciate his/her efforts inkeeping that timing and heart beat intact....Be safe!


Street Talk

Great article. When I first started playing bass I was obsessed with the drummers kick drum (I would make em angry with that). I had a chance to see "The Bhudda" do a demo for an Ampeg plug in, I thought he was going to break that 6 string. Thanks Romell.

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  about 4 years ago
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