A Drum Story
Joining a Band – Red Flags
Good drummers are almost as popular as good vocalists when it comes to putting a band together, but the difference is the rarity of a good drummer! If you’ve got the skills, great, but how do you find the right band? Here’s a list of things that bands that a band will do that you should take as a sign that they’re not the band for you!
1 – No understanding of rhythm.
A drummer keeps the rhythm. This goes without saying. Some bands, like TOOL are able to keep rhythm in odd time signatures, or even appear to use completely different time signatures to each other, but that’s all an act. They’re tight, and if your guitarist is using a five-beat bar to write riffs to a four-beat-bar song, then get out of there! There’s nothing worse than a band that continuously go out of time due to songs with poorly thought-out rhythm. If they refuse to make your job possible, or reasonably straightforward, or even enjoyable, walk!
2 – They favour noise over music.
Some of you might be jazz drummers, some of you might play beats for pop songs, some of you might be involved in the double-bass-pedal beat-down rhythm world of the hardcore drummer. For those of you who are, ensure they’re not looking for you to just mash your pedals and destroy your cymbals, because if you can play the song and partypoker at the same time without them noticing, you’re just a noise machine, and you have to ask yourself if that’s worthy of the skills you’ve worked so hard to gain.
3 – They’re not in the right genre for you.
Money will make some musicians work in genres that they would normally avoid, but make sure your potential band’s genre is not something you can’t stand. If you’re a big soul fan, don’t join a heavy metal outfit – you won’t engage as much, and you’ll lack the required knowledge to write beats that will match the type of music they’ll be writing. Then again, Chad of RHCP managed to come in as a rock drummer and emerge as a funk-rap-soul-rock musician.
These are just a few thoughts, but the most important thing about staying in a band is that you are allowed to express yourself creatively and enjoy your work. If not, walk, but if so – have the time of your life. Good luck!