Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Drummer
Drummers are a completely different breed of humanoid.
We here at Crossfade believe that a solid drummer is the key ingredient to any good band -- the very catalyst that emulsifies the piss and vinegar of rock 'n roll into something tangible -- and we love you for this reason alone. However, there really is a lot of truth in the stereotype that the more off-kilter the human, the better the drummer.
For example, let's look at the archetypical class of British drummers: John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Ginger Baker. A trio of positively certifiable rabble rousers, all with legendary appetites for adventure rivaled only by their equally legendary demons. All mythically gifted players that were as important to the sounds of their respective groups as the golden gods that fronted them. Listen to "Moby Dick," any of the cuts from Live at Leeds, or watch the documentary Beware of Mr. Baker for the proof.
Odds are you are not an earth-shaking master of the skins the calibre of the aforementioned lunatics. However, there are steps you can take to avoid being a shitty drummer, you know...beyond just learning to play well and controlling your maniacal tendencies. Here are five signs you might be a shitty drummer and need to reevaluate things.
You Do Stupid Tricks With Your Drum Sticks
Leave the showmanship to the frontmen and women of the world and worry about providing a solid foundation. Don't be the asshole screaming for attention with every stick twirl and backhanded cymbal hit, try play in a way that says "look at us" instead. Are you trying to be Michael Bay or David Lynch?
2) You trigger your drums live.
For the uninitiated, triggered drums have sensors on the heads that quite literally trigger a pre-recorded sample with each hit, essentially turning the drum kit into a big ol' drum machine, rather than providing the actual sounds heard through the PA. Though the tech is actually a lot more complicated than that and can be used to varying degrees, they can be used to make a weak stroke sound far more powerful live, which is a massive cop out. Exceptions: Bass drums in heavy metal.
3) You have no dynamic sense
Drums are all about dynamics! Don't be afraid to bash away when the music calls for it, but also consider the music and understand that testing the resistance of those new Remos will not suit every part. Just because you're playing a percussion instrument does not excuse a lack of musicality.
4) You have a ridiculous cage to mount your shit on.
Are going to fish in a canal with waders and 5 rods? Probably not. Then don't bring a cage for assorted splash cymbals and roto toms to your local club gigs. You aren't Terry Bozzio, you're over equipped and slowing down your load in and load out times. Also, that shit is expensive! Exceptions: Death and black metal drummers, Rush tribute acts.
5) You're a guitarist
Every guitarist wants to be a drummer. Every drummer wants to be a lead singer. Every bass player just wants to be loved. These are unwavering truths of rock music and things we all must accept. However, guitarists almost always make shit drummers. You're just not cut from that cloth, man. So get off the kit between songs at practice, go have a soda pop and continue perfecting your own craft. Exceptions: Dave Grohl, Prince.