Monday, 6 June 2011

Top 5 Reasons it Sucks to Be A Drummer (From Experience)

So your in high school and you and your buddies have the sick idea of making a rock band.  However, non of you have what you would call skill in any instrument which of course means you get to call shotty on whatever you think is the most bad ass.  The first choice is usually guitar.  Then after if you have the confidence it is vocals, then bass and of course drums.  The good points about drumming is that you get into the groove and are the drive of the band and you are generally respected in the realm of musicians and thats all you need right?  I mean who cares what the general population thinks, as long as you can lock in and feel the beat.  Well this is all fine and dandy however there are a few words of wisdom that I would like to say before making this step.

1. Setup/Travel
  So you started a band and your the drummer and guess what!?  You just got your first gig!  What great news.  So all of your band mates grab their guitars, patch cords and the occasional amp, and then you grab your kick drum, crash, high-hats, toms, stands, throne, ride, and all of the hardware which is a little bit more than you can carry.  This means you have the pleasure of being the token driver which includes all of the gas money and headaches involved.  But hey, its fine because your here and all you need to do is set up.  The guitar player plugs in his amp and tunes, same for the bass and the singer chills at the bar watching you trudge through the crowd apologizing for bumping into some fine biddies with your stick....Also something more related with drums.  The next 10-15 mins are spent setting up while the sound guy talks about his glory days when he partied with some semi popular band from the 80's.  So here we are, your first real show.  You grab a brew to cool the nerves and you count in for your first song.

2. Screwing up matters
  1, 2, 3, 4.....Shit what song are we playing?  Oh ya, I forgot to mention that while you are setting up, the rest of the band was going through the set list and making small changes to some songs leaving you feeling like a lost kitten in the sadness mines of your soul.  But its cool because you have enough skill to bullshit it for a few seconds till you remember what you should be doing.  Everything is feeling good.  The groove is locked in and everything seems cool then all of the sudden you forget about the small tweak to the song you were never informed about.  Why in gods name did the time signature change?  Who knows, but here you are playing completely off time like a very large tool.  It is common that when mistakes are made during a set such as a guitar player stopping, or playing off key occurs that the majority of the populous have no idea anything happened, but for drums what with the natural human condition to "head nod" people notice when their heads are not nodding properly.  You look to the crowd and see a sea of faces and 3 asses staring you down.  What do you do?  The answer is to do some ridiculously loud, fast and complicated fill in hopes to drown out all other sounds to a) signify to your band that you have no idea what you are doing and b) blame it on the sound after the show.  So you do the fill and get back into it and you are feeling good so now it is time to go wild!

3. Lack of Energy
  You look into the crowd and 3 asses in front of you and everyone is jumping to your music and you feel nothing short of a boss.  Your band starts to give high fives to the crowd and jump across the stage having the time of their lives, and now its time for you to join in with the more epic box social of your life....but you have to stay within the confines of your seat.  Welcome to the friend zone of music.

So close yet so very far away

Now of course there are always exceptions ,

But you know what?  You know your still part of the music and if you were to stop playing, all the energy would die along with you and you know the people respect that.  The show ends and the crowd goes wild as you step off stage.  Congratulations on completing your first show, and other than that screw up in the beginning it went pretty good!  It is now time to go meet with your adoring public.

4. Recognition
  Your super pumped to be done and for all of the stress and fear it was well worth it.  As you and your band emerge into the crowd you see the fans start to line up to say how much they liked your show.  The women come in hordes but you stay cool being the big time drummer you are.  All of the sudden a cute fangirl comes up to you.  Chill man, you are the musician and you are the boss and she came to you and its your time to shine.  You act all nonchalant pretending that you dont notice her and she finally says to you.  "Oh my gawd, wasn't that band great!  The lead singer is so hot!".  The sad realization dawns on you that happens to all drummers at some point.  This bitch has no idea who you are.  But hey! Look on the bright side.  Even though you had your little screw up nobody noticed!  As the sadness sweeps through your body like the prostate exam of your ego you lumber your ass back to your drums to start the tare down for the next band.  This is when you realize that some bastard stole one of your cymbals (True Story).

5. Expense
  As you frantically look for that sweet Zildjian ride fabricated by the gods themselves using angel meat and the hair of a Centaur (gives that warm sound) your guitarist runs up to you.  "Dude, I totally broke a string and now I have to spend 5 bucks to replace that shit man."  Once again looking on the bright side, at least you dont have to haul that $400 cymbal back home!

  So your first show wasn't what you expected and thats understandable, but at least the people dig the BAND right?  Not to mention for once you aren't alone on a Friday playing WoW or spending tireless hours fapp.......?  So the night has ended and you and your band convene to talk about the show.  Pats on the backs are given and critiques on individual faults occur.  A group of 3 biddies comes out, looks at the guaitarist, bassist and singer and say "You ready to hit up this party?"  Nods are given and they walk away.

See you at band practice.


  1. This is depressing...


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  4. Hi,
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  5. I just had my first lesson. Put a kit on layaway. I'm excited, although a little anxious about my neighbors not appreciating a drummer in the building !