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Unread 02-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
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About auditioning a drummer (How long does it take to get used to new pedal??)

I'll start this off by saying that I'm a guitar player, so excuse any .... ups or ignorance here.

I've been auditioning a lot of players for my band lately and I'm a bit perplexed. There's this 1 guy who talks the talks and, on paper, seems like he'd be a great drummer. He understands music theory, drum rudiments, odd time, takes lessons, etc.. We do a lot of tricky groupings more than sheer speed for x measures so it sounded like he'd fit that great - on paper. He mentioned that he has just switched from DW9000s to one of the Axis line and he hasn't played in a few months because he broke his foot.

I heard him play and he was, to put it bluntly, pure shit. Limbs didn't hit at the same time, double bass was waaaayy out of time and not in control, etc. To give you an idea, I played on his Axis and I was able to at least play in time and wasn't THAT off from my DW5000s...

Because of the technical ability required for some of the songs, I don't want to dismiss him right off the bat in case he actually is good and the pedals are just affecting him. I don't mind waiting for a few weeks or a month if he'll turn around and be a fast, accurate player but I don't want to waste my time.

So, what do actual drummers think?
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Unread 02-21-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
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i'm not a drummer, but have been friends with a few. so take my comments with a grain of salt.

if he recently broke his foot, then it would be understandable if his footwork was a bit off. however, his arms (and other foot) should still be perfectly fine.
and frankly, if he were a truly dedicated drummer, he'd still be using practice pads or just doing snare/tom/cymbal work while his foot was healing so the "i haven't played in months" excuse doesn't fly for me if i'm to believe he takes drumming seriously.

it doesn't take *THAT* long to adjust to a new pedal--especially since you can adjust the action of the pedals to your own usage.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damigu View Post
i'm not a drummer, but have been friends with a few. so take my comments with a grain of salt.

if he recently broke his foot, then it would be understandable if his footwork was a bit off. however, his arms (and other foot) should still be perfectly fine.
and frankly, if he were a truly dedicated drummer, he'd still be using practice pads or just doing snare/tom/cymbal work while his foot was healing so the "i haven't played in months" excuse doesn't fly for me if i'm to believe he takes drumming seriously.

it doesn't take *THAT* long to adjust to a new pedal--especially since you can adjust the action of the pedals to your own usage.
I hear you. Days after I had surgery on my hand I was back to playing guitar (probably stupid since I pulled out stiches that way and now have scars but screw it, i'll trade scars for playing time ) In a perfect world, I would have expectations on the other players as high as I have them on myself, but I realize that it's just not realistic. I'm not saying I'm better for it but so many people here just don't seem to have that drive anymore - and the ones that do are either so young that makes having them in the band inpractical or not any good - usually a combination.

It also seems that a lot of the decent drummers either can't practice at home or something else is blocking them from moving forward.

I basically WANT to believe he's this awesome player so I can just stop looking, but I'm pretty much leaning towards a no-go..

(at least I'm getting better at programming drums!)
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Unread 02-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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As someone who has taken time away from various instruments over the years, I'd say that you never forget the stuff you have down.

I normally will give everyone a base amount of belief right out of the gate, but if that gets eroded, and nothing happens to increase the amount I believe someone, I start to need more and more to counterbalance the current situation.

If I were you, I'd probably need to see some results in a certain period, or move on. "I know you know your stuff on paper, but I'm not seeing in the playing. I'm gonna need some results by this time, or I'm gonna have to look at other drummers who are already at this level. It's nothing personal, and I'm hoping you can get it together."
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Unread 02-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
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Chances are, he's not that good. I've taken months off from even touching drums, skill doesn't tremendously drop off.
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I just wasted your time.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damigu View Post
i'm not a drummer, but have been friends with a few. so take my comments with a grain of salt.

if he recently broke his foot, then it would be understandable if his footwork was a bit off. however, his arms (and other foot) should still be perfectly fine.
and frankly, if he were a truly dedicated drummer, he'd still be using practice pads or just doing snare/tom/cymbal work while his foot was healing so the "i haven't played in months" excuse doesn't fly for me if i'm to believe he takes drumming seriously.

it doesn't take *THAT* long to adjust to a new pedal--especially since you can adjust the action of the pedals to your own usage.
Basically this. Except I am a drummer.

I've played on other people's kits that have completely different setups than mine and while it does effect me, I don't completely retard out and forget how to play entirely. I've never been in a situation where I couldn't play for months at a time, but I've taken a 3-4 week break in playing drums and if anything a good break from it made me feel like I was playing better than before.

So it seems to me that he's just shit at drums, bluntly put. It's easy enough to read theory and rudiments but implementing that requires a lot more practice.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #7
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Also remember that you probably have gotten used to studio material where everything is quantized (produced so that the hits come at the right time). It's rare if a drummer can play really tight nowadays. At least it requires a lot (I mean a lot) of practice.

That being said, if he was pure shit (and you mean it) then it must not be that. Some of it might be you being used to perfect playing, and I recommend you to listen to music with non-quantized drums and concentrate on the drum performance. (Oh, and I'm not saying I know what you listen to... just to give you some pointers)

About the pedal, I'd say it takes a few hours of playing for me to get used to a new pedal. Not if I play easy, slow music. In that case it's instant.

And well, if you didn't like his playing in the first place, then why bother? There are a lot of good drummers out there that will do the job better than he does.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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Call him on it. If he says he has new pedals and hasn't played in months, tell him you'll bring him back in one month if you're still looking for a drummer, and give him another audition.

Pressure + injury + new gear COULD actually be a good excuse. But wasting your time when he knows he's not ready? He didn't give a good excuse for that.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurkkuviipale View Post
Also remember that you probably have gotten used to studio material where everything is quantized (produced so that the hits come at the right time). It's rare if a drummer can play really tight nowadays. At least it requires a lot (I mean a lot) of practice.

That being said, if he was pure shit (and you mean it) then it must not be that. Some of it might be you being used to perfect playing, and I recommend you to listen to music with non-quantized drums and concentrate on the drum performance. (Oh, and I'm not saying I know what you listen to... just to give you some pointers)

About the pedal, I'd say it takes a few hours of playing for me to get used to a new pedal. Not if I play easy, slow music. In that case it's instant.

And well, if you didn't like his playing in the first place, then why bother? There are a lot of good drummers out there that will do the job better than he does.
Good points to keep in mind with the continuing search. It's very true that my perception may be skewed since because of the quantization of the programmed drums.

However, there's quantization and just plain not being able to play in time or have limbs hit together.. I don't think it's too much to ask for a drummer to exhibit those skills

I'll just be straight with the guy and see what happens. The other point that I didn't mention is that this is a guy that works with me so it may be a bit awkward. Oh well, have to do what you have to do.

Thanks for the perspectives!
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Unread 02-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #10
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I'm a drummer myself, and I don't see how new pedals/an injury would affect your skills in such a dramatic way. Sure, you will certainly drop a little, but you don't magically lose all your feel and rhythmic capabilities. I'd go on and look for a new drummer.

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Unread 02-23-2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damigu View Post
his arms (and other foot) should still be perfectly fine.

if he were a truly dedicated drummer, he'd still be using practice pads or just doing snare/tom/cymbal
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTID View Post
It's easy enough to read theory and rudiments but implementing that requires a lot more practice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowHead View Post
tell him you'll bring him back in one month if you're still looking for a drummer, and give him another audition.
But wasting your time when he knows he's not ready? He didn't give a good excuse for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by somniumaeternum View Post
It's very true that my perception may be skewed since because of the quantization of the programmed drums.
... not being able to play in time or have limbs hit together.. I don't think it's too much to ask for a drummer to exhibit those skills
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I think the general sum of those points are all accurate.

I'm a drummer, its my primary instrument, I don't think im good, and I never run off my mouth about what I can do, because there's a lot better out there.
I play how I want, cause its what I enjoy.
I hate talking to other drummers "ohh dude my triplets are getting sick" "my double rolls are up to 280!!"
bite me


Injury? Ok, lets talk when it heals.

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Unread 02-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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and I never run off my mouth about what I can do, because there's a lot better out there.
Pretty much the same with me. Drums are my primary instrument and I've played for 6 years. After playing for a couple years I came to the realization it's not about who's better than who, it's just about developing your own style of playing because that is what is going to make you stand out.

I have a couple of IRL friends that are huge fans of Luke Holland, which is all fine and good, I'm a fan as well, but they're both trying to be Luke. Luke's an incredible drummer but kids need to realize that if you're trying to copy the style of somebody else, you're going to be a nobody, because EVERYBODY is doing that. You need to come up with your own way of playing.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 05:00 AM   #13
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move on, he's not as good as he thinks he is
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Unread 02-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTID View Post
Pretty much the same with me. Drums are my primary instrument and I've played for 6 years. After playing for a couple years I came to the realization it's not about who's better than who, it's just about developing your own style of playing because that is what is going to make you stand out.

I have a couple of IRL friends that are huge fans of Luke Holland, which is all fine and good, I'm a fan as well, but they're both trying to be Luke. Luke's an incredible drummer but kids need to realize that if you're trying to copy the style of somebody else, you're going to be a nobody, because EVERYBODY is doing that. You need to come up with your own way of playing.
Very wise words I'm mainly a drummer too (although I have focused a lot on the guitar the last year or so) and this is the biggest problem with many drummers nowadays.

To OP: ask him to call you back once his injury is healed and so on. Audition others in the meantime if you're in a hurry finding one. If he never calls back, then he isn't the drummer you're looking for. Sorry if I'm harsh but it's the truth

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Unread 03-18-2012, 09:38 PM   #15
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hey i checked to see if i could help with any of your threads. I can say that changing drum pedals is like getting a new car. Everything is different. But the same. After a week or so your in the comfort zone again.

If he takes forever to pick it up then he's not to good. Alot of musicians can do the math but not play it.

A poor worker always blames his equipment. Its really just an excuse that he isn't as good as he lets on to be. Clearly there was no chemistry in the jam so why bother?

And also if he acknowledged that the pedals are the problem why does he continue to use them? Hope that helped man.

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Unread 03-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #16
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I'm not a drummer but I have broken my faire share of limbs, bones and whatever in my life. Not all people are affected the same or recover at the same speed. It also depends on age, I broke my fret hand at 33 in 18 places (thanks bike accident) and I never recovered 100% of it.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 05:26 AM   #17
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Get him to play the parts at 25% OR 50% speed and work up to full speed. If he can't play in time when its slow, then he probably can't play it fast either.

ps It took me a while to get used to my trick pedals, but I could still play in time
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Unread 03-20-2012, 06:30 AM   #18
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Ive encountered guitarists who do the same thing. Talk about all their knowledge yet cannot, for the life of them, deliver the goods. This is what I like to call the "foot in the door" method. Look AWESOME on paper, make an excuse as to why you cant deliver the goods....just yet. Then you are in the band, they feel bad for kicking you out because the "injury" really set you back etc...

Honestly. If he cant deliver...hes not going to. Keep his number and try out other people. Its a band not a halfway home for people who cant deliver on promises.

edit: also..if he cant use that one pedal....why would he bring it to an audition? Sorry but this sounds fishy AND retarded. Stop being so nice.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 07:59 PM   #19
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i sustained a boxing fracture a couple months, i couldn't play for the 2 weeks my hand was in a cast and it drove me insane, once i was outta the cast, right at guitar, nd god did it hurt sometimes. pinky finger still ain't normal, but it's my picking hand so i'm not that bumbed. also gave me time to think of crazy shit

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Unread 03-21-2012, 08:03 AM   #20
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Finding the right drummer has long been an issue with bands I've been in - I've auditioned dozens of them..... enough to know that, from your description at least, I'd bet good money he's wasting your time.

I think the advice of telling him to come back when he thinks he's more up to speed, whilst auditioning other drummers in the meantime, is good advice. I suspect you won't hear from him again. If you do and he's actually an amazing drummer? Then that's all good too.
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Unread 03-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #21
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If you play better than him, it doesn't matter that he broke his foot. He just isn't good.

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