We're about to kick the drummer out of our band and I feel bad about it

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Lindmann, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    ...and the story behind it is:

    I started playing the guitar around 6 years ago (self-taught). After a year a friend and I founded a band. We wanted to play some heavy and brutal stuff.
    He played drums, I "played" the guitar. Needless to say that we were pretty shitty back then. I was only able to play simple power chords and slow single note stuff.

    Eventually a vocalist, another guitarist and a bassist joined us so we started playing a couple of occasional gigs. As the time went by my playing became constantly better, the vocalist became better and we got holf of a pretty talented guitarist.

    In parrallel I started teaching myself proper songwriting and music production and ended up with a nice little home studio. We recorded an album, which we distributed ourselfes at first but then were offered a deal by a small local record company and we were hold out the prospect of a deal for future albums.

    And here's the hook:
    From the very beginning noticed that the drummer wasn't up to the task even though he played the drums for several years already when we started out. At first I didn't know that his problems were that much of an issue especially because I wasn't a good guitarist either.
    He had problems keeping the tempo, he couldn't play double kicks (everything faster then quarter notes ended up in random feet twitching), he couldn't play any fills faster than quarter notes, he couldn't play to a click track and he hit the shells so soft that it never sounded heavy metal.
    I bet you could imagine that this was quite embarassing sometimes when we were at a gig.
    For the album I had to program all the drums.

    From time to time I send him some youtube lessons with "cool stuff he could try out some time" in order to tell him diplomatic roundabout way to practice his instument already. But he never practiced.

    Everyone in the band except for the drummer either invested a lot of time practicing or was goot at their instument in the first place. And with every year passing it became more and more apparent that he was by far the weakest link in the chain and that he was keeping us from playing the music we wanted to play.

    And here we are. I am currently writing songs and I always have to keep them simple and always have to consider his limitations. We still play gigs where we still have our occasional embarassig moments.
    We recently told him pretty direct, that he really has to improve now because he is holding us back big time. At first it seemed that he finally got his act together and started to practice. But after a couple of weeks he admitted that he stopped and he couldn't find the motivation to practice.

    And that was it for us. We exchanged some words and now it's almost inevitably that he's gonna kicked out. Plus I am pretty sure that he doesn't want to be with us anymore after the dispute.

    It wouldn't be so hard for me if he wasn't a founding member of the band and if he wasn't a friend of mind. He seems a bit hurt too.
    So...I am looking forward to playing with a new drummer in the future but on the other hand I hate kicking him out. I feels a bit like breaking up the relationship with your girlfriend.

    I hope you can feel with me.
    Just wanted to load this off my chest I guess.
     
  2. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    If the Nu Metal era gave us anything, it was the prospect of giving mates some gimmicky nonsense role in a band to avoid having to kick them out for being instrumentally incompetent.

    "I was thinking it would be cool if we got another drummer in and you concentrated on empty beer keg percussion and a bit of VJing".
     
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  3. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    ^I was thinking along similar lines as I was reading the OP, "Aw, just give him a sampler, garbage can, or turntable!"

    It's important for any band to be on the same page with regard to goals (playing-out, writing, recording, etc.), and, while it's probably a sensitive matter, that also includes performance and skill level. It sounds like you guys had a frank conversation about it and that he elected to not follow-through on improvement (not "motivated"- he's in a band!). He's a drummer who plays metal, so there's no conceivable way that he wouldn't know what may be expected of him or how he stacks up. If his apparent obliviousness led him to take things personally, that's kind of on him.
     
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  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    If he cared about your frienship crossing over into this band, then he would have not allowed himself to become lazy and let you and the others down.

    Be strong with the decision (completely correct one at that).
    End of the day, this world and this life is too short for time wasters whether intentional or not. Bands and their members have to be ruthless and selfish when making decisions for the good of the band otherwise you simply wont get anywhere, get dejected that you have not done what you should have achieved by now and possibly ruin your passion for the "music making" all because of someone or something elses lack of input and give up altogether?.

    The latter would be a travesty especially if its due to someone else's poor attitude.
    I have been down this same road too many times to count and after multiple times, you do end up being abit cold or matter a fact about members.
    In the new year, my band are all agreed on buying a huge multichannel interface and gigging/writing with programmed drums and not worry about a physical drummer for the immediate, such is the complete BS we have had to endure from "drummers".

    If you both do care enough about the friendship, he will understand the decision and agree with it, and still be mates.

    if not and is willing to throw that away too, then you know sadly the type of person you are dealing with. I.e someone not really worth your time any longer as harsh as that is.
     
  5. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade Unhindered by Talent

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    Maybe he is as a good a drummer as you are a guitar player... and you are fooling yourself to think otherwise. Or you could be Steve Vai - what do I know?
     
  6. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    I believe the OP is actually James Hetfield.
     
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  7. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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  8. btbg

    btbg SS.org Regular

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    That explains the shitty drummer then.
     
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  9. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    Life is short. Kick him out and move on. Nature of the beast. There's nothing stopping him from proving you wrong...but he most likely never will.

    Then again depending on where you live, a good drummer is at best, hard to find. A good drummer that is down to play and gets along with everybody etc. etc. is even harder. A great drummer that's all of that is like winning the lottery and usually only happens to people already in pretty serious situations.

    If getting rid of this guy only leads to the ultimate demise of the band, is it really worth it?

    I still say find someone who wants to be there. Never give up.
     
  10. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Hahahaha. Should have seen that coming.
    I would be glad if we had a blindfolded, handcuffed and totally drunken Lars as our drummer.

    However...yesterday was rehearsal day....and he didn't show up and didn't even bother informing us.
    Well...that will settle it then.

    I now feel a litte better at least. The more he acts as a douche, the less of a bad conscience I got.

    We're already looking for a new drummer and our other guitarist already got in contact with someone. So I am actually a little pumped right now...aaawww man...that would be awesome finally having someone talented/motivated for drums.
     
  11. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Yeah...I thought about this too.
    I am certainly not Steve Vai...that's for sure.

    But everytime we come across a cool riff I got problems playing it, I sit down for the next days and practice the damn thing so that I nail it at our next rehearsal.
    And I believe that this actually makes the biggest difference.
     
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  12. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    The same thing happened to me around 2009. Our drummer was the only remaining founding member of the band, but he just wasn't practicing. Practice started getting pretty tedious, as we ended up spending most of our time teaching him the structures of songs, which he could've done himself by just listening to the demo tapes or guitar pro tabs we'd made. He was a beast with double kicks- he was a really good runner so he had almost unlimited stamina and could play 16th's in rhytm at almost any tempo, and he played mostly ok to a click (going a little on and off here and there, but would've definitely been fine with a little practice), but he just wouldn't practice our song structures beforehand and when we wanted him to practice blast beats and stuff, he just never did.
    So we all went for a beer and talked about the whole situation, and we got to the conclusion that he just wasn't committed enough for the band. He had lost interest a bit because of our change in direction, which wasn't that drastic, but still, we'd been going from melodic death metal / power metal towards something more like progressive groove metal, and also because he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend (they're married and have a couple of kids these days) rather than practicing. We said we could still jam just for fun, but our actual band would need more commitment. We never ended up jamming, but at least we stayed friends and no-one got upset or anything. We found a new drummer, but the band still disbanded a year or so later because of everyone moving too far away from each other.

    I guess your situation already came and went, so not much of a point in trying to talk it through anymore, but I would've suggested you all sat down and either got him to promise he'll practice or he's out. Unless he's a total cunt he would've probably understood what you're on about, and then he'd at least tried to get better or would've just left voluntarily.
     
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  13. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Now that you mention it...
    Whenever we had a new song ready I recorded the song real quick, so that everybody can learn it and is prepared for the next rehearsal.
    I provided a version with programmed drums and another version with the click instead.
    So that he would be in a comfortable situation playing it on his E-drum set at home.
    But instead he chose to show up completely clueless...hasn't even listened to it.
    The difference between our and your drummer is: our drummer is the opposite of a beast with double kicks.

    Yeah and another thing is that we always had a hard time to agree on dates for rehearsals.
    He refused to rehearse on work days. So we were left with the weekend. But he also excluded saturdays for no reason (most saturdays he stays at home watching TV or playing Playstation).
    So he forced everybody to be available on sundays without any room for exeptions or compromises.
    But that is a whole different story...

    So. If you are a skilled, highly motivated drummer, preferably female and hot and a nice person, looking for a band...please contact me :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  14. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    No one in 2018 is going to top this.
     
  15. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Lewis nailed what I was going to say. I just didn't want it to be the first reply here when I read it Saturday morning :yesway:
     
  16. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, life can be tough, both for the ones getting canned and those doing the caning..
    Based on the OP's in-depth explanations, I believe the band is doing the right thing.

    Kind of reminds me of my days in skydiving, where we'd get sacked after just one or two jumps when not performing to the others standards, cuz no one wants to pay for expensive planes just to waste the dosh on not improving with each and every jump.
    And my days in dancing where two really good dancers asked me to be partner - but I had a partner, didn't I. Whereafter my partner stopped, and I was left thinking, "I should've taken the bait, I should've taken the bait.."

    My days playing sitting lame duck are over. I'll give professional partners and friends alike I work with a good amount of rope, but if the fifty feet ain't enough, they'll have to do the rest of the climb themselves.
    Call this cold heart'ish, but time do fly by on wings of quicksilver..
    I recently took an IQ/social test which came out as a protagonist.
    Nice, and I don't mind - until the commentary rolled off the printer and compared this to the likes of Obama. Sortof got me thinking about how far I'll go with caring/understanding :spock:
     
  17. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    W. T. F. Did I just read? It’s like a roller coaster to nowhere.

    You can stop writing out a reply before you meander into talking about IQ tests.

    Op: your drummer suuuuuucks.

    It’s cool if he just wants to jam with some people but he and the rest of the band are not on the same page, so he has to go if you want to make any progress.

    You can’t feel bad at this point, as he’s had years to improve and seems to have dug his heels in to not doing shit.

    Best of luck on the next phase though.
     
  18. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    Dude...
     
  19. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Nothing more frustrating then some of these things posted. If you have not already, just kick him out. It is obvious he is not going to get any better.

    Have been in the same situation, trying to force a band to work that is not going to work. When you do find a good drummer, which I hope you do. You will see what an amazing difference that it will make from the music, to the inspiration and just overall feeling good about everything in general.

    You cannot let a friendship get in the way if the band is important to you. Eventually you may learn to resent him and then you won't be friends down the road anyway. Have to treat it like a business if you want to be an actual band. If you don't care how it sounds or just play for fun in the basement with no intent of anything else then sure, jam with your buds.
     
  20. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Had a similar situation years ago with a bassist. We all started playing together at 13-14 and started a band that held together til we were all 19-20. The drummer, myself, our other guitarist, and our vocalist/keyboard player were ALWAYS at the rehearsal spot writing/practicing/jamming/etc but the bassist never wanted to join us. Him and I were roommates at the time and he NEVER practiced at home, and it was starting to show that we were all getting quite a bit better, writing more challenging material, looking for better gigs, and planning for some sort of future with the band. So we brought it up and gave him an ultimatum that he needed to at least show that he was putting in time outside of designated rehearsal time because he wasn't keeping up. He didn't, so we fired him from the band. I ended up losing a friend since childhood because he took it personal (got his family involved, tried to turn a bunch of mutual friends against us for being "unfair" to him and "taking all the fun out" of being in a band), but in retrospect is was probably waaaaay better than hanging on to him for friendship's sake. He never played music again, and I'm still playing out all the time, writing, recording, etc. Obviously being in a band was only about the hanging out/partying/playing shows and had nothing to do with music for him. People like will drag down people who are trying to do something. There's nothing wrong with just wanting to have fun, but everyone has to be on the same page.
     
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