Q: What do Ginger Baker and black coffee have in common? A: They both suck without Cream.
We all have our favorite drummer jokes. That's probably the best one we have ever heard in our time, because it's actually true.
Drummers don't get enough love as everyone else in a band, considering they are pretty much the backbone of any musical group. They propel everything in a band's sound. True, the lead guitarist is the star and the lead singer can get laid while taking a dump in a truck-stop bathroom, but the drummer has the hardest job.
We talked to a few drummers here in Houston about some of the things that peeve them the most when it comes to gigging and being in a band. One drummer complained about bandmates trying to get him to make the sounds they wanted with such astute musical directions as "explaining what part they think would fit best by going, 'boom, pop, boom, boom, pop... yeah, then do some stuff with the shiny ones.'
On the condition of strict anonymity, they told us about some of their biggest annoyances when it comes to the music scene. It's not surprising that most of the guys and girls had the same grievances welled up from years behind the kit. Also, it was hard to decipher most the responses we received, so riddled with grammatical errors and curse words they were. One drummer sent us his "pit peefz" written out on a soiled children's menu from Denny's. In crayon, no less.
1. You Don't Have Any Rhythm
"You have no rhythm, so don't say 'just follow me'."
"Many self-taught guitarists have no fucking rhythm at all."
"I know I'm a drummer and you play guitar, but I know rhythm, and you're fucking playing that wrong."
"You're just a guy that picked up a guitar and doesn't know music theory."
"Just because you can make a killer drum solo with your mouth noises, does not necessarily mean I can instantly transcribe and recreate it for you during the next run-through of the song."
2. You Never Help Us Set Up Our Gear
"You only take five minutes to set up when I, on the other hand, take 20 minutes."
"I help you lift your 100-pound amp, you can help me with a few of my five-pound drums. If everyone in the band carries two things, I can load in two minutes."
"Drums take a while to set up, let the singer and the bass player, or even better, the keyboard player, deal with the PA."
"Some dudes think that loading in an amp and cab is a lot of shit. Try loading out after a night of drinking and drugging without any help, after everyone else burned off just to get out of helping."
3. Your Gigging Etiquette Sucks Ass
"Yes, I do mind if your old drummer comes up and plays a few songs on my kit."
"I know by definition the drummer has the best timing, but that shouldn't mean I'm the only one that shows up to practice or a gig on time."
"I never get a quality monitor mix from the front-of-house engineer."
"Sticks cost a lot of money."
4. Then There Are The Little Annoying Things You Do...
"Guitar players are constantly messing with their guitar tone, making teeny-tiny little adjustments that nobody else can hear and wasting everyone else's time."
"Bass players never have picks."
"You try to tell us what to play without having the vocabulary to do so."
"I don't care much for people sitting behind my kit and banging away when we're on break at practice. Dude, that's very loud and not very good."
"Stop tuning by ear!"
"All guitarists secretly want to play drums! It's fucking bizarre!"
5. We Don't Get To Party While You Do Onstage
"I never get a chance to take a shot or drink my beer while onstage between songs with everyone else blitzed and rushing through the set."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Shut up and play."
"We can't smoke a cigarette while you get to."
"We are constantly moving so you can stand in one place and try to look like a badass."
"Everyone else decides it's a good idea to put all of the fastest songs one after another in the set and doesn't tell us beforehand."