Showing posts from September, 2016

What In The Hell Am I Still Doing This For?

Getting ready for last night's gig, I found myself struggling to haul all my equipment up and out of my studio and into my van. I found myself thinking, “ what the hell am I still doing this for?” After all, I'm not a kid anymore and, I usually have to do this alone. While my gear is compact and only 8 cases, those cases get heavier every year I do this.  The original heavy metal: bronze, nickel-silver,  iron, steel, & aluminum, waiting for the gig. To top this off, I have developed arthritis, especially in my elbows and hands, and my right hand has been pretty useless these past 2 weeks. I've even experimented with different grips to try to be able to play. At least with the Gongs and such, it's not a hard hitting gig like playing a couple of hours in a rock band. So I went to the gig and set up everything. And I still get that pre-gig rush of energy and wonder. I still have that same spark like I did as a 12 year old kid playing drums for the first tim

Drummers VS Soundmen

This post is inspired by more internet discussions, this time on the seemingly endless battle between drummers and soundmen. It seems every drummer has their story about evil soundmen wanting to modify their drum heads with tape and/or a razor blade, in order to get a better sound while miked. I'm sure that there are as many stories that soundmen tell about drummers and how stubborn they are when it comes to getting a good sound out of their drums through the sound system. So what's it all about? Like most drummers, I've had my run ins with a few soundmen, but I've always tried to look at how to work with them in any given situation. So let's look at a few Don'ts & Do's: DON'T immediately think of any soundman (or woman) as being stupid. A lot of them have studied as hard and as much as you, and they also take pride in doing their job just like you. DO treat them with the same respect that you want to be treated with. OK, I'll admi

Be A Pro Or Go Home

I recently joined an online drum group that looked interesting. For the most part the discussions have been interesting. But there's also a sizable amount of people posting who seem to be whiners.  For example: the current whine is from a guy who is playing a free, 1-hour benefit that will be supplying the drums. He's complaining, and wants to bring his own drums. “ But I just found out that they are supplying the drums (a crappy set), and goodness knows what cymbals and peddles (sic) they will have.   Some people don't understand that drummers take pride in their sets, and our muscles are accustomed to our layouts, and the tensions of our peddles (sic)? You just can't play your best in a strange set.” Rule #1 - If you are a drummer, you need to learn that you can't always use your own drums and cymbals for the gig.  Your challenge, should you accept, is to make music with these.  Many times drum sets are supplied as part of the backline (amps, drum