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Do any drummers help set up/tear down?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by oceanman2, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. oceanman2

    oceanman2 Tele-Meister

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    I'm working with about the twentieth drummer in the last fifteen years, and not one has ever lugged a piece of P.A. equipment or light rigging or guitar gear. I'm just curious if anyone has worked with a drummer who pitches in in that way? It doesn't bother me that much, but I'm kinda surprised, because every other musician in every other band (except one extraordinarily lazy bass player) always grabbed gear, joked about needing roadies, etc. To their credit, every drummer has always managed his own gear, but...

    Our current guy took a look at our PA at a recent gig (he's played 25 with us now), and he said, "Is that our PA? Do we bring all that stuff to every gig?" I thought about killing him, but would've hated to go that far. :confused:
     
  2. voodoostation

    voodoostation Friend of Leo's

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    The drummer in my first band did both, the drummer in my latest band (she's my wife) will tear down and haul, just not set up, the cables confuse her. I actually do most of the setup/tear down, the rest of the band just does the lifting.
     
  3. oceanman2

    oceanman2 Tele-Meister

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    That sounds sensible.

    I was just wondering if there was some kind of unwritten percussionist rule that I wasn't aware of. Something to the effect of "Thou shalt not move any gear other than that upon which thou beatest."
     
  4. voodoostation

    voodoostation Friend of Leo's

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    I think there may be. My wife just started playing a couple years ago, so she hasn't been turned to the dark side yet.
     
  5. Dave Hopping

    Dave Hopping Friend of Leo's

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    In all of my most successful bands,everybody pitched in with the lifting and carrying,but left the PA cabling and soundcheck to the lead singer,who usually played rhythm guitar and consequently didn't have much beyond a guitar and amp to carry around or tweak with.We always made sure to use every laborsaving device we could,like hand trucks and doubling on unwieldy items,whether those were trap cases or an SP-4 or the power amp rack or whatever.It really was sort of fun to see how quickly we could get the whole thing done and we were much more concerned with getting the work out of the way so we could get to the fun part.Generally those were bar gigs lasting from three nights to two weeks,so most of the time there was only one setup and takedown for multiple nights of playing.The two most delightful parts of that kind of gig were being able to load in fast,set up individual rigs at one's leisure during the day,and then being able to walk in,tune up,and just start playing night after night.:cool:
     
  6. mudbean

    mudbean Friend of Leo's

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    Hello? Don't drummers have a buttload more stuff of their own to haul, load & setup than anyone else in the band?

    Sheesh, settle down.

    FWIW, I don't like when anyone messes with my cables (I setup & break down the PA, but it's just a powered head owned by our leader, and two mains and two monitors, which are mine.). I'm very anal about wrapping my cables - no over the arm/shoulder crap; I loop them carefully. They're 20 years old, and are not kinked at all.

    Edit: I can't believe I'm defending drummers, now. What has this world come to???

    mud
     
  7. oceanman2

    oceanman2 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, drummers have plenty of equipment to contend with. Nothing as heavy as the subs, mains, and amps though. I'm just a bit surprised that none of them ever offer to help. It's the first thing I think of doing when I see another person lugging something heavy, rather than spinning a wingnut on a cymbal.

    I like the above post about working as a team to see how fast you can get set up, and it seems like most players are on the same page. It's just been a curiosity for me regarding drummers, and I'd like to know if it's a widespread phenomenon.
     
  8. johnreardon

    johnreardon Tele-Afflicted

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    I have worked with many a drummer who helps carry stuff in and out. To be fair to them, they have more stuff than guitarists and singers to set-up and dismantle, so often they appear to be not carrying when in fact, they are setting up or dismantling.

    Anyway, as mudbean says, many people prefer to set-up and dismantle their own gear, whether it be PA, amps or drums.
     
  9. Viper

    Viper Tele-Meister

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    Don't get me started...
     
  10. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    I'm surprised the drummers wouldn't help with the lugging. I'm bandless at the present time, but in spite of the fact that my bands have always rented soundmen for jobs (who had their own PA systems - it costs mucho dinero to put together a sound system that provide decent sound for a heavy rock band [more than my bands could afford]), the drummers in my bands always helped with the lugging of the bands' gear and even thee soundman's gear. The only thing was final setup (connecting up everything) was handled by the soundman, or the individual band members (since everybody has a personal perference for how they want their gear connected up and/or laid out on stage). But, we did help unplug and wrap up the PA cables, when the gigs were done, so get out of the places, and either go home and go to bed, or go to a restaurant that did the breakfast 24/7 thing (where we would discuss the high and low points of the gig).
     
  11. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

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    It takes our drummer about as much time to haul in his drum set and set it up as it takes my brother and I to bring in the PA system and our guitar/bass rigs and set them up. I don't have any problem with that!

    Tim
     
  12. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    Most of the drummers I worked with took their turn at carrying in from ttthe van, but then it was time to assemble, adjust, fiddle with their kit.

    Left the complicated stuff alone, which usually suited us fine.
     
  13. MorganShaker

    MorganShaker TDPRI Member

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    I think the gear shlepping band equality issue is slippery. I try to encourage everyone in the band to carry all their own stuff plus give a hand with someone else's gear too. I try to set an example that someday I will be too old and infirm to lug the rhodes or the 4x12 up and down the four flights to our practice space, so to get luggin' while the luggin' is good.

    Tricky part is that you are always gonna have someone who is the least "gear luggin' happy" outta the bunch. Just by default, even if all the links in the chain are strong, one is invariably going to be the weakest. I sometimes have trouble sortin' out getting a little peeved when the weak link, (in my case, the band member who gets +1 on beers and sorta disappears after most gigs), feels like he isn't luggin' a fair share. (Try to sell myself on his other contributions, understand that we are there to compensate for each others weaknesses, etc).

    Honestly, I think if I had a gal in the band, the issue would resolve itself, cause I know he couldn't stand getting out lugged by a girl / he has no reason to impress us, but might feel more motivated to show off his muscles in the presence of the fairer sex...
     
  14. BradPaisleyFan

    BradPaisleyFan Tele-Holic

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    A past drummer in the band used to set up his drums, mics and stands, and plug in PA and do adjustments at soundcheck. Im in the works of getting another band going with him in the near future, and he is an amazing drummer to boot.
     
  15. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    To me, it's as much a division of time as a division of labor. It takes our drummer as much time to haul in his kit, set it up, tear it down and haul it out as it does the rest of us to handle the PA and our individual rigs. When I look at his 75-pound hardware case, it makes me feel better about the arrangement!
     
  16. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    My son is a drummer, they play 2-4 shows a month, yesterday they played 2. I think he helps as much as anybody but lets do a little math...

    Guitar/bass - amp head + cab + guitar + gear bag = 4 items.
    Set up is put amp on cab, plug in cab, plug in guitar = go time.

    Drums - bass + snare + tom + tom + kick pedal + hihat + cymbal/drum stands (4) + cymbals (5) + throne = 16 items.
    Set up is unfold 4 stands, unfold hihat, unfold throne, unpack/mount 5 cymbals, mount 2 toms, mount snare, attach kick pedal = go time.

    His kit is pretty reasonable size 4 piece so some drummers have an even bigger load. Also watch your drummer next time he loads in and out from the car. How many trips are they making compared to the guitar/bass? Most are making at least 4-5 trips to get all this stuff into the venue and the same back out. If the drummer takes care of their stuff then everything is cased which adds more time. How many amps are in cases? We simplified a lot by getting a rolling road case for all the hardware so in and out is now at most 2 and sometimes one trip.

    I agree everyone in a band should work together to get the job done. If the drummer is sitting around while others are setting up the PA shame on that person. But if everyone is sitting around while the drummer is working and then they want the drummer to set up the PA too, that group needs to look at the entire workload and understand each persons individual load is different.
     
  17. burnt rope

    burnt rope Tele-Meister

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    i'm always done setting up before the drummer. we all share the load fairly equally, tho.
     
  18. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've never seen a drummer yet that wasn't capable of making his setup/teardown last a tad longer than it takes the rest of the band to load in/out the heavy stuff.
     
  19. DavyA

    DavyA Tele-Meister

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    If you want to surprise a drummer, help him carry his stuff in and out!
     
  20. 91xlntS-3

    91xlntS-3 Tele-Afflicted

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    Everyone helps with load in/load out. And as mentioned above, the drummer usually needs a hand with his hardware bag! Everyone in the band has specific jobs that they do, besides setting up thier own gear. Everyone is responsible for the band being set up and ready to go on time.

    When it comes to load out; we can be tore down/packed up/loaded out in as little as 25 minutes, if we're all feeling froggy, that is!! We've got set up/tear down down to a science, but it takes everyone to be willing to do they're part :)
     
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