Sharing practicing or gigging with another drummer

Nubs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Posts
2,784
Age
47
Location
MD
I know this is a guitar forum, but I'd like to run down this band scenario with you all:

What is your opinion on this?

I moved to MD at the beginning of the year and finally found some guys to jam with back in April. I tried for years to get a group together down in Houston, but it never really materialized. It's mostly an acoustic jam, so I mostly use hand percussion. We've been practicing weekly since and it's alright, but it's starting to grow stale. The bassist has his own separate band & last weekend, he asked me to come out and play with his bandmates, which I happily agreed.

The jam was great & I had an awesome time! Everyone there was cool and played very well. We all got along great and for the first time in years, I truly enjoyed playing with others. After practice, the bassist mentioned their previous drummer is MIA with family issues and asked if I would play an upcoming gig next month with them. Of course I will! I've been waiting so long for an opportunity like this...to play in front of others. He had also mentioned they were planning on getting together this weekend to practice which, naturally, I was looking forward to.

UNTIL...

Until I received a text from him saying their previous drummer is going to be there playing the kit. The bassist offered to set up an e-kit for me to play since I'm a lefty and he's a righty and it would be a pain in the ass to keep swapping back & forth, which I agree it would be.

But I gotta be honest, I don't really care for the idea for a couple of reasons.

First, playing on an e-kit sucks IMO. My opinion of e-kits is they are toys and are nowhere near the same as a real kit. And he says the kit he has sucks, so that really doesn't help either.

Second, and I never really thought of this until now, I'm not really interested nor willing to share drumming duties with another drummer. I know there are several bands out there that have 2 drummers, but I've never been in any of them and I'm not interested in starting now. I'm either the drummer in the band, or the band is playing with another drummer. But I'm not sharing practicing nor gigging with someone else. The whole lefty/righty thing just adds another reason to not do it, but that's really small potatoes IMO.

It's not my intent to sound selfish or snobby. I have learned in my years to be humble and appreciative, but some things I will not compromise on. This is one of them.

What do you think? Thanks!
 

newminglewoodblue

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Posts
272
Age
63
Location
Southern California
because you said this:
"The jam was great & I had an awesome time! Everyone there was cool and played very well. We all got along great and for the first time in years, I truly enjoyed playing with others."

and this:
"I've been waiting so long for an opportunity like this...to play in front of others."

I think you should take the gig, but suggest a real kit. No time to be a diva, but do tell them you prefer real drums.

First of all, if the other drummer went MIA he's bound to repeat and you'll soon be the only drummer.

Also, playing out will be fun, you'll get exposure (ahem, people die of exposure in the desert but I digress). Every other band in town will see your chops and recruit your ass.

Go for it! But bang on real skins brother (you'll be happier)
 

Skeet-1969

TDPRI Member
Silver Supporter
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Posts
60
Location
NE PA
Bring a modest kit of your own, and give it a try! (As a drummer my whole life, I understand the feelings involved, but you like playing with the other guys, right?)
Maybe you'll end up with the gig. Maybe it will suck. Maybe it will be great! You never will know if ya don't give it a whirl.

Mike B
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
19,033
Age
71
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I know this is a guitar forum, but I'd like to run down this band scenario with you all:

What is your opinion on this?

I moved to MD at the beginning of the year and finally found some guys to jam with back in April. I tried for years to get a group together down in Houston, but it never really materialized. It's mostly an acoustic jam, so I mostly use hand percussion. We've been practicing weekly since and it's alright, but it's starting to grow stale. The bassist has his own separate band & last weekend, he asked me to come out and play with his bandmates, which I happily agreed.

The jam was great & I had an awesome time! Everyone there was cool and played very well. We all got along great and for the first time in years, I truly enjoyed playing with others. After practice, the bassist mentioned their previous drummer is MIA with family issues and asked if I would play an upcoming gig next month with them. Of course I will! I've been waiting so long for an opportunity like this...to play in front of others. He had also mentioned they were planning on getting together this weekend to practice which, naturally, I was looking forward to.

UNTIL...

Until I received a text from him saying their previous drummer is going to be there playing the kit. The bassist offered to set up an e-kit for me to play since I'm a lefty and he's a righty and it would be a pain in the ass to keep swapping back & forth, which I agree it would be.

But I gotta be honest, I don't really care for the idea for a couple of reasons.

First, playing on an e-kit sucks IMO. My opinion of e-kits is they are toys and are nowhere near the same as a real kit. And he says the kit he has sucks, so that really doesn't help either.

Second, and I never really thought of this until now, I'm not really interested nor willing to share drumming duties with another drummer. I know there are several bands out there that have 2 drummers, but I've never been in any of them and I'm not interested in starting now. I'm either the drummer in the band, or the band is playing with another drummer. But I'm not sharing practicing nor gigging with someone else. The whole lefty/righty thing just adds another reason to not do it, but that's really small potatoes IMO.

It's not my intent to sound selfish or snobby. I have learned in my years to be humble and appreciative, but some things I will not compromise on. This is one of them.

What do you think? Thanks!
Thanks for providing yet another reason why folks just learning an instrument should learn "normal" ways of doing it.....left/right hand on guitars, drums, basses, etc. There are NO left-hand pianos, (the odd gimmick version excepted) and EVERY violinist in an orchestra plays "right-handed".....it would be chaos otherwise.
My long time drummer, who is astounding, occasionally plays electronic drums. The only concession he makes is he brings real cymbals, rather than the fake-sounding e-cymbals. Maybe if you play, the other band members will be sufficiently impressed to ask you to play permanently, and ditch the other guy?
Again, not to continue beating a dead horse......but you're very (self) limited in being able to "sit in" with a band, Sorry....and good luck. ;)
 

johnny k

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Posts
11,075
Location
France
could be fun for a one off gig. As far as leftie rightie thing, just put a spare charley on the right hand side and use whatever foot you are handy with (...) on the kick pedal ? I don't know how you play drums though. If there are a lof of fill and stuffs like that, it might not work. If it is basic rhythms, you should maybe be not comfortable but close enough to play along ?
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
7,033
Age
65
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
I'd maintain your current relationship with them but the E drum and 2nd drummer that you never played with make it a hard pass for me.
 

Nubs

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Posts
2,784
Age
47
Location
MD
Thanks for providing yet another reason why folks just learning an instrument should learn "normal" ways of doing it.....left/right hand on guitars, drums, basses, etc. There are NO left-hand pianos, (the odd gimmick version excepted) and EVERY violinist in an orchestra plays "right-handed".....it would be chaos otherwise.
My long time drummer, who is astounding, occasionally plays electronic drums. The only concession he makes is he brings real cymbals, rather than the fake-sounding e-cymbals. Maybe if you play, the other band members will be sufficiently impressed to ask you to play permanently, and ditch the other guy?
Again, not to continue beating a dead horse......but you're very (self) limited in being able to "sit in" with a band, Sorry....and good luck. ;)
I'm not getting into this yet again. Lefties exist. Deal with it. Your logic sucks.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
16,110
Location
Beast of Bourbon
Thanks for providing yet another reason why folks just learning an instrument should learn "normal" ways of doing it

That's pretty harsh, brother. I tend to agree with you on many fronts and you usually provide really good experienced advice to open questions but here I gotta disagree with you. If every new musician played "normally" (whatever that means), there would be no innovation at all. Just because you see it as illogical does not mean it's faulty logic for everyone.

We've all heard folks use the expression, "if everyone could think like me, the world would be a far better place." Yeah--it would be a better place for that one person. That's how dictators think :oops:
 

drumtime

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Posts
1,525
Age
71
Location
the mountains of Virginia
Maybe loosen up your thinking a bit - just a suggestion. I played percussion for 25 years or so - always with another drummer, and sometimes, several. You can play some pretty awesome stuff with 2 kits.

A quick Googling turns up 44 bands that played at least some with 2 drummers. The Allmans, the Dead, James Brown, and many others.

I'd listen to some of that stuff and get a feel for how they do it, and then give it a shot. As mentioned above, you very well might get your wish and end up the only drummer, and until then, you might actually have a lot of fun .
 

Jakedog

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2003
Posts
23,774
Location
The North Coast
That's pretty harsh, brother. I tend to agree with you on many fronts and you usually provide really good experienced advice to open questions but here I gotta disagree with you. If every new musician played "normally" (whatever that means), there would be no innovation at all. Just because you see it as illogical does not mean it's faulty logic for everyone.

We've all heard folks use the expression, "if everyone could think like me, the world would be a far better place." Yeah--it would be a better place for that one person. That's how dictators think :oops:
I think *this* is taking it a little too far. And perhaps being a tad harsh. And I say this as a left handed person who plays all my instruments right handed.

The people who got me started had the same idea- there are no left handed pianos. Or violins. Or cellos. Or xylophones. Or Harps. Or many dozens of other instruments. Flutes? Clarinets? Saxophones? Trumpets? Yet left handed people play them professionally all over the world. The only people who seem to thoroughly self-limit themselves are modern guitarists and drummers. It’s always been a head scratcher to me, and after growing up and spending three and half decades as a working player and seeing all the issues it causes people who insist on playing lefty, I’m just more glad all the time that I learned the other way.

It’s a moot point at this juncture, because the OP learned to play lefty, and there’s no point in trying to change now. I know this, because at one point just for fun I decided to see if I could learn to play that way. I thought it would be a breeze since I actually am a lefty, but no dice. No way in Hades was that ever gonna work. Too many years of the other way. I still don’t think of playing lefty as weird, because I am one, so I know why it happens. I think it’s a bad way to teach people, but that’s just my opinion.

Now you wanna talk weird? My favorite drummer I’ve ever worked with is left handed. He plays a right handed kit, but with an open instead of crossed grip, with both his ride and his high-hat on the left. Plays kick with his right foot and snare with his right hand. It’s freakin bizarre to watch. But if it didn’t work, he wouldn’t have been playing drums for Jazz at Lincoln Center. 🤷‍♂️

OP- it’s up to you and whether or not you want to play. If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. There is enough frustration in the world already. No need for us to go out of our way to frustrate ourselves.
 
Last edited:

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
19,033
Age
71
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I'm not getting into this yet again. Lefties exist. Deal with it. Your logic sucks.
That's pretty harsh, brother. I tend to agree with you on many fronts and you usually provide really good experienced advice to open questions but here I gotta disagree with you. If every new musician played "normally" (whatever that means), there would be no innovation at all. Just because you see it as illogical does not mean it's faulty logic for everyone.

We've all heard folks use the expression, "if everyone could think like me, the world would be a far better place." Yeah--it would be a better place for that one person. That's how dictators think :oops:
I think *this* is taking it a little too far. And perhaps being a tad harsh. And I say this as a left handed person who plays all my instruments right handed.

The people who got me started had the same idea- there are no left handed pianos. Or violins. Or cellos. Or xylophones. Or Harps. Or many dozens of other instruments. Flutes? Clarinets? Saxophones? Trumpets? Yet left handed people play them professionally all over the world. The only people who seem to thoroughly self-limit themselves are modern guitarists and drummers. It’s always been a head scratcher to me, and after growing up and spending three and half decades as a working player and seeing all the issues it causes people who insist on playing lefty, I’m just more glad all the time that I learned the other way.

It’s a moot point at this juncture, because the OP learned to play lefty, and there’s no point in trying to change now. I know this, because at one point just for fun I decided to see if I could learn to play that way. I thought it would be a breeze since I actually am a lefty, but no dice. No way in Hades was that ever gonna work. Too many years of the other way. I still don’t think of playing lefty as weird, because I am one, so I know why it happens. I think it’s a bad way to teach people, but that’s just my opinion.

Now you wanna talk weird? My favorite drummer I’ve ever worked with is left handed. He plays a right handed kit, but with an open instead of crossed grip, with both his ride and his high-hat on the left. Plays kick with his right foot and snare with his right hand. It’s freakin bizarre to watch. But if it didn’t work, he wouldn’t have been playing drums for Jazz at Lincoln Center. 🤷‍♂️

OP- it’s up to you and whether or not you want to play. If you’re not feeling it, don’t do it. There is enough frustration in the world already. No need for us to go out of our way to frustrate ourselves.
I know when I occasionally bring this up, some people immediately jump to the defense of left-handed players and how "evil" I am for suggesting something different. I've said before, and I'll repeat it in all caps.....I DON'T CARE IF YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENT STANDING ON YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR NOSE IN YOUR A** AT MIDNIGHT..........I'm only stating facts as they are in the real world. I appreciate Jakedog's understanding of what my perspective is. No, I don't expect a lefthander who's played "wrong" ( said tongue-in-cheek ;) ) for years to change. But if any of us are ever in the position to influence a true beginner to play a certain way, we should try to get them on the "right track". (again, tongue-in-cheek) EVERY instrument feels awkward to a beginner, so if playing right-handed feels funny to a left-hander, they'll get used to it. Then, they can easily play with a symphony orchestra, pick up any guitar at Guitar Center, and sit in on any drum kit. (etc.) I didn't create this world or these conditions.....I'm just reporting facts.
With malice to none, and best wishes to all! ;)
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,590
Location
Up North
I know this is a guitar forum, but I'd like to run down this band scenario with you all:

What is your opinion on this?

I moved to MD at the beginning of the year and finally found some guys to jam with back in April. I tried for years to get a group together down in Houston, but it never really materialized. It's mostly an acoustic jam, so I mostly use hand percussion. We've been practicing weekly since and it's alright, but it's starting to grow stale. The bassist has his own separate band & last weekend, he asked me to come out and play with his bandmates, which I happily agreed.

The jam was great & I had an awesome time! Everyone there was cool and played very well. We all got along great and for the first time in years, I truly enjoyed playing with others. After practice, the bassist mentioned their previous drummer is MIA with family issues and asked if I would play an upcoming gig next month with them. Of course I will! I've been waiting so long for an opportunity like this...to play in front of others. He had also mentioned they were planning on getting together this weekend to practice which, naturally, I was looking forward to.

UNTIL...

Until I received a text from him saying their previous drummer is going to be there playing the kit. The bassist offered to set up an e-kit for me to play since I'm a lefty and he's a righty and it would be a pain in the ass to keep swapping back & forth, which I agree it would be.

But I gotta be honest, I don't really care for the idea for a couple of reasons.

First, playing on an e-kit sucks IMO. My opinion of e-kits is they are toys and are nowhere near the same as a real kit. And he says the kit he has sucks, so that really doesn't help either.

Second, and I never really thought of this until now, I'm not really interested nor willing to share drumming duties with another drummer. I know there are several bands out there that have 2 drummers, but I've never been in any of them and I'm not interested in starting now. I'm either the drummer in the band, or the band is playing with another drummer. But I'm not sharing practicing nor gigging with someone else. The whole lefty/righty thing just adds another reason to not do it, but that's really small potatoes IMO.

It's not my intent to sound selfish or snobby. I have learned in my years to be humble and appreciative, but some things I will not compromise on. This is one of them.

What do you think? Thanks!
It probably feels like a Bait and Switch thing.
I can't see why you would be sharing duties at the same time in the same room.
IMHO- It would make for an Ineffective Practice and waste Time.

I play in a Band where Drummer Duties were a problem from day one.
Our #1 works for the State in their Computer enclave.
He and his Team take all of the various Websites and make them work together.
In reality, it's way more than that.

The point is, one week a Month, he simply isn't available for practice or gig's because he is on-call 24-7.

Drummer#2 Doesn't mind filling in for Practices and Gig's #1 can't play.

I'm the new guy in the Band and when they started talking about it like it was a walk in the Park, it really surprised me!

Your situation is different.
I hope you can find a way to navigate it in a manner that works for you.
YEP!!!

P.S.
This is the ONLY Band I have been that has done this.
-ST
 

Silverface

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
10,298
Age
70
Location
Lawndale CA
Thanks for providing yet another reason why folks just learning an instrument should learn "normal" ways of doing it.....left/right hand on guitars, drums, basses, etc. There are NO left-hand pianos

That's pretty harsh, brother. I tend to agree with you on many fronts and you usually provide really good experienced advice to open questions but here I gotta disagree with you.
It's too late for the OP in this situation - unless he wants to take a year+ learning to play right handed or play "open" left handed on a right-handed kit.

In 55 years of playing in bands and jams, every competent, skilled drummer (with excellent dynamics) I heard who was naturally left handed played drums - and any other instrument they learned - right handed.


I realize this isn't the OP's point - but for inexperienced drummers reading, especially raw beginners - LEARN TO PLAY RIGH HANDED!

At most jams - especially club jams - there will be no switching drumsets on stage; anywhere else it's almost impossible to try someone else's "instruments" out.

Every left-handed guitar and bass player I've known over the years regretted not starting on the instrument right-handed. Playing left-handed eliminated/eliminates SO many opportunities to test-play gear - and to sit in with a band for a song or two. Guitar and bass players (who learned right-handed) do it all the time; left handed drummers are out of luck.
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
3,124
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
Completely aside from the unprovoked left/right debate, I am also a drummer, and I think e-drums suck. That would be a non-starter for me.

As for having another drummer on the gig, that would weird me out pretty hard. I probly would bail. That said, I have a pal who was in a similar situation, and, like a boss, he swapped off with the other drummer for months until finally the other drummer faded away. So it's a crappy and questionable situation (I would NEVER do this to a musician), but if you have the chops and patience, you might be the last man standing.
 

Mr. St. Paul

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Posts
929
Location
Saint Paul, MN
I don't think I'd do it. You said the previous drummer was "MIA"...must have been pretty serious if they had to go looking for you. Now, all of a sudden he's back and they say you can play a set of e-drums? Weird.

If I was asked to replace a guitar player in a band, and start working with them and things are going well...and all of a sudden they tell me I'll be splitting duties with the old guitar player? Uh-uh. Not happening.

I don't think you're being selfish or snobby.

On the lefty/righty thing...I was in a band that shared a practice space with another band. It was a small space, so there was one kit for both drummers. You guessed it, one was right-handed, one was left-handed. They worked it out that each guy would set it up for himself each practice, then leave it that way. The next guy would have to re-arrange, then leave it. And so on. This was the most equitable way to do it, but neither one of them liked it. The rest of us could just plug in and go, and the drummer would still be swapping toms, stands, cymbals, etc.
 




Top