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Thread: Play too loud??

  1. #1

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    I've just had a first session with a new band which is really exciting. However, I was told I play way too loud. I've never thought this and to be honest I was thinking it was mainly to do with the rehearsal room we were in, it was plasterboard walls and wooden floors with no carpet....ouch! Obviously, my drums were bouncing off everything and not dissipating anywhere. Also, to add to this the main guys in the band haven't played with an acoustic kit for a number of years, it's all been electronic kits and sampling, so I'm thinking they may have forgotten how loud an acoustic kit really is.
    Thinking of all of this, is there any ways you guys lower your volume? I've read and heard about these hot sticks, but know nothing about them. Also, I'm using 5a's and thought going back to 7a's, which I used to use, would also help.
    Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2

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    I've found keeping dynamics in mind will help a lot.

    Pull back a little and don't power through everything you play. (Not judging since I've never heard you but many people who play drums beat them instead of play them.) You'll find many places you play will also complain about being too loud.

    You do bring up a good point about the band being used to E-Drums. I don't like Hot-rod (sticks). They don't give you the same feel.

    A big part of being the percussionist is being able to play with the music. I totally concentrate on being quiet especially during vocal lines.

    Again, it gets back to dynamics. You should be able to play "less loud" when needed.

    Good luck with the new project.

  3. #3

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    Pretty well what Bish said.

    It's up to the player to control the volume of his/her instrument. Drummers seem to have lost the sense of how loud their instrument really is. Room acoustics does play a big role, but you must compensate for it.

    What may seem as nice forceful grooving to us may be downright painful for someone else, especially singers.

    Hot Rods and brushes are technique and texture things and shouldn't be used as volume controlling tools.

    all the best...

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys. I'm going to try to pull it back a bit. What I'm a little worried about though, is that in the act of softening up I'll kind of lose my 'feel'. I mean also isn't the point of having decent instruments,i.e. top end cymbals and deeper bass drums/snares etc, so that they can cut through, like, for instance, projection crashes? I've noticed how much louder my 13x6 maple snare is compared to my old poplar 14x5 snare.
    One last thing, the band I've been playing with since I started back playing is WAY loud, especially the guitarist, so I've definitely been playing harder with them, just to be heard or even sometimes, to hear myself. There have been times when I can't even hear myself and have had to ask if my bass drum is actually making any kind of noise!!! This has obviously had an impact on my volume, but like I said I'm not aware of ever having had a volume problem in the past, but maybe they just hadn't told me.

  5. #5

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    That is a tough one. Even if you muffle you lose feel. If you pull back too much you lose feel.
    Sad truth is, drums are a loud instrument and even when pulled back they can still be loud. It's hard to find a happy medium between all the instruments. It can be done, it just takes a lot of give and take from everyone involved.

    When I did a country gig a year or so ago I had to REALLY limit myself. It was very difficult only lifting the stick a few inches from the head and creating a feel. It all worked out in the end and it was a cool learning experience.

    Years ago I tried out for a rock band. They practiced in a basement and the bass player voted me out because I was too loud. Oh well. Win some, lose some.

  6. #6

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    Dynamics are key, you gotta be able to roll with the rest of the band in a sense. If they're going quieter you should adapt to that. Maybe you could get some thicker drumheads, and if stick o-rings on em. Or if it's in budget, invest in a drum shield to change the direction your drums project. Consider also felt on beater and maybe even sticks at times, there's options out there. Remember that most of the time to be in the band, you have to play with them and not against. Volume levels should match up so everyone has an easier time locking into each other as a group. I mean, have you ever heard a good song where the guitars are 10 times as loud as the drums? Work together and you'll harmonize.
    Last edited by Russ; 05-27-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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  7. #7

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    The main thing is play with the band. Blend! Dynamics, dynamics, dynamics. Sometimes , let me take that back, alot of times I need to tell our guitarist to turn down. Can you believe that?
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  8. #8

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    I think going to 7As or Jazz sticks from Regal Tip will really cut down the sound.
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  9. #9

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    As said a load above, its all dynamics, and truly learning to play your instrument.

    Change in dynamics is something that is really key for drums as it can change the feel of the song so much, and is such a shame when you see drummers that simply bash as hard as they can every song for the entire gig, without feel. Its surprising how quiet you can manage with good technique, care, suitable size sticks, and practice,practice,practice!

    Good luck!
    Its not what your playing, its what your playing

  10. #10

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    I would suggest maybe going with 7-As, hot rod sticks work as well....but they are different, you dont get nearly the same amount of control and bounce as you get with some normal sticks....but just relax and focus on playing softer, dynamics and volume really add to drumming, maybe throwing a rug under the bass...but man if the band really doesn't let off ya, you might just have to throw a bandana over the snare, don't recommend this....however! good luck

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TxDrummer View Post
    The main thing is play with the band. Blend! Dynamics, dynamics, dynamics. Sometimes , let me take that back, alot of times I need to tell our guitarist to turn down. Can you believe that?
    A guitarist playing too loud? No way, that never happens!
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

    Forum Rules
    DrumBum
    No metronome?
    The Rudiments

  12. #12

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    You are probably too loud. Play softer. And tell your current band to turn down their instruments. There is no need to play ridiculously loud, especially in rehearsals.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
    Temple Beth Snare Buzz-Head Rabbi

  13. #13

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    Muffle down the kit, you're practicing not playing Madison Square Gardens.

    The way I see you have 2 choices, learn to keep the volume down and stay in this band, or play to loud for these guys, get fired and look for another band.

  14. #14

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    Does anyone think that playing with traditional grip would help? I've been playing with the trad for a little while and although not anywhere as competent as with matched, it does seem to make a difference.
    Volume, it seems, is quite a contentious subject, I'm guessing. As it's how I've always played and although I'm 'solid', I really don't think I'm excessively loud and to change the way I play is like telling someone to change their walk or the way they talk, isn't it? It is 'part of me'..so to speak.
    I'm just having trouble with the reference to being 'LOUD'.
    I mean as I've said, once you get top end instruments and then get miked, you ain't gonna get any quieter, are you!!
    I'm really struggling with this...I've never had such a fundamental part of my playing put in such a negative light. I mean if the ban had said, "Oh you're overplaying" or even " Sorry, you're S**t, I think I could've dealt with that by doing less fills or practicing more. I mean they all said they were very impressed with my actual playing and more than happy with me technically, it's just this bloody volume thing. I can't stop thinking about it.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post
    Does anyone think that playing with traditional grip would help? I've been playing with the trad for a little while and although not anywhere as competent as with matched, it does seem to make a difference.
    Volume, it seems, is quite a contentious subject, I'm guessing. As it's how I've always played and although I'm 'solid', I really don't think I'm excessively loud and to change the way I play is like telling someone to change their walk or the way they talk, isn't it? It is 'part of me'..so to speak.
    I'm just having trouble with the reference to being 'LOUD'.
    I mean as I've said, once you get top end instruments and then get miked, you ain't gonna get any quieter, are you!!
    I'm really struggling with this...I've never had such a fundamental part of my playing put in such a negative light. I mean if the ban had said, "Oh you're overplaying" or even " Sorry, you're S**t, I think I could've dealt with that by doing less fills or practicing more. I mean they all said they were very impressed with my actual playing and more than happy with me technically, it's just this bloody volume thing. I can't stop thinking about it.
    You can complain all you want, but you still only have 2 choices.

  16. #16

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    It's going to be hard to give any more advice without hearing what is going on.

    Can you record it from their side of the room to get a better feel for what they might be experiencing?

    You need to experience their perspective.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post
    Does anyone think that playing with traditional grip would help? I've been playing with the trad for a little while and although not anywhere as competent as with matched, it does seem to make a difference.
    Volume, it seems, is quite a contentious subject, I'm guessing. As it's how I've always played and although I'm 'solid', I really don't think I'm excessively loud and to change the way I play is like telling someone to change their walk or the way they talk, isn't it? It is 'part of me'..so to speak.
    I'm just having trouble with the reference to being 'LOUD'.
    I mean as I've said, once you get top end instruments and then get miked, you ain't gonna get any quieter, are you!!
    I'm really struggling with this...I've never had such a fundamental part of my playing put in such a negative light. I mean if the ban had said, "Oh you're overplaying" or even " Sorry, you're S**t, I think I could've dealt with that by doing less fills or practicing more. I mean they all said they were very impressed with my actual playing and more than happy with me technically, it's just this bloody volume thing. I can't stop thinking about it.
    I have DW's, K Customs, and Bosphorus rides. I'm not bashing the crap out of them. I don't baby them either. But I can play from pp to fff.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
    Temple Beth Snare Buzz-Head Rabbi

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazaamski View Post
    I have DW's, K Customs, and Bosphorus rides. I'm not bashing the crap out of them. I don't baby them either. But I can play from pp to fff.
    This is the thing mate, neither do I. That's why I've got such an issue with it.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Redneck View Post
    The way I see you have 2 choices, learn to keep the volume down and stay in this band, or play to loud for these guys, get fired and look for another band.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazaamski View Post
    I have DW's, K Customs, and Bosphorus rides. I'm not bashing the crap out of them. I don't baby them either. But I can play from pp to fff.
    These.
    Its not what your playing, its what your playing

  20. #20

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Northern Redneck View Post
    The way I see you have 2 choices, learn to keep the volume down and stay in this band, or play to loud for these guys, get fired and look for another band.

    You're right with that I completely agree. But I think that playing with guys that are used to electronic kits and congas in a hard walled/floored room, anyone would be up against it.
    like I've said I don't recall ever having had a problem with it in the past

  21. #21

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    I just thought, do any of you guys have an idea of decibel levels of their playing. I can borrow a reader from work.
    Yes..it's bothering me that much!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post
    You're right with that I completely agree. But I think that playing with guys that are used to electronic kits and congas in a hard walled/floored room, anyone would be up against it.
    like I've said I don't recall ever having had a problem with it in the past
    Sill doesnt change anything, they could be used to people playing with brushes on a suitcase, if they think youre too loud then youre too loud for that band.

  23. #23

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    Or maybe you do bash on your stuff, and you are being called out on it.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
    Temple Beth Snare Buzz-Head Rabbi

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Redneck View Post
    Sill doesnt change anything, they could be used to people playing with brushes on a suitcase, if they think youre too loud then youre too loud for that band.
    Cheers Dude, I think I've ascertained that.
    I was really looking at getting some thoughts on getting the volume down.

  25. #25

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    Understanding dynamics is a art by itself. There are times when you can bash away, and there are times where you have to "pull the plug".

    I've played at full volume, and also played where the sticks were 2-3" above drums and cymbals. Stick control is all important, and it comes with a combination of practice and experience.

    Looking back, I learned more about dynamics playin jazz, which calls for more stick control because the volume level may change several times in 1 song.

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