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Thread: Independent drummers

  1. #1

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    Default Independent drummers

    Over the past couple of years I have found myself in situations where I am a "fill in" drummer more often than not. I do have the Highway 49 Band that I play with "full time", yet we only gig together about once or twice every two or three months. This band plays festivals and "special" gigs more than anything else.

    In the meantime, I am constantly getting calls and facebook messages asking me to fill in for bands when their drummer can't make a show. In the past three weeks I have taken about 10 of these kinds of calls. Everything from playing a small gig in a bar to playing a festival and a casino. At one time I used to get frustrated with this because I wasn't in a "full time" band, but I've grown to appreciate it because I am able to play gigs. I also had a friend pull me to the side one night to tell me to feel honored that I get these kind of calls because that means people trust that I can get the job done - even on a short notice.

    I don't know how many others here have situations like this going on, but if you do just keep doing your best, and make every job count. Enjoy the moments and your time on stage.
    Six piece Mapex Armory, Black Panther Blade and Orange County Custom snare drums, Centent Emperor cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

    Highway 49 Band


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    You mean like a session drummer? Great way to get your name out there, and good exposure during the downtime with your main band. Just be sure the gigs you take are not fishy or anything, and it should be a rewarding experience each time. It's an opportunity for a bit of growth.
    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

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  3. #3

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    yeah I tried filling in with a couple of groups.
    Toughest part is that everyone plays something different and plays it differently.
    But once you've play with them two or three times you get the hang of it and have a lot of fun.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor |5pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 58 Snare drums and growing!

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    I've done that. It's fun (for a while).

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    yeah I tried filling in with a couple of groups.
    Toughest part is that everyone plays something different and plays it differently.
    But once you've play with them two or three times you get the hang of it and have a lot of fun.
    For sure. That is one of the biggest challenges in all of this. To be perfectly honest, I always go in and try to play the pocket as much as possible and as close to the original as possible when I first go out with a band. If I play with them several times and get the feel of what they are doing I will add a little more in here and there. There have been times I've asked for a rehearsal session or two as well before going out with some bands.
    Six piece Mapex Armory, Black Panther Blade and Orange County Custom snare drums, Centent Emperor cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

    Highway 49 Band


  6. #6

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    I used to do a ton of sub dates but it wore me out after awhile. These days, I prefer playing in just one band where I know what's coming around the corner and don't have to invest hundreds of hours learning new songs for each new band.
    - Tom

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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    If you, or anyone, is contemplating trying to make a living out of playing, get a good accountant and invest your money. Unless you hit it "BIG", you will have to think of the future, which I didn't for a while after I started making "good" money.

    My accountant/investor, who stayed on my a$$ for over a year back in the mid '70's, would tell me that unless you make the millions, there is no pension plan in this "business". If it weren't for him, I would be living in a cardboard box over a subway grate in Manhattan.
    YOU MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.

    YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW.

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    I HIT THAT AGE 20 YEARS AGO.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    I get a couple of those fill-in gigs every year. I typically enjoy them, but my own band keeps me as busy as I care to be.
    The last time I did a fill-in was a disaster. I practiced with them for 4 weeks and learned 36 of their songs. We sounded pretty darn good. Then a few days before the gig, the female singer decided to change out 1/2 the songs to showcase her voice. We get to the gig and they mic all the instruments. They use IEM’s and no stage monitors...but no one brought one for me. The gig was outside (County Fair)...right next to the stock car track....which was running races while we played.
    So.....I was playing songs I didn’t know, without any stage sound, while 30 yards away there were 40+ race cars screaming around a track. I couldn’t hear anything, EXCEPT for a tambourine that the female singer decided to play into the vocal mic...sometimes on 1&3, sometimes on 2&4, but never the same for an entire song....

    I just wanted to collect my $$ and get out of there as soon as possible.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    Singer egos..
    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

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Independent drummers

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Singer egos..
    What made it really difficult was that she was a real sweetheart. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met...and a pretty good singer. It was just a series of very poor decisions on several levels.

    On a positive note: It taught me a valuable lesson....never allow a tambourine on stage unless it’s part of the drum set and being played by a drummer. Giving a lead singer a tambourine is like giving a Samauri sword to a chimpanzee.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

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