Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Likes and shares do not a gigging drummer make…...

UPDATE: I was just hipped to the latest missive from a reasonably well known youtuber/provocateur. I won't name them here but their handle is drummer plus either a ratio or a percentage (whatever that means.) This individual claims that drummers can now be divided into "gigging" and "internet" players and that the people who have embraced being online are the ones who are facing how the world is now, taking advantage of technology etc…
The major problem with this is the way one seems to get noticed online is with a lot of lowest common denominator pizazz designed to flabbergast and impress the viewer. So, what we end up with is more and more circus trick videos from people who don't even have enough together to successfully play the average wedding gig! And the proliferation of such material is helping ensure that later generations will be even LESS EQUIPPED to just play normal gigs like backing a blues singer, being in the house band at a jam, playing with a strolling Dixie band, etc.
Now, maybe many don't think this is important, or most live gigs won't come back or whatever. I certainly can't predict the future. I will say that if said future doesn't value playing with actual musicians in real time in a room together, I'm not sure how interested I am. If that makes me unhip and old fashioned, so be it.

Stay tuned for a post where I give shout outs and links to all the drummers online who I feel are providing good information and helping to educate the players of the future.

Okay, on with the show! 

 Alright! It's time for THE FIRST RANT OF THE YEAR!!!!

Unsurprisingly, it involves that frequent bane of musician's existence, social media, especially Instagram.

As I've mentioned before, IG is inundated with drummers performing death defying feats. The problem is, doing your trapeze act doesn't have a lot to do with playing a gig! Playing a gig calls on a drummer to have taste. as well as good ears and judgment. 

So, the next time you get down on yourself because you aren't able to play things that only people who know nothing about playing music WITH OTHERS dig, remember that 90% of these IG warriors CANNOT:

1. Read a chart (or any written music) to save their lives.

2. Play anything they're playing below a FFF dynamic, therefore making it useless when actually playing with a band.

3. Play any beat or solo that doesn't glorify them in some way.

4. Blend with a band. (See 2.)

5. Improvise

6. Shape a tune, solo, evening of music, or collection of compositions in a recorded format.

7. Choose feeling in the music over some impressive things they've worked out. I.E. TASTE!

8. Relate to the music in any other way except what the drums do.

9. Problem solve in the moment, like professionals do on gigs all the time. I.E. Is the bassist dragging? What should I do? Is my dynamic appropriate for the band and the room?

Don't fool yourselves folks. All the likes and shares in the world won't equal nailing the gig! 

Thanks, and Happy Rant-y New Year.

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