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  #1  
Old 09-16-2014, 10:26 AM
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Default Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Similar in a way to 8Mile's thread.

We had a gig on Saturday. It was a very odd setup: we were sideways on to the audience which made it extremely difficult to see their reaction, and to myopic little me at the back it felt like playing to an empty room. I'd never played a kit with one rack tom and two floor toms before, so that was a bit challenging. Worst of all was that we were supposed to be paid in drinks, but we didn't get so much as a free cup of tea!

I made a couple of mistakes but nothing major, and overall I felt as if I had played reasonably well. I'd smiled the whole way through, albeit through somewhat gritted teeth because it wasn't a particularly enjoyable place to be, but I truly did try to enjoy myself. When we finished I was happy enough.

And then I learned that YET AGAIN I hadn't played sufficiently audibly. I am so cross with myself: I know that this is one of my greatest weaknesses, so I'd made a conscious and deliberate effort to play more loudly, and yet I still managed to fail.

Of course, this is all I'm carrying with me now. Not the little successes, or even the big ones (we received whoops at the end of the set, possibly from sheer relief!), but my own continuing lack of perception. I really thought I had pretty much got to grips with this particular weeping sore, but clearly I haven't. And of course, there were all those breathtaking fills that nobody heard ... Meh.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Ok, a few points:

- shit gig, it happens, move on. Find better ones.

- was the band too loud in relation to your drums? Audibility of unmic'd acoustic drums can be down to many issues. Sure, playing with sufficient dynamic authority is one, but band volume, tuning choices, the room, etc, can all play their part. Most commonly, it's a blend of all those elements. Hint - buy a wooden beater & flam patch :)

- ignore the last floor tom. If you're using a backline kit that has more drums than you usually use, don't feel obliged to use all of them. Just play what you play. Trust me, the audience couldn't give a damn wether you use the second floor tom or not.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Sorry to hear that, Madge. We've all had a few of those gigs that leaves one feeling a bit deflated. Then not getting even so much as a cup of tea from the venue is just fuel for the fire. My warehouse band members are always complaining about me playing too soft. I think it sounds fine in the mix, but they want me louder all the time so that they can play louder. I don't get why some people want the drums so loud.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

I played to 1000 people two weeks ago and to an empty house last Sat night.
Gigs come all ways.
Never accept a gig for drinks. Always take cash.
It is up to the band to play to the volume of the drums.
A drum kit being played moderately puts out 80 to 100 decibels.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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I played to 1000 people two weeks ago and to an empty house last Sat night.
Is that because, after hearing you play two weeks ago, 1,000 people boycotted your gig last Saturday - just saying ;0 ;0 ;0
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Do you play rimshots Magenta? Can come from that you know? I see so many people not playing rimshots and complaining it is not too loud
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
- shit gig, it happens, move on. Find better ones.
Yeah, I know. I've been stewing for a couple of days and thought the best way to get it out of my system would be to come on here and whinge!

The next one is going to be FANTASTIC. I'll be playing my own kit and it's quite a posh do. The gold frock, I think.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
- ignore the last floor tom. If you're using a backline kit that has more drums than you usually use, don't feel obliged to use all of them. Just play what you play. Trust me, the audience couldn't give a damn wether you use the second floor tom or not.
I wasn't too bothered about it in principle, it was just that things were in the "wrong" place. Maybe that made me back off a bit without realising it.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
It is up to the band to play to the volume of the drums.
Nobody in the band seemed to have a problem with the volume of the drums - so that's something, I suppose. The sound didn't reach the audience :(

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Do you play rimshots Magenta? Can come from that you know? I see so many people not playing rimshots and complaining it is not too loud
I don't, but that's a very timely reminder, and I will. Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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I'd never played a kit with one rack tom and two floor toms before, so that was a bit challenging. Worst of all was that we were supposed to be paid in drinks, but we didn't get so much as a free cup of tea!

I made a couple of mistakes but nothing major, and overall I felt as if I had played reasonably well. I'd smiled the whole way through, albeit through somewhat gritted teeth because it wasn't a particularly enjoyable place to be, but I truly did try to enjoy myself. When we finished I was happy enough.

And then I learned that YET AGAIN I hadn't played sufficiently audibly. I am so cross with myself: I know that this is one of my greatest weaknesses, so I'd made a conscious and deliberate effort to play more loudly, and yet I still managed to fail.
Any reason you weren't playing on your own kit? And how does two floor toms make anything difficult? And I think I remember a post from you a while ago about not being loud enough, do you never get mic'ed live? Because that's a pretty big problem...
Also I think you're over reacting, I don't mean that in a rude way, it's just that this doesn't sound like a bad gig at all. You should just enjoy the experience!
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

+1 to Uncle Andy's observations.

As another unmic'd kit player, if I can't generate enough volume I flip the LH stick and play with the butt end. Hitting consistent rimshot backbeats is a bit of an art but flipping the stick is an easy quick fix in the meantime.

Still, rock drumming did not always involve a thunderous BOOM BAP that appears to be compulsory today. In the 60s guitar and vocs were dominant, with the drums much further down in the mix - and the music still sounded fantastic. People have different views about what constitutes a good drum level, as with everything else.

So, even if some drumistic-minded types might have liked more punch from the drums, the music may well have still sounded good. If the band is happy, then there is no problem.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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Originally Posted by Nour Ayasso View Post
Any reason you weren't playing on your own kit? And how does two floor toms make anything difficult? And I think I remember a post from you a while ago about not being loud enough, do you never get mic'ed live? Because that's a pretty big problem...
Also I think you're over reacting, I don't mean that in a rude way, it's just that this doesn't sound like a bad gig at all. You should just enjoy the experience!
There were three bands there, and I suppose the organiser wanted as little faffing around as possible. The two floor toms just made the setup unfamiliar: I'm used to two rack toms and one floor, and I couldn't get my crash where I usually have it (and I missed it twice!). The bass drum was mic'ed and apparently that sounded fine.

It wasn't a bad gig as such. But the audience were relatively far away from us and I couldn't see anybody unless I turned my head 90 degrees, so it felt unpleasantly detached. I'm a sensitive soul, aren't I!

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As another unmic'd kit player, if I can't generate enough volume I flip the LH stick and play with the butt end. Hitting consistent rimshot backbeats is a bit of an art but flipping the stick is an easy quick fix in the meantime.
This makes me feel heaps better. What was frustrating me was that I'd done everything I could think of, but it wasn't enough. Next time, I'll think of doing that. I remembered to play my rim clicks like that (thanks, Andy!) but it never occurred to me to keep the stick that way round.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

ahh man, don't worry too much, playing music is about having fun...

It's super easy to adjust volume on any guitar/bass/keyboard amp so I don't
know for you but where I like, everyone try to adjust to the drummer's volume.

P.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Great Job!

You showed up, made a show of it....was functional...then took notes for practice in order to improve.

I call that success!

Keep that up(along with woodshedding the notes) even past the point where you think you were flawless and you will be world class far faster than you might think!

I suggest recording everything for later review and curriculum creation...and its great fun to listen back after a few years...and humbling as well.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

You!

Mediocre gigs happen - if I had a quid for each one that I've played then I'd have quite a bit more money than I have now...

As for not hitting the drums hard enough. That's quite a specific issue but one that I'll point out is in direct contrast to the vast, vast majority of other drummers - myself included. If you're playing quietly but with intensity (as you do, I've seen you play!) then you've got a real skill there. Learning to play quietly from being an overly loud player is difficult, the other way around needn't be. It might be a challenge but it's interesting that the vast, vast majority of other drummers have exactly the opposite problem. You'll sort it, I have no doubt of that and you have a fantastic teacher.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Who reported that you didn't play loud enough? Audience members?

I don't necessarily put this on the drummer. The band has a collective mix that needs to be worked out. If the band didn't have a problem with you're volume, it makes me suspect mixing issues.

Regardless, hitting really hard was one of the last things I developed as a drummer playing amplified music. It was a lesson with Jim Riley that flipped the switch for me and it subsequently became a focus of my practice and playing. I hit much harder now when playing loud music. It can be fun and satisfying, but I honestly prefer music with more dynamic range.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

I'm not sure I should repeat my adolescent canine related advice "tag line" to Madge for fear of being misunderstood ;)
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
You showed up, made a show of it....was functional...then took notes for practice in order to improve.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
You'll sort it, I have no doubt of that and you have a fantastic teacher.
Thank you, both :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Who reported that you didn't play loud enough? Audience members?
As it happens, it was my teacher - his dad is in my band and he'd come to be part of the support network. He's invariably constructive in his criticism, and very considerate in the way he says things, but he's also very honest!

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I'm not sure I should repeat my adolescent canine related advice "tag line" to Madge for fear of being misunderstood ;)
You know, I can't help thinking that if I wear the gold frock, nobody will even notice how I play. Besides, I'll have visual aide-memoires to remind me to play louder ;)
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

If you had to turn 90 degrees to see the audience doesn't that mean your drums were pointed away also? That seems a real strange arrngment. I am a light player too. I prefer not hitting hard. So I am prepared to mic my drums for every venue. If it trully is too small and the mics are needed I just won't use them.

I happen to think playing the drums too loudly is a much worse problem than too softly.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

I think your 'not being heard' by the audience (or some members of it at least) could be more a function of the venue/sound system than your playing... if your bandmates heard you OK - you obviously weren't just tapping around.

you probably just needed better mic'ing for the venue.. at any rate, sounds like a crap gig (they happen -- boy, do they happen!), plus not on your own kit (that can be a struggle) - were the drums heavily muffled?? That could've been part of the volume problem as well.

You came out, did your thing - tried to make the best out of a 'questionable' situation. You can't do much more than that. The gigs will get better -- and sometimes worse unfortunately!! Take 'em as they come!
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Agreed on the rimshots, sometimes just a little more attitude from the kit works miracles in the presence, without actually getting very loud.

As for being disappointed in how you did, it happens, and you learn and grow.

And, gigs/venues can be disappointing, that happens too. That can't always be avoided, especially if the gig pays. Sometimes you just grin & bear it. If it's a gig/venue that's really a drag, and they're not paying anyway, I think that decision is an obvious one.

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Old 09-16-2014, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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As it happens, it was my teacher - his dad is in my band and he'd come to be part of the support network. He's invariably constructive in his criticism, and very considerate in the way he says things, but he's also very honest!
Fair enough. If Liam thinks you should "slap those puppies", I'm trusting his ears ;)
Was it the old bass drum nut again? You were doing so well on that. I'm still sighting confidence as being your primary barrier, that, & pulling your foot back on the pedal board.

Judging dynamics is a very difficult thing for drummers on a live stage, especially the bass drum. We often live in a wall of mud soundscape without monitoring, & experience will help you work out where you are in the mix from an overall audience perspective. Nothing easy about it, & no fast route to picking it up either.

On a serious note too, if Liam mentioned it to you, he will have done so on the basis of it being in your control, so the answer is clear to me. It all takes time, & don't believe for one minute that wearing a sparkly dress will get you off the hook. I tried it ;) ;) ;)
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

phil_qc is right, it is all fun; although getting stiffed out of your drinks afterwards sucks.
I also played on Saturday night but it was a charity event in a very large back yard and were the last band on, the acoustics and drums sucked but it didn't matter. I couldn't hear anything of what the lads were playing except for the most basic melody (monitor was not on) but I knew the songs and just played like I could and ignored all of the rest, by this time the audience was not all that critical either; as it turned out another drummer who had played just before us came up to me and told me it sounded real good out in the listening area. That made my day, along with winning $50 and eating a great meal.
Great time and fun. This may not be the best advice but when I miss something and I have, I just hit the closest thing right after and nobody is the wiser, do it again and it sounds like you are too cool for shoes. I know how you are feeling and it is not wrong to be critical of yourself, something I am very familiar with but eventually you loosen up at the gigs and you realize you had nothing to worry about after all.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:14 PM
FrontierGibberish FrontierGibberish is offline
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

I wasn't sure where to post this - in this thread or the one started by 8Mile. The sentiment is the same - I am very frustrated, angry, and disappointed with the lack of progress I am making on the journey. I seem to have taken two steps back recently and have lost my mojo. I can't "hear" anymore and continue to make the stupidest newbie mistakes - most recently I left a drum stick INSIDE of my 14" tom after "tuning" it. Songs I could play a week ago I mess up. I know it is a slump and temporary but it is maddening and rattling my cage bad.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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Originally Posted by drummer-russ View Post
If you had to turn 90 degrees to see the audience doesn't that mean your drums were pointed away also?
Yep! It really didn't help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeyboyeee View Post
were the drums heavily muffled??
It didn't occur to me before but that's a possibility, because they were pretty dead-sounding.

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Originally Posted by Mikeyboyeee View Post
Take 'em as they come!
That's going to be a bit easier now. There's been some good advice here!

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
sometimes just a little more attitude from the kit works miracles in the presence, without actually getting very loud.
That makes a lot of sense. I don't want to be loud loud and I don't want to hit hard - but I do want to give the impression that I'm doing both!

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Was it the old bass drum nut again?
No, that was ok - in fact it actually got a mention in dispatches - but it was mic'ed.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
On a serious note too, if Liam mentioned it to you, he will have done so on the basis of it being in your control, so the answer is clear to me.
Yeah :/ that was why I was annoyed with myself.

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as it turned out another drummer who had played just before us came up to me and told me it sounded real good out in the listening area. That made my day, along with winning $50 and eating a great meal.
Wow - you must have been chuffed to bits!

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Originally Posted by FrontierGibberish View Post
I wasn't sure where to post this - in this thread or the one started by 8Mile. The sentiment is the same - I am very frustrated, angry, and disappointed with the lack of progress I am making on the journey. I seem to have taken two steps back recently and have lost my mojo. I can't "hear" anymore and continue to make the stupidest newbie mistakes - most recently I left a drum stick INSIDE of my 14" tom after "tuning" it. Songs I could play a week ago I mess up. I know it is a slump and temporary but it is maddening and rattling my cage bad.
Come on - I can do it and so can you. We're made of sterner stuff! It's so awful when you're trying your best and seeming to get nowhere, but I bet there isn't a single person on here who hasn't been through it. You can tell from all the replies I've had on this thread, all giving encouragement and advice: everybody who has taken the trouble to reply has understood not only how I was feeling, but why I felt that way.

It'll come right, for you, for me, and for all the other people who are experiencing the same thing, but it can only come right if we hang in there and keep plugging away.
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Last edited by Magenta; 09-16-2014 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

I sometimes have the same problem, I never seem to play loud enough!
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:04 PM
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Come on - I can do it and so can you. We're made of sterner stuff! It's so awful when you're trying your best and seeming to get nowhere, but I bet there isn't a single person on here who hasn't been through it. You can tell from all the replies I've had on this thread, all giving encouragement and advice: everybody who has taken the trouble to reply has understood not only how I was feeling, but why I felt that way.

It'll come right, for you, for me, and for all the other people who are experiencing the same thing, but it can only come right if we hang in there and keep plugging away.
You are correct - chin's up, let's get to work.

M
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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Is that because, after hearing you play two weeks ago, 1,000 people boycotted your gig last Saturday - just saying ;0 ;0 ;0
You may have hit it spot on there :)
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:50 AM
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I wasn't sure where to post this - in this thread or the one started by 8Mile. The sentiment is the same - I am very frustrated, angry, and disappointed with the lack of progress I am making on the journey.
Ups and down, we all have them to varying degrees. If you're feel bad about playing ATM, I recommend doing something else and get your mind off it. From five or so years on this forum this seems to be what most of us do on a downswing.

See Madge? I knew that feedback came from a drumhead :) (ie. Liam). Most people don't notice or care about drum levels unless it's a large imbalance.

Tons of players use the butt end for backbeat at times, and some use their butts exclusively (so to speak) for both volume and tone.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:55 AM
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Come on - I can do it and so can you. We're made of sterner stuff! It's so awful when you're trying your best and seeming to get nowhere, but I bet there isn't a single person on here who hasn't been through it. You can tell from all the replies I've had on this thread, all giving encouragement and advice: everybody who has taken the trouble to reply has understood not only how I was feeling, but why I felt that way.

It'll come right, for you, for me, and for all the other people who are experiencing the same thing, but it can only come right if we hang in there and keep plugging away.
Ed Zachary. (exactly)
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
There were three bands there, and I suppose the organiser wanted as little faffing around as possible. The two floor toms just made the setup unfamiliar: I'm used to two rack toms and one floor, and I couldn't get my crash where I usually have it (and I missed it twice!). The bass drum was mic'ed and apparently that sounded fine.

It wasn't a bad gig as such. But the audience were relatively far away from us and I couldn't see anybody unless I turned my head 90 degrees, so it felt unpleasantly detached. I'm a sensitive soul, aren't I!
ohh I see, that makes sense to save time of course. How bad was it when you missed the crash? I've almost dropped sticks from missing, sometimes I scrape my knuckles against something as well. And yeah I guess that kind of awkward staging would be lame. Then again when I drum I goto to a different planet!
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

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No, that was ok - in fact it actually got a mention in dispatches - but it was mic'ed.
Aha! Now that's a game changer. Was the rest of the kit unmic'd? If so, the end result is hardly surprising. If you're not used to "feeling" the bass drum PA response in the room, & adjusting the top end of the kit bias accordingly, then you were fighting an uphill battle.

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You may have hit it spot on there :)
Just yanking your string as usual Bob (see what I did there? ;)
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:50 PM
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How bad was it when you missed the crash?
It wasn't a biggie and I was pleased that it didn't put me off my stroke, but it was a bit of a"Gah!" moment.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Aha! Now that's a game changer. Was the rest of the kit unmic'd? If so, the end result is hardly surprising. If you're not used to "feeling" the bass drum PA response in the room, & adjusting the top end of the kit bias accordingly, then you were fighting an uphill battle.
:D yay! Playing the bass drum audibly still doesn't come naturally, I have to keep reminding myself to do it and checking that I am doing it, but it's becoming easier and it's heaps better than it used to be - Liam will tell you!

Now at the risk of making myself appear every bit as stupid as I really am, you've just made me realise that I didn't allow for that at all. I spotted that the bass was mic'd and that nothing else was ... and did precisely NOTHING about it. So in fact, when I thought I'd done everything I could, it turns out I didn't. Which, paradoxically, comes as a huge relief because when I started this thread, I'd felt completely at a loss as to how to improve what I'd done. Now I feel equipped to do better next time I'm in a similar situation - whether the kit is facing forwards, backwards or sideways!
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:54 PM
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:D yay! Playing the bass drum audibly still doesn't come naturally, I have to keep reminding myself to do it and checking that I am doing it, but it's becoming easier and it's heaps better than it used to be - Liam will tell you!

Now at the risk of making myself appear every bit as stupid as I really am, you've just made me realise that I didn't allow for that at all. I spotted that the bass was mic'd and that nothing else was ... and did precisely NOTHING about it. So in fact, when I thought I'd done everything I could, it turns out I didn't. Which, paradoxically, comes as a huge relief because when I started this thread, I'd felt completely at a loss as to how to improve what I'd done. Now I feel equipped to do better next time I'm in a similar situation - whether the kit is facing forwards, backwards or sideways!
The devil's in the detail - worry ye not :)
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Old Yesterday, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Annoyed and disappointed with myself

Late to the party but pleased to see that Madge got a happy ending. ;)
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Old Yesterday, 10:36 AM
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Late to the party but pleased to see that Madge got a happy ending. ;)
You were the first to know, but I hadn't been stewing about it for so long when I told you.

I've just bought a new frock for the next gig. The gold one is excruciatingly uncomfortable. This one has the approval of Mini-Madge, Stylist to the Star, so it should be ok.

We had a rehearsal on Wednesday. We're the only band at the next gig so we've had to resurrect some of the "old faithfuls" in order to fill up the slot. We ditched them in the first place because they sounded like every other version, but when we revisited them, with the fresh ears of our relatively newly-acquired second guitarist, they took on a new lease of life. Exciting times!
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