Jam Space Etiquette

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Hi everyone - not sure if this has asked before but I don't know if any of you have experience dealing with a band member who is complaining about the sound of the drums. This all started when he came to a jam session a few months ago without hearing protection and positioned himself close to my drums (despite objections by me and others to wear hearing protection or get out of the way) and unfortunately experienced some temporary hearing loss.

Since then he sits closer to the side of my drums and purchased some music store hearing plugs but never seems to put them in correctly (essentially I lend him my Vic Firth S1H2 headphones every time we jam as he never feels he is getting adequate sound reduction with his plugs) and inexplicably cancelled an order he had put in for some custom ear moulds. This individual is fairly new to jamming in groups and I don't know if his prior incident is causing him to be extra-sensitive to noise.

He out of the blue asked me to purchase mutes for my cymbals and sending me links on where to buy. I haven't heard concerns from anyone else and I'm not a heavy hitter. I have fairly standard cymbals (18" medium thin crash / 18" china / 16" thin crash / 14" hi-hats).

We do play in a rather small jam space but given everyone is amplifying their instruments it feels strange to be asking just one of the players to tone it down while everyone else continues business as usual. It will feel strange to essentially be playing without crashes but maybe that isn't such a big deal? I'm not someone who is constantly using my crashes anyways so maybe I can adjust.....

I don't know if I am being extra sensitive and if this is something others have had to deal with.

Thanks everyone for any advice or insight you can share!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Don't invite this person back to jam. Life is too short to suffer idiots. There is a two word phrase perfect for this that starts in F and ends in F.

Again to quote Carlin "Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

He can go back to playing on his own in his bedroom and massaging his ego, you can enjoy jamming. Problem solved.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
If I understand this correctly, he's a former jam-partner, now turned band member. If that's correct and it was laid out how rehearsals are conducted, then it is he who needs to adapt. He joined you (and your band), not the other way around.

There's something to be said about being volume-conscious but if the band has an established way of practicing that works, it shouldn't be changed for someone unwilling to confirm (read: adapt) to what he signed up for. There are always exceptions to the rule, but my experience is that if someone new in the group starts complaining and wanting others to change, he's not really a fit to begin with and needs to go ASAP.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
the way it sounds to me, he doesnt like the sound of your drums, but i bet he hasnt turned his instrument down or asked the others to turn theirs down. it'll be because he sat too close to you and now feels that every time you's rehearse/jam, you're going to make his hearing suffer, even though he's the one without adequate hearing protection (more fool him!!). if he's this bad in rehearsals/jams, what will he be like during live shows?
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Thanks guys for your responses. Nice to know I’m not being unreasonable. I agree he isn’t making much sense and this doesn’t bode well for him. He’s a nice guy and has creative ideas but there is no way we can grow as a unit when one of the members is freaking out about my noise (while ignoring the volume generated by his large amp).
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Strange update that while I knew he was recording our sessions and sharing them with us afterwards (his iPhone is near my offending drums) he is apparently also sharing the recordings with his friends for his input on my drums all of whom agree that my cymbals sound offensive and harsh (like “plates crashing on the floor” - isn’t that the idea?? Lol). My cymbals are all sabian AA so I don’t think it’s a matter of crappy cymbals messing up the mix.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
Strange update that while I knew he was recording our sessions and sharing them with us afterwards (his iPhone is near my offending drums) he is apparently also sharing the recordings with his friends for his input on my drums all of whom agree that my cymbals sound offensive and harsh (like “plates crashing on the floor” - isn’t that the idea?? Lol). My cymbals are all sabian AA so I don’t think it’s a matter of crappy cymbals messing up the mix.
he's recording on a phone, right near a loud input source that will overload the internal mic, what the hell was he expecting!

tell him that if he doesnt like the sound of your cymbals or drums, to go out with his own money and buy you a whole set of new ones that sound good to him, see how quick he shuts up after that :)

or tell him that if he gets to dictate the sound of your gear, then you can dictate the sound of his gear, probably wont like that either.
 

force3005

Silver Member
he's recording on a phone, right near a loud input source that will overload the internal mic, what the hell was he expecting!
It might also sound like hitting trash can tops. Internal mic will distort. I have been through this also.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Sounds like he shouldn't be playing with a real drummer because he may have some sort of self imposed hyperacusis.

If you don't see eye to eye, then maybe he should drop his line of reasoning because asking for cymbal mutes is what an insufferable pantload would do.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Ok, so there are a couple issues that need to be addressed: 1) Seeking input from outside sources on his own playing is one thing, asking them for validation on his opinions of your playing and gear is out of line, 2) He needs to understand recorder placement, the appropriate way to use whatever device he is using to record, and as others have pointed out -cymbals sound distorted on phone recordings (usually), 3) He's using a passive aggressive manner (his friends' opinions) to try and manage/control the band.

I think a come to Jesus conversation with him and the rest of the band is in order. If he doesn't see it the way the rest of you do, cut him loose. His creativity doesn't seem to be worth the aggravation.
 

mrthirsty

Junior Member
So he cancels his order for custom ear moulds but wants you to go and buy cymbal mutes? This a bad sign, also recording and holding a referendum with his friends on the sound and quality of the cymbals is another.

If I had to put money on it he is going to cause issues in your band, this is just the start.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Life is too short to suffer idiots. There is a two word phrase perfect for this that starts in F and ends in F..

..Again to quote Carlin "Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."..

..He can go back to playing on his own in his bedroom and massaging his ego..

..Problem solved..

This evening finally (after three months of sh*t) my band got rid of a bass player to who all of this perfectly applies..

Best day of the year untill now..lol..
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I have really decent cymbals( Sabian HH) and I'm always aghast at how bad they sound on phone recordings.....internal phone mics just don't like the frequency range cymbals operate in.
Other peoples opinions purely from a phone recording are not even worth worrying about.
Re-arrange your jam space so this person is as far away from you as possible and tell them that turning up to a small space jam without hearing protection is stoopid.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
This evening finally (after three months of sh*t) my band got rid of a bass player to who all of this perfectly applies..

Best day of the year untill now..lol..
When you rid yourself of dead weight the world feels a little lighter.

The sun comes out, the birds start singing etc :)

Strange update that while I knew he was recording our sessions and sharing them with us afterwards (his iPhone is near my offending drums) he is apparently also sharing the recordings with his friends for his input on my drums all of whom agree that my cymbals sound offensive and harsh (like “plates crashing on the floor” - isn’t that the idea?? Lol). My cymbals are all sabian AA so I don’t think it’s a matter of crappy cymbals messing up the mix.
Wow, recording on an iphone in a loud environment, that's gonna sound amazing! I use K's and an A ride, and guess what they sound really harsh if you're on top of them but out front they sound amazing. Your cymbals will too.

Sounds like this lad dabbles in megalomania in his spare time. I strongly advise you to tell this guy and his friends to f*ck themselves preferably by a means that doesn't involve seeing him again. He's obviously too talented to be wasting time on you.

Re-arrange your jam space so this person is as far away from you as possible and tell them that turning up to a small space jam without hearing protection is stoopid.
Nowhere near any band is about the right distance.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You can always play turn about and start criticizing his playing, volume, amp, etc-I'm sure there is room for criticism there . These are harsh words. He's a selective idiot. Funny how I'm pretty sure he turns up his amp and swamps the drums and your hearing (I've never been to a jam or practice I didn't have to tell the guitars to turn the damn volume down for such a small space.). He's an idiot he didn't wear protection sitting so closely to your drums (I know I'm an idiot who didn't wear protection) and even more so he can't figure how to wear them (???). Has any other member mentioned your drums? if not ask them their opinion. Tell them your problem and they all need to tell him to shut up or leave or you will. The problem often isn't finding musicians but finding ones who you can get along with, have reasonable goals, are reasonable people, and aren't bat crap crazy. My middle brother is a really good guitarist but he plays for himself and has little patience with other musicians (who he constantly criticizes) so if he joins a band you can count the days-then bye bye. So despite being good no one want to play with him because he's a duckhead. Update for years now I have visited and we'd jam a bit, but the last year he just plays with himself-never asks or joins me-he just loves to play with himself. So don't waste your time with a jerk off guitarist.
 
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