Should I stay or should I go?

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Face it. You're good. He's not. Go back to his place and bring along a click or something that you can set and play along with his recording and SHOW him how off HIS time is. You don't have to say anything. Don't point the finger. Don't criticize him. Playing the tune along with the click will be all you should need. Either he will listen to it and say "Oh. Wow. I'm way off there. I'm sorry for calling you out for your time when it's been me all along." Or, he'll say, "No man. My time is perfect. Your click is off." That's when you pack up your click, pack up the rest of the gear you have there, leave him with his recording, and just walk out the door. You can say nothing as you walk out or you can say "Good luck dude."

I'm probably a lot older than you at 57. I've gone through long stretches of playing and then longer stretches of not playing due to job and family obligations getting in the way. It's been about 15 years of only playing sporadically in my basement but not playing with people. So I decided that with more free time on my hands I should get back into it. The last time I came back after a 15 years drought I was able to hook up with a good R&B band and we did some shows in Greenwich Village. So I checked out Craigslist and found a guy's ad looking to put together a very relaxed band to just jam for fun. I figured this would be a good way to slowly get my chops into some semblance of shape and have fun at the same time. I played with him and a couple other guys the first time. Two guitarists, a bass player and myself. I wasn't really digging it but perservered thinking that maybe it was me. We jammed again and it was actually worse. I felt the guitarist who placed the ad just couldn't play. He billed himself as a lead guitarist but his playing sounded off. I still kept telling myself it was my own rust that was to blame. The third time we jammed, the other guitarist told the guy who placed the ad that he found a band and was out. We found another guitarist who I thought was awesome. I actually enjoyed that session the best. But the guy who placed the ad and the bass player didn't like him for some reason. I never heard from the guy again. And I'm still thinking it's all me. I found the nerve to answer another ad that was similar. Older guys looking to shake off some rust and jam every week or two. The first jam there were 3 guitarists, a bass player and a harmonica player. And we sounded pretty darn good. More imporantly, I thought I didn't sound half bad. The lesson I learned is that when someone tries to point the finger at you about your playing, and it doesn't seem to make sense, more likely than not the problem is the other guy.

Time for you to move on and find some people who can actually play.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
This situation is as standard to music as it could be, so please accept it as another thing you just have to learn. Working with people is a skill, just like paradiddles.

The mp3 sounds good, he sounds good. Showing him against the click when he wasn't recording to the click is unfair. Posting someone else's work online probably ain't so cool either. It's generally accepted that all projects are under the radar until launch.

Here's what I would do. IF you can play well to a click, bring it to rehearsals and ask him for the tempo if it isn't on a chart for you already. Then turn it on to your ears only and play to it, not to him or anyone else, see how it goes. I use a Tama Rhythm Watch in rehearsals with one earbud in. It's got a big old go-button on the front to start and stop it. If I'm working with a songwriter or band and we've started to run through sections or whole songs, I'll make sure the band knows the time is in my ear, I'll be counting in, etc, and everybody just automatically gets on that page with me and plays to my time. I'll be very obvious about it, like "hey what is that, 184 bpm?" while I twist the plug in my ear and poke at the machine. Sometimes they will drag you off that time, and when that happens they will notice me stopping the click for a measure or two, and restart it on a downbeat. They'll know they went too far off to recover, and I've got their back to get it back in time with the restart. Every seasoned player knows folks wander on time, it's not a crime, don't freak out! Hopefully your partner here will believe the click. Be polite, be prepared, be a great listener. That's the drummer people want to play with.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
When you put a click up against something that's already recorded and it starts to get off, there's really no coming back. From what I can tell, his timing isn't really that bad. With music like this, sometimes you have to relax a little and slightly play behind the beat. Like, don't drag, but just relax a little and enjoy the groove. It sounds easy until you have to do it.

I had to do it a little bit here on a song a lot like the one you posted (sorry to those who have already seen this).

 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Another note: I prefer to have the click in my ear only so the band gets used to playing to the drummer's time all the time, but if you have someone who goes off frequently then running the tune or a section of it with the click out there for everyone to hear might help. And of course, despite all the advice here to pack your shit and stomp away, you might want to discard that option and learn how to work with folks instead. You're gonna suck sometimes, they're gonna suck sometimes, we all suck a-plenty. It's no big deal.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I'll see what I can do with it.

Just to confirm, "you" put the metronome in, correct? The artist on the track doesn't have horrible time. There's no wow/fluter/warble. His tempo drifts his rest is dirty, and I cannot imagine he is playing to a metro.

You can either start fresh from a metro or learn the ancient art of smearing/fudging/smudging your time to cover over the drift.... Or you can call it quits if the singer (or you) is unwilling to reconcile this difference in philosophy. Personally, where collaborative-distance-recording is concerned, I am firmly in the metronome camp.
Smearing/fudging/ and smudging are not musical terms I have ever seen describing a successful musical event (not slamming you KamaK, this just really brought up some realities that will not lead to any fun)...

not worth it . Again, all you will be doing is putting out fires that don't even need to be lit.
 

Shane247

Active member
I'll see what I can do with it.

Just to confirm, "you" put the metronome in, correct? The artist on the track doesn't have horrible time. There's no wow/fluter/warble. His tempo drifts his rest is dirty, and I cannot imagine he is playing to a metro.

You can either start fresh from a metro or learn the ancient art of smearing/fudging/smudging your time to cover over the drift.... Or you can call it quits if the singer (or you) is unwilling to reconcile this difference in philosophy. Personally, where collaborative-distance-recording is concerned, I am firmly in the metronome camp.
He doesn't use a click, ever
 

Juniper

Gold Member
If he didn’t record to a click it’s difficult to compare a song with one added as sounds like he’s naturally just pushing and pulling as he’s playing on his own, with a break/pause not entirely on the meter.

Unfortunately this is common as singers have their own sense of space and time...and self worth..... ; )

However, the fact that he can’t see this shows how inexperienced he is. You should know your own playing, right?

I used to work with a singer like this, his pauses would change depending on how he felt in those seconds. Not easy to work with when you’ve got a whole band waiting on him but I pointed this out to him then those issues got less - simply as he was thinking more about the musicians he was playing with rather than listening to the legend in his own mind.

With regards to suggestions, try and record both of you together and the results may be different as you’ll (hopefully) be more synced.

Also communication is great, things can get mixed up without good communication and you can hopefully get to the bottom of it and fix it.

I’d personally also tell him to knock the passive aggressive nonsense on the head.

If he’s not willing to work on it or collaborating then leave him to frustrate another drummer.

Music is a living breathing thing that needs constant work. If he’s not willing to put the effort in cut him loose.

Wish you all the best.
 
Last edited:

Shane247

Active member
Face it. You're good. He's not. Go back to his place and bring along a click or something that you can set and play along with his recording and SHOW him how off HIS time is. You don't have to say anything. Don't point the finger. Don't criticize him. Playing the tune along with the click will be all you should need. Either he will listen to it and say "Oh. Wow. I'm way off there. I'm sorry for calling you out for your time when it's been me all along." Or, he'll say, "No man. My time is perfect. Your click is off." That's when you pack up your click, pack up the rest of the gear you have there, leave him with his recording, and just walk out the door. You can say nothing as you walk out or you can say "Good luck dude."

I'm probably a lot older than you at 57. I've gone through long stretches of playing and then longer stretches of not playing due to job and family obligations getting in the way. It's been about 15 years of only playing sporadically in my basement but not playing with people. So I decided that with more free time on my hands I should get back into it. The last time I came back after a 15 years drought I was able to hook up with a good R&B band and we did some shows in Greenwich Village. So I checked out Craigslist and found a guy's ad looking to put together a very relaxed band to just jam for fun. I figured this would be a good way to slowly get my chops into some semblance of shape and have fun at the same time. I played with him and a couple other guys the first time. Two guitarists, a bass player and myself. I wasn't really digging it but perservered thinking that maybe it was me. We jammed again and it was actually worse. I felt the guitarist who placed the ad just couldn't play. He billed himself as a lead guitarist but his playing sounded off. I still kept telling myself it was my own rust that was to blame. The third time we jammed, the other guitarist told the guy who placed the ad that he found a band and was out. We found another guitarist who I thought was awesome. I actually enjoyed that session the best. But the guy who placed the ad and the bass player didn't like him for some reason. I never heard from the guy again. And I'm still thinking it's all me. I found the nerve to answer another ad that was similar. Older guys looking to shake off some rust and jam every week or two. The first jam there were 3 guitarists, a bass player and a harmonica player. And we sounded pretty darn good. More imporantly, I thought I didn't sound half bad. The lesson I learned is that when someone tries to point the finger at you about your playing, and it doesn't seem to make sense, more likely than not the problem is the other guy.

Time for you to move on and find some people who can actually play.
You're only slightly older than me. Lol.
 

Shane247

Active member
If he didn’t record to a click it’s difficult to compare a song with one added as sounds like he’s naturally just pushing and pulling as he’s playing on his own, with a break/pause not entirely on the meter.

Unfortunately this is common as singers have their own sense of space and time...and self worth..... ; )

However, the fact that he can’t see this shows how inexperienced he is. You should know your own playing, right?

I used to work with a singer like this, his pauses would change depending on how he felt in those seconds. Not easy to work with when you’ve got a whole band waiting on him but I pointed this out to him then those issues got less - simply as he was thinking more about the musicians he was playing with rather than listening to the legend in his own mind.

With regards to suggestions, try and record both of you together and the results may be different as you’ll (hopefully) be more synced.

Also communication is great, things can get mixed up without good communication and you can hopefully get to the bottom of it and fix it.

I’d personally also tell him to knock the passive aggressive nonsense on the head.

If he’s not willing to work on it or collaborating then leave him to frustrate another drummer.

Music is a living breathing thing that needs constant work. If he’s not willing to put the effort in cut him loose.

Wish you all the best.
Thank you for your insight
 

Shane247

Active member
I'll see what I can do with it.

Just to confirm, "you" put the metronome in, correct? The artist on the track doesn't have horrible time. There's no wow/fluter/warble. His tempo drifts his rest is dirty, and I cannot imagine he is playing to a metro.

You can either start fresh from a metro or learn the ancient art of smearing/fudging/smudging your time to cover over the drift.... Or you can call it quits if the singer (or you) is unwilling to reconcile this difference in philosophy. Personally, where collaborative-distance-recording is concerned, I am firmly in the metronome camp.
Yes I added the click to his recording.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
So it sounds a little bit like you guys might just be on different time wavelengths or whatever.

Some guys I lock in with right away... It's natural and we're both feeling the song and comfortable tempo range.

Other guys... Well, it's a struggle. To be honest it's usually because they aren't very used to working with other people and have their own sense of musical urgency and spacing. They need to practice their parts to a click at home and get a feel for "real" tempo accuracy if they want to improve. The other option that can work sometimes is introducing another melodic player who you already lock in with well. Like a bass player. It's hard to explain why this works, but I think it's that the two of you have more weight and can keep him in line.

Lastly sometimes you just have to go off them. For a lot of drummers this sounds backwards but music can be a give/take instead of just give for the drummer. You have to listen really hard to what they're doing and feel their time, then mark it as best you can, maybe trying to influence a little.
 

Shane247

Active member
I've played with him several times. I end up chasing him around. It throws me off. We tried using a click together but he turned it off saying its messing up his rhythm.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Our singer kind of does the same thing. He intros the songs faster than he actually wants them. It makes for rough starts, but what I do is I just come in at the actual tempo he wants rather than the tempo he set. Does that make any sense?
 

Shane247

Active member
Our singer kind of does the same thing. He intros the songs faster than he actually wants them. It makes for rough starts, but what I do is I just come in at the actual tempo he wants rather than the tempo he set. Does that make any sense?
Yes, but he won't follow me. His muscle memory pushes him off time. He's been playing on his own with no click for over five years. Thanks for responding.
 

Shane247

Active member
This situation is as standard to music as it could be, so please accept it as another thing you just have to learn. Working with people is a skill, just like paradiddles.

The mp3 sounds good, he sounds good. Showing him against the click when he wasn't recording to the click is unfair. Posting someone else's work online probably ain't so cool either. It's generally accepted that all projects are under the radar until launch.

Here's what I would do. IF you can play well to a click, bring it to rehearsals and ask him for the tempo if it isn't on a chart for you already. Then turn it on to your ears only and play to it, not to him or anyone else, see how it goes. I use a Tama Rhythm Watch in rehearsals with one earbud in. It's got a big old go-button on the front to start and stop it. If I'm working with a songwriter or band and we've started to run through sections or whole songs, I'll make sure the band knows the time is in my ear, I'll be counting in, etc, and everybody just automatically gets on that page with me and plays to my time. I'll be very obvious about it, like "hey what is that, 184 bpm?" while I twist the plug in my ear and poke at the machine. Sometimes they will drag you off that time, and when that happens they will notice me stopping the click for a measure or two, and restart it on a downbeat. They'll know they went too far off to recover, and I've got their back to get it back in time with the restart. Every seasoned player knows folks wander on time, it's not a crime, don't freak out! Hopefully your partner here will believe the click. Be polite, be prepared, be a great listener. That's the drummer people want to play with.
Thank you. I agree and didn't want to post that. I deleted it
This situation is as standard to music as it could be, so please accept it as another thing you just have to learn. Working with people is a skill, just like paradiddles.

The mp3 sounds good, he sounds good. Showing him against the click when he wasn't recording to the click is unfair. Posting someone else's work online probably ain't so cool either. It's generally accepted that all projects are under the radar until launch.

Here's what I would do. IF you can play well to a click, bring it to rehearsals and ask him for the tempo if it isn't on a chart for you already. Then turn it on to your ears only and play to it, not to him or anyone else, see how it goes. I use a Tama Rhythm Watch in rehearsals with one earbud in. It's got a big old go-button on the front to start and stop it. If I'm working with a songwriter or band and we've started to run through sections or whole songs, I'll make sure the band knows the time is in my ear, I'll be counting in, etc, and everybody just automatically gets on that page with me and plays to my time. I'll be very obvious about it, like "hey what is that, 184 bpm?" while I twist the plug in my ear and poke at the machine. Sometimes they will drag you off that time, and when that happens they will notice me stopping the click for a measure or two, and restart it on a downbeat. They'll know they went too far off to recover, and I've got their back to get it back in time with the restart. Every seasoned player knows folks wander on time, it's not a crime, don't freak out! Hopefully your partner here will believe the click. Be polite, be prepared, be a great listener. That's the drummer people want to play with.
Yes, I see. I deleted that link. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
 

Shane247

Active member
Another note: I prefer to have the click in my ear only so the band gets used to playing to the drummer's time all the time, but if you have someone who goes off frequently then running the tune or a section of it with the click out there for everyone to hear might help. And of course, despite all the advice here to pack your shit and stomp away, you might want to discard that option and learn how to work with folks instead. You're gonna suck sometimes, they're gonna suck sometimes, we all suck a-plenty. It's no big deal.
Thanks.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I would just “lame out” on him. Just keep claiming things came up, like family or work stuff. If he presses you, tell him he needs to be able to play to a click before you work with him.
 
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