I need some help for my drummer

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
I've been playing with a drummer in church for about a year now. She is a decent drummer, but her playing lacks feeling. Any transitions or changes in timing become very difficult. Most fills come out awkward. She had played in rock bands for a little while previously. One of the concerns when playing in church is that people will complain that it's too loud. I don't know if she is afraid that people will complain.
I am not a drummer. So I am asking advice from some of you drummers on how I can encourage her to play more from the feel of the music. Less brain, more gut. Any suggestions?
 

Greg_L

Banned
She's not ready to play. Find a new drummer.

Bad meter and sloppy fills aren't a feel thing, that's just basic drumming.
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
I agree with Greg . . . it very much sounds like she is not read yet.

However . . . take a step back.

This is for church, right?

This is not for a half-time performance at the Hollywood Bowl or something.

So the congregation is full of compassionate, caring beings who won't mind a lack of virtuosity on her part. They will accept the reason why she is there; to celebrate and worship with them.

So maybe it is a useful way of her developing some confidence and technique in an accepting environment.
 

Chili

Site Moderator
I agree with Greg . . . it very much sounds like she is not read yet.

However . . . take a step back.

This is for church, right?

This is not for a half-time performance at the Hollywood Bowl or something.

So the congregation is full of compassionate, caring beings who won't mind a lack of virtuosity on her part. They will accept the reason why she is there; to celebrate and worship with them.

So maybe it is a useful way of her developing some confidence and technique in an accepting environment.

Evidently, you have not attended church in the US. :(

I'm willing to bet worship is about 5th on the priority list.
 

Atkron205

Member
I agree with the above comments. playing with feeling comes from the heart, from the love of music deep in your core. This cannot be taught. bad meter and sloppy playing can be corrected but only if you want to and work at it. when I play I get lost in the moment, (which is why you will never catch me playing with a RAP group). I can have a bad day and play for an hour and while I am playing nothing else exist. That is the place where playing with feeling lives. Sorry but Greg is right. if timing is a problem and fills are sloppy she is not a decent drummer, she is a bad drummer. Meter is king, everything else is just sprinkles. I am not a Neal Peart or Buddy Rich, but I have excellent meter. The pocket is the backbone of the song, that is the drummers job, keep it and stay in it. just my 2 cents. Good luck sir.:D
 

Greg_L

Banned
Evidently, you have not attended church in the US. :(

I'm willing to bet worship is about 5th on the priority list.

Yup. Believe it or not, I've filled in for church bands here and there. I have a very good, my oldest friend, is a born-and-re-born again christian. I love that guy. Sometimes he needs help. It's been my experience that modern church bands are some of the most un-christian back-stabbing nazi motherfuckers on the planet. They treat their performance as their performance, not God worship. It's so bad that it even offends me, and I'm a total heathen. And not to mention the music is fucking horrid. HORRID! Why can't a Jesus-lover write a song that isn't so formulaic?
 

rayc

retroreprobate
Cliff Richards, on his Christian tours, did sing "Why Does the Devil Have to Get All The Good Music?" which is even more insipid that Wired For Sound. But poor old Harry Webb has really only done about 2 decent songs in his 50+ year career.
Back on topic,
The description of the lady's playing is a description of bad playing.
If she has trouble with fills, timing and feel she isn't a drummer yet.
BUT she's learning and doing that in an ensemble can be good if she's strong and able to take direction.
Maybe she needs to play along to a click track!
Put the bass amp behind her.
 

DM60

Well-known member
Yup. Believe it or not, I've filled in for church bands here and there. I have a very good, my oldest friend, is a born-and-re-born again christian. I love that guy. Sometimes he needs help. It's been my experience that modern church bands are some of the most un-christian back-stabbing nazi motherfuckers on the planet. They treat their performance as their performance, not God worship. It's so bad that it even offends me, and I'm a total heathen. And not to mention the music is fucking horrid. HORRID! Why can't a Jesus-lover write a song that isn't so formulaic?


Rather funny that this came up and the topic has more or less run its coarse.

I've been trying out some churches and during Praise and Worship if felt like the band was playing a gig rather than leading the faithful.

It is my opinion a faith based song doesn't have to suck. I believe! (See what I did there? :p)
 

Greg_L

Banned
I had one guy vehemently demand I play an e-kit. I literally told him to "go to hell". E-kits are the most vile pieces of musical equipment ever created and I'll never ever ever ever ever ever ever and ever play one. I haven't heard back from them. Church band people are the worst.
 

ibleedburgundy

The Anti-Lambo
Here's a tip that *ahem* might actually be helpful: Many new drummers who don't have good fills/transitions don't employ a mechanism to keep the meter during fills/transitions. During normal beats they have the right hand on the hi-hat or ride whereas during fills both hands may be occupied. Advise your drummer to keep the meter with her left foot doing hi-hat clicks during every fill.

Also, new drummers tend to do too many fills. Maybe provide her with some examples of great songs where the drummer didn't really need to do too much - maybe Tom Petty's "I won't back down" or something like that.
 

DM60

Well-known member
Also, new drummers tend to do too many fills. Maybe provide her with some examples of great songs where the drummer didn't really need to do too much - maybe Tom Petty's "I won't back down" or something like that.

TP is a good example of the less is more school of music.
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
This is for church, right?

This is not for a half-time performance at the Hollywood Bowl or something.

So the congregation is full of compassionate, caring beings who won't mind a lack of virtuosity on her part. They will accept the reason why she is there; to celebrate and worship with them.

So maybe it is a useful way of her developing some confidence and technique in an accepting environment.
This!
Evidently, you have not attended church in the US. :(

I'm willing to bet worship is about 5th on the priority list.

Though... that is a valid point...

So I've played in a lot of church bands for the last 14 years, and this is something that varies a lot. (And also, I'm pretty passionate about, so brace yourself for some walls of text?)

First of all, most of the congregation doesn't know better, so as long as she's not derailing songs entirely, they'll generally be happy to have her. Congregations also tend to shape their expectations to the talent that's available, so if no one else is available/willing to play drums, they'll be happy to have her.
Second, if people in the band are being backstabbing instead of nurturing, fire THEM. Seriously, the point is to worship. If people are prioritizing their own egos over the worship, that creates a toxic environment that can poison the entire church.

(Finally, don't pay your musicians and don't report to CCLI :D. I'm serious; get money out of praise music as much as possible. All volunteers all the time.)
 

DM60

Well-known member
This!
First of all, most of the congregation doesn't know better, so as long as she's not derailing songs entirely, they'll generally be happy to have her. Congregations also tend to shape their expectations to the talent that's available, so if no one else is available/willing to play drums, they'll be happy to have her.

This is kind of funny. My mom plays for her little church and she is not very good, but like you said, they are very happy she is there to play for them. And this is true, if everyone is getting something out of it, enjoy.
 

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
Fortunately, musician egos and criticism from the congregation aren't big problems in this situation. Our worship band only consists of me (acoustic guitar and vocals) and the drummer. We occasionally have an additional vocalist. She's not a bad drummer. No serious complaints from me or anyone else in church. I'm just trying to help her improve. As was mentioned, there's no reason worship music should have to sound clumsy. As I had said, she has played in rock bands before and does quite well. I want to help her play with more confidence and feeling.
I'm not expecting professional level musicianship. I'm not even a guitar player or a vocalist, I'm a bass player. But right now the situation calls for me to play acoustic and sing. Since I'm not a drummer at all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice I could give her to help her improve the feeling in her playing.
 

DM60

Well-known member
Fortunately, musician egos and criticism from the congregation aren't big problems in this situation. Our worship band only consists of me (acoustic guitar and vocals) and the drummer. We occasionally have an additional vocalist. She's not a bad drummer. No serious complaints from me or anyone else in church. I'm just trying to help her improve. As was mentioned, there's no reason worship music should have to sound clumsy. As I had said, she has played in rock bands before and does quite well. I want to help her play with more confidence and feeling.
I'm not expecting professional level musicianship. I'm not even a guitar player or a vocalist, I'm a bass player. But right now the situation calls for me to play acoustic and sing. Since I'm not a drummer at all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice I could give her to help her improve the feeling in her playing.

You might think of another type of percussion instrument. Doesn't have to be a full drum set to add timing and background.
 

Lt. Bob

Spread the Daf!
Yup. Believe it or not, I've filled in for church bands here and there. I have a very good, my oldest friend, is a born-and-re-born again christian. I love that guy. Sometimes he needs help. It's been my experience that modern church bands are some of the most un-christian back-stabbing nazi motherfuckers on the planet. They treat their performance as their performance, not God worship. It's so bad that it even offends me, and I'm a total heathen. And not to mention the music is fucking horrid. HORRID! Why can't a Jesus-lover write a song that isn't so formulaic?
yep ..... I have some goof friends that play with Swaggart ..... GREAT musicians ....... they all tell me I wouldn't believe the behind the scenes bullshit that goes on. One of them said church music is about the most evil back-stabbing music job there is.
 

Atkron205

Member
Fortunately, musician egos and criticism from the congregation aren't big problems in this situation. Our worship band only consists of me (acoustic guitar and vocals) and the drummer. We occasionally have an additional vocalist. She's not a bad drummer. No serious complaints from me or anyone else in church. I'm just trying to help her improve. As was mentioned, there's no reason worship music should have to sound clumsy. As I had said, she has played in rock bands before and does quite well. I want to help her play with more confidence and feeling.
I'm not expecting professional level musicianship. I'm not even a guitar player or a vocalist, I'm a bass player. But right now the situation calls for me to play acoustic and sing. Since I'm not a drummer at all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice I could give her to help her improve the feeling in her playing.

I know for me I have to be relaxed and comfortable with the song to really get into it. If I am unsure of the song then I tend to concentrate more on hitting the breaks and not screwing it up. now take a song I can play in my sleep, I can get lost in it. being a old rock drummer myself, I know when I first started playing country music, I had a really hard time laying back and not banging the hell out of it like I was used to. My first country gig ever was in a small honky tonk, after the first song the bass player asked if I was going to war? :facepalm: Maybe that is one issue. if, as you say she does good at one style but is having trouble with another, maybe she just needs to learn the material better so she can relax. Playing quite if you are not used to is hard. Just guessing here, I may be wrong. Do ya'll have practice sessions? Thanks
 
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bongoboy

a clown without a circus
I guess I don't get it. Why does a "church" need a band with thousands of dollars in PA equipment, multi media presentation, a bunch of people playing expensive stuff, in order to "praise the Lord"? I don't think God cares about the 32 channel board and live HD video feed. I think He may call them charlatans. What ever happened to the congregation singing something they believed in as opposed to a Las Vegas floor show meant to make people feel better about making a contribution to the "church" ?
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
Fortunately, musician egos and criticism from the congregation aren't big problems in this situation. Our worship band only consists of me (acoustic guitar and vocals) and the drummer. We occasionally have an additional vocalist. She's not a bad drummer. No serious complaints from me or anyone else in church. I'm just trying to help her improve. As was mentioned, there's no reason worship music should have to sound clumsy. As I had said, she has played in rock bands before and does quite well. I want to help her play with more confidence and feeling.
I'm not expecting professional level musicianship. I'm not even a guitar player or a vocalist, I'm a bass player. But right now the situation calls for me to play acoustic and sing. Since I'm not a drummer at all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice I could give her to help her improve the feeling in her playing.

I can't think of anything to suggest except practice together a lot.
 
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