2/15/2012-BAND PRIMER-Being a 1 Person Band-Pt.4-Drummers

-Up until this point, the positions described previously-singers, guitarists & bassists-have had a number of similarities. It wouldn’t be too out of place to see someone in one of those positions move to another or even take on all there. Now we come to a position that doesn’t fit that model so easily-drummers.

-If a drummer is very good, chances are rare that he / she will be bandless unless it’s by choice. Drummers aren’t hard to find but good drummers are. Many times the top drummers of an area not only have their own bands to play in, but are either filling in with other bands and /or in 1 or more side projects. Then again, perhaps the drummer wants to play in a style that no one else in the area wants to do. Perhaps many of the musicians would rather use a drum machine for studio/ live stuff. This happens more in the pop / dance realm but can happen in other styles.

-Drummers also have a disadvantage with gear. Unlike a singer-songwriter who can just have an acoustic guitar, a drummer usually has at least a 5 piece kit-probably more. Plus, when was the last time you saw a solo drummer singing & playing only drums as accompaniment?

-So can drummers do a “1 man band?” While harder to do, I believe they can. However, the 1st thing I would suggest to do is to make sure you’re playing is as tight as you can make it. If you are known as a great drummer-or even one who’s just solid w/ great timing-people will come seeking you out. All the great drummers I know are constantly being asking to do studio / live work.

-The next suggestion is similar to what I suggested before; work on your singing-even if it’s just backing vocals. The more you can do, the more valuable you become. I would also suggest working on being able to write songs-specifically lyrics-as well. Why? Well, drummers usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to payments from publishing because the main parts that are copyrighted in a song are the lyrics and vocal melodies. Drum parts, for the most part, are not included in this. There are a number of drummers who do this and do quite well for themselves. Neil Peart (Rush) is one example.

-Learning to sing and play guitar/ bass can be wonderful things for a drummer to do because they already play the role that is one of the hardest to fill in a band-drums. I would also suggest learning how to use a drum machine. Why? Well, you can then get in on that action as well, but with an advantage-you’re actually a drummer. You know how a drummer thinks and plays. This will help a song have “realistic” drum parts-even if you’re using a machine. As before, learning to sing/ play acoustic will allow you to make some extra income as a solo acoustic artist too. In addition, you’ll see how other instruments approach & lay down their parts-which will make you a better musician. Again, the more can do, the more valuable you become-and the less dependent you are on other people for what you want to do.


About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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