Drummers in bands (suck)

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Timmeu13
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Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Timmeu13 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

Ok so here's what I have noticed in my drumming and drum listening career. Most drummers in bands are pretty bad.
Note: I am a corp/marchingband style snare drummer, so i scoff at many rythms because of their simplicity (Oh me yarm eighth notes, needs more 32 notes) but I will try to keep this queit, who plays the set for fun with a pseudo band with my friends. This also means I suck at anything requiering strange use of bass pedal.

Most of the rythms and grooves they play are very simple. THey also include almost no to little variation, and that most of the time it isn't interesting. Me, I would rather play something intersting for the sake of not being bored. (Why I gave up on rock band drum mostly) Even a "bad" drummer could play something simple with varation that makes it sound interesting. A drummer should be something besides a metronome. They should add musicality to the song along with a nice tempo(oops my marching veiwpoint snuck in again). remember: you can sound intense/complex without it being intense/complex/ or hard. and you can do the opposite.

Not so say that all drummers are bad. Plenty are good or are smart enough to play nice rythms, but a majority of them just play simple rythms. Peart shoud not have to be mentioned but I will, that and apparently the Who's drummer has some nice stuff judging on rock band. Im my personal experiences I think that My CHemical romance's drummer is pretty good, and I actually use him for inspiration im my stuff. Im am sure that there are many more and I know that but I can't remember them at the time

Finally I know for a fact that most people don't hear drummers unless they listen for them, or are naturally trained to listen to them. I know this because I remember when my drum teacher told me to listen to drummers in my music, I couldn't hear them at all even when I tried, but now I hear them naturally. Also my friend the other day said the same thing.

Um I have a couple of points here and some of my arguments can be used against eachother so discuss. [/rant]
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

As a general rule, musicians don't need to be good to be successful... just good enough.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby rubber314chicken » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:10 pm UTC

hmmm... as a drummer I often have a metronome BLASTING in my ear so I don't have to think about it. And while I can do a ton of fun fills and flashy stuff, I do back down a TON anytime someone else is in the spotlight: verse, chorus, solo, etc.

But for something like the bridge of "Bark at the moon" I'll have fun with the fills, and they can be pretty technical, but usually they are a really really odd pattern played with a galloping kick (or bass if you want to sound like a drummer that doesn't deal with a sound person or 10)

One of the things that has drawn me to playing set and very little concert type percussion is the simple nature of a good bit of it, but then it can get really really technical really fast. I can actually be a person when I'm behind a kit, while if I'm behind a concert snare I'm staring down the conductor and the music. Just like with marching, where I'm staring off into infinity straight ahead while I've gotta precisely place notes on 16th note off beats. Concert/marching is more about being technical and I don't like to do that with my music as much as I like to have fun, be able to stand up and make the crowd scream.

One example I've got where a rock drummer really really really overplays is "Blind Faith" by Dream Theater. It starts of nicely, but after the solo section Portnoy carries on with the same intense, technical style of drumming, and I think it really really is like he is fighting with the vocals, and hence the drums sit really really far back in the mix.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Timmeu13 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:01 am UTC

@rubber chicken: surprisingly I agree with you on a lot. There are times where you need to ease it up, but the fills can still be fun and interesting. ALso I really like what you say about being yourself on the set. That is why I like it so much more than marching, even if I suck.

And I think this may be the problem with some drummers. It seems like they just try to fit the music, but if they just played what they felt, then it would probly fit in the music just as well or better then before. I do that when writing my parts with my friends. I just lesten to it then play something cool that goes along with it.

The one thing i don't agree with you on is concert band. In marching band our instructor is really good and fun but strict about everything so the playing can be boring, but in concertband our teacher is pretty chill about making up parts. He'll point it out sometimes but dosen't care most of the time. Half the times out improv sounds great and fits the feel making concert band really fun. But that probably just our concert band so I see you point. In a real band you can do whatever you want. Hell, you can play in 15 over 16 time signature if you want (and if you are able to).
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:17 am UTC

Timmeu13 wrote:And I think this may be the problem with some drummers. It seems like they just try to fit the music, but if they just played what they felt, then it would probly fit in the music just as well or better then before.


What you're saying there pretty much applies to any member of a band. Those bands that you're thinking of, in which the drumming sounds unoriginal and uninspired, probably feature a lot of unoriginal and uninspired up-and-down guitar strumming, a lot of unoriginal and uninspired root note bass plucking, and a lot of unoriginal and uninspired vocal whining.

There's another thing to consider, though: simple and simplistic are different things. Likewise, simple and easy are very different things. Being simple can be even harder than being complex, depending on the case. Many times, the music just asks for it.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby consumer_malfunction » Fri May 01, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

if you haven't yet, check out Tool.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Jackpot » Fri May 01, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

have you recorded anything? can we hear what you play like?
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby seladore » Fri May 01, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

consumer_malfunction wrote:if you haven't yet, check out Tool.


Dang and blast you to Hades! You beat me to it.

OP - you really should listen to Tool. Danny Carey is a very, very good drummer.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby evilbobthebob » Fri May 01, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

The drummers in most progressive rock/metal bands are usually good. I've never really had any trouble hearing drums when I listen to music, and I'm not a musician.

SirMustapha wrote:What you're saying there pretty much applies to any member of a band. Those bands that you're thinking of, in which the drumming sounds unoriginal and uninspired, probably feature a lot of unoriginal and uninspired up-and-down guitar strumming, a lot of unoriginal and uninspired root note bass plucking, and a lot of unoriginal and uninspired vocal whining.


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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Spacemilk » Fri May 01, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

I play the piano and I've noticed the same thing. The important thing to remember is that in most songs where you play with a band, you're not there to provide the "melody" or the "thought" of the song, you're there to provide back-up unless you have a solo. They usually give the voice part to someone else, the exception being solos of course. But I understand your frustration, and you're right, it's possible to play something interesting while staying true to the song. You just have to make sure you're not completely changing or pushing in on the voice's part.

There isn't much you can do about modern music though. Bands will keep doing the same stuff because it works. But yeah try listening to Tool. Also I have heard Slipknot's drummer is pretty good. *shrug*

And keep in mind, like SirMustapha said, simple and easy are very different things. Jazz sounds simple, but in reality it's very difficult to truly improv yet still go somewhere and make a statement with the music.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby diotimajsh » Fri May 01, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

Timmeu13 wrote:Finally I know for a fact that most people don't hear drummers unless they listen for them, or are naturally trained to listen to them. I know this because I remember when my drum teacher told me to listen to drummers in my music, I couldn't hear them at all even when I tried, but now I hear them naturally. Also my friend the other day said the same thing.
Wait, what? Then how does anyone ever get inspired to play the drums? I'm really having trouble believing that most people are this way.

It was hearing drums in music that first made me interested in them.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby ChocloManx » Sat May 02, 2009 3:51 am UTC

Not only Tool has a good drummer, you know. check out the progressive rock/jazz threads on the forum.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby tryptanymph » Sat May 02, 2009 3:59 am UTC

I would recommend the woefully misspelled Dream Theater for good drums, as Mike Portnoy is a fucking beast.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby 6453893 » Sat May 02, 2009 4:47 am UTC

Take up tribal drumming and join v∞redoms

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby P-Frank » Sat May 02, 2009 12:30 pm UTC

A lot of drummers get a bit weird and think that everyones rhythms are simple and oh that is so plain. But most of the time, that is what a song calls for. Creative and simple is my favourite thing. Good time and a bit of swing. Most drummers play too much flashy bullshit for my liking and forget they are meant to keep time.

And this is from a guy who has lived with a drummer for 25 years, as well as dabbling a little myself.

Even disco beat, which annoys the FUCK out of me, has its place.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Sat May 02, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

6453893 wrote:Take up tribal drumming and join v∞redoms


Ha. 77BOADRUMS?

Boredoms have done some very interesting things, but I don't like it when they veer to close to hippy drum-circle territory. I almost went to the NY thing a few years ago - after seeing clips on youtube I'm glad I didn't...

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby 6453893 » Sun May 03, 2009 10:28 am UTC

shieldforyoureyes wrote:
6453893 wrote:Take up tribal drumming and join v∞redoms


Ha. 77BOADRUMS?

Boredoms have done some very interesting things, but I don't like it when they veer to close to hippy drum-circle territory. I almost went to the NY thing a few years ago - after seeing clips on youtube I'm glad I didn't...


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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby kha-khees » Sun May 03, 2009 1:15 pm UTC

The who's drummer would be Keith Moon. Not having been around at the time, I can't really say but by all acoounts I've heard he was fairly revolutionary, and brought about a larger role for Drummers. [end of possibly incorrect information]

He was also the orginal "trash the hotel room" rockstar.

Ah loony moony, pity he wasn't still around to play when I saw them in melbourne this year. :(

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby el_loco_avs » Sun May 03, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

both Mars Volta drummers are pretty good. They're totally different too. Jon Theodore had this incredibly powerful vibe.

Current drummer Thomas Pridgen was winning awards as a little kid apparantly?.

Plenty stuff on youtube if you're curious.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Sun May 03, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

6453893 wrote:
shieldforyoureyes wrote:
Boredoms have done some very interesting things, but I don't like it when they veer to close to hippy drum-circle territory. I almost went to the NY thing a few years ago - after seeing clips on youtube I'm glad I didn't...


You missed out on the chance of a lifetime. Download a bootleg and listen to the first track in its entirety, and tell me the last twenty minutes or so aren't incredible.


People who were drumming in it told me I would have hated it.

I'm glad they pulled it off and everything (the organization and practices for it were so incredibly last minute I really thought it wasn't going to happen at one point) but it's just not for me.

(My favorite drummer in the world is Gabe Serbian, if that explains anything.)

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Clumpy » Mon May 04, 2009 2:53 am UTC

seladore wrote:
consumer_malfunction wrote:if you haven't yet, check out Tool.


Dang and blast you to Hades! You beat me to it.

OP - you really should listen to Tool. Danny Carey is a very, very good drummer.


Progressive music (of which Tool represents a sort of nu-metal subset) usually has decent drummers. I also recommend Mastodon. System of a Down was always propelled by Dolmayan's drumming as well.

Depends on what you need drums for. Just as some bands (Metallica for instance) use the bass guitar mainly just to add oomph to the main guitar mix, some bands use intentionally simple drum patterns to draw emphasis to the mechanical nature of the music (think most Industrial bands or any metal with a dance influence). Rammstein plays nearly the exact same drum pattern in each song and that's fine for what they do.

Slipknot: Well, Jordison is a fast drummer. He's not particularly interesting to listen to.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby tryptanymph » Mon May 04, 2009 3:06 am UTC

Clumpy wrote:Slipknot: Well, Jordison is a fast drummer. He's not particularly interesting to listen to.
You could say that about the drummer from Nile too.

Except he's not fast...

Put it this way, if Joey Jordison was, say, a tortoise... George Kollias would be light. Yes.

He's a bit more interesting too.

And fast.

But yeah, Dream Theater, again. \m/
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Clumpy » Mon May 04, 2009 3:22 am UTC

It just occurred to me that what I was saying is that Jordison may be a fast drummer, but doesn't give a lot of attention to composition or buildup. Naturally he's a good fit for the band.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby tryptanymph » Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 am UTC

Oooh, burn.

I still like Slipknot. :D
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby 6453893 » Mon May 04, 2009 4:38 am UTC

I saw a guy called Andrew Barker do amazing things with drums, though I guess he's not really a drummer. He had microphones set up inside the drums, so that he could create melodies by just tapping or stroking the drum's surface with varying degrees of force. Incredible sounds.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby mdx_stargoliath » Tue May 12, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:both Mars Volta drummers are pretty good. They're totally different too. Jon Theodore had this incredibly powerful vibe.

Current drummer Thomas Pridgen was winning awards as a little kid apparantly?.

Plenty stuff on youtube if you're curious.



Thank God someone finally said it, them and Danny Carey are beastly

I think Josh Freese has some pretty good stuff

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Rhombulus » Wed May 13, 2009 12:05 am UTC

You know, I listen to a lot of metal, where the drummers can be really fast and technical with their beats and fills, but I still don't really think they're the best drummers.
The best drummers I've ever seen have been jazz drummers who can (in addition to playing fast) put in really tasteful and interesting drumming, the kind of drumming that can hold your attention without having to barrage your ears with extremely fast blastbeats or what have you.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby rubber314chicken » Fri May 15, 2009 1:54 am UTC

Rhombulus wrote:I'm a guitarist, what do I know?

You know what catches a non-drummer's attention. Too many drummers try to be too technical and forget that there are many non-drummers that don't appreciate that. I for one HATE DCI stuff for this very reason. They are so worried about fitting every in it that it turns from cool sounding to annoying.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Brwagur » Wed May 27, 2009 2:57 am UTC

I happen to like Pink Floyd's drummer (i forget his name). A lot. Particularly when the drums come in at the beginning of Dark Side of the Moon ("Speak to Me") and after the intro to the first chunk of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." I hope somebody out there knows what I'm talking about... :?
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Atmosck » Thu May 28, 2009 4:54 am UTC

Being flashy, and even technically skilled, is not being good. In pop/rock, the point of the bass and drums are to make the melody (guitar/piano/vochals) sound better, and 32nd note fills and impossible syncopations and polyrythms get old really fast, and to serve that purpose of making the lead sound better, have to be used somewhat conservatively. Outside of drumming, John Mayer is one of the most technically skilled guitarists of his generation. But that's not why he's great. He's great because of his songwriting, which often isn't upbeat and doesn't lend itself well to intense soloing. It's his tact that makes him great.

When i think of the best drummers of all time, the first two names that come to mind are Phil Collins (Genesis, solo) and John Bonham (Led Zeppelin). They are both virtuosos, and have some songs that reflect that, but for the most part, they play parts that any intermediate drummer could pick up and play passably. What seperates them as the best drummers in the world is, believe it or not, tone. It's generally a matter of equipment and recording quality, but John Bonham's 4/4 patterns sound better than anyone else playing the same part, becasue his drums sound so good (particularly the bass drum). Phil Collins has a similar situation, with the best Tom sounds I've ever heard.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby rubber314chicken » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:01 am UTC

Atmosck wrote:Outside of drumming, John Mayer is one of the most technically skilled guitarists of his generation. But that's not why he's great. He's great because of his songwriting, which often isn't upbeat and doesn't lend itself well to intense soloing. It's his tact that makes him great.

He isn't one of the most technically skilled guitarists. Far from it in fact. But he id damn good.

Atmosck wrote:When i think of the best drummers of all time, the first two names that come to mind are Phil Collins (Genesis, solo) and John Bonham (Led Zeppelin). They are both virtuosos, and have some songs that reflect that, but for the most part, they play parts that any intermediate drummer could pick up and play passably. What seperates them as the best drummers in the world is, believe it or not, tone.

I wouldn't say Bonham is easy to pickup, but it is easy to imitate and get the subtleties wrong.

Atmosck wrote: It's generally a matter of equipment and recording quality, but John Bonham's 4/4 patterns sound better than anyone else playing the same part, because his drums sound so good (particularly the bass drum). Phil Collins has a similar situation, with the best Tom sounds I've ever heard.

Bonham's sound was created through some of the most crazy recording techniques I've ever heard of. One of them was in the hallway of the studio with a single mic in the studio, another was on the top of a flight of stairs with the mic at the bottom, and crazy stuff like that.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

It always struck me that the magic of Led Zeppelin's recording techniques came from Jimmy Page and their recording engineers. It seems like they'd came up with the crazy stuff and Bonham would sit down and BOOM BOOM BASH, BA-boom BA-boom BA-boom BASH BASH. Bonham had exactly two ways of playing drums: the first was BOOM BOOM BASH, BA-boom BA-boom BA-boom BASH BASH, and the second was BOOM BOOM BASH, BA-boom BA-boom BA-boom BASH BASH.

Occasionally he employed his special third way, which was BOOM BOOM BASH, BA-boom BA-boom BA-boom BASH BASH.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Antimatter Spork » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:33 pm UTC

Just popping in to say that there's a difference between being good and playing complex. In fact, in a lot of cases, simpler is better.

But if you're really looking for some kickass set drumming, check out a lot of jazz music. Especially in some of the later small group stuff (combos etc.) jazz drummers have really been taking set drumming to a whole other level.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

I personally find Dave Grohl, John Dolmayan and the Blue Man Group to be FANTASTIC drummers. They all get points for their consistency, their supporting roles, their flares, and their ability to change my heart rate.

Also, Zakir Hussein makes my brain melt.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Antimatter Spork » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

Oh we're talking about tabla players? That's a whole different category, tabla players make almost all set drummers look like amateurs with shiny toys.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:50 pm UTC

Yeah I guess that's an unfair thing to bring up. Like comparing Hendrix or Clapton to the collective Partridge family.

My three still stand though!
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby The Rumpled Academic » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

I'm a drummer who uses an unconventional setup (standing up, floortom+snare+cymbal+hihat), and I often feel the same way as Timmeu about boring drums. It's very easy for unimaginative songwriters to instruct downtrodden drummers to 'just keep the beat', and for whole worlds of rhythmic possibilities to be quashed before they had a chance to be tried.
For me, going in and creating a song with the other guys, it's far less about keeping the beat, and more about subverting the beat; taking the implicit beat that a guitar riff always has latent within it, and enhancing it.
Obviously, context is everything, and whereas in some circumstances complexity is called for and can work like a gift to the other musicians, in others there is nothing better than a really simple beat.

To illustrate what I mean to the non-drummers out there (because examples will always be better than my attempting to explain this shit), here is a song in which I think the drummer accomplishes the 'subversive' aspect of what I was talking about before to great effect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WYxI6ZTJfk

In symmetry, here is a song (a fucking unbelievable song) that is served exquisitely by one of the simplest drumbeats in the canon. The feel and tone; perfect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1Ql-xCasiE

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby u38cg » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:47 pm UTC

For the drummers amongst you, check out pipe band drumming some time (search Youtube for Jim Kilpatrick or Shotts). Very different stuff.

It's a very difficult thing for any musician to make the distinction between performing and playing. When you're performing, you have to leave your own mind behind and enter your audience's head, and hear what they hear with their perception. I struggle with it as well. One drummer that does this really well is Bob Dylan's drummer, George Receli. Very technically talented, and yet you could watch an entire concert and not really *notice* him. I saw them in Manchester and was sat up high and off to the sides and it was mesmerising watching him swinging non-stop between jazz grip and straight grip all night.
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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Midnight » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Drummers in bands (suck)

Postby Dream » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

I'm a bit surprised that motorik beats haven't come up in a discussion about the place of drummers within band situations. I'm also surprised that Klaus Dinger hasn't been mentioned.
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