What's your dream drummer like?

A forum devoted to the discussion of playing bass with the blues.

RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:02 am

... but
>I think everyone needs to play their part. ie. bass player
>plays bass

Right, I agree for the most part. In fact, while he is playing in a band as a bass player it would be better if bass was all he played at home too.

That said, my fist instrument was drums, but I don't consider myself a drummer. In fact, other than the fact I was sitting on the throne, and sticks were laying on the snare I haven't seriously touched drums since 1969. That is when I started playing guitar.

Most of the guys in bands at the time were older, and were mostly better guitar players than I was. I wanted to make music and they needed a bass player, and I just became that guy.

Since then I have moved a few times, and I usually play guitar when not playing bass in a band. You can play bass, rhythm, and melody all at once (for the most part) on guitar and while I guess I'm not all that great by some standards, I do OK.

I'm guess I'm no Jaco or Geddy on bass either, but I'm OK. My guitar playing is what suffers when I play bass, not my bass when I play guitar.

I moved back home from Vegas in '90 and couldn't carry my bass equipment, on my motorcycle, so I sold it. I dont even own a bass right at the moment. (I can get one in an hour if I feel the need)

I played trumpet in jazz band for six years in school, and school concert band all that time, I played guitar in a rock band for a bit of that, and bass for four years with the same guys.

In the 80's I played bass in a Hendrix cover band that did some original electric blues on the side, along with every other hard rock cover that was popular at the time. At the same time, I was playing bass in a country band to help feed my habits.

That is quite a bit of bass time in bands, and I consider my self a bass player, but I am a guitarist too. Now a days I find that I can usually show my lead player a riff or two.

My point here being that while, I agree, that a bass player needs to focus on the band he is in and if need be, become a full time bass player for a while, it doesn't hurt to play other instruments, in fact, I think it helps some in a band situation. sometimes it helps explain exactly where the guitarist or less often keyboards or someone else is coming in early or late. (imagine that, a guitarist who comes in wrong from a solo, as in "lead" us into losing tempo?) :D :D
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby lorilu » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:14 am

Skeeter, So are you a guitar player now? Is that where you get the most enjoyment or is this all kind of "old" for you now? Just wondering after all your experience where your passion lies in which instrument. all of them?
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:25 am

I have been playing with the harp quite a bit lately, right now my strat is about six inches from my right elbow, which it always is when I'm at home.

I like all of the instruments, I even have a console piano, just no room in my little studio. I still get way into bass groves, I have an guitar processor wich does a pretty good job of simulating a bass sound, but useually just the standard guitar tuneing lets me work on what I want to. That is why I tend to play guitar alot , you can play things on it you can't on a bass. There is no substitution for a real bass, I just don't have room for the extra equipment at the moment.

I have put some multi track stuff together over the years, and can really do a whole band by myself, but to me it sounds unnatural, like several voices saying the same thing in different ways, rether than a question/answer, or a conversation, which I think is the foundation for good blues, and most music. I like a band situation, and sit in with some guys on weekends, but not a real band at the moment.

Music never really gets old to me, there is always somewhere new to go. In fact, the more I learn, the more things I find out that I want to learn. To little time and to little money.

I have blocks though, I guess everybody does at one time or another. Sometimes, I just don't feel like playing, other times, I work and work on something, get kind of fed up and go to the races, or get good and drunk or go fishing. When I pick it back up it usually goes real easy, and whatever I was working on just seems to come right together.

The problem with that is that it is hard to know when to quit. if I don't work hard enough, it doesn't work when I pick it back up, so I always make sure and get good and fed up. :)
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby savage » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:55 pm

I think this is really cool to be really talking about how we feel about music. I never get to talk to any musicians seriously about this kinda stuff cause most of those I know aren't very serious about music, or at least dont understand how they feel about music....or somethin like that.

Skeeter, completely agree with you there. The more instruments someone plays, the better. Familiarity with other instruments greatly improves ones ability to "put your grooves together". And its really just helps one as a musician to play other instruments. It keeps your mind open... allows you to realize that you dont have to play the way everyone plays. You can play a saxophone like a harmonica if you want. Theres a bass in my house that I play from time to time. I often just feel like laying down a bass line. And sometimes a whole song will spring out from that one bass line.

My first instrument was a trumpet which I took lessons for, and played in a school band in elementary school. My parents didn't let me play a guitar when I first wanted to. For some reason trumpet was my next choice. Though I never got too far with trumpet (i basically stopped playing when I got braces, haha), it was a start. The cool thing about playing different instruments is that whenever you're playing music, you can feel all those instruments and individual techniques living in your fingers. Its a really cool feeling when you feel like screamin out trumpet noises even though you're playing guitar. Just like you can hear a certain artist in another artist, you can feel a certain instrument in a song even thoughits not there.

I don't play bass that much, but what I have learned has certainly improved my guitar playing. I think every instrument you come in contact (and every sound you hear) filters into your feel for music. My father used to play the conga drums in a band and he has a set in the house that he used to practice on. Though I never sat down and played congas to a song (i know you dont sit down to play congas drums, but you know what I mean), The rhythm I heard (from my dad and the music he played to) and tried on those things has played into my idea of music. This does not mean that you utilize everything that you hear, but it all does play into your feel of music. You will not always like everything you hear. For instance, some people don't like punk music (I happen to be one of those people, but lets not get into that), but when you hear it, you identify what sounds you dont like (and wont go into as a musician). With that in mind, even some types of music you don't like may harbor a certain technique or sound which you DO like even though you aren't so fond of the overall sound of the music.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:33 pm

I am kind of dissapointed about how my trumpet went by the wayside over the years, it was so much a part of my Jr High and High school years.
I had a gig or two playing R&B and Mariachi type stuff, but it was a life of fills and accents, I never got to really blow the damn thing. Kinda dissapointing coming from a progressive jazz background. I doubt at this point I can play a high C much less double or triple. It did serve to keep my dad off my butt some for a few years (made him think I actually cared about school).

The congas are a great instrament, i really got into C Santana in the 70's and late 80's, and WAR too. Then I didn't hear congas played much till I got a little 9 month vacation in Virginia via Uncle Sam in '85 and got to hear some cuban guys do tons of live stuff in a park. It is one of the things I listen for in drummers, Latin influence. Or more correctly, african rhythms via latin music. It is a really good sound with minor pentatonic type music. A sound I can't get out of my heart.

I like to listen to lots of different stuff, and "hard" punk (the kind with the purple mohawks, where they like to "spit on everybody") isn't my favorite, but Brian Setzer, or the stray cats from the 80's blow me away, and that is also considered punk (alternatively, rockabilly, and swing), so I guess I like some of it. I love early metal, I like heavy metal, I sometimes listen to thrash, but I am way turned off by the amaturs who play thrash around here. I figure one of these days thay will slow down and try and express something other than balls to the wall rage, and maybe then we can find something in common. I guess I would call it maturatity. Also, it seems that they insist on mixing that attitude with meth, and from my experiance, over the long haul, meth and music really don't mix. That said, they do tend to know their way around the fretboard, they just forget about saying anything usefull to me.

Rap artists in their raw form are in my opinion, the harmonica players of todays music, a beat box and your voice makes for cheap, portable music that is pretty popular with lots of people. That said, for the most part, It isn't my cup of tea. I guess I just don't get it.

Hmm starting to sound like a rant, sorry :P
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby savage » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:28 pm

>guess I like some of it. I love early metal, I like heavy
>metal, I sometimes listen to thrash, but I am way turned off
>by the amaturs who play thrash around here. I figure one of
>these days thay will slow down and try and express something
>other than balls to the wall rage, and maybe then we can
>find something in common. I guess I would call it
>maturatity.

Heh, you dont live in south FL by any chance do you? Sounds a bit like part of the "music scene" down here.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby lorilu » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:56 am

Great comment about playing all the instruments on tracks and it sounding like the same voice or something. Insightful. Meth yeah it's everywhere like a freakin epidemic and musicians love it cause I think like when you were talking about working hard enough to get sick of it and then come back to it, they just can focus for 3 days on guitar and feel so free and express all those aggressions and so on. They don't really feel the everyday drudgery of actually living in the real world and coping with the ups and downs. Their doubts are gone and they are free and above it all. If only it was real. If only they didn't need it. It's hard to have anything to say when you have lost your soul the good part of yourself. To me, their world is sad and hopeless eventually and hard to come back from. And sometimes I really understand why would they want to come back. But I think it's the small, unnoticable things, everyday little things and personal small accomplishments that you've spent your life working on that make for peace and happiness. There is a lot of self centeredness and selfishness around addiction and it's loss of selfishness and simplicity where joy is waiting. You can never really feel good when you're scheming and stealing. Even sober people suffer from pretending to ignore what they know inside to be right but doing it anyway. Like if I didn't speak up against ignorance or prejudice with all that I know and have experienced in that area I would feel ashamed. It's just finding your heart again and again until you really know you have a right to be here. You are no less than the trees and stars. (Desiderata) You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars you have a right to be here. And whether we know it or not the world is unfolding as it is should..."

It's great to hear people talking about longing for the instruments you played in the past and the music of Santana, War, Earth, Wind and Fire, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith,Black Sabbath, Alice, love Metallica, Candlebox, Tool. You know there was some great music or maybe it was just the drugs. Seriously it was the drugs too but I like being around people even if they're on drugs, not really alcholics, well actually anyone on a substance I limit my time with because it's not real for very long. I have friends in the program and they are really a blast. I personally, like to party a bit in moderation. I used up my free cards and am able to do without most things. on the natch.

Music is my love and I am stuck right now. There's a lot going on and that probably is affecting things. there was a time I wrote songs constantly and that is starting to come back after several years of doubts. I've misplaced some of my joy for playing and get moments of it back. I feel it mostly in my gut like a kind of thrill to play it's the awsomest sensation. It's gonna happen and it won't be forced but it might be coaxed. Thanks it feels good to say some of this stuff. It's personal, it's me and life is too short to pretend and not get down to it. No one has to read it.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:47 am

I live in Missouri(misery).

I came back here from Texas in 81, and had a bit of a meth problem at the time and thought I had left all that behind me. It was a year or two behind me, so I at least got my stuff together from that fiasco.

It does seem to be everywhere now, that is for sure. I can't count all of the friends I have lost to meth over the years, either they are in jail, and a few are dead. I have to admit that it isn't as bad as heroin, I have lost even more people to that.

I've done my share of all of it, but I found that I'm really not able to leave it alone if I'm around it all the time, and I can't do it and have any kind of a life, much less keep my guitars out of hock and eat. I still like my beers, and an ocasional mixed drink or shot, but when I am busy playing, the beer gets hot, so it cuts me back anyway.
I wish they would start selling weed at the liquor store. I miss my buds sometimes. :)

<"I've misplaced some of my joy for playing and get moments of it back"

I've done that a lot over the years, and my solution is to play because I enjoy it, and forget about goals, and working on things, play, play, play, I was playing over a progression earlier, and was getting into it pretty well, when I actually listned to what I had been doing, it was pretty much a nailed solo to an old 38 special tune(not very orginal). it didn't even occur to me what I was playing, but I was having fun, so it was cool. When I started playing, it was to have fun, and over years, it became work. Work is OK, but I have to be sure to play for fun too. It shows in my music.

When I think about it, that is a problem I have noticed in myself, my technique keeps geting better, but I only get faint glimmers of the old feelings of accomplishment or excitement like the first time your G chord starts to sounds crisp and clear like it is supposed to (sigh).

Changeing strings helps sometimes, new strings are like a breath of fresh air. I suppose the drum equivelant would be a new clave block, or some wind chimes or something. New heads, and cymbols would get kind of expensive. I went through a stage where I was buying effects pedals, then it occured to me that it wasn't the effect that was new, it was the damn buzzing in the background that I was listning to (grr).
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby lorilu » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:18 pm

Am I ever going to get to work today? Yeah I hear you about the drugs. I think crack is even worse than heroin. Instantly addicting. If you're a sensitive person and the world and the people in it get you down you're just so susceptible. You get that comraderie even if its as dog eat dog as the straight world. It has its own rules. My problem was liking everything. Thank God I've gotten over the action part of it. But weed needs to be legalized absolutely imo...Isn't Sheryl Crow from Misery?
Thanks for the suggestions I'm really struggling and it's confusing. I'm surrounded by instruments that I love and can even play, some better than others. When I get home tonight I'll reread what you wrote and go for it no matter what. And I believe it's a sin to pawn your babies, the things people do! I swear if I don't get through this block I don't know what I'm gonna do. Seriously, I could cry. Maybe it's the goals like you said that I've placed in front of me. I actually have a lump in my throat right now and emotions I don't understand. Music is so powerful. Thanks.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby lorilu » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:28 pm

I think I'm breaking through. I had more enjoyment not as being able to go through exercises better and faster but played with a good blues compilation cd about 8 songs and worked on remembering why I was really doing this. I love finding the feel of the song and grooving with the drums so it comes alive. So that it makes you want to dance or nod your head. The bass was suprising I hadn't picked it up for any real amount of time for awhile and went straight to blues and swing 8ths and it went smooth and faster? weird. Very fun and motivating to say the least. I skipped the progression exercises which I'm doing to just know where everything is and warm up my hands. I do have new D'addario strings on my acoustic guitar and they are the bomb. I always start practice with exercises like scales and then I'll bar up and down the neck. I think sometimes I get tired before I finish the exercises so that when it's time to have fun I'm already done. So I'll have to figure that one out. I like to play drums and bass at night and guitar in the morning. I have to schedule stuff that way because of my life and many things I have to take care of outside of music. Being in a band helps things progress but I can't do it now. So I have to create my own way of staying motivated and this site talking to musicians has really helped.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby savage » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:14 pm

Different strokes for different folks. Everyone has their own way of doin things. I have to agree that it really does help to be able to talk with musicians-- even if its not in person.

This year almost all my friends moved away to college (and some just plain moved). I used to talk about music with them and we'd jam from time to time. One kid used to bring his guitar to school cause he was taking a guitar class and we'd sometimes mess around during lunch time. I remember one time we were all sitting in a grassy area outside and I started playing while my friend Brandon started bangin on the guitar case for some rhythm. A couple other kids joined in whistlin and humming. I remember everyone that walked by looked as us like we were hippies or somethin. We had a good time though. You can make music anywhere. I'm digressing...
I think its important to be in contact with other musicians. I used to be somewhat of a "loner" or whatever you wanna call it. I probably still am to some degree. I used to think that I would be fine on my own. Didnt think I needed anyone else... you know, the typical male BS. But I've learned that you can't always be by yourself. You're not always alone, and you need to acknowledge that. I still like to spend some time alone from time to time to think about things. But when you isolate yourself, you can only go so long (im sure most people think this sounds dumb, but it's the way I used to be, and I always try to change my ill-favored habbits). Things are gettin better every day. Life is good, even when its bad... because God is good.

I went out to dinner the other night with a friend of mine and her brother (who is working on a band at the moment). I mentioned to him that I was probably gonna start playing in the streets down by Las Olas and Riverwalk and, to my suprise the idea got him excited. He told me that he'd like to head down there with me and play. It suprised me because he plays quite different music than I (he plays in a metal band), and he let me know that he would learn anything I wanted. He's really good on guitar and a nice kid. Looks its gonna be a duet instead of a solo act down in the city. After thinking about it people may take use more seriously (give us more money) if there are 2 musicians instead of one... haha, but i wont hold my breath.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby lorilu » Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:56 am

Andy, That is so exciting. One that you know you need other people, and that you've found someone to collaborate with. I used to go to a jam at a bar in town where there was this great guitar player and all around good person and a drummer who was a great drummer but played the suitcase for this gig. It was really good. People love to hear music it lifts them up and you guys will probably make a few dollars too. You can make a plan to go & tell that guy and go no matter what. I think a bunch of young people are probably reincarnated from the 50's and 60's maybe so that's why everyone is looking like hippies. Just a thought. Let us know how it goes.
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:21 pm

Sometimes I think eveybody ought to carry an instrument in a case or gig bag eveywhere they go, it always seems to get a reaction from other musicans.

Its funny, for some reason, I meet lots of musicians in campgrounds, I don't really know why though, just coincidence I guess. I met a fiddle player a few years ago, and he was really good. I was going to tell him about a guy around here who was looking for a fiddle player to play in his studio that has a contract in nashville. He decided to come over and flex his muscles (i guess he was some kind of body builder or something) and complain because we were partying a little, so I blew him off. The guy sitting right next to me was a county sheriff, so it wasn't like he could call a cop or somthing. Idiot. We backed the camper in his little spot, and dumped the sewage tank before we left. Wasn't cool, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I have met some good people in music stores, (and pawn shops believe it or not). That is why I tend to like to go shopping here and there. I have picked up licks from people trying out guitars and amps. I have gone in to get some picks, and met guys, and also heard about some pretty good bands that were playing at parties, and bars.

New strings can change your life!!!

That is one real good thing about our saturday night parties (they aren't supposed to be parties but they sometimes are for real). Just some old drunks with guitars, but a couple of em can pick the hell out of it. That is a great place to have new people come, because even if they can't keep up, it isn't structured, it is just trading licks. I have been playin with a washtub bass some lately. pretty cool sound. Can't wait for tomarrow.

The only downfall is that there is a good bit of equipment around the house. A guy broke in a while back and stole, among other things, a '29 archtop that one of the guys grampas played jazz on for years and years. It was worth some bucks, but was priceless to Kelly. Dumbchit got caught because he pawned a fender champ in his real name. Never got the archtop back though. I'm just glad it wasn't someone I brought over.

That kind of stuff bums me out, and that is why I am so down on meth. The economy doesn't help either. You ought to be able to trust fellow musicians, I usually feel like I have more in common with them than my family.

I may go to the national rainbow gathering this year, I hear it is in Colorado. That is the one thing I have to say, I have never been ripped off at a gathering, and I am a bonified A camper. I did manage to get my nose broke up by Salem, Mo. The guy appolegised the next day, and his eye was swole shut lol. All kinds of music goin on. I would like to have a tricorn by then.

I "imagine" I love Dolly ;)
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby savage » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:03 am

Always like having my guitar close to me at all times. The only thing that keeps me from bringin it in my car with me eerywhere I go is the intense heat. I left an amp in my car for an hour once and the handle almost broke off when I tried to pick it up again (the heat made it all soft). Luckily the rubber/glue on the speakers did not separate. That and the possibility of someone stealing/damaging my instruments is what keeps me from takin em with me everyday. Of course there are always exceptions (when its not such a scorture). I know that I would go nuts if someone tried to steal ona my guitars. I know I shouldnt. I consider anything I have a blessing, and not really my own... But I know I'd have a hard time controllin my fist if they had tried to steal my guitar (heh, youngblood, what can I say, I'm still wet behind the ears). I see it like this: would you steal a plumber's wrench? an artist's pencil?
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RE: What's your dream drummer like?

Postby skeeter_s » Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:40 am

Yeah it isn't very practical to carry a guitar around with ya, it is a shame though. Dude you live in a seriously hot/humid area!!

I have a peavy bumper sticker, and wear fender shirts quite a bit, and people notice some. It puts some people off, because they think it is bragging or some crap. I still think the number one way to attract musicians is to have an instrument in your hands.

By the way, Andy, yer slide is really soundin good to me. A future Jim Schwall!! I play slide a bit, but it really is pretty thin by its self, I haven't got the feel for the bass parts yet, I can play classical fingerstyle, so I can do the alternate finger/thumb thing, but my slide stuff needs work. I am dyin to get a guitar made for it, I have a Kramer strat copy with the saddles raised up, but it has 10's on it. I know they aren't really heavy enough, what is a good weight?

You and a few other people have me sold on the tricone, I love the sound, but also love the look even more. Plus, brass bodies aren't real prone to de-lamination. I guess you still have to worry about the neck, but with slide, the harmonics don't have to be perfect, in fact it almost sounds more authentic when it isn't perfect. I still wouldn't want a warped neck though :(

Being a hip young blood is a good thing, you just keep getting more experiance to go along with whatcha got natural. :)

Lori, Sheryl is a bootheel Misouri girl, the exact opposite corner of the state from me. What an awesome talent. I believe she could do any music she feels like doing. WOW :)
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