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Tips for playing full band stripped down


solacematt

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So my band is playing an 'unplugged' style show next weekend, which is cool because I write all of our music late at night on my acoustic anyways, right down to the fast and heavy stuff. The problem we encountered last night though is that our drummer can't seem to play the songs the same way as he does electric in a stripped down sense. So his bashing of the cymbals and such just overpowers the acoustic and vocals coming out of the PA. Since the place we're playing is fairly small (maybe 20X35) and holds 60 people, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips that we can subtly give our drummer so that we'll sound good and not clear the place due to him playing too friggin loud.

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Well, you can always get your hands on an electric drum set and keep the volume down... as for drum mutes, I've got no experience so I wouldn't know. Depending on your genre of music, you could just make him keep the set at home and throw him some congas, a couple maracas, maybe a wood block, etc. Be careful, though: DON'T GIVE HIM A COWBELL, WHATEVER YOU DO!!!! Nothing wrong with cowbell, but in the wrong song/used excessively it can be disastrous...

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Well' date=' you can always get your hands on an electric drum set and keep the volume down... as for drum mutes, I've got no experience so I wouldn't know. Depending on your genre of music, you could just make him keep the set at home and throw him some congas, a couple maracas, maybe a wood block, etc. Be careful, though: DON'T GIVE HIM A COWBELL, WHATEVER YOU DO!!!! Nothing wrong with cowbell, but in the wrong song/used excessively it can be disastrous...[/quote']

 

I recommended bongos and other percussive instruments; he's rejected them. He says they're 'stupid' and 'gay.' Figure stripped down, our music is like Alice In Chains unplugged.

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What I always do is tell the drummer if he can't use brushes/rods and tone it down (in other words if he's got Ulrich-itis...total lack of dynamic), then he can sit out that show and we'll just do it with two guitars. That usually "motivates" the hardhitter into wanting to quickly work on his technique lest he miss an all-important show. When I was starting out (about the time MTV--back when there was still "M" on "MTV"--was peaking with the "Unplugged" series), it was fashionable to do the occasional laid-back coffeehouse acoustic show. I sometimes still don't mind it. In fact I am doing TWO of them this month (thank God for the Dano Convertible). I learned the hard way that nothing can induce evolution in someone's abilities like an emergency situation. Necessity being the mother of invention and all.

 

H-Bomb

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Bit of an update on this. We had our practice last night and we came across an interesting alternative. Our bass player's wife used to be a drummer and happened to have drum mutes. So we stuck those on our drummers kit and, as hard as he hits, it sounds just fine now =P~

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There are some drum heads pearl sell... they are supposed to be quiet as hell and they are... my drummer uses them because he has his 5K drumset all triggered ... and he doesnt like to hear any other sound but the one cooming out of the drum module... (which is stupid because he could have just bought a roland td20 or something... but he doesnt like the looks of electronic drums).

 

The thing is, those things sound enough to be mic'ed up or so that you can hear the toms but not piss anyone off if you want to play at night... maybe your drummer can use some.

 

But really, unless he is a really good friend, I would dispose of any musician that thinks any given instrument is not worth trying just because it "is gay" or something of the like.

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For the past couple of months, we have had the drummer join us during our acoustic shows and it has helped out a bunch. We were getting to the point that every gig was just like the last and adding the percussion really gave it more of an edge. He brings a smaller set with him. Ussualy couple of toms, a snare, a kick drum, a high hat, a crash, and he adds bongos to the setup. He plays with brushes and it sounds perfect. He still plays hard and that just adds more energy to the show.

My opinion is that everything is worth a try. Where would music be if people were afraid to try something different???

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There are some drum heads pearl sell... they are supposed to be quiet as hell and they are... my drummer uses them because he has his 5K drumset all triggered ... and he doesnt like to hear any other sound but the one cooming out of the drum module... (which is stupid because he could have just bought a roland td20 or something... but he doesnt like the looks of electronic drums).

 

The thing is' date=' those things sound enough to be mic'ed up or so that you can hear the toms but not piss anyone off if you want to play at night... maybe your drummer can use some.

 

But really, unless he is a really good friend, I would dispose of any musician that thinks any given instrument is not worth trying just because it "is gay" or something of the like.[/quote']

 

Me and our new bass player (dude who took Damien's spot when he moved to California) is trying like me to help him kind of get more serious as we are trying to take things to that next level. Down here it's tough to find a drummer to play melody driven alternative rock. Everyone down here in south Florida seems to suffer from little d1ck syndrome and if it isn't what they think is metal, especially drummers, they don't want to have anything to do with it. In a sense, we almost got lucky finding a drummer who liked this type of music (Smashing Pumpkins/Alice In Chains/Silverchair style). As a person I like him, cracks me up. Standard drummer I suppose. It's just all about playing for the song.

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sounds like my kind of band. the drummer has to learn some depth though. tell him to actually watch the Alice in Chains Unplugged performance. Sean has all sorts of things he does to control volume. the number one thing is control though.

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sounds like my kind of band. the drummer has to learn some depth though. tell him to actually watch the Alice in Chains Unplugged performance. Sean has all sorts of things he does to control volume. the number one thing is control though.

 

Yea, last night I lent him Alice In Chains and Nirvana Unplugged on DVD as research O:) Sean Kinney is a killer drummer, and Dave Grohl plays with just the right feel as well, not just a dude who bashes away on his kit

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very true. in an electric set, those are 2 VERY hard hitting drummers.... but both are truely musicians and they understand the value of dynamics. Kinney is one of my favorite drummers. he can keep steady rhythm, but he also knows how to play a real riff. he can play a riff on the drums as well as anyone can on a guitar. also, he can create a real atmosphere and mood. that can't be done if all you know how to do it just hit hard.

Grohl is the same way. he really understands that the drums are more than just hitting hard and basic metronome work.

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how aptly put... (is tht the right expression?) specially at a time when every drummer and guitar player is more focused on how many notes they can fit in a second than on playing them right.

 

What exactly spurred this whole renewed interest in shred guitar in rock again anyways. I mean, I know it's always been there, but I think as far as commercial hard rock bands are concerned, bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu really blew the door back open on it. I mean, as far as mainstream rock radio is concerned, before "Bat Country" hit the radio in I think '05, you very rarely heard a guitar solo or more technical musicianship in a song unless it was an older tune. I've always been a firm believer that at the end of the day, all anyone really wants to hear is a good song, and it doesn't really matter how killer a solo, vocal note, or whatever is in a tune. But that's just me, and I'm sure there are plenty who would disagree.

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What exactly spurred this whole renewed interest in shred guitar in rock again anyways. I mean' date=' I know it's always been there, but I think as far as commercial hard rock bands are concerned, bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu really blew the door back open on it. I mean, as far as mainstream rock radio is concerned, before "Bat Country" hit the radio in I think '05, you very rarely heard a guitar solo or more technical musicianship in a song unless it was an older tune. I've always been a firm believer that at the end of the day, all anyone really wants to hear is a good song, and it doesn't really matter how killer a solo, vocal note, or whatever is in a tune. But that's just me, and I'm sure there are plenty who would disagree. [/quote']

 

 

I agree with you man.

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I know the drummer being talked about here...I was in the band until I moved to L.A....All I can say is this....The guy is dumber than a sack of rocks...I think in his very warped mind he might believe that he's actually black (not that there's a problem with that)...But he's got no common sense....To get a good idea on how this guy comes across think Tommy Lee....but without the talent....As for shred guitar and bands like Avenged Sevenfold (the less that name comes up the better) I'm sure in another 5-10 years they'll be but a distant memory...Their soulless guitar playing and forgettable riffs will be about as memorable as Nitro in the 80's....All flash....No feel....Besides....All the memorable guitar players play with feeling....Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Slash, Hendrix, etc.

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