Jam Sessions and drum desecration

rondrums51

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Did a jam session today for my local jazz society. Four drummers wanted to sit in. Fine with me, as long as they don't mess up my drums. All the drummers were courteous and didn't commit any major crimes, other than moving the hi hat, no biggie. I got lucky.

But I've been the house drummer on jam sessions in past years where guys....

1) Broke my snare strainer. How can you do that, unless you're a gorilla?

2) Pulled out a drum key and changed my tuning

3) Spilled drinks all over my drums and didn't bother to mop up the mess

4) Put dents in the heads and didn't offer to replace them

5) Changed the adjustments on my bass pedal

That's just a partial list.

I suspect a lot of you guys know what I'm talking about.
 
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shuffle

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Ron,did one in Reno for 9 yrs
Know what ya mean!
 
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polycrescendo

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I played a show with a friend's band years back and their drummer asked to use one of my drum mics for his snare. Feeling obligated I told him yes. He proceeded to nail backbeats directly onto the my Audix F90 and the little gooseneck holding this tiny mic over the snare until the whole diaphragm was hanging out of it's casing by two wires, completely wrecking the mic. After his drunken set he told me with glossy eyes that I should contact Audix about a replacement. Lesson well learned.
 

repete

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At the jam sessions I’m used to, any particular musician may be up between 1-5 songs. As a drummer, if you can’t get by with what’s provided for 5-20 minutes and have to retune or adjust a bass pedal, maybe you should be playing the trumpet. Worst case scenario for me is height adjust of the snare or hihats if no memory locks are involved but always ask first.
 

shuffle

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At the jam sessions I’m used to, any particular musician may be up between 1-5 songs. As a drummer, if you can’t get by with what’s provided for 5-20 minutes and have to retune or adjust a bass pedal, maybe you should be playing the trumpet. Worst case scenario for me is height adjust of the snare or hihats if no memory locks are involved but always ask first.
Absolutely, alway ask if you need to adjust, if you wipe out a key and tune,no sweat .
Just ask !
Never assume!
 

drumtek

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99% of my experiences hosting jams have been positive. I know most of the players so that helps. But the one bad experience i had was when a guy sat it on my congas and cut his finger and proceeded to bleed all over the heads. And his wife said i should carry tape so that doesnt happen in the future!
I was speechless
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Phew! I've sat in on jazz jams on others' kits. I usually just take a pair sticks with me, and only move the HH stand. No biggie. I can't imagine doing 1/3/4/5, and #2 is obnoxious. I'd be annoyed if they changed my tuning! Glad it worked out.....
 

rondrums51

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No wonder drummers have a reputation as animals.

One guy subbed on my drums on my night off, and for some insane reason, he brought a double bass pedal. This was a jazz piano trio gig! He de-tuned my bass drum, and there were two big dents in the batter head when I came to work the next night. I called him and cussed him out. He said, "I was just doing my thing."

Needless to say, he never subbed for me again.
 

Stickclick

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My gear has been broken so many times I don't even think about it anymore. I have a cheap kit and cheap cymbals. Works for me.
 

RogersLudwig

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I've used the house kit at numerous jam sessions and usually turn the snare stand so the drum slants away from me since I play traditional grip and they are usually set up for matched grip. No biggie. I just turn the snare stand back to its starting position when finished.

I hate letting drummers I don't know play my set. once, when asked if a group following ours could use it, I relented, but the drummer was pissed because all of my stands, the tom mount, and all of the FT legs had memory locks and she couldn't adjust the heights. Tough luck, sister.
 

tommykat1

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Yeah, this is a big thing for me. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

You're asked to join a weekly jam as a member of the house band. You obviously expect other drummers to play your kit. You know that the pros will respect your placement and tunings, and will adapt to what's there. These guys are great to work with, and you can share stories, and maybe they'll show up next week with a show-and-tell favorite cool snare to share.

Then there are the perfectionist drummers. These guys are fine, as they they have their own preferences, and they are apologetic as you let them swap things out. They want to play and sound good, so if there are things they don't like, they will already be prepared with their own:

> Stick bag (of course)
> Kick pedal
> Snare drum WITH stand
> Throne
And, for the truly anal who really are worried how they sound during their 15 minutes of fame:
> cymbals
> Hi-hat

And then there are the weekend garage band warriors who show up with a drum key and make demands on placement and tunings. With that comes snare rash, spilled beer, broken sticks, and mainly, DENTED HEADS. That last one kills me the most because it can happen within a 15 minute period between "You're on" and "Next drummer up" and you're looking at multiple dollars and a bunch of time replacing ruined drum heads. And usually, the guy says beforehand, "Don't worry, I'm not a hard hitter." Beware the pounder making that statement.

And we aren't even talking about which drum set to use! I don't have a cheap players' kit. Everything I own is gold. Why in god's name would I buy a cheap drum set w/cymbals to play the opening set at a jam session for fifty bucks, and then, for the rest of the night, put up with all the grief from the idiot would-be drummers out there? Somebody tell me how this works out economically.

That said, my band hosted a jam for two years wherein I took my 1967 12-16-20-5x14 Rogers Headliner kit with matching wood Powertone, and I'd sidle up to the drummer as he's getting comfortable and say, "Know what this is?"

As his eyes glossed over, I'd tell him the history (my dad bought it for me new) and he'd try to tame himself under the spotlight as he played, felt, heard and saw the value of an uber-cool set of vintage drums in a scenario where he was a guest. Except for the a$$hat who dented my heads, most drummers were darn happy to jam on a Rogers kit.
 
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At the jam sessions I’m used to, any particular musician may be up between 1-5 songs. As a drummer, if you can’t get by with what’s provided for 5-20 minutes and have to retune or adjust a bass pedal, maybe you should be playing the trumpet. Worst case scenario for me is height adjust of the snare or hihats if no memory locks are involved but always ask first.
I've always prided myself with regard to playing someone else's kit and not adjusting a single thing to suit my liking. I'll play whats's there, and where it is. It takes seconds to get used to something foreign -- akin to driving someone else's car. You get used to it very quickly.

Then the drum owner sits back down and doesn't have to touch a thing. :)

No big deal; I'll adapt, and let the particular drum set play me!
 
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RIDDIM

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The late Phillip Wilson said in a Downbeat or MD interview years ago: "I play the drums. They don't play me."

If I visit you at your house, I don't go in and redecorate. It's your house. Unless there's an immediate safety issue- e.g., your barcalounger wants to to eat my foot - I don't ask about moving anything.

99% of those who have played my kit , or are likely to, think this way and act accordingly. The only exceptions have been a few left bodied great musicians. For those guys, we swap the hats and floor tom; my main ride is already on the left. If I see someone disrespecting the instrument, the song comes to a quick end.
 

lcondo123

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My gigging kit with my band is a 1959 Rogers kit. 12-16-22 with a Holiday snare. My band's music is folk-rock, so I have thick heads tuned pretty damn low to be warm and full sounding. All of the bread and butter lugs are original and most are unbroken (these lugs are drawn brass and hollow inside, so they are notorious for breaking) and I've been able to keep them that way because of the low tunings and my soft playing.

I can't tell you how many times I'd show up to a gig and have the drummer from another band come up to me and ask if my kit can be backlined because he DID NOT bring his own drums. Just sticks and bass drum pedal. I'd roll my eyes, shepherd the two or three other drummers over to my kit on stage, and tell them "I have no problems with any of you using my drums, but these lugs will explode if you hit the drums too hard. They are fragile and will crack under hard playing. That's why my kit is tuned low and why I play softly. If any of you break a lug, you will owe me a new one." I'd then shake hands with them and help them adjust the kit to their liking. You should have seen some of these drummers, with their baseball bat sized sticks, start to play too heavily and remember what I said! I was absolutely not rude, I just told them the realities of the situation and made sure they understood and then everything was peachy!

I've had a few guys actually compliment the drums afterwards, since drummers I share the stage with are 18-24 year olds, most of whom have never sat behind a vintage drum set, let alone a Rogers kit! I may have gotten a few of them into checking out Rogers stuff, those drums are addictive!

It's all about the attitude of the drummer using your stuff - almost always they're super chill and willing to cooperate with the circumstances. The few times where things turned south were handled accordingly. You gotta do what cha gotta do!
 

shuffle

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Fortunately I’ve only had the pleasure to supply the back line on one occasion my Sonor 3000 rehearsal kit (it was free!)Have at it fellas, kill it if your man
enough !View attachment 393158Disclaimer: Sorry no, your not ever using my snare drum don't even look at it!
Thats what i did for the jams,bought a Sound Percussion kit,new,$150,headed it good and players loved it,later,picked up a PDP birch kit for $200, both kits i sold at the jams.
Now,my snares,i'd change out all the time to hear them out front.
 

rondrums51

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I think I have you all beat... last year I was the house drummer at a jazz jam, and the first guy who sat in broke TWO of my heads, the snare and the mounted tom.
I cannot believe that. What kind of an idiot would do that, especially on a jazz gig? This is what I hate about jam sessions. All these amateur bashers want to get up there and show their ass.

This is why you have the gig and they don't.
 
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