"Competant Kit Player".......

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by fabled inferno, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Why do I see this so often on band web sites and on TMP dep requests? Its often accompanied by requests for other players, such as cornets or Horns etc, but they are never asked to be "competant" very odd indeed.

    Does "competant" indicate a maximum or minimum standard? if Steve Gadd turned up, would he be politely told he was over qualified and shown the door?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    'Cos there's a lot of people who can't spell 'competent'?
  3. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    It's because they have to be committed.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Or because some percussionists can play tuned or untuned but not kit. Obvious, really, it seems to me?
  5. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I think it's because no MD wants a kit players helping out who can't keep time very well, or will drag the band about with their playing. . . It's hard to ignore a poor drummer and follow the MD sometimes. . .
  6. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    Granted - but why would you answer a dep request for a kit player if you can't play kit?

    You're absolutely right it is hard to ignore a really bad kit player. But again - surely anyone who answers a dep request (for any instrument) does so in the belief that they can do a good job in that seat? In other words, people who consider themselves incompetent kit players wouldn't offer to dep on kit. Anyone offering to dep on kit therefore considers themselves to be competent.
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Suppose a band worded an ad sloppily (as if!) and asked for a "Percussionist" when they actually meant "Percussion kit player". Suppose someone who was skilled at all aspects of percussioneering apart from kit playing (e.g. someone with extensive amateur orchestral experience and nothing else) saw that ad and responded. Still seems pretty obvious to me, I must say.
  8. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I can't argue with that. Certainly in a dep request situation, "a kit player" rather than "a percussionist" might be exactly what is needed - for a bandstand, for example - in which case that's exactly what a band should ask for, and if they don't ask for it they shouldn't be surprised if they don't get it.

    I guess it depends on which bit of the OP one is looking at: my reading of the situation was that it is odd to specifically put that a kit player should be "competent" when you don't ever see that for other instruments. Competence should be assumed for all!
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    It's amazing how spelling mistakes almost leap out of the screen and punch you in the eye?
    Not that I'm perfect in that regard myself!

    - Mr Wilx
  10. Blimey, where do i start with this lot?

    "dyl"....is that a name?...if so, it should be a capital D surely? also I assume "cos" means "because"? if so, it would seem there are a lot of people who cant spell, for all kinds of reasons. Something about glass houses and stones comes to mind. No point attempting to be a smug pedant if you cant come up to scratch yourself.

    The adds I have seen, and the ones I am refering to, are for kit players specifically, no mention of tuned percussion. I have no idea why this irrelevance was introduced to the thread.

    A drummer can be able to keep time, but still be incompetant surely? A metronome keeps time competently, but its not a drummer. Also, any other brass player can have a poor sense of time, but be otherwise competent, so why not specify this requirement for brass players?

    I have yet to play for any band that is as sensitive or responsive to a drummer as Ploughboy claims. In my experience getting any responce from a band regarding tempo changes or adjustments is like changing course on an oil tanker!
  11. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    I rekon that you will find that a lot of people think that "Anyone can hit a drum",and yes,anyone can hit a drum but unfortunately a lot of people sit themselves behind a kit and proceed to "hit that drum" with absolutely no idea about what they are doing or why they are doing it.Hence the request for competency.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    You're a charmer, aren't you? First reply to the thread, and the first two things you do are to have digs at the replies of two other people.

    No idea why you think this is irrelevant (see, I can play this game too!) - in my observation, the request for a "competent kit player" is made in contrast to a percussionist who is specifically not at home behind a kit - such players are quite often converted brass players in bands. You asked for an explanation, and I supplied an explanation. Your quote above in no way invalidates this as an explanation - I'm confused as to why you would think that it does.
  13. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Is this what it has come to?

    Everyone is so bored because there is nothing to discuss on tmp that we are discussing about the phase compentent kit player??

    Deary me, I will crawl back under my stone....
  14. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Just suppose a lower section band is struggling for a drummer/kit player. They advertise for just that. A kit player turns up saying that they can play well. When you give them the music they look like it's a foreign language.
    I know plenty of 'drummers' who are good at the particular genre they know the best. They put in the fills, they keep time, they really do enhance a piece. BUT...... they cannot read music. They have learnt by listening to others.

    I can see why a band would advertise for competent kit players.
  15. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    Invite me down one night, I'll ignore the conductor in places, and you'll soon see what I mean, From the back I can dictate the tempo far better than most MD's . .
  16. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Would anyopne actually admit to being an Incompetent Kit player?

    (Although I admit that I cant play percussion to save my life so I guess that mekes me incompetent)
  17. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    You're assuming that they'll be listening? Your experience differs from mine. I've generally found that when playing commercial styles of music arrangements, even if there is a rock-solid kit providing a stable beat, most banders will slavishly follow the conductor's beat in preference to allowing the drummer to drive the music ...
  18. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I can see a practical experiment in order here. . . . :)
  19. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Actually, now I come to think about it, I vaguely remember hearing or reading an interview with Gary Kettel in which he moaned about the very same thing during the LSO's recording sessions for the "Classic Rock" series ...
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Ahem.... If one has an MD present, surely he's there to be followed? By everyone including said drummer? In your example I'd suggest that it ain't the brass that's in the wrong there.

    That aside, you have hit on a major problem in playing percussion-underpinned pieces. Albeit your experience is the opposite problem to the one I have generally experienced. Most of the time the conductor will be trying to push the tempo on or pull it back, and the drummer doesn't follow - so the band doesn't follow.

    Which brings me onto your point, Garry. Yes, you are able to dictate tempo better from the back of the band than most MDs can from the front because you're equipped with something they aren't. An Audible beat. That's why MDs such as yourself (and myself in my infrequent forays into stick-waving) bang on the stand with their batons when rehearsing tricky passages, or shout "1-2-3-4" right?

    With an experienced percussionist such as youself this can be a good thing for the band - however in other circumstances, and particularly with a less experienced player, that is a problem, not a blessing.

    MD's all do things we don't agree with, but few have the same ability to over-rule them in the way a drummer can. Where a piece is underpinned by a regualr beat, be that kit percussion, side drum, timp, whatever, the brass will invariable follow the percussion because if they have even a single rhythmical bone in their collective bodies, they simply can't do otherwise. So it's absolutely essential that the percussionist who has that underpinning beat follows the MD absolutely.

    I've sat in several very good bands where the percussion section as a whole seem to think they know the piece better than the MD, and no matter what the MD does, the piece goes at the tempo the percussion section decides it should. There may be very good reasons the MD is taking the piece at a different tempo than the percussion section would like - leading sections not being able to cope at a higher tempo for example. If you're not going to follow him, what's he there for?

    I fully appreciate in something like 'Sing Sing Sing' a good kit player can really take the pressure off the MD and allow him/her to focus on drawing the expression out of the band. By by no means should the kit player assume that puts them in charge - and that applies equally to any player. That's when problems start!

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