Let us be, for a moment, a fly on the wall and witness a typical rehearsal. Whether it’d be in rock, jazz, country or blue grass, doesn’t matter. We have a few instruments, a rock quartet, for example. Bass, Drums, Piano, guitar, and a few singers among those players. Good!
Those people, to warm up, will jam. Most likely, the drummer starts a groove. Any groove. He repeats it over and over. The bass player attaches a nice bass line to it. The music is shaping up. Then the Piano player adds a few carpet chords, a vital contribution. And, of course, the guitar player goes into a solo.
If things go like this, I don’t have a blog today, because I don’t have a plot.
But things do not always go like this.
Very often, they go like this.
The guitar player starts talking to the bass player in a strange dialect.
– So we start in D, right? Then we go to F, and then F minor. We go back to D before the chorus. That one starts with G, goes into A and D, and repeat that 3 times. Everybody got it?
– No, I don’t got it, says the drummer. What am I supposed to play?
– That, I don’t know, my man. Just listen and follow along.
That’s the part where I got a blog. Because everybody talks to everybody in the band, but they have no idea how to talk to the drummer. Most players wouldn’t be able to differentiate a shuffle from a straight eighth notes beat. And most of them do not care. And that is too bad. Drummers feel lonely, and rejected. More than that, other players treat them very badly. The drummer is often the guy the other band members will pick on. So much so, as a matter of fact, that it has become a saying: if something goes wrong, blame it on the drummer.
That’s a shame, really.
When a band is on stage, they need everyone to “push against the crowd”. It implies that the whole band forms a unit. But the lack of communication pulls people apart. And the crowd can sense that and shuts down.
Why cant we all get along?