Dealing with a Difficult Drummer

Jaime Brown on drummer drama:

This is a post I can write at the moment, since (praise the Lord) I have the joy of working with several gifted drummers on my church’s worship team who do a great job and are joys to work with.

But sometimes drummers can be incredibly difficult. Their instrument is the loudest (unless you use electronic drums). If they speed up, everyone speeds up. If they slow down, everyone slows down. If they decide to play a 3/4 song in 4/4, then you’re all playing it in 4/4. They’re opinionated. They know that they’re crucial to the “groove” and they like being crucial.

How do you deal with a difficult drummer?

If the difficulties stem from a lack of gifting, then you must insist on three things:

1. That they practice and play along to a metronome. At my church, we play along to a click track in our ears to keep us all together. It’s run off of an iPhone app called “Tempo Advance”, and either I or the drummer control it. If your team has in-ear monitors, it’s easy to get everyone to hear it. If your team doesn’t use in-ears, then your drummer can play with it in his ears. If we can do this with excellent drummers, then less experienced drummers should be willing to do it too.

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