Most people expect that if they are listening to a band there will be drums, but why? Why does a band need drums?
We are going to take a look at exactly what drums brings to a band and why it is so important that they are present.
There are some bands that do not have a traditional drummer like Bluegrass bands, but most all others do.
Why Are There Drums?
Drums play a very important role in every band, they literally set the pace. The main role of any drummer is to keep time but of course that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what role the drums play in a band.
They add the “vibe” and words like “dynamic” are used to describe the drum ensemble within a band.
The drums are the real lead in setting the time for the rest of the band to follow. When you have a great drummer it can cover up mistakes of the rest of the players. Listeners hear what is in the music not what isn’t.
For example your guitarist may be an okay artist but they just do not have the “flash” but that is okay because a good drummer can easily add the extra that the guitarist is missing.
The drummer is the anchor for the rest of the band. The drummer provides the tempo for the other musicians, his/her role is very important in leading the band, when your drummer is off beat your whole band is off beat.
There are a couple of things that affect a drummer’s ability and therefore the ability of the entire band:
- Great equipment – the right type of drum kit makes a difference in the sound and how well the drummer can play.
- Skill level- practice makes perfect when it comes to the drums. The more practice the drummer has the more he/she can hone their sound.
- The expertise-the genre of music that the drummer is expert in will show.
- Confidence- the confidence level of the drummer and their love of the drums also plays a role in how they sound and how they interact with the rest of the band. The right drummer knows that their role is very important in leading the rest of the musicians and they embrace the role and lead with confidence.
One of the most important things a drummer brings to a band is consistency. With the right drummer they can even make the worst guitar soloist sound like they are a superstar by slowing down the tempo.
The technical aspect of drumming is all about providing a consistent tempo. Depending on the genre the drums can bring the aggression to the song when needed and slow it all down when that is needed as well.
Drummers really do not get the amount of credit that they deserve for keeping the band together but when you consider all of the greatest music and try to imagine it without the skilled drummer it takes a great song and makes it a much less great song.
Even when the music requires a great deal of power (heavy metal music for example) the consistency has to be there and the drums bring it every time.
Bands With Out Drums
Can you have a band without drums? Yes you can, but you should know that every listener whether they are musically inclined or not will notice that something is missing.
The drums add not only a sound to the music but the feel as well. The vibe is sorely missed by every listener no matter how critical their listening skills are. The rhythm is gone.
Adding a Drummer
Most drummers will have their own equipment but you may want to consider purchasing a kit or an electronic set for the stage to have on hand. When you are looking for a drummer look for:
- Good genre match
- A presence that also matches the band
When it comes to drumming it is hard to beat experience. Experience is the only way to learn how to be a consistent drummer. You also need a good genre match.
Some drummers are pretty versatile but if you are a jazz ensemble it can be a stretch to bring in a “deathcore” drummer and expect everyone to be happy.
The other thing that you need to consider that really does not have a lot to do with skill but instead has to do with the vibe that the drummer gives off.
Look for a drummer that has a similar vibe as the rest of the band. The right choice will really matter to the sound of the band and the results that you get!