Studio Drummer – Know When Not To Be Overruled By A Producer
I’m going to be short and sweet about this but let me say this. You have to know when to stand your ground as a player. This is especially relevent if you’re in a band. Don’t get me wrong, producers are a necessary and vital element in a music production. There is a constant issue that arises though. The issue is that producers often like to change things, change ideas for the sake of change and also to be able to lay claim to those changes. A producer may usually have the final say and it’s important to respect that. However you may have times when you feel strongly about a musical issue, or a concept that you’ve worked out that you want to contend for. Times happen when you have to stand for those ideas, as uncomfortable as they may be.
I’ve been in band situations where parts and musical ideas have been very worked out. They also hold a certain band dynamic, an energy if you will, that embodies the song or at least the version of the song that you’ve collectively created. I’ve seen situations and been a part of them where a ‘producer’ will come in and run roughshod over everything you’ve worked on. The problem that also arises is that there’s times when these producers have been brought in at good expense.
There does come a time when you have to contend for your ideas, your vision and concepts. That can be like running into a brick wall at time when you’re trying to bring your most harmonious performance without and blockage and bad energy..
There lies the rub as they say.. It’s a balance of maintaining creativity against the machine in a sense. The ‘machine’ can be the producer, the ego, the overbearing domination at times but .. that’s what I leave you to think about.
How much do you trust your concepts, your ideas and also equally important, how much are you willing to be a student, to have open ears and be willing to accept change and adapt and incorporate others ideas?
It’s a challenge isn’t it? I’ve experienced it and it’s still a challenge to this day. However there are times that I strongly contend for my position when I feel it’s in the best interest of the song and the artist, even if it is uncomfortable. The song and the integrity of the project have to override not only the players views but also the producer’s at times as well. A great producer will accept a contending viewpoint, at least as an alternative if it is presented properly and respectfully by you as the musician.