Volume of drums in church

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Debby in Philly, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    To all of my drummer friends out there:

    What would be the best and least expensive way to deal with the balance problem of a drum set being played in an old city church, with a high pointed ceiling?

    We actually spent a deacon's meeting last night hearing complaints from members of the congregation about how the drummer is too loud. He doesn't play every week, but we have had some members actually leave because of it. So you can see they have more issues than just volume level, but somehow dealing with this real balance problem would go a long way to dealing with the larger problem of our "generation gap."

    I know some churches use shields, but wouldn't that just drive the sound up one side of our pointed ceiling and back down again? What about muffling rings? Would a fuzzy beater on the bass drum help?

    I am a band and orchestra percussionist, and the only way we cut the volume is to play softer. I don't think that would be enough for this issue.

    No debate about having drums in church, please. I am just looking for practical advice here. Thanks.
     
  2. rbell

    rbell
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    Although most drummers hate them, electronic drums offer unlimited control of volume. We use the Roland V pro series, and have had great results.

    Also, should you keep your kit, make sure you have a carpet under your set. That helps a bit.
     
  3. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
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    * Carpet underneath... the good plush stuff.
    * You can buy good "dead ringers" to place in your bass and toms. Also, a pillow in the bass helps muffle.
    * Tighter felts on the cymbal stands where the cymbal balances will not allow them to ring as long. This aids in volume immensely.
    * Ask the drummer to play softer, and be sensitive to when he should and shouldn't play. Some songs are aided by percussion, others are best without, as the percussion can disturb.
    * Electronic drums are one way to go, but if a sensor on the kit goes out, you'll be out some $$$ to replace it. Had three go out a couple years ago in another church, and we had to spring about $700 to replace them by Sunday.

    * Some won't be happy even with these adjustments. Some will merely find something else to complain about. Pray for them, and pray for yourself and all in the band (including the drummer) to be sensitive to these folks, and to the Holy Spirit's leading.

    Just a couple of hints. I'll be praying for you as you lead.
     
  4. guitarpreacher

    guitarpreacher
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    Hot sticks
     
  5. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    Plexiglass enclosure.
     
  6. rbell

    rbell
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    ...but be sure and drill a couple of air holes for the drummer...they like that.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pete

    Pete
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    Foam drums and sticks....

    Sorry :D
     
  8. SeekingTruth

    SeekingTruth
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    Fire the drummer [​IMG] :rolleyes: [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Thanks, Joshua. I didn't think about the cymbal felts. And thanks for the prayers.

    This is a serious problem, given the way the folks feel about these things. It ties into the older vs. younger, old members(mostly white folks) vs. new members (mostly hispanic/black), mindset. We are trying to create unity, with the Lord's help, and this is just one of the little things that pick away at that unity. So anything that can be done eases the larger burden.
     
  10. PJ

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    Debby, has the music director spoken to the drummer about volume?
     
  11. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    That's a really good question. I was the choir director, until we couldn't get people to commit to rehersals every week. So now I just do a Christmas and Easter program. So it isn't me.
    Which means there is none as such. I have nothing to do with this group, mainly because I am teaching children during the service and not even present for the songs. They just sort of get together with the worship leader and pick out what songs they will use, and go over them.
    Anyhow, what the deacons decided last night was that until a plan can be worked out, there will be no drums played. So I guess the worship leader will have to explain it to the young man. I hope it's done in such a way as to not make him feel it's a problem with him personnally.
     
  12. PJ

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    No drums, period? When no one has even addressed the poor fella? :eek:

    I bet he would smile and nod "okay", go on his merry way and make a huge effort to play a little softer. Playing softer must be possible because our drummer's volume varies by song ...
     
  13. rbell

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    Yes, they need someone who is in charge...that sets the tone, calls the shots, and reports to the pastor.

    Speaking of...where is the pastor in all this? I haven't heard you mention him. How does he feel about the situation?

    And, if the deacons decided "no drums," then why don't THEY tell the young man?

    I'm with you...I hope that this young man isn't hurt by all this...it would be a shame to cause him to stumble.
     
  14. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    I had drums in my fellowship for all of about a month. The drummer got too loud with them and I would motion for him to lighten up and tone it down.

    Two songs later, it was the same pounding racket again. I removed the drums.
     
  15. rbell

    rbell
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    hence the appeal of electronic drums...total control of the sound. Couple that with in-ear or headphone monitors for the drummer, and drum volume isn't a problem.

    Granted, most drummers prefer the "real thing," but those with servant's hearts (like ours, a professional drummer by trade) understand and do fine with it.
     
  16. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    The pastor listened to the complaints and said very little during the meeting. I am sure his opinion is that the complaints are being made only because the folks making them are resistant to change and can't see the situation from the other side, which is that there are those of the "new people" who are just as irritated by old slow hymns as they are by loud drums. Before the discussion started, he ready every Bible passage he could find on the topic of "love one another."

    The persons I mentioned who would be talking to the kid are deacons. Many of us wear multiple hats.

    Back to my OP - The sanctuary is already carpeted, and we will be probably moving the set into the choir loft (which is at the front) with the chairs removed. That will put him behind a 4 ft solid rail, but he can still see. I think I will recommend the muffle rings and a fleece bass drum beater. And tighten up those cymbals! None of that is too expensive, and it might be enough.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Unless God wants the drums in the church, I'd say the folks who left are more important than your backbeat.
     
  18. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    My OP asked for no debate, just practical advice.
     
  19. rbell

    rbell
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    Let's remember...the OP doesn't want a debate about drums in the church...he wants practical suggestions.
     
  20. rbell

    rbell
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    great minds think alike, Debby! Sorry..."she" wants practical suggestions...
     

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