Drum Set Education Resources
#6 "You Have To Be Able To Hang"
"You have to be able to hang" implies you that you will be rewarded with gigs and opportunities because people liked you for sidling up to them and seeming blindly copasetic to their fashions. Conversely it implicates guilt to someone who may have chosen to not hang for possibly very good reasons. While it is common sense to say you have to be able to get along with others, there is a galaxy of difference in compromising your values to secure pittances of favor. It is also a valid point that those "others" - if they are abiding by the same foolish concept, ought to be aiming to be worthy of being...er, hung with?
Some have made a case that to partake of a doobie or drink before, during or after a gig shows attention to "team". Have you ever had other musicians make note that because you don't blow half your gig earnings on liquor that you are being anti-social? Was I wrong when I constantly turned down a snort of coke in the past by associates of bands in which I played? Was I not hanging right? And if there is nobody to hang with at a given musical situation is there a service I can call to supply myself with pre-approved hang-worthies? How about such a service named 'Hang Ten', 'I Got Your Hang Right Here' or best of all - 'Monkeytown'? I like the latter. Monkeys are funny because they eat the bugs in my hair.
I could suffer "you have to be able to hang" if I could append "...provided you're not lazy". I'd understand if the phrase was "You have to hang smart". "You have to hang tough" sounds encouraging. So when Buddy Rich was throwing band members off busses for missing a note and threatening them harm - was that the "hang"? Was he procuring his future networking? "Yeah but..." Yeah, but no he was a dick.
The idea of "the hang" being a priority matter over substance has a low-brow social appeal because quite frankly, so many need social roles in order to function in a group. Some need to be led and will gravitate toward the alpha figure. Others need to dominate and assign roles or else they are not comfortable. And then there are those who are reliable, skilled and cooperative and do not need to be micro-managed nor do they need to hang to ingratiate themselves to others. The latter irks both of the former greatly. It has and always will be this way. Whether it's a band, an office group, a knitting circle or a random gathering at a party.
I observe that the people preoccupied with "hanging" as the main feature of the music experience are typically late to engagements, unprepared, indifferent and unaccountable. Usually because of weed. Reality presents quite the list of exceptions about whom you ought not be hanging. The truth is when you know who you are not, you will know with whom you wish not to "hang". I believe that is called having character. It is also not uncommon for people with character or standards to suffer he indignation of the Hangers.
"You have to be able to hang" is a trendy euphemism meaning obedience trumps common sense, good standards or a work ethic. That is not how you make a good living nor is it a shortcut to success. Many drummer podcasts seem to tout "you have to be able to hang" as if most do not know better but I think people do. As if this is the reason why people don't get better gigs - as opposed to understanding that it is still just luck of the draw of the meeting of preparation and opportunity. Is this why almost all of the big-name, experienced musicians interviewed so frequently exhort people to be themselves?
Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? I'm open to read your thoughts!