The Gigging Drummer Survival Guide is an interesting little guide that talks about what you should do if you were thrown into a gigging situation. If you have never been on stage before, or if you have always had the disadvantage of your size or lack of skills in playing a musical instrument, this can be a life saver. If you have been performing for a while, you probably know that there are certain tricks or techniques that are important to not overlook. If you do not pay attention, then the outcome can be less than ideal, as explained in the guide.
First off, you will want to make sure that the drummer in front of you is not using headphones. Many musicians like to use headphones because they give you more mobility. However, the constant muffling can cause you to loose the ability to hear what your drums are playing, hence causing you to lose the groove and tempo. Mute your mixer and stomp pads.
Next, you need to set the drum set up properly. This means that the height of the stand is correct and that the drumsticks are level with each other. Check the height and level of your drum pedals by standing them on each leg. If they are too high, they will be in the way, and if they are too low, your feet will scrape the floor. This is a bad sound and can be distracting, especially when you are trying to play exciting music.
When you have your drum set up right, the next step is to start tuning your drums. Most drummers will set the drums to play at G-ombs per minute. This is the standard used by most professional drummers. However, in your home setting, you may find it easier to set the drums to play at whatever tempo you set your metronome to.
After setting the metronome, you are ready to begin the process of drumming. The first beat you play should have a good tempo. This will be the beginning of the song, which sets the tone for the rest of the songs. While you are playing in the drum circle, it is a good idea to practice soloing on one beat. You can do this as many times as you want until you are ready to play an entire song without thinking about it.
Once you have finished soloing on one beat, move on to the second beat. Repeat the process, moving from the left to the right side of the drum kit. If you were working with a four-piece band, you would continue in the center of the drum kit. Moving from the center to the left side will help you get used to the rhythm and the beat of the band better.
The next beat you play should have a steady rhythm. The drum circle or band should be playing along at the same speed. You may need to experiment with this, but try not to vary from the rhythm that you have established. Your rhythm is what is going to set the tone for the rest of the song. If you are changing up the rhythm, it will cause the song to sound out of place.
You may have to repeat the process a few times to get the feel for the drum kit. There are many songs that cannot be played properly with only one drum kit. Some songs require two drums so you will need to establish a rhythm for each one. If you don’t feel confident in putting a beat on the chart, you can use a metronome for the chart. This way, when you are ready to play, you will be able to read the drum charts since they have been written for a drum kit with a beat.