Thereís a lot of prepare for any drum gig and thereís a lot of little important things that drummers overlook when playing. Here are some tips to help you on your drum gigging journey.
1. If you can, try to take extra equipment in case some break or fail during transit or during play. Take two snare drums, extra snare wires, an extra bass drum pedal, and some extra drum heads including bass drum head
2. Donít forget your drum key. In fact, bring multiple ones because they always seem to grow legs and run off. Also, bring a small toolkit for drum repairs.
3. Keep your stick bag filled with your favorite sticks and brushes. The last thing you want to do is run out and end up playing with sticks youíre not comfortable with.
4. Be on time and plan ahead
so you donít have to rush in order to set everything up.
5. Make sure the monitors are working and that you can hear the other band members. Do this before the gig starts.
6. Donít let other band members count off the songs.
7. Remember that you control the tempo. Donít fight for it with other band members during songs.
8. Itís okay to be nervous. Just donít let it affect your playing.
9. Always pack your own drums and equipment. Other will usually shove things carelessly into bags and cases.
10. Never loan your equipment to other bands.
11. Make sure your drums are tuned properly and check periodically that they are still in tune.
12. Donít be so self-conscious about mistakes. Just let the gig flow. Relax.
13. Always bring a drum carpet of some sort to gigs. A sliding bass drum is never fun to deal with.
14. Donít set up your throne too close to the edge of the drum riser.
15. Never leave your drums or equipment out in the open and unattended, especially small items that are easy to steal.
16. Donít drink or do drugs before or during a gig.
17. Check over your drum set and check for loose lugs and screws. Tighten as necessary.
18. Donít let the sound people boss you around. Remember that they work for you and itís their job to get a good sound out of your drums.
19. Put a towel over your drum throne to prevent slippage and to soak up sweat from your behind. You can also use it to dry off your arms, hands, and face between songs.
20. Donít throw things like sticks into the crowd. Someone can get seriously injured and itís not cheap to give away your gear.
21. Donít rely too much on other drum members for equipment and rides. They have their selves to worry about.
22. Know your audience. A lot of times, the crowd wonít understand the difficulty level of your playing. Play to what they want and would be entertained by. This might mean keeping things simple at times.
23. When carrying equipment, bend at the knees, not at the back.
24. Invest in drum cases if you have not already done so. Something with wheels is optimal.
25. Set up your drum set for comfort and playability, not for looks on stage.
26. Listen to recording to see how you can improve after each show or gig.
27. Never fully trust a manager or agent. Figure things out for yourself and whatís in your best interest.
28. When recording demos, record 1 or 2 of your best songs. Donít waste your money with excessive amounts of mediocre songs.
29. Always read the fine print of contracts for gigs and deals. There are a lot of people out there who want to take advantage of you.
30. Be considerate of your band members and staff.
31. Get your equipment insured and make sure you label everything and write down the serial numbers.
32. Donít let yourself be taken advantage of. Be nice but at the same time demanding. Always charge for your services and youíll get more respect.
33. Pay attention to what the other band members are doing and playing. Respect their ideas and styles.
34. Donít play out of turn in practices and rehearsals.
35. Even when on tour, make sure your drumming skills are top notch. Practice with a metronome and be able to read music. Make sure you stretch warm up before the show properly.
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