WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS?

I’d like to begin this article by thanking those who have offered feedback on previous drum tips. You know who you are. Thanks a Lot!

Several years ago I had an epiphany (short for “an episode of instantaneous, profound realization”). One of my musician friends asked me, “Who would you rather impress? Other drummers or the guys you play in a band with?” This question really made me think about something I now see as very important. Who WOULD I rather have think of me as a good drummer?

HEAD SELECTION

I know it seems like I’m obsessed with good drum tone. That’s because I am! This month’s tips are also about how select the proper drum heads to sound your best.

Drums are unique in that they are very sensitive to drum head selection. All manufacturers basically make their own versions of the heads other manufacturers make. Kind of like all car companies pretty much make cars, trucks, station wagons, and vans. That’s because these are tried and true models that each serve a specific purpose. Same with drum heads.

PERFORMANCE PERCEPTION

Recently, a few of my peers have talked with me about having had a bad drum performance. These guys were devastated and desperate to be sure that they would never have such a bad gig ever again. I know that feeling all too well so this month’s tips will address this issue that affects us all at one time or another.

IMPROVING YOUR TIME

Have you ever been at a rehearsal or gig and had the other guys (or girls) in the band complain about your time? If you said, “yes.” you’re not alone. This is an issue that comes up over and over again. This month’s tips will address this and hopefully offer some possible solutions.

In pop music (anything you might hear on the radio), a drummer’s role is quite simple: play beats and mark changes. The changes I refer to are, for example, the transition from the verse to the chorus of a song. Seems simple enough. Then why do most of us have trouble filling this simple role from time to time? I think it’s because although the job description is quite simple, doing the job really well is quite difficult.

SAVING MONEY ON MAINTENANCE COSTS

Occasionally, you will experience drum hardware malfunctions. Many times, especially with bass drum pedals and hi-hat stands, this is due to something being out of adjustment or simply misassembled. When it’s clear that something is just broken, sometimes you can easily ( and inexpensively) fix it yourself, thus saving money on maintenance costs.

Stripped threads on wing nuts, bolts, or other threaded surfaces can often be repaired by simply replacing the damaged part that you can probably find easily at your local hardware store (mom and pop places of course). In the case of stripped threads in larger objects (tom mounts, cymbal stands, tom holders, etc.), it can be a little harder to deal with.