- Remember the old Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared?".
Well, you're not going to be freestylin' all alone in your garage,
you're going to be up there trying to impress some judges at
a drum off competition. So get out a piece of paper and start
planning. What will you play? What time signatures? How showy
will you be? What will set you apart from the rest? And so on.
- Count on having at least some chops, or you may not have a
chance. Remember, you're up against thousands of drummers that
want to win this drum off just as bad as you. Work some impressive
technique into your drumming.
- Think about how you'll flow from one idea to another. Don't
make your changes too abrupt. It's better if you can segway into
the different sections with some sort of musical continuity.
- Music, like life, is about ebb and flow. Make your solo "come
alive" by incorporating lots of dynamics.
- Like it or not, showmanship is part of the drum off competition
game. Find ways to add visuals or "extras" to your
drum performance. Showmanship will help win a drum off competition!
Real - Don't try to fake anyone out. Make sure your performance
is clean. The drum off judges know the difference. Play good
time and resolve your fills properly. Make sure your grooves
are solid and that you don't go into a fill that you can't come
out of without messing up.
- Give 'em something they've never heard. Or at the very least,
try to put your own stamp of originality on it. Be creative!
- Self confidence is great but don't be too cocky. Nobody
likes a punk. Judges may frown on this, even if you do have
8 of your friends in the audience cheering you on.
It - Videotape yourself so you can watch your drum performance
from the eyes of the audience and judges. This will help you
see what they see.
Practice! Practice! - You want to get your drum off piece
to where you can practically play it in your sleep. The more
you are on "automatic", the more you can concentrate
on the extras... and the more you can relax. Ideas for What
be afraid - Many drummers that win drum contests thought
they never could (kinda like winning a free T- shirt at Drum
Bum ;). But you don't know until you try. Even if you only win
locally, it is still a confidence booster and a great accomplishment.
- There's been a trend recently to incorporate other elements
into your drumoff performance. For exmple, using electonic samples
triggered by pads or standing on your head or yelling things
out loud while you're playing. While some of this might seem
silly, it can set you apart from the crowd. That said, never
let it detract from your primary drum performance.
YOU - Have you ever noticed how so many drummers sound
the same? Have you ever noticed how they set up the same way?
Nowadays, everyone's got a 4 piece set-up or a snare on the
left. If you want to stand out, try finding your own identity
as a drummer. This will also help you win a drum off competition.
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