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Tips on Winning a Drum Off
Entering a Drum Off Competition? Check out these tips first.


1. Preparedness - 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.

2. Technicality - 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.

3. Continuity - 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.

4. Dynamics - Music, like life, is about ebb and flow. Make your solo "come alive" by incorporating lots of dynamics.

5. Showmanship - 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!

6. Get 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.

Drummer Dvds

7. Originality - Give 'em something they've never heard. Or at the very least, try to put your own stamp of originality on it. Be creative!

8. Attitude - 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.

9. Video 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.

10. Practice! 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 to Practice

11. Don't 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.

12. Diversification - 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.

13. Be 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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Drum Tips that "you" submitted. -Thank you!

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Lessons and Tips on preparting for a drum off competition.