251. Write the date on your drumheads
when you change them out on your drumset. This makes it
easier to track when you last changed them.
252. Remember that although drum
tabs can be helpful, they are not a substitute for learning
to read. Please take the time to learn to read music. You will
be grateful you did!
253. Slow down that song so you
can hear the drum parts. They make tape recorders and other
audio gear that has "pitch control". It's a wise investment
for those that do a lot of transcribing.
254. Combine rudiments for some
interesting combinations of rhythm. It's a great way to come
up with new ideas for drum parts. Apply them across the drums
using different pitched percussion.
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255. Mark the bottom of your favorite
pair of drumsticks with an X. This way you can quickly see
them among all the others when you're looking down at your stick
256. Most drummers don't tune the bottom
of their snare drum tight enough. This is where you get
your snare response.
257. Don't just play, but climb inside
the groove! "Feel" the music and become one with
it. This may sound a bit weird to some but try it and you'll
experience a whole new depth to music that you've never known
258. Use a brillo pad or fine steel
wool to clean your cymbal stands. It will take the rust
out as well as blemishes that often show up in chrome.
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259. Are you getting the most of your drum
lessons? I've known some drummers that have taken drum lessons
with the same drum teacher for over 10 years. It leaves me wondering
if they're really benefiting from those lessons the way they
should be. Evaluate your progress now and then and be sure you're
getting your moneys worth. Take lessons with other teachers
now and then so you can compare teaching styles and progress.
300. Keep a permanant marker with your
drums. You can help write set lists, write small notes on
your drumheads when necessary or initial drum accessories.
301. Drum Cleaning: Use a can of compressed
air to help clean out dust between lugs and places on your drumset
that are hard to reach with a cleaning rag.
302. Be sure you're just as good at sight
reading as you are improvising and visa versa.
303. Protect your bass drum pedal. It has
delicate parts that can break easily if it's packed in with
the other drum hardware. Consider buying a special drum pedal
case for it or wrap it in a towel before putting it in your
304. Do you have a new piece of music to learn?
Practice it enough times that it is literally mistake-free!
305. Practice diplomacy at band practice. When
working on tunes, disagreements on how to approach the song
can often arise. This is the time to be EXTRA careful with what
you say and how you say it. Don't force your opinion on others
but rather make suggestions and be sure to consider their suggestions
as well. Know that you will not always get your way and be OK
with that. Being a "team player" is more important
than always getting your way.
306. Make use of the many "music without
drums" CDs and DVDs on the market. These are invaluable
tools for drummers. They allow you to experience playing the
song with a full band featuring "you" as the drummer.
307. The next time you hear a hot guitar lick
or impressive piano fill, try to emulate it on the drums.
You'll be surprised at how this can inspire new drum fills.
308. Take all your drum fills and clean them
up. If they are not being executed flawlessly, slow them
down and practice them precisely until they have that same cleanliness
when they're sped up.
309. You can control your performance by watching
what foods you eat before the gig. Read up on it and experiment
a little. You'll notice that some foods will make you sluggish
and tired while others will give you lots of energy.
310. If you aren't hearing your fellow musicians
occasionally say "Man, that felt great!", you've got
some more work to do. Get back in the practice room and learn
how to groove!
311. Are you buying a new drumkit? Get
purchasing tips by clicking on the link.
312. When playing a snare exercise that
repeats with the opposite hand, force yourself to repeat it
with the same hand. This helps with stick control.
313. When practicing a specific drum rudiment,
start extremely slow and build it up gradually. Control it so
that you can barely tell it's speeding up.
314. Put on a click and make yourself play
just slightly ahead of it, keeping the beat steady. Then do
this with playing just slightly behind the beat. This helps
you control where you want to put the groove at all times.
315. Set your drums up unconventionally with
tom angles different than what you're used to, cymbals in different
places, different throne height, etc. Practice normally with
these different types of set-ups. This will help you adapt when
you have to play someone else's drums.
316. There are hundreds of drum
lessons videos out there on the internet these
days and they can be an invaluable tool for helping you to learn
how to play the drums.
316. Tired of the same old drum forums on the
internet? DrumChat.com offers a live chat feature where
you can talk to other drummers in real time. DrumChat is also
known for their friendly vibe and a zero tolerance for flaming
or bad behavior. With over 12,000 members and almost half a
million posts, DrumChat is one of the most popular drum forums
on the net.
317. Needless to say, you should concentrate when you play but think about the audience too. They'd enjoy the show more if you made eye contact with them once in awhile or smiled at them. Your job isn't just to play the drums but to keep your fans coming back to see you. The more they engage with you, the better.
318. An old trick of the trade is to get inspired before you go out on stage. About an hour or more before the gig, start listening to music that inspires you, particularly music that has certain drum beats or fills that you like. You will be amazed at how much better you play when you do this.
319. Be a part of your band's creative process. During rehearsals, many drummers just do what they're told. They might think they're not as much of integral part of the band because their instrument is not as melodic but that's anything but the truth. Your creative input is just as valuable.
320. Know how someone plays first before letting them sit in on your drums. If they play extremely hard, it's not recommended that you let them sit in. Some extremely hard-hitting drummers could actually dent your heads and/or break your cymbals
321. Don't let dust build up on your drums. Take pride in your investment and keep them clean. If you go over them with a slightly damp rag on a regular basis, they're a lot easier to keep clean overall and they'll look better on stage.
322. When the band plays a tune where you leave the stage or just don't play, turn the snares on your snare drum off. Otherwise, the guitar or piano amps could make them buzz and it could ruin the song. It's a good idea to also turn them off when the band takes breaks.
323. Practice what you don't know. For example, if you play a fill but can't resolve it, don't give up. Figure out how to resolve it by slowing it down and working it out. Force yourself to play what's uncomfortable. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by using this method.
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