About Live gigs Drumming - Tips Please!

StiGy

Member
Hii!
I wanted to open a thread about drumming at gigs and tips for those who didn’t got the experience live yet. Share with us the things you do before every live gig or rehearsal! Thanks!

This is my humble tips:
https://youtu.be/5Zr3Wu6KlxU
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
Something that goes along with #3 on your list: Rehearse the show!

Rehearsing the songs is one thing. Put a show together and rehearse it. I like to have at least the first three songs go together with as little space between them as possible.

We would even rehearse when the singer was going to talk, like introducing the band.
 

StiGy

Member
Something that goes along with #3 on your list: Rehearse the show!

Rehearsing the songs is one thing. Put a show together and rehearse it. I like to have at least the first three songs go together with as little space between them as possible.

We would even rehearse when the singer was going to talk, like introducing the band.
Man this is a very good one, i can relate and agree with that..
Make sure you know how to perform as a band, as a team the audience feel that!!! It’s important to make a full show and not only perform the music as individuals..

Make room at the rehearsal time you have for that too! Make a style of performance for the show as a band!
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Be on time,
Know your material as best you can,
Have extra heads in case you break one.
Have a drum mat or rug
Have some moon gel or similar for small rooms or live boomy rooms
Look like your having fun playing and play for the song
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Rehearsing the songs is one thing. Put a show together and rehearse it. I like to have at least the first three songs go together with as little space between them as possible.

We would even rehearse when the singer was going to talk, like introducing the band.

Yup, to piggyback on this idea, practice your transitions between songs.

Also, when making a set list, try to vary tempos between songs (depends on the band genre of course).

Regarding set lists again, have the guitar players consider their capo usage when making the set list. For example, if guitarists use a capo, then a lot of them have to re-tune their guitar whenever taking them on and off. I would say try to put all of the "capo-ed" songs together on a set lists. I swear the guys I play with now tune every second or third song, and it drives me insane.

Not only be on time, show up early. I like to wait, not be waited on when it comes to setting up.

I like what you said about if you aren't confident with a certain fill or lick, just don't play it live. It's much better to be a solid player than a flashy player who misses.

Regarding monitor mix: Play as loud as you are going to play during the show during sound check. If you've never played a live show, sometimes it's easy to play lightly during a soundcheck then loud in a show with lots of people. If you do this, your monitor mix won't work. Play at the same volume during soundcheck, and make sure the guitarists and singers do the same.

Most of all, after all of this work, do you best to have fun.
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
Not only be on time, show up early. I like to wait, not be waited on when it comes to setting up.
Living in LA, traffic is always a wildcard. To avoid stress, I always leave early.

For me, the proper arrival time is getting there early, with enough time left over to change a tire.

It's nice to have the time to set up, do a check, and relax a little bit. Playing a show while stressed and exhausted has its own issues.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Living in LA, traffic is always a wildcard. To avoid stress, I always leave early.

For me, the proper arrival time is getting there early, with enough time left over to change a tire.

It's nice to have the time to set up, do a check, and relax a little bit. Playing a show while stressed and exhausted has its own issues.
I agree. I've worked with so many people who were "last minute," it drives me up the wall. I like to leave enough time to set up, stop sweating, change clothes, have a nice relaxed "Thank you" to the person who booked us, and sit around for about 20-30 before a show. It makes things soooo much easier.
 
I think a gear check list to go over before you leave is a good idea. Some people don't do this and just throw their stuff in their ride, show up to a gig only to realize they forgot something.

I also agree that showing up early is a must.

"To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable"
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
Don't ever consider how well your playing until the end of the gig.

Playing a gig for me is like driving a racing car. Always focus on what's coming up rather than what you've just done.

Don't get drunk or stoned beforehand 😉
 

jdhardrummer

Senior Member
Record your gig. Even if it's shitty phone recording. Video is even better. But there's no better way to assess your weak spots.

I'll usually listen to my gig on the drive home and make a list of top 3 things to adjust... either a weak spot in my playing (tempo, dynamics etc..), or more importantly, make adjustments in playing to fit the song (some fill that didn't work)
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
I wouldn't even drink coffee or soda before a gig, as I wouldn't want to mess with my heart rate.

One thing that I put together that was great for live gigs was a tool box full of stuff. I had extra lugs of various sizes, a few drum keys, a replacement 13-strand and 42-strand snare with the string/nylon. Extra bass pedal beaters, extra pedal springs, moon gel, hi-hat clutch, etc. All the little drum stuff.

I also had an extra set of guitar strings and bass strings, based on what the other guys were playing. Small pedal patch cables, long guitar cables, 9v batteries, guitar tuner, and various tools.

On occasion, the other guys would need something, and they'd actually pay me for it, and then I'd replace it again. I kept the tool box maintained, as if it were another piece of gear. Never left home without it.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I always take an extra bass drum pedal and an extra snare. I have had to use both a few times. Peace and goodwill.
 

Dj magic d

Senior Member
If you are playing in a bar/music venue setting,
these I have found to be good guidelines to live by:
1. Get there early. Introduce yourself to everyone first...sound engineer, bar manager, head bartender, etc. The more friends you make initially, the better your experience and performance will benefit. For some reason, lots of musicians forget this. Look at the big picture. Don't be afraid to take the initiative and be the leader/point of contact for your group. If you can drive the band on your drums, you can be professional and coordinate all the intangibles.
2. Bring extras/back ups(ie drumheads, pedals, etc). A drum rug is an absolute necessity no matter what. Also, print your band set lists....including an extra for the sound engineer. But also bring extra batteries, small repair tools, flashlight, gaffer's tape, etc, and anything else you can think of! You can never be too prepared.
3. Make an effort to bring an audience and promote your performance. You can't assume any event/bar/club will have a built in crowd. Make an effort..don't just "show up and play".
4. Rehearse your material, and put thought into making a setlist flow seamlessly if you are in a band setting. Nothing is more uncomfortable than having long periods in between songs....it will also make you seem amateurish, and nervous.
5. Rehearse some more! Make sure you know your parts and don't just wing it. Confidence comes with playing well. This will allow you to overcome and adapt to unexpected changes.
6. HAVE FUN! that is why we play drums
good luck
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I also had an extra set of guitar strings and bass strings, based on what the other guys were playing. Small pedal patch cables, long guitar cables, 9v batteries, guitar tuner, and various tools.

I have a friend at work who used to call this "The Guitar Player's Box of Shame" because those neanderthals would always forget something, and he would keep a box as well. Heck, I used to keep a capo on my cymbal stand because one of my previous idiotic guitar players would always forget.
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
I have a friend at work who used to call this "The Guitar Player's Box of Shame" because those neanderthals would always forget something, and he would keep a box as well. Heck, I used to keep a capo on my cymbal stand because one of my previous idiotic guitar players would always forget.
It did happen from time to time.

My ol' lady was/is my drum tech, and was involved in the purchasing of gear, as well as set-up and tear-down of my 6-piece Premier kit and rack mount.

She had a story for almost every gig, where she'd be backstage dealing with my gear, and somebody in another band would be having an emergency. She saved the day for dozens of bands by selling them cables, fixing bass drum pedals, fixing cymbal stands, and things like that.

I had a few people ask me about her going rate for a show.

It was shocking, yet not surprising, how many bands were ill-prepared for issues, ranging from things breaking to actually forgetting items.

She noted that the biggest gear issues with drums revolved around bass drum pedals and hi-hat stands. Spring problems, lost springs, and lost beater screws. With guitars, it was mainly 9v batteries for effects pedals. Next on the list was cable shortages.

I'd be busy promoting the band's next shows and selling CDs, so she got to see a lot more of those behind-the-scenes issues than I did. If you can imagine it happening, then it probably will.
 

w3r1_drums

Senior Member
Don't try any cool stick flips - even if you nail 'em every rehearsal before the show, they're gonna fail day of the show :p
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Don't eat spicey food before a gig, I did that recently and our set was...interesting (but could have been a lot more worse)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When using a shared kit, or using a house kit:

Bring your own cymbals = bring your own cymbal felts.
 

supermac

Senior Member
A few very basic non-drumming tips:

- Don't eat anything too heavy just before you go on...

- Take a leak just before you go on...

- Empty your pockets of mobile phones, wallets, coins, notes, keys etc - but keep a drum key to hand...

- Take along some sticking plasters in case your hands blister...

- Have a drink, maybe a towel and, of course, spare sticks to hand

And just one basic musical tip:

- Don't count the songs off too fast (which I'm sure many of us - I know I have - have been guilty of)
 

Big Stu

Member
A roll of gaffer tape.. 90% of all your disasters can be fixed with tape.. not pretty but if you have to fix something between songs it's fast!

The biggest piece of preparation though sits with the band as a whole. The number of rehearsals where I've asked;
Can we practice NOT tuning up between every song
Can we practice NOT extending a solo for an extra 20 bars just because Mt guitar had an epiphany
Can we practice NOT mumbling away not knowing what to say between songs
Can we practice actually moving around, looking at the audience, doing the show part rather than the playing part, rather than staring at your shoes all night.

Getting to the gig early means knowing what, where when and how your doing "it", as a band, a couple of weeks before hand. Getting there an hour early and then asking what next doesn't really cut it.
Actually enjoying yourself is a big part, but I can't enjoy myself if i'm in a constant state of WTF.
Maybe I'm just an control freak?
 
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