Weekend Drummer: Introduction

The drummer showed up with this huge drum set and pretty much took up the whole stage.

The drummer was still setting up and we were supposed to go on in 15 minutes.

The drummer sped up all of the songs.

These are some of the complaints I have heard from other musicians when it comes to drummers at gigs or rehearsals. While, not everything said about drummers was bad I was able to take the complaints and create general categories of concerns. As I was looking over the general concerns I noticed that most of them were not related to the actual playing of the drummer. Even more interesting was that some of the playing (grooves, licks, fills, etc.) concerns could be avoided by doing things before the drummer even sits behind the kit at a gig or rehearsal.

Curious as to what the internet had to say, I searched for answers that would address the complaints that I heard about drummers. While I did find some answers to the complaints, in most instances I did not find anything that actually did addressed the complaints from other musicians (or I did not look well enough). I started thinking, “How is a drummer supposed to know about certain things if nobody addresses those things?” Wanting to answer that thought, what I hope to do is contribute more information that address the concerns that may pop up for drummers especially weekend drummers.

I will go into more depth later as to what a weekend drummer is but for now, a weekend drummer is a person who plays drums at private events, small public events, musicals, bars, clubs, and some churches.

The things I will cover include:

  • Which drums to buy.
  • Getting the right tempos for songs.
  • Learning songs,
  • Taxes (yes, you should file all of your gig money to the IRS)
  • The pros and cons of using a tablet
  • Using an electronic drum pad(s)
  • …and more

What I would like to accomplish:

  • Address many of the complaints and concerns I have heard from musicians.
  • My hope is that drummers will be more informed so that they increase their opportunity to get more gigs.
  • I want to see drummers be a more reliable person in the band if they are not reliable already.

Even if the information I present does not apply to you and your situation, like using an electronic drum pad, I do believe that the information may be worth sharing to other drummers you might have in your circle. So with that being said, lets define what a weekend drummer is and then get going on addressing the complaints.

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