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Consistency! (Drum Tip)

June 14, 2013

2013-6-142Today, the focus is on drums. One of the main things that can separate a good drummer from a bad drummer is consistency. It is so important for a drummers to play consistently so the the entire band can lock on into a groove.

What do I mean? There are three areas to focus on:

#1 – Dynamics/Volume

It’s so crucial to control your dynamics. You will need to the drums hit consistently. You can’t have one random snare hit be a million decibels louder/softer than all the others. Hit every drum consistently with the same volume. Don’t confused this with the dynamics of an entire song. There may be a breakdown where you need to play EVERYTHING softer, but it’s all proportionate to the song. Have a good balance of the kit. It will make your recording and/or concert better.

#2 – Tone

It’s important to keep your tone consistent by hitting the drum heads in the same spot each time. Don’t just hit the snare drum in random spots. Focus on where you are hitting the drum head and keep it there. Is it the center? Off to the side? Whatever it is, just keep it consistent.

#3 – Groove/Rhythm

While it goes without saying that a good drummer has consistent rhythm (if you don’t, start practicing with a click). However, even if you play everything perfectly in time, you better make those beats consistent. If you are playing the verse of “Song A,” make a conscious decision to play a certain beat that works during the verse. Don’t just play whatever you feel like playing that day, make a decision and stick with it. If you change your mind later, that’s fine. But the goal is decide the “correct” beat for each verse/chorus/etc and play the certain beat at that certain time EVERY performance. It’s a little more loose when it comes to fills, but you should be doing them in the same spots each night.

If you practice consistency, you will play with consistency. So get started playing more consistently!

New York based producer/engineer Chris Zane once said regarding drums:

The important thing here, I think, is for the drummer to hit CONSISTENT. Even hits on the snare; really focus on where you’re hitting the drum each time, etc.

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