10 tips for successful drum depping

How to cope with deputising a drummer

Your throne awaits... © Arthur Baensch/Corbis

One of the best ways to improve your drumming (playing and confidence) is to fill in for another drummer. It's never easy, though, so here's Rhythm Magazine's run-down on how to cope…

10 drum depping tips

1. Do volunteer

As mentioned previously, deputising for a fellow drummer really is one of the best ways to improve your playing range and increase your skills.

2. Seriously, do volunteer

Having to get it right first time is nerve-racking, but will do wonders for your confidence when you emerge triumphant.

3. Be prepared

Preparation is the key. If it's an originals band they will probably have their own CD which you must learn thoroughly.

4. Do your homework

If it's a show then go see it, tape it, copy Parts, get a CD.

Power ballads cd

5. Learn the playlist

If it's a covers band try and get a song list and do your best to track down any tunes that are unfamiliar.

Next page: change your tempo, accommodate, stick choice

6. Learn the encores, too, just in case

There are loads of cheap compilations out there stuffed with classics and current favourites in every style.

7. Be prepared to change the tempo

Every band that plays an old standard like 'Midnight Hour' or 'I feel Good' does it at their own tempo...

8. Be accommodating

...so there's never any point in arguing over tempos. Just smile accommodatingly, say, 'Sorry my fault ' and adjust your speed.

Follow the band

© Ant Strack/Corbis

9. Follow the band

Don't get carried away and play too fast. Try to suss the band's feel – who pushes the tempos and who's laid back.

10. Take a range of sticks

Always have a good range of sticks, brushes etc - you never know what noise level you will be playing at until you're into the first set.

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For the best monthly drumming tips, video lessons and reviews, check out Rhythm Magazine.

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