Rhythm's Top Ten Tips: Depping

You may well be fully rehearsed for the next big gig with your regular band, but what if you get asked to fill in (or 'dep') for another drummer. Here's our run-down on how to cope...

1. Deputising for a fellow drummer is one of the best ways to improve your playing range and increase your skills.

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

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

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

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

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

7. But remember - every band that plays an old standard like ‘Midnight Hour´ or ‘I feel Good´ does it at their own tempo...

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

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

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.