3 Tips Before a Show
These are just going to be three simple things you can do before a performance that will make you more prepared and essentially play better.
The first is just take a little time to warm up. Bring a pad to the gig so you can play some paradiddles or singles for five or ten minutes before you go on. This way, your muscles are warm and relaxed at the beginning of your set and not halfway through the set.
The second would be to get your kit set up before you go on. Find some extra space in the room or ask the person running the show where you can set up. The key here is to get it set up exactly how you want it, all those cymbals in the right spot, snare and toms at the right height and so on. This way when it is your turn to go on all you have to do is move the pieces instead of both setting the kit up and figuring out heights and measurments. This also makes for less dead time between bands. I know I lose interest fast if there is too much dead time between bands or songs for that matter. This tip can also be applied to guitars, reeds, whatever. Tune your guitar/bass/sax/trumpet/whatever and get your amp settings where you want them, turn it on, play it, get the sound you want and set it up so all you have to do when it is your turn to go up is move your amp/instrument plug in and play.
Last make sure you have everything you need to play the gig/show. This includes the right sticks, tambourines, shakers, cymbals and anything you will need during your performance. Don’t get caught up asking someone if you can borrow sticks in the middle of your set because you forgot to bring enough. If you break a lot of sticks and don’t think you will have enough ask the other drummers if you can borrow one or two, most won’t mind as long as you don’t completely demolish their only pair of sticks. Also, if you have time this lets you go get more at a close by music shop or from home as well.
Basically the end message is just be as prepared as you can be. Don’t let the hold on the music be your fault! Essentially everyone there wants to hear music and you will lose their interest with the more dead time in your set, between bands, etc….
Here is an example of how Thunder Brother approaches most performances. We like to keep the dead space to a minimum.