How To Play Drums Like A Pro

Many of my students and blog visitors have asked me this question — How do I play drums like a pro? We have to first consider what makes a pro a pro. The simple definition of a pro is someone who gets paid to play drums. That is a good idea. Then you have semi-pro, etc. ,etc.

But that does not answer the question — what makes a pro a pro?

5 things to Play Drums Like A Pro

As you will see, this is a far bigger question of how to act like [and be] a professional drummer.

1. Show up on time

It is amazing to me that musicians — and especially drummers — don’t show up to the gig on time. If your job is to keep time, you should be able to show up on time. If you are an doctor or lawyer you are expected to show up on time to a business. Any business person knows this. To beHow To Play Drums Like A Pro a pro drummer — be on time.

2. Know the songs

If you expect to play like a pro you must know the material. It doesn’t really matter how great you may be at playing drum it you don’t know the material you will blow the gig. You gotta know the tempos of the songs, you gotta know the feel and the drum beats for each song. Without this …. you ain’t a pro.

3. Have your instrument ready

To play like a pro you have to have your equipment ready to go. It is very common for amateur musicians to be fiddling with their gear when it’s time to play. No excuses in this department. Your equipment issues must be resolved before you show up to the gig. To be a pro, act like a pro. Have you stuff together.

4. Play great time

What does this mean? Play great time. It means that if they put a metronome up to your playing, you playing would be right with the metronome. AND — it would feel a lot better than a metronome or drum machine.

There is one common factor with all great drummers in all styles of music. They play great time. Mention anyone from Neil Peart to Buddy Rich — the rhythm and tempo have to be working — and working great.
How To Play Like A Pro
5. Be ‘great’ to work with

This is all about attitude. Do not show up at the gig complaining. Do not bitch and moan about what ever problems you might be having. One characteristic of pros — and the great drummers I have met — [with few exceptions] — they are great to work with. The are great people to be around because they are encouraging or funny or — just a joy. To be a pro drummer, be great to work with. And the chances of getting more gigs is enhanced.

Hope this helps.

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