Tips for Drummers in These Trying Times

Photo Credit @eliskahsk

Here we all are, stuck in 2020 with zero idea of what’s to come, it’s been a pretty turbulent year right? Especially for those of us who thrive off of being creative and playing the drums. As a female, there was already an uphill climb for us to get into this industry. And with all the uncertainty and covid continuing to spread, I can imagine some if not all of you are feeling pretty deflated right now.

It’s important now more than ever to stay focused, but also to take some time for yourself if needed. Below are a few tips that I have found help me cope during these uncertain times.

  1. Take the pressure off.

Nobody is working in the industry right now, try not to feel the need to add pressure to yourself because you currently have a quiet patch. See it as a well deserved break to reset and assess what it is you might need to work on. 

  1. Do not compare yourself to others.

I know right? How challenging is this when we are surrounded by social media that allows people to show their best selves. Let them do that, congratulate them, but don’t compare yourself to them. It’s something I have done many times and ended up feeling pretty bummed that somebody else was doing more than me. I think it tags on to the first point, of adding extra pressure to yourself when it’s not needed. Play to your strengths, you will have something others do not have that will make you stand out to the people looking to hire you.

  1. Balance and Routine

Now, getting the balance of rest/practice/performing/day to day life/social life and all the in-between can at times feel impossible. I have the tendency to over book and then burn myself out. The key for me is to get the balance right. Routine is extremely important for mental health and well being, having a daily routine has really helped me set the building blocks in my head straight. Try it, and make sure you put something in daily that is just for you. Could be 30 minutes of reading, a run, yoga. What ever it is that gives you joy outside of drumming, I guarantee if you add that in to your schedule you are bound to enjoy drumming more when you come back to it. 

  1. Stay Ready

Lastly, if you have done all of the above you might find yourself in a position to get yourself ready for when the world re-opens. It is important to get yourself ready, so when opportunities come your way you absolutely slay. Practice, but practice how you want. Do what makes you feel productive and positive. I do not sit with a click track and practice rudiments, this does not give me joy and doesn’t make me feel confident. Lots would disagree with that, that’s because it works for them. Do what makes you become a better drummer and what works for you. Experiment with different drums and percussion if you can, try new things, it’ll open new doors for you. And finally, just enjoy it! Playing the drums is so much fun, make sure you are having it. 

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Words by UK based drummer Simone Odaranile

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