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11 Things That Scare Drummers

Jared Falk  /  UPDATED Aug 22, 2022

If there’s one thing that unites most drummers, it’s that we share a common set of fears and struggles, especially when they’re out of our control. From stage fright to smashed knuckles, you definitely need to watch this video – it’s extremely relatable.

1. Stage fright

If you get nervous or worry about playing in front of other people, one way to stave off the stage fright is to always overprepare. Know your parts, and also know your bandmates’ parts (not how they’re playing it, but what they’re doing). Rehearse the form in your head. Practice the parts you struggle with on a loop to burn it into your muscle memory.

2. Losing a limb

Some drummers stay away from risky activities (like snowboarding or skiing) because they’re afraid of an injury keeping them off the drum kit. If this really scares you, stick to safer activities.

3. Sharing your kit

Letting another drummer play your drums means they could break your cymbals or dent your drumheads. If anyone’s going to damage your stuff, it should be you…right?

4. Bass drum creep

We all dread having the bass drum slide away from you during a gig or a recording. If you gig regularly, keep a carpet in the back of your vehicle in case there isn’t one at the venue. If you don’t have one, make sure the spikes on your bass drum legs dig into the carpet, or use the rubber feet if you’re on hardwood flooring.

5. Overexcited tambourine player

It’s not fun to get drowned out by a fellow percussionist. But they may not have the social awareness to know that they’re being too loud. Next time, tape a couple of the jingles before you go on stage.

6. Blanking at a gig

It happens to most drummers, including some of the best in the world. If this worries you, prepare notes and put them beside the hi-hat stand. You can even write out the groove in shorthand notation so you remember what song is coming up.

7. Guitarists critiquing you

Guitarists are often wrong. Ignore them.

8. Hitting yourself

Imagine crushing your finger on a rimshot at the most important part of a song. This can happen if your snare is too high and you’re crossing your hands. Keep a close eye on both your snare and throne height and make sure everything is positioned properly before you start playing.

9. Dropping a stick

Set a few sticks on your left and right sides so you can easily grab one if you drop a stick.

10. Singers who don’t know what they want

Ever had a vocalist tell you to make it sound “more beachy” or “play something like the color red” (or whatever terminology is in their head)? Just ask them to send the drum parts they want.

11. Drum throne breaking

Never underestimate the importance of a drum throne. You don’t want to be throwing your weight around while you play and have the post come up through the middle…well, if you watched the video, you hopefully know by now that a little blood never hurt anyone. Right?

Happy Halloween! And thanks to Larissa Boland for the gruesome makeup.

Jared Falk is a lifelong drummer, drum teacher, and the co-founder of Drumeo. For over 18 years, Jared has been a leader in the online music education industry, publishing his first online video lessons in 2003 and founding Musora in 2005.

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