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“Is 2020 over yet?” Not until we get through the holidays! This season has given us something to look forward to all year, so here’s a whole grab bag of green-and-red fun to get you in the spirit (and give you something to watch and read while you wait for that Zoom call with your cousins to end).

Drumming on a holiday train

Josh Trager, drummer for the Sam Roberts Band, spent one Christmas season performing on a festive train traveling across Canada. Here’s an excerpt from our interview:

What was this gig all about?

It’s called the CP Holiday Train – which is sort of self explanatory – combined with a fundraiser and food drive for local food banks. We live on the train, travel across the country during the holiday season, and perform in one of the cars that has been converted into a stage. That stage opens up on one or both sides, depending on where the audience is. Once the train stopped at each venue, we’d play for a local audience, which would consist of families that often spanned 3 generations.

The drums are set up on day one, and bolted down on a revolving riser for the remainder of the tour. Several times a day, we would perform 20-35 minute sets consisting of holiday classics as well as our own music as we’d travel through some of Canada’s most beautiful towns.

What were the biggest challenges?

Aside from playing in freezing temperatures and doing it multiple times throughout the day, on occasion the train was stopped at a bit of an angle. This made it incredibly difficult to maintain balance. Needless to say, this definitely posed a problem during sections of songs where both feet would be playing busier parts. I compensated by literally trying to center myself as best I could.

What’s the most memorable thing that happened?

On the second leg of the tour, we traveled and performed through the Rocky Mountains. It was gorgeous, but the train they used was from 1916 and was most definitely haunted. There was an actual murder back in the ‘30s where…

Read the rest of the interview here!

Gifts for drummers

While it may be too late to pick something up in time for Christmas, the post-holiday sales are hot (especially on Drumeo-branded products…hint hint) and you might know a drummer who has a birthday coming up.

If you want to get inspired and browse through some cool drum products, here are a few to scratch that itch:

Image result for drumeo p4 practice pad"Drumeo P4 Practice Pad ($59)
The P4 practice pad is the only practice pad on the market with four different playing surfaces. Each surface provides unique feels and responses and are on three elevated levels to simulate actual drum set movement.
Evans Real Feel Practice Pad ($30)
This practice pad has a large playing surface that fits inside a standard snare basket. It has a natural gum feel on one side for realistic stick rebound and a harder recycled rubber surface on the other for a real workout.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x Headphones ($150)
The ATH-M50x features the same sonic signature, large-aperture drivers, and sound isolating earcups as the previous model, but now features a detachable cable. The M50x is a great fit for audio professionals at all levels.
Shure SE215 In-Ear Monitors ($99)
Featuring enhanced bass and detailed sound, the Shure SE215s include a single dynamic micro driver. With a detachable cable, formable wire, and many different-sized buds, the SE215s ensure comfort whether on stage or on the go.
Roland TD-1KV V-Drums ($499)
The TD-1K compact delivers V-Drums quality in a space-saving kit. Ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy playing drums at home, the TD-1K offers a wide selection of expressive drum kits for playing any musical style, plus additional on-board training software for building skill and monitoring progress. Because you listen through headphones, the neighbors won’t hear a peep!
Yamaha EAD10 ($499)
This module transforms your acoustic kit into an electric kit! Well, kind of. Amplify the drums with the combined mic/trigger, add preset effects and samples, and much more. Want to post drum covers? To make sharing easy, Yamaha even has a free app to easily sync video from your phone with audio from the EAD10.
Drumeo Drum Lessons
With live and recorded lessons from over 60 world-class instructors, you’ll get access to more than 1000 hours of on-demand recorded lessons and 100+ play-along songs with this award-winning educational community. Improve your skills and have more fun! Click here to get a gift card or click here for a 6-month ticket.
The Drummer’s Toolbox ($29.99)
This hardcover book is the ultimate guide to learning 101 drumming styles. With over 450 pages of easy-to-understand descriptions and simple groove breakdowns, it’s the most comprehensive introduction to dozens of styles for drummers of any skill level.
Reclaimed Cymbal Bottle Opener ($12-15)
Made from recycled cymbals, these bottle openers can be added to a keychain or necklace, or even fit inside your wallet. They look awesome and are great for breaking open a cold one!
DrumLite ($80-200+)
Make the drums stand out in a dark room with LED drum lighting. While you’ll get the best results with transparent drums, you can still make a wood kit a real attention-grabber.

For a much longer and more thorough list of drum gifts, check out this gift guide!

Drumeo Staff Christmas Performances

From 2013 to 2019, the entire Drumeo team – yep, that includes programmers, editors, accountants, and customer service reps – released an annual drum performance around Christmas. While not everyone who works at Drumeo is a drummer, everyone loves music and has been willing to participate in whatever way they know how!

To get in the holiday spirit (and see the team behind the scenes at Drumeo), watch all seven videos full of drum solos, beautiful mistakes, and very cheeky captions:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

4+ ways to stick to your resolution

You know what time it is. You’re starting to think about packing up the tree and decorations, and maybe planning a clean sweep in other parts of your life while you’re at it. If you need an excuse to set a resolution for 2021 – or give yourself a couple of drumming goals – here are some tips to make sure you meet them:

Set achievable goals

If you set impossible goals – or even reasonable goals on an impossible timeline – you’re unlikely to achieve them, which will only bring you frustration and make it less likely that you’ll follow through.

Set specific goals

Saying “I want to be a better drummer” is a good place to start, but it’s a big, broad target that gives you too much room and can be overwhelming. What are some components that will contribute to your improvement? How far can you break down your goal? What do you have to learn or improve on to get there?

Put it in your schedule

A great plan means nothing if you can’t make room in your schedule. No matter how badly you want to hit your targets, and no matter how rarely you make excuses, it may not be physically possible to put the work in if you haven’t set aside blocks of time in advance. And that’s exactly what needs to happen, whether it’s before you go to work or school, after rehearsal with the band, or when the kids are out with a relative. If you wait until you ‘feel like it’ or until you have a spare moment, you’re less likely to practice. Maybe ‘stop procrastinating’ is one of your resolutions.

Minimize distractions

When it comes to staying focused, it’s easier said than done. Everyone hopes they’ll maintain a steady track forward toward goal completion. The best way to focus is to eliminate as many distractions as possible and carefully control your environment when you’re practicing.

Click here to read the full article (what you just read is an excerpt) and to get a free downloadable practice timesheet!

Make plans, not goals

While you shouldn’t suddenly forget everything you just read about goals, Drumeo’s head honcho Jared Falk explains in this podcast episode why it’s even more important to make plans:

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