July 10, 2018

drumming with Jimmy and The Wolfpack, in Brooklyn


jawp-22.jpg

I think this was taken at a bar that got displaced by the Atlantic Center, called Freddy's. If I remember this show correctly, the crowd was small, then we started playing the Pogues' "Fiesta" (a "practice-only" number for us, up to that point), and the room filled with Irishmen, many of them named Manning.

I thought I would write down a few tips for beginning drummers, in case anybody wanted to know how I got so good. Here they are.

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DAVID RHODEN'S TOP TEN TIPS FOR NEW DRUMMERS

1. If you don't know how to play drums, get behind the kit and start dancing. Tap your feet, and wave your arms in time to the music. Don't think about it. Don't even listen to yourself, listen to the band and let your limbs react.

2. If at first you can only hit all the drums at once, that's OK. Keep the beat. Explode into space.

3. Don't do any fills. That's for fancy lads and lasses. Be a machine. Replace a machine. Hypnotize yourself.

4. Keep the cymbals down low, not up high. "Up high" is how Guitar Center does it.

5. Figure out how high you want your hi-hats, if you have them, then cut off the "axle" to that height. The idea is you want your drum gear to fit sideways through a door. Also doesn't get all bent up in your trunk. And it looks good. And doesn't poke you or anybody else in the eye.

6. You don't have to have hi-hats. I have hi-hats but I don't hit them with a stick, I just use the pedal. (On the other hand, some drumming that I like is mostly hi-hats.)

7. You don't need to lift your arms very much.

8. Don't forget your snare stand if you bring it to the gig. Put a big label on it.

9. Don't kid yourself that brushes are easy.

10. You need something heavy or otherwise immobile (like nails or screws) to put in front of your kick drum. Consider this when booking your gigs.

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The photo is by Amber Sexton. http://ambersexton.com

David Rhoden | drumming with Jimmy and The Wolfpack, in Brooklyn