What Does A Drummer Do?
A drummer is a musician who is an expert at playing the drum set. This is a percussion instrument typically composed of a bass drum, ride cymbal, crash cymbal, tom-toms and hi-hats. Drummers are integral to any band because they are responsible for the rhythm of the song. Thus, they play the role of “timekeeper” by generating the beat and timing of the song for other band members to follow. Without an excellent sense of timing, drummers are not going to make the rest of the members perform at their best. Worse, they may even ruin the song.
Keeping the tempo of the song is just one of the responsibilities of a drummer when they play for a band. They may also need to embellish the song during live performances. This means accentuating the rhythms played by the different instruments or the vocal prowess of the singer to make the song come to life. This requires more than expertise in playing the drums. It also entails speedy reflexes and presence of mind to be able to pull off these additional stunts without losing track of the rhythm that needs to be followed. Drummers who are known for their prowess are able to motivate the rest of the members of the band to perform their best.
Drummers who are members of a band may need to rehearse regularly to prepare for their shows and gigs. They may also need to travel to different locations to play. The very few bands that make it to superstar status often perform internationally in world tours. Outside of their live performances, they also record songs in the studio, sign autographs and meet with fans and appear in different television shows as guests. They also make music videos to promote their songs and work together in writing their own songs if they don’t have a songwriter to do it for them.
While drummers are best known for being members of a band, the truth of the matter is that there are only a few drummers who actually play for bands. The others do their work in other settings. There are session drummers whose work as session musicians. These kinds of drummers do most of their work in music studios providing the rhythm and tempo for songs that are being recorded by singers. They don’t usually do live performances.
Some drummers also use their knowledge of drums to teach other people how to play the instrument. Those who are into teaching fulltime work in music schools and conservatories of colleges and universities. They conduct regular classes and are also required to perform the other duties that teachers do. These include writing lesson plans, evaluating students, organizing recitals and helping the music department in other school activities. Some drummers who work as teachers may opt to provide private lessons to students in their homes. When they do so, they are typically paid by the hour. The more well known drummers can earn upwards of $40 an hour. Drummers may also combine performing and teaching at the same time.