The Drumming System (affiliate link) has an entire section dedicated to dealing with drum sound checks. Whether you are performing with your band for the first or 500th time, you’ll have to do a this before you perform. The sound person will meet you hours before your performance to make sure everything sounds good for you, your band members, and the audience.
Here are some tips:
- This can take a while and requires patience. In fact, it’s tedious and boring.
- Once the sound person arrives, you want to become his or her friend. It’s important to break the ice.
Sometimes they can be incredibly cool. Sometimes they can be incredibly cruel.
- Remember that this person is in control of how you sound.
- When your asked to hit a drum, play slow quarter notes until you are told to stop. Don’t show off your chops. Sound checking one drum can take up to 45 minutes. Most good sound people can get a good sound in less than 5 minutes.
- Hit the drums as hard as you will in the show.
- After finishing one drum, you will be asked to do the same on the next drum.
- If there is a problem with the sound of a drum, be prepared to tune it and/or muffle it. Therefore it’s important to have a drum key and muffling on you.
- Play as many sounds as possible with your hi hat.
- When asked to play the whole kit, play the whole kit! Many drummers play the snare bass and hi hat. Also, keep it simple.
- When your sound check is done, you might not be needed for a while.
This is a good time to warm up on a drum pad.
- After the other band members get sound checked, you will have to play as entire band. This is the time to make sure sound levels are good and you can hear everyone. If you need something, ask for it.
- In most cases, sound check won’t take that long, but sometimes it will. Again, be patient.