By: Evan Smith
Hey Guys! My name is Evan, I’m a drummer from Galway, Ireland. I play in 2 bands; a deathcore band called Peasant to a King, and a progressive metal band called Avirtue. Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I remember, specifically metal. However, I didn’t pick up the sticks until I was 16, and since I did, I haven’t put them down! I’ve been blessed with the opportunities that have come my way. In my first year of playing drums, I joined an indie band called Ignition from my local town. I was lucky enough to get to play local gigs and festivals with Ignition which gave me insight into how the music world works. Funny story about Ignition, I ended up getting kicked out for playing “too heavy”. It was at this point I decided to move my drumming into the metal world. Beginning my journey as a metal drummer was no easy feat, especially as I had only been playing drums for a few months. I found the speed and technical fills particularly challenging. I found myself falling into slumps over my drumming, not having the motivation to play or learn the songs that would challenge me to progress. This brings me to why I am writing this blog. I want to help you through these slumps and get you back on track with your drumming with the ultimate goal of having fun behind the kit while you progress.
Tip #1 DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP!
Drumming isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, you will make mistakes and you will struggle at times, but don’t give up. If you let these things get to you, you’ll end up resenting the drums and will struggle to enjoy the process. At times, it can be better to put the sticks down and take a break than to push yourself to keep playing. I’ve found that sometimes when I take a break and come back, the part I struggled with starts to make more sense.
Tip #2 Don't be afraid to slow it down
Drums… Speed… BLAST BEATS!!! No… Everyone wants to play fast and blast through their snare head like Joey Jordison, but it takes time. I’m guilty of boxing above my weight, trying to learn songs out of my speed range, and failing miserably. As a young drummer, I was ashamed of myself if I slowed down a track. However, I now realise that the ability to slow down a song to 88% or even 75% is my best friend. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to slow down a track and learn it over time. Get comfortable at a slower speed first, and then build yourself up to full speed!
Tip #3 Get creative!
My last tip is to get you back having fun behind the kit. Challenge yourself and get creative. Find a simple 4/4 groove and go nuts! See what you can turn it into. I’ve found this tip to be incredibly helpful when it comes to writing original music for my bands. If you’re struggling to find your signature sound, it may be worth your while to explore your creativity. Don’t rush this process and be patient.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to email or DM me. Remember, drums are fun, practice hard, find your sound and enjoy the process!
Evan is an Endorsed Cruise Artist with Collision Drumsticks, based in Galway, Ireland. He has played drums since the age of 16, and has been playing with his band Peasant to a King since Summer 2018. The band released their debut EP “Senatus” in 2018 for worldwide sale. You can find their music on all streaming platforms, as well as physical copies for sale on their Bandcamp page. Evan also plays in the progressive metal band Avirtue. To learn more from Evan himself, here’s how you can get in touch: Evan Smith Artist Profile | YouTube | Instagram l Facebook