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For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been listening to this one drummer, every single time he’s played.  I am of course talking about my self!  You see, I’ve been the greatest fan and greatest critic to my own playing.

If my own playing doesn’t get me feeling the deep groove, then it surely won’t help anyone else find the pocket either!

You Need To Record

I remember receiving my first-ever boombox with a “record” button on it. I thought it was weird until one day I decided to record myself practicing (or as my dad called it “smashing the drums”).

Now, every time I sit at my kit, I try to capture the moment. I usually first ask the sound tech if they can record a simple FOH (Front of House) mix. If it’s not possible, then I usually just grab my iPhone and record it using the native Voice Memos app.

If you want to take this to a whole other level start recording your playing on video. You can benefit from not only listening to yourself but also looking at things you do while playing, facial expression, posture, etc… .

You Need To Analyze

If I the recording was done on my iPhone, I almost always listen to it on the first drive home. It’s still fresh in your mind and you can quickly see some spots where you were a little “off” or that other part where you nailed that quad fill! If it was recorded by the sound tech, grad a USB stick, get the files and sync to your mobile device asap!

Not only is this helpful for your regular playing but over time it will also be very interesting to see how far you’ve come as a drummer (or you may discover how little you’ve grown). Either way, use it as motivation to continue to improve and you will be a much better drummer. As it was often told to me, “drumming is 50% playing, and 100% listening!”

Example of FOH Audio Recording

To give you a better of what I’m talking about, below is a mashup of songs that we did at a youth convention a few years ago. The sound tech had a Yamaha digital board so I gave him a USB stick and he recorded our full-length worship sets. I’ve shortened them to give you a general idea. You’ll also notice that some stuff sounds good and I was tight, and other spots where i had tempo issues, or maybe missed a beat. Enjoy at my expense 😉

Have Questions? Thoughts? Hit my up in the comments.  

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Tim says:

    I bought a Tascam DR-40 for this – I stick it near the drums and record myself using the built-in mics. Then I can run a line from our sound system into the second set of inputs and record that too. This way when I listen back I can turn myself up and down relative to the group to hear both myself clearly and how I fit the groove of the group.

    You could do similar with a stereo recorder (instead of 4 channel) by recording drums to one channel and FOH to the other, if your sound guys can do that for you or if you can set up a couple mics at rehearsal.

  • Clark says:

    Thanks for the tip. I just put a recording app on my iPad and will be taking it to practice with me tomorrow. By the way, great blog!


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