Drummer Talk 273 – So you want to MD! Now what?

If you’re ready to jump into the next level as a music director, be sure to check out today’s episode!


Opening Detritus

  • What happened to September’s show?
  • Gigs, gigs, and more gigs!
    • Rock of Ages
      • Wigs, Fake Cigs, and Drummer Gloves

Biker Rocker Dave


Dave rocks the drummer gloves.


From Lance

Hey Dave, been listening off and on for awhile now and wanted to get your opinion on something. I’ve been wanting to get back into playing drums and hopefully start doing some side gigs down the road. However, I need to practice as I am sure I will be extremely rusty and I would of course want to improve my skills. My house will not accommodate an acoustic drumset in regards to either space or volume for practicing. I’ve been starting to look at electronic sets. All I would need is something to practice on, so I’m trying to keep it as inexpensive as possible. I saw a Simmons sd100 for $200 but didn’t like how you can’t really adjust the spacing of the pads. I also saw the sd300 which would be just about perfect at $300. Do you have any suggestions on an inexpensive electric kit (really hoping to keep it under $300) for purely practice? I may actually use it for some midi work but that’s not my primary purpose. Just want to get something that feels as close as possible to an acoustic kit. Thanks! Lance

From Maximillam:

Hey, Dave & Troy! Been listening to the podcast for the past year – but thanks to the Archives I’ve probably heard close to 200 episodes. Thanks to both of you for the incredibly valuable information as well as the entertainment. I have a legal question and can’t think of anyone better to ask than the two of you, and would super-appreciate any kind of clarification on the matter! When transcribing drum parts, are we dealing with any copyrights/licensing fees/etc? Am I allowed to completely transcribe the drum parts for a whole tune and share it with the world? How about if I were to sell the transcriptions? Again, thanks to the two of you for going strong with this podcast. I’m an absolute fan. /Maximiliam Andersson

From Lynn

Hey guys, been a while since I wrote you, but still been listening. Question, so I was asked to sit in and sub for a drummer for a cover band. They do 80s and 90s rock. I am familiar with most of the songs, but many of them I’ve never actually played on drums. No practice and I have a week to learn 60 songs. I may be able to meet with the guitar player for a little bit. So my question is do I chart out the songs? Or is that bad? If I do chart them do you have a way you would use for 5 hours worth of music with is about 60 songs? You can use this question for podcast, but if you have time could you try to respond ASAP, I’m nervous about this, but excited too. I normally just play at church lately so I’m looking forward to playing out again. They are paying me $150. Thanks guys keep up the great work! Lynn

Topic – So You’re Ready to MD. Now What?

  • Why be the Music Director?
    • Power trip?
    • Attention to detail and genuine joy from keeping all the plates spinning
    • You must have patience!
  • Running the show
    • Situational Awareness
    • Multithreading
    • Knowing what all the other musicians are doing and should be doing
    • Cues and count-offs
  • Booking the band
    • Networking
      • Knowing players you can trust
    • Know all the details before you reach out to other players
      • Money
      • Gig Time(s)
        • Including rehearsals
      • Venue and Rehearsal Location
      • Gear the players will need to bring
        • Music Stands
        • Stand lights
        • Odd instruments
    • Dealing with W9’s
    • Contracts
  • Venue Details
    • Sound Needs
    • Stage Needs and Stage Plotting
      • Power Needs
      • Make a diagram in Keynote or Powerpoint!
    • Indoor/Outdoor
    • Directions
    • Load-In/Load-Out
    • Green Room
  • Rehearsals
    • Scheduling
    • Running the rehearsals
      • Timekeeping
      • Call times vs. start time
      • Breaks
  • Charts
    • Gathering the charts
      • PDF/iPad
      • iReal Pro
    • Knowing the arrangements, yes even the chord changes
    • Are you needing custom arrangements?
  • More money?
    • Add’l Percentage
    • Flat fee

Music from this week’s Show

In closing…

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