Oh, The Venues You'll Play! Clubs To ArenasFeb 23, 2023
As a drummer, performing in different venues can be both exciting and challenging. Each venue presents its own unique set of circumstances that can impact your performance, from the size of the stage to the acoustics of the room. In this article, we will explore what it's like to perform as a drummer in a variety of different venues, including small clubs, local venues, and larger theatres and arenas.
Jack performing at Crown Theatre, Perth with Bjorn Again
Small clubs are an important part of the music scene, providing a platform for up-and-coming bands and established acts alike. As a drummer, performing in a small club can be both intimate and intense. The close proximity to the audience can create a sense of energy and excitement that is hard to replicate in larger venues.
When playing in a small club, drummers should be prepared for limited space and resources. The stage may be small, and the sound system may be basic. In some cases, you may be sharing the stage with other musicians or equipment, so it's important to be adaptable and flexible.
One of the challenges of playing in a small club is controlling the volume of your drum set. With limited space and no soundproofing, it's easy for the drums to overpower the rest of the band and the audience. To combat this, drummers may need to use lighter sticks and be mindful of their dynamics. Additionally, a drummer may want to consider using low-volume cymbals or other sound-reducing equipment to keep the volume in check.
Local venues can range in size from small bars and clubs to mid-sized venues that hold a few hundred people. These venues offer a step up from playing in small clubs, with better sound systems, lighting, and staging. Performing in a local venue can be an exciting opportunity for drummers to showcase their skills and connect with a larger audience.
When playing in a local venue, drummers should be prepared for a larger stage and a more complex sound system. The drum set may need to be miked up to be heard over the other instruments, and the sound engineer may need to adjust the levels to get the right balance. In some cases, the drummer may need to bring their own microphones or other equipment to ensure that their sound is captured properly.
Another factor to consider when playing in a local venue is the lighting. The drummer may be in a spotlight for certain parts of the performance, so it's important to be aware of your positioning on the stage. Drummers may want to consider using drum lights or other lighting equipment to enhance their stage presence and create a more dynamic performance.
Jack performing at Sydney Opera House with HAIR The Tribal Rock Musical
Larger Theatres and Arenas
Performing in larger theatres and arenas can be the pinnacle of a drummer's career. These venues offer a massive stage, state-of-the-art sound systems, and the opportunity to play to thousands of people. However, playing in a larger venue also presents a whole new set of challenges for the drummer.
One of the biggest challenges of playing in a larger venue is the size of the stage. The drummer may need to adjust their playing style to ensure that they are filling the space and creating a dynamic performance. Additionally, the drummer may need to consider the acoustics of the venue and adjust their sound accordingly.
Another challenge of playing in a larger venue is the sheer volume of the performance. The drummer will need to play louder and more aggressively to fill the space and create the energy needed to engage the audience. However, it's important to maintain control over the sound and avoid overpowering the other musicians on stage.
Jack performing at Festival Theatre for Adelaide Caberet Festival
In addition to these challenges, drummers may also need to consider their stage presence when performing in larger venues. The audience may be further away, so it's important to create a dynamic and engaging performance that can be seen and heard from all parts of the venue.
Furthermore, when playing in larger theatres and arenas, drummers may need to work more closely with the sound engineer to ensure that their sound is captured and amplified properly. The drummer may need to use a more elaborate microphone setup to capture their sound, and the sound engineer may need to make adjustments to ensure that the drums are heard over the other instruments.
Another important consideration when playing in larger venues is the logistics of getting the equipment on and off the stage. The drummer may need to coordinate with stagehands and other crew members to ensure that their equipment is set up properly and taken down safely.
Despite the challenges, performing in larger theatres and arenas can be an incredibly rewarding experience for drummers. The energy and excitement of playing to a large crowd can be a powerful motivator, and the opportunity to showcase your skills on a grand stage is not to be missed.
Jack performing at Hamer Hall, Melbourne with John Cameron Mitchell
As we have seen, performing as a drummer in different venues can be both exciting and challenging. Whether you're playing in a small club or a large arena, it's important to be prepared for the unique circumstances of each venue and to adjust your playing style accordingly.
In small clubs, drummers should be prepared for limited space and resources and should focus on controlling the volume of their drums. In local venues, drummers should be aware of the larger stage and more complex sound systems and should focus on their positioning on stage and their lighting setup.
Jack performing at Eureka 89 bar with Spin.