Us drummers don’t always have access to our instrument, like when we travel. What are we to do when this is the case, but we really need to rehearse for an upcoming gig? Don’t worry! We can still prepare ourselves without a drum kit.
We can listen to music and imagine we’re playing along. While both air and lap drumming aren’t the same as drumming on the kit, they are still beneficial forms of practice that we can utilize no matter where we are. By “mentally practicing” this way, we set ourselves up to quickly iron things out when we hop on the drums. Playing along to music in our minds like this is great for when we’re stuck in a train, plane, or ride share.
We can also use this time without our instrument to chart out songs from the upcoming gig, if we don’t already have the written music. Learning any song through listening is good, but listening while also reading the sheet music is even better.
Try to memorize as much of the music as possible, so you don‘t have to rely so heavily on the sheet music when it’s time to perform. Sheet music is incredibly helpful, but the more we have memorized, the less we have to look at the sheet music, and the more we can focus on the performance itself.