What is the role of the drummer?

Advice for drummers: what is the role of the drummer?

An important and fundamental question we should pose ourselves as drummers – especially if taking early steps in playing drums – is ‘what is the role of the drummer?’ This is actually quite a difficult one to pin down as answers can be subjective and at least partly reliant on genre & context, but common responses might be: to keep time; to hold the band together or to create a rhythmic framework; to structure dynamics or perhaps to signal changes within the music. To whittle the focus of our art down to one catch-all phrase could be to deliver a great injustice to the history and players of our instrument. The role of the drummer – even in the simplest of conditions – is all these things, and so much more.

When we consider our job within the context of musical performance, it is both functional and decorative: from the count off, we conduct the tempo and to a great extent set the dynamic markers and attitude to the feel of the music – such is the expressive power potential of a drum kit. We often lead the charge in setting up new sections using fills coloured with tom-toms and punctuate those changes with cymbal-spiked accents. Which other instrument carries the tonal, textural and dynamic capabilities of even the most basic drumset? Oh, and yes – we are also here to keep time!

Dye House Drum Works for drum lessons in Leicester: whether you are starting out or looking for fresh apporaches and challenges, call us and Book a drum lesson today!


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