soundchecking your kit


New member
ok when im doing a sound check at a venue and the engineer tests all the mics then says play the whole kit, i dont know what to play....

i know its only a sound check but theres always musicians watching and its very itimidating...

do any you fine folk have any cool beats/rhythms that you use that are great for the engineer to hear everythin he needs but also makes you look at least half decent :)


New member
you're not trying to impress anyone here. you're simply trying to get your drum sounds set. i tend to play just a solid 2 4 on the hi hat and then do a simple 8th or 16th notes fill trying to use all the drums with mics on them and then go to the ride and repeat that paterns with everything on my kit. you want to get good sounds at good level from your kit. thats why its called a sound check. if the engineer wanted you to try to impress people he'd call out for a drum solo.


New member
The soundman is looking for a good overall representation of what your kit sounds like
Play some beats appropriate to your style of music plus couple of fills around the kit
Make sure it is the kind of music you play so he knows what to expect
All he wants is to balance the mix
He'll apreciate you keeping it simple


New member
playing a simple beat is all good and well. id say instead of playing just any old rhythm.

why dont you play a chorus from one of the songs your goin to perform or a verse play quietly then play the loudest your ever likely to play.

because especially when recording its a nightmare for the engineer to have heard you play at a random level then when you recording the sound clips because you get over excited and hit the drum cymbal really hard.

oh and a big tip!!! really important !!! sound guys love it when you hit the centre of the drum non of this miss hittings :D lol should practise this so much so that when you filling round your kit very fast you hit the centre :D.

have fun out there dont get nervous if you do your more likely to fuck up! plain and simple.


New member
dont bother trying to impress, just keep it as simple as u can while using all the mic'ed drums, as long as u get your kit sounding 100% to your ears then, when the actual gig starts, u can let loose and impress :wink:

Jay Brearley

New member
Having done plenty of live sound, One thing i can say is in a sound check hit them slightly louder than you think you will in the performance - adrenaline during the performance will cause you to hit harder and trust me, its easier for the engineer to bring your mix levels up in the performance than try re-balancing each of your channels thats badly distorted as your playing louder now than you did in the soundcheck. He will be greatful that you did as you wont risk damaging his expensive equipment with the higher SPL and distortion.
Another important thing to consider is make sure you are totally happy with your monitor mix and level - one less thing to worry about during the performance!

Also when in soundcheck - K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid - hold the technical wizardry for the show when the rooms full! :wink:


New member
I have a fairly large kit with plenty of toms and cymbals. Because usually the sound guy dosn't have enough mics. I use my own and my own mixer for them. But say the sound guy actually knows what he is doing and has enough mics and stuff.

You ask that he asks you to play the whole kit.

Just play a simple 4 4 pattern using all toms, slow double bass to start with and gradually build the speed of teh double bass up. You want to make sure that the kit sounds you. Oh yeah, hit, ring, touch each cymbal also.

Just don't go crazy. It's very unprofessional. lol

Speaking of that, what ever type of music your playing live you want the beat to include alot of that in what ever your sound checking to.

* to those drummers who want to look good * play something really really simple so if anyone is sad enuf to say it dosnt sound very good.. blow them away during your set hahahahah


New member
great advice guys. i think i was thinking more from a engineers point of view and playing just very simple hard hitting singles stuff around the kit makes alot of sense.



New member
I don't understand why you're intimidated during soundcheck... shouldn't you be worrying about the show you're about to play instead????


New member
I had the same troble... but solved exactly as everyones has recommended in here... and it works. :D

BUT... some techs in my country tend to consider themselves as "rock stars"... and when you suggest how you'd like to sound they tend to get pissed... and then f... all the mix and do what they want (very unprofessional). Result: bad sounding gig... everyone thinks your band is not worth. :?

But there's more... some of them say "your kit sounds like crap..." and I think "How can it be? I have a semi pro kit... I tuned it, heads are almost new, in fact, the drumset sounds great without mics... my cymbals are right..." What do u guys do? keep your position, being gentle to explain what you want? or "take" those advices? :?:


New member
hahaha, i dont even play much of a groove when im soundchecking, all i do is hit each drum individually at all the diff sound levels i play.

bom------Boom-------------BOom------BOOm --------BOOM!!
ghost----accented ghost ---normal -----accented -----Mad face :p and accented

... next drum...

after that i just fool around.. making faces...


New member
i hate it when the sound guy can't dial it in quickly... Boom, boom, boom, repeat at least 100 times.. "ok snare" Crack, crack, repeat 10 times.. Etc..


New member
This is what I do... I play simple but powerful good ole Lars Ulrich beats (2/4 beats) or just a little groove pattern that you can add some fills and whatnot.. I tend to try and NOT impress them. That way when I start playing the Real music, I can get there respect.. Plus, Noone likes a showoff... Infact, I perfer to have my drum tech do sound check for me....

Danny Cayocca


New member
I suggest that you play just as if you were playing for a crowd. So if you play hard, do so for sound check. Also play a clean easy beat with very simple fills. The soundman needs to hear the drums, not how well you can play them.


New member
Yeah, it all depends on your style of music.

I'm in a metal band and when I sound check I usually play a simple 24 on the snare and straight 16ths on the dbl bass since I do a lot of that. Throw in some 16th tom fills and hit all your cymbals. You want to make sure that your drums sound good with the things you play live. I know some clubs like to boost the bass from your bass drum to let the crowd feel it. It's a good idea but if you play too fast it gets muddy, so make sure the sound guy gets a good idea of what you'll be playing with your soundcheck