Seven tips from Gregg Bissonette to the drummer.

1. Prepare your music.
You must know the music when you enter the stage. It really shows if you're ready to perform. I even write out transcriptions of every bit, every fill, and so on. The most important thing I do is record the tempo in the top right corner of the page. A lot of drummers don't think about the tempo of a song. I use a metronome to keep pace when I give the count.

2. Warm up.
I play sixteenth notes in deuces to prepare my hands for playing, then sixteenth notes with my hands and connect my feet. So I play for about half an hour. I also do stretching. At home I do yoga. On tour, I use sticks to stretch my muscles. This is really important.

3. Professionalism.
Many drummers forget that 50 percent of drumming is what you do with your sticks and feet. The other 50 percent is the business side. It includes the following things: always arrive on time and be professional. On time means a little earlier. You should show up an hour early to check your instrument and get ready. You need to be friendly, courteous and positive. This will make you a good professional. By showing people your professionalism, you will get more work.

4. Listen.
You have to get the bananas out of your ears. Catch everything you can with your ears. Hear the tempo, the dynamics, the lyrics, your bandmates' parts, the rhythmic ideas, the audience, and how your drums fit into the overall soundscape. This is important.

5. Know your volume level.
Drummers have more control over song dynamics than anyone else in the band. Use your hi-hat and cymbals to create an appropriate dynamic level. Make the strong beat an exclamation point. This helps create momentum and makes the music much more exciting and interesting.

6. Keep calm.
You cannot play every moment at your highest energy level. You must be able to prioritize. Rate the intensity of each song and the length of the performance. Try to have fun while playing and drink plenty of water. I drink tons of water. And don't forget the earplugs. You have one pair of ears for life.

7. Use quality and reliable tools.
People always save the best for the recording studio, but it's really important for live performances as well. Sound engineer, monitor sounder and rehearsal guys can work with you much better if you are prepared. Clean out the sawdust from under the head, change the head on time, and take the time to tune your drums properly. Check your plates for cracks. Bring a mat to the concert so the drums don't roll all over the stage. Always check your sticks and replace them as soon as they start to wear out. It's better to change sticks between songs than to have one break in the middle of a fill.