How to stay healthy and productive when working on the road. Helpful tips for the working drummer!

Our bodies have to work extremely hard when gigging. We have to drive, set up, soundcheck, perform, pack down and drive home. That requires a huge amount of energy. Taking care of ourselves especially when our adrenaline drops after the gig, is not only an important health issue, it’s also a commercial consideration as well.

Challenges when it comes to working on the road and how to overcome them


Every working drummer has travelled far and wide whilst gigging. I found adopting the following not only changed my gig for the better, as I was mentally more astute, it helped me change my attitude towards taking better care of myself. It’s really quite simple: no junk! No burgers, soda (and energy) drinks and sweets. Instead a protein bar, water and take a break. Leave earlier, take a break and arrive relaxed and ready.


Jet lag is tough. I often find myself wide awake at 4am when working in Los Angeles and of course, dead on my feet at 6pm! I find that setting my watch to the timezone of my destination before I leave helps me alter my consumption of food and drink. I also exercise and shower just before I go to bed in an effort to relax my body and importantly I avoid using my phone or tablet. Finally an audio documentary at a low level helps relax my mind.25

Top tips for maintaining a healthy body and mind whilst on the road

Keep your routine

  • Exercise – pack your running shoes and/or your favourite fitness DVD.
  • Meditation – be it yoga, desert island discs or ambient music, find time to relax your mind and body.
  • Diet – try the local dish, of course! It is however important that you maintain your diet. Don’t put your body in to overdrive by eating heavy food late at night.
  • Hydration – water! 2 litres a day and you will feel cleansed and relaxed.
  • Rest – Don’t fight your body. Listen to it. Take a book, go for a walk and if necessary, have a quiet night. Mind blowing for us rock n roll types!
How to stay healthy and productive when working on the road. Helpful tips for the working drummer!
Bike ride selfie

Living healthier has been a revelation to me. These steps might be obvious to some but the message is important – it is necessary that we take care of ourselves as we will be able to concentrate for longer and play better!


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