Elise Trouw's tips for making a killer drum video

Back in the days when rock was young, the sign that a drummer had made it big was measured by getting on the cover of Modern Drummer, playing a stadium, having a signature drumstick, or releasing an instructional VHS tape. All of which were awarded to the drummer by an arbitrary set of gatekeepers. VHS is dead, as is the need to gain validation by the christening of a magazine or a booking agent. With the advent of social media, any drummer with talent, marketing savvy, and the drive to cultivate their own brand has the opportunity to headline the world’s biggest stage without leaving their bedroom.

Few drummers have done as well in developing their own online following than the 17 year old southern California drummer and multi-instrumentalist, Elise Trouw. Boasting over 158,000 Instagram followers, Elise’s videos have the playfulness and anti-gloss qualities of a homemade production, though they’re far from lackadaisical. Elise’s output is consistent, thoughtful, entertaining, and oozes talent and potential. 

In this exclusive for The Beat, Elise shares her secrets for making a killer drum video. An interview with Elise is down below, after the jump. 

THE BEAT: What was your path to finding drums and is "drummer" part of your identity?

ELISE: I actually began playing drums because of the game Rock Band on Xbox. I thought, “If I can play drums on here, I can probably play them in real life!” It turns out that’s not how it works, but I became very interested in playing real drums anyway after beginning private lessons. 

Being a drummer is definitely part of my identity, as well being a musician in general. A lot of what I learn and practice in my drumming also applies to other elements of my life, like hard work and self-improvement. Drumming also offers me new perspectives as a songwriter. 

THE BEAT: You're so prolific and driven and your talent is really outstanding. What are your ambitions as a musician?

ELISE: Thank you. Currently, I’m working on finishing my first album. I’m singing and playing all the parts on it, so it’s taking a while, but it will be finished before the end of the year. Long term, finding my place in the music industry is my main goal. 

THE BEAT: You've developed an amazing base of followers through your talent, hard work, and consistency as a curator of your social pages. You've now told us how to make great videos. For people trying to build their own online community, how would you recommend they go about growing their audience?

ELISE: High-quality content is definitely the place to start, but there’s no point in having a great video if no one is going to see it. I grew my Instagram following by learning the ins and outs of the social network through trial and error. This means using tools such as hashtags, cover frames, posting times, and cross promotion to your advantage. 

THE BEAT: Who are your favorite drummers? 

ELISE: I’ve always loved Stewart Copeland’s drumming. There is something so visceral about the way he plays, which shows off his musicality rather than just his flashy chops (which are also pretty insane). 

THE BEAT: Who are your major non-drummer influences in life?

ELISE: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Ed’s note: Lady Gaga). She is a genius. A marketing, business, and musical genius. Not only has she made a name for herself in music, but has also branched her creativity out into television and fashion.

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