Frankie Harchut has been developing his skill set behind the art of playing drums since the young age of eight. The Chicago, IL native has built up his live (and studio) experience by playing behind a wide array of artists over the years.
In 2016 alone, Frankie performed over 200 shows. His ability to seamlessly transition from playing 50’s and 60’s to Country and Heavy Metal has made him one of the most versatile (and busiest) drummers in Chicago.
Frankie is a first call for many of the top working acts in Chicago and has even been called upon by the likes of Dave Somerville of The Diamonds and Pual Chapman of UFO. He has done multiple US tours with The Bloodline and Dirge Within, as well as releasing an album with each band respectively since 2010.
Not only is Harchut open to incorporating new styles and ideas into his playing, but he also believes this has helped him to diversify his abilities throughout each project.
Frankie has been hitting the skins for a long time and is excited to apply everything he has learned to future ventures.
“I like to think I bring a unique feel and presence to the table. I’m always practicing, trying to get better and incorporating new ideas to my show – whether it would be a new cool lick on the drums or a cool stick trick for putting on a show. I think you have to constantly be evolving.”
“Frankie has been a consummate professional the whole time I’ve worked with him. He always shows up ready to give his all for every performance, and most importantly, he shows up prepared.”
“Professional as they come. Frankie is Reliable, Respectful, and Rockin”
“Frankie is the kind of musician most bands love to find! I’m fortunate enough to have him fill in and he’s the kind of drummer that shows up on time, knows his stuff, and I don’t have to worry about anything but doing my job. For me that’s huge! It might be money well spent but Frankie brings a certain sense of calm. He knows where the pocket is and has an innate ability mold into whatever is desired with the music. If you’re looking for someone to do studio work, learn from, or have him join your band look no further! Doesn’t matter which genre, doesn’t matter where, and when. Frankie is the Man!!”
“Frankie is about as solid of a drummer as they come. He had little time to prep for our show, and came in and played as if he were the drummer. My band, in particular, is not an easy show to learn. We have medleys and timing differences all over the place, and he came in and played the gig flawlessly. He’s just as great and stand up of a guy too.”
“Frankie Harchut is one-of-a-kind! He is such a unique drummer who can adapt to every genre or type of show imaginable. Rock, dance, country, metal, hip hop, he does it all. One thing that I love about Frankie is that he always comes prepared! He doesn’t just show up to a show and fake his way through it; He knows every song, every time. But the best thing about Frankie is his personality. He is not only a team player and a professional drummer but he is also a great guy to be around. If you need professionalism and a great attitude, Frankie is the real deal!”
“Frankie is a true Professional. From his practice habits, to his preparation, to his performance abilities, Frankie is as good as it gets. Whether you need a live session drummer, a last minute fill-in or studio quality drum tracks, he can do it all. Frankie has enormous amounts of talent, a phenomenal stage awareness, and a great personality. He is a chameleon that can fit in with any band in any setting. I am honored and privileged to have shared the stage with him and to call him a friend.”
Tips & Advice
Here are a few tips and pieces of advice that I have learned throughout my drumming career. I will be updating this pretty regularly so check back or please feel free to email me with any questions you may have. I would always be glad to help.
I can’t stress enough to have backup heads. I’m not saying you necessarily have to have a backup for every drum, but for me, I always carry an extra snare top head and a kick head. The kick head can easily be stored in your cymbal case, and the snare head can be flipped upside down and stored with your snare in the case. I had one situation where I was playing a house kit on live TV for TLC, and the kick head busted in the middle of a song. Luckily I had my cymbals with me, and I had my backup kick head in there. The band was able to do a song without me, and then after that, we were ready to roll. Crisis averted. It is one mistake you will never make again.
Always bring a backup snare. I definitely suggest this and have it close to you on stage. This because though I do carry a top I do not carry a bottom snare head with me, I probably should, but I don’t. So in the event I break a bottom head I easily just throw the backup on the stand, and I am set to go. It is a lot quicker. When I was younger, I had an incident where I was playing with a bigger national artist, and I broke my bottom snare head and I didn’t have backup nor did I have an extra bottom snare head. We literally had to take a set break so I could run home and get my snare. Thankfully my house was close, but still, this is a mistake you never want to make.
Always have a backup pedal. I always bring my double pedal to shows so in the event my main pedal breaks I can get through the show with my slave pedal on the left. There are a lot of little parts on bass drum pedals and if one thing breaks that could be it. Now that is providing you are playing a show that doesn’t require constant double bass. In that case, you may want to bring a backup double pedal.
What to do when you are called for a gig?
If you are available, the first thing you should do is get all the details for the show. This will include the name of the venue, setlist, how long you are required to play, Load-in time, dress code, etc. If you are in the fortunate spot where this will paying gig, you will want to know what you are making as well. It’s always a good idea to get all these details right away if they are available. I will note though, do not ask right up front how much am I making. Though this is a very important detail, especially if you are solely doing it for a living, in my opinion, it sounds very amateur to bring this up right away.
After you have all the details, I always look at the setlist and figure out what I am familiar with and what I am not familiar with. I will then make a playlist using Google Play or Spotify. You will want to have one of these streaming providers; it makes everything so much easier.
You want to prepare as much as possible. I suggest making charts, listening to the songs religiously, and playing along with the songs. As far as charting goes everyone has their own way of doing it. I suggest experimenting and see what works best for you. The main point you want to be prepared.
AT THE SHOW
You want to show up on time to the load in, with the right gear and have a very positive upbeat attitude. People generally don’t want to work with negative people, and you want to make a really good first impression. If this is a new band you are working with, make sure you are aware on stage and looking for cues from the other band members. Also never be afraid to ask any questions you may have. A big thing to remember you are hired to do a job. You are not there to get loaded or there for a love connection. Putting on a good show and making the people that are hiring you happy should be your main priority. Last but not least HAVE FUN. Music is supposed to be fun so make the best of it.
I can pretty much guarantee you if you follow these steps you will get a call back next time they need help.
Quick piece of advice here or more or less food for thought.
Whether you are playing a sold out show at an arena for 20,000 people or you are playing a live band karaoke scenario where there are two people at your local bar, always play 100%. For example, I can specifically remember getting called for a last minute show at a small bar with maybe about 50 to 75 people. I did my homework and took it as seriously as I would have at a huge show, and had a great time while playing. The band leader was very impressed, and that one show literally opened me up to a bunch of other bands that I fill in for regularly or work full time now. I have also heard of many other drummers and bands that have come up from this similar scenario. You never know who will be there watching you, and also you never know who the band leader or guys you are working for know. Take this piece of advice into consideration before your next show.
If I play in your town, come hang out and talk drums with me!
I love playing music and really put my heart and soul into what I do. I pride myself on being as prepared as possible for your event and showing up with a very positive attitude. With that being said, I would love to help you out. Whether you require me to fill in for a one off date or if you need me for multiple dates, I’m available for tours, club shows, weddings, private parties, acoustic duo or trio gigs (I have a box drum kit I bring out for this) and am open to a wide range of styles as well. Please fill out the hire section and let me know how I can help. Please, serious Inquires only.
I love creating new music and would be honored and excited to help collaborate with you on your new song or album. I have a home studio where I can track and send the files back to you via the internet. I usually require you send me a demo version of the song with programmed drums on there for a reference. Please fill out the hire section for further details regarding studio work. Also please check my Soundcloud page for recent session examples. Please, serious inquiries only.
Thanks so much!
Tama Superstar Birch- 22,10,12,16FT
Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute- 22,10,12,14FT
13″x6.5″ Yamaha Musashi Oak
14″x6.5″ DW Collectors Aluminum
14″x7″ DW Collectors Maple
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20″ AAX Stage Ride
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18″ AAX Crash
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Remo and Evans
Vic Firth 5B
LP Cajon Snare
Meinl Boom Box
2 Roland Pads
1 Roland Kick Trigger
Logic Pro X
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Focusrite Pre Amp
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