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Becoming an Independent Drummer
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Poster Becoming an Independent Drummer
knightcrawler





Posts: 207
Joined: Aug 23, 2008
No. 1 Posted on Feb 13, 2013 11:13 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
So, I don't know. I'm 30 years old and some things didn't work out with my higher education. Long story short, I was unable to study abroad. I put my drumming to the side for a bit.

Now, I have plenty of time to get back into it, but I also have a chance to get into it full time if desired.

I didn't quit my day job. In fact, I'm still looking for one. I'm not in any serious debt that could hurt me financially. In fact, I made some pretty good credit decisions.

Should I pursue this whole Independent Drummer career? I know I have to be really good, and compared to some drummers here in Youngstown where I live, I'm one of the best when I was playing out. In fact, I started to get a lot of calls for gigs but had to turn a bunch down because I still had school.

Thankfully, I didn't burn too many bridges. Maybe just 1 or 2 that needed burned (I pretty much didn't want to stay in one band. I wanted to branch out).

Not really a question I guess, but I guess an update?

I see myself doing videos, having my own Facebook page, traveling the world, and just playing a bunch of gigs.

Any Independent Drummers out there want to fill me in?



OldFart

Mapex



Posts: 6701
Joined: Apr 2, 2007
Location: Peoria, AZ
No. 2 Posted on Feb 13, 2013 12:38 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I'm not an independent working drummer - got to mention that up front ...

I'd look to hook up with as many studios as can be found. Always have your appointment book in hand (whether it be your Smartphone or a Daytimer or whatever paper system). Be available and don't quibble about anything - be their Go-To guy. I think that will pay-off with meaningful connections down the road. Your résumé/CV would be the list of verifiable published and/or charted music. Gaining favor among Recordists moves you ahead - don't turn them down when they call on you. I think you'd then get paying live gig offers from that ( two streams of income from drumming ).



Mapex Saturn * Paiste
Terry Bozzio Single-Ply Coated
Drummistic





Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 15, 2005
Location: Rochester, MN
No. 3 Posted on Feb 15, 2013 11:56 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I could tell you my story, but it is extremely personal and not necessarily would be yours.

Before taking that risk, weight your family well being, do you have a significant other? kids? retirement plans?

Music business could be really gratifying but it is risky, even at a local level. One day you are fashionable, the next day you receive a "pink slip" because the "new kid on the block" wants your spot. You invested time and money (hopefully you are receiving back more than what you are investing) and now you are unemployed and living from your savings (if you were wise to save some). At certain level, anyone can do the job, it is no longer your drumming skill what would keep you in the gig, but instead how well you fit in the marketing of the product that they are trying to push forward. How willing are you to bend your music beliefs in order to remain in the project? Everyone is replaceable, regardless of his skill.

I still play music, still receive calls, but I have the luxury to pick my projects and enjoy drumming, because I have an excellent non-musical job that gives me financial stability.

One of the most enlightening interviews that I've ever seen doing a disection about what music business and music credo is all about is in this video of Branford Marsalis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkMxttFOMZA

Just weight your decision, and once you weighted it, weight it some more...



Black Panther (Mapex) Velvetone Drum Set.
Rocket Shell 14x5, Yamaha SD493 Brass Piccolo and Black Panther Velvetone Snare Drums.
Zildjian Cymbals.
Remo Heads.

knightcrawler





Posts: 207
Joined: Aug 23, 2008
No. 4 Posted on Feb 16, 2013 9:16 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Drummistic wrote:

Just weight your decision, and once you weighted it, weight it some more...


That's why I made the post Smile




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