Being a drummer and a dad.

renardvert

Silver Member
Hi guys,

I'm a professional drummer living in Montreal and I just had a baby boy. Life is great as we're learning how to deal with this little creature now. Obviously, some nights are short but that's part of it. I was curious to hear your stories about your life as a drummer and a dad. How did you deal with that? How did it change your life? For the better hopefully?

And I was also curious to know about famous drummers who have kids. I know Peter Erskine, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Steve Smith, Keith Carlock have kids (probably a lot of other guys too). Have you ever heard their stories about their life as drummers and dads?

(btw, does Vinnie Colaiuta have kids? Tried to find that answer and couldn't).

Thanks for your input,
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Well, I'm not much of a drummer and my kids are grown up - and I'm a mum not a dad! - so anything I said on the subject would probably be meaningless, but I would like to congratulate you on the birth of your little boy :) I can promise you a rollercoaster of pleasure and pain that you wouldn't be without for a minute.
 

wildbil

Senior Member
I saw Jason Bonham and his band this past summer.During intermission an old film clip of him,and his mom and dad was playing on the big screen.Jason would be about three years old at the time playing a small kit. amazingly at that. It was real experience to see this. A little emotional actually.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Being a dad and a professional musician is tough. It means you're "on" all the time. It's the best of both worlds, though. I don't know what to say except that it's difficult finding time to drum when they're home all the time. I got my kids a mini drum set, showed them how to put on headphones when they play, and then played "repeat after me" a whole ton. It's fun.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
For me its been rough. Gigs are always at odd times or at times when my wife is working and I am trying to find a good sitter. The key is to have a spouse who is understanding and developing a support network early; people you and your wife trust to take care of your child.

When you include rehersals, auditions, and so on it does become a balancing act. When my daughter was younger I used to bring her to gigs with me all the time because she would just sleep in her car seat. I had special ear muffs to protect her from sound. Now that she is walking though I can't do that any longer.

About the only thing I do now is bring her with me to load in.

Hope this helps!

Manny
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I am the father of a beautiful 3 month old daughter and a professional drummer

it is not easy being away from my little angel and my wife as much as I have to ....but my wife understands that if I don't work we don't eat

also when I took some time off when Athena was born I started to go a little crazy after about a week feeling like I wasn't providing for my baby girl .

we are in the process of finishing up our house that is being built and I built in a home studio so hopefully I will be able to spend more time at home as far as some rehearsals and some tracking as well as most of my teaching

it's the gigs and tours that take me away from home .

coping with it is tough for sure and recently I have been Mr. mom during the day and loving it ....getting a lot of that quality time in when I can.

I know the guilt sets in .....but do what you can my man .....the balancing act is one of the toughest things you will ever have to do.....but so many of us do it and are here for you if you need advice or just to vent

hit me up if you feel like it and we can exchange ideas on how to keep our home lives in tact

one saying I have always heard my whole life ....and also used....but never really felt the true meaning of until my daughter was born is

there are not enough hours in a day

congrats on your little boy !
 
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Drumolator

Platinum Member
Being a dad is great, especially when my son turned out to be a good bass player. I am a public school teacher, so his schedule was the same as mine. He is now in college. Peace and goodwill.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
Great to hear all of these stories, and congratulations on yours.

My daughter is now 5. When she was 6 months we went through the process of selling/buying a house. So, for about 5 months, I didn't even have my drums set up. Between moving, getting the new house ready and a new baby, I was too busy to even think about playing. My work life kept me so busy and when I wasn't working, I had the new house chores to deal with. My wife had taken a 2.5 year maternity leave up front which helped to alleviate a mess of stress from a great deal of that.

After things settled I began to find time to sneak back into the drum room and managed to keep the band alive.

As a side benefit, ironically when my wife had to return back to work from her maternity leave, I lost my job at which time I took over being the full-time at home dad. Did it for just about a little over 2 years when I landed a new position. Now, she is off to Kindergarten all day and I enjoy my time with her in the evenings. I work from home these days still and I get to be the one who gets her on and off the bus.

I manage to squeeze in time during the evenings and weekends for all things music and at this point, she comes down and taps on all my stuff.

The best part is, she thinks I'm a great drummer. Oh... wait till I'm no longer her hero and she learns the real score.

Spending time with her is the best part of my life.
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
many years ago, when i had my first son, i was in a band that was "on the verge". in a nutshell, my wife issued an ultimatum, and i felt compelled to drop out of music for a while. the band broke up, reformed with a new "connection" and some new players, and they're all retired musicians now. as for me, i put raising my boys to the top of my list of duties, and i'm glad i did. i have a VERY tight relationship with my two men, now 28 and 21. the time really does go by crazy fast. give them every minute you have. quantity, not quality. quantity. did i stress that enough?
p.s., i now play in a band with my youngest son, a MONSTER upright bass player.
 

last man to bat

Senior Member
Being a drummer and a dad means I might not get to go to the London Drum Show. But I don't really mind, if I'm with the children then I have all the entertainment I could possibly ask for. I always feel that I struggle to get enough time with them and I'm so reluctant to give up any of that time. I refused any work for over a month this summer, I got a bit wallet poor but I had such a fantastic time with the children.

"Do you have to go to work tonight Dad?" That one is a killer every time, but I'm guessing most people get that whether drummers or not. Like everyone else here, I love having children, it's the best thing ever.

Congratulations on your baby boy :)
 

Dignan

Silver Member
I have two little girls, 1 and 3. For me the biggest challenge is finding time to practice and get better amongst the full time job, daycare pickups, helping with dinner, baths and all that. I don't gig, play in a band or record. I would like to do some or all of those things someday. The irony is that when they are awake, I'm usually helping take care of them or spending quality time with them. When they're asleep....well, I'm definitely not playing drums then.

I built myself a practice kit out of an old cheap electric kit that doesn't work anymore, pintech practice cymbals and a homemade bass practice pad. Renardvert, if you don't already have something like that, I would DEFINITELY recommend getting one especially with a newborn in the house. I use this practice kit way more than my acoustic. My long term goal would be to build a sound proof or sound reducing room for my drums so I can use them more.

I think young children are harder for drumming dads (or any musician for that matter) just because of the level of micromanagement that happens at those ages. I'd like to hope that as they get older, I'll find more and more time to drum and possibly turn this fledgling hobby into something a little more.

For those with older kids (5 and up) do you find its easier to carve out time to play drums when they are older?

Let me end this by saying that I wouldn't trade having kids for anything. Many times I have been on my way down the basement to practice when I hear, "Daddy, can you play with me?" I don't have to tell you that Daddy turns around and goes back upstairs every time. A small part of me gets frustrated but only for a second. I know I'll be wishing I could have spent more time with them someday when they are older so I make sure that they come first and drumming comes second. After all, for me it is just a hobby right now. In some ways, I think it makes me value my time with my drums even more.
 

JasperGTR

Senior Member
It definitely gets easier as they age.

Plenty of GREAT success stories here.

Short answer - yes!

All of my kids, at one point, heard daddy drum as a baby, and would instantly fall asleep (some of their bedrooms were right my kit).

To this day (youngest is 7), when I go mess around for a bit (not work related), I come upstairs and the entire family is sleeping.

My youngest are really into music . I think it's VITAL that children grow up around music. My youngest son has a set and likes to play along with daddy (his set is a decent set of Rockstars, Speed Cobras, Sabian, etc... - start off right).
 

Dignan

Silver Member
It definitely gets easier as they age.

Plenty of GREAT success stories here.

Short answer - yes!

All of my kids, at one point, heard daddy drum as a baby, and would instantly fall asleep (some of their bedrooms were right my kit).

To this day (youngest is 7), when I go mess around for a bit (not work related), I come upstairs and the entire family is sleeping.

My youngest are really into music . I think it's VITAL that children grow up around music. My youngest son has a set and likes to play along with daddy (his set is a decent set of Rockstars, Speed Cobras, Sabian, etc... - start off right).
That's great to hear. I wish my family would fall asleep to drumming. I've bought my girls a used First act junior kit for $20 on Craigslist. They come down and bang on it sometimes. Maybe they'll get more into it the older they get.
 

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
It's a challenge. I have two young boys...a toddler and a newborn. There's no way I could play drums at home without bothering somebody. An e-kit wouldn't be much use either because when I am home, I am helping out with the kids...even on weekends. I rent a rehearsal room on a monthly basis so I can have a place to store and play my drums. It's actually not too bad. I painted it and put up some acoustic foam and turned into a great little drum cave.

It's hard to find time to make it up there. I usually only make it up there 2 days a week and play for about an hour. It's not much but it beats nothing. Also I know that it will get easier as my kids get older and are easier to manage. In those first few years it's very "all hands on deck" so that my wife doesn't get overwhelmed. I also don't want to miss out on anything. Those boys are my life. But drumming is a big part of my life, too, and I do whatever I can to still fit it in.
 

renardvert

Silver Member
Thanks everybody for your insights. Greatly appreciated to hear what you did in your different situations.

I might be lucky in the sense that I only do drumming related stuff to earn my living. I play in a bunch of bands, I teach a lot (and have quite a lot of success doing it) and I also started writing for drum magazines. All of this together gives me a lot of drumming time obviously.

Right now, as my kid is three weeks old, I have a little pad setup in my basement that I use to keep my chops in shape. It's good as it makes me feel like I'm playing regularly. I also use a snare to practice my brushes chops without bothering the household too much.

I really appreciate everybody's input but I would have been curious to hear more about people drumming for a living as I guess I could relate a bit more to what they're doing. No harm intended to everybody who have a day job. Totally respect that.

Thanks again!

Daniel
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
My daughter will be turning 3 in December. She's a a handfull, but an absolute joy at the same time. It hasn't had a whole lot of effect on my life behind the drum kit except when I'm out of town, and of course then it's just the matter of missing her and my wife. She loves drums, even though she's far too small to manage my kit, she loves sitting on my stool and whacking everything she can reach.

I'm trying to make it a point to have her a nice junior kit by christmas because I have no doubt that if I keep her around drums, and let her grow up with access to them, she'll gradually learn things at her own pace, and then as she gets older take more interest, and by the time she's a pre-teen, but a skilled young drummer. Music runs in my family, so I don't doubt she'll learn to play something eventually - I just hope drums stick. I'm trying to avoid forcing them on her at any cost.
 
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