Can I become a millionaire being a drummer?

mrchattr

Gold Member
Can it be done? Sure.
Is it likely? Nope.

The best thing you can do to make it happen, however, is practice all aspects of music. Even though a lot of the richest drummers ever played simple parts, they played them perfectly, and understood what the music called for. Also, being just a drummer makes it harder to be a millionaire. In a band, if you get writing, publishing, etc, then you are a millionaire. That takes a lot of musical knowledge, an understanding of theory, knowledge of arranging, working on lyric writing, etc, all in the name of getting the percentage of the song that you own higher and higher.

Music should basically be your life. Expect to kill yourself to do it...working over 40 hours a week on your drum career on top of working a day job. Making sacrifices like crazy, getting screwed over by venue owners, getting "label deals" that end up making you lose money rather than make it, etc. And even then, you have less than 1% of 1% of a chance of making it. So it had better be your passion, too. A lot of the guys who play 'cause they want the easy life, or play 'cause they think rock stars are cool, fall by the wayside. The litter the road to success like so many deer carcasses on the first day of hunting season in PA. But if you truly have the passion, and the desire, then you put up with all of that stuff with an honest smile on your face, and keep on staying the course, and hope and pray that you will do all the right stuff, and get a huge dose of luck, and then maybe, just maybe, you will make it as a professional.

I know that it's possible that you were just asking out of curiousity...but I have to say that if your main concern is the money, you will be a fly on the windshield of a truly passionate musician on the road to success. Most of them won't make it, but I'd rather be driving then be splattered on a windshield any day!
 

Ethan01

Senior Member
It's much easier to become a millionaire in another profession, not music. That said, there are a good number that make some good money. It entirely depends on the band they play for and how popular they are.

Ever see Travis Barker on Cribs? He's loaded. But he's also a very talented drummer. If you are out to make money, this isn't the way to go.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Ever see Travis Barker on Cribs? He's loaded. But he's also a very talented drummer. If you are out to make money, this isn't the way to go.
And I'll bet that he has an accountant or a solicitor who invests for him. I'll bet Travis Barker owns real estate and interests in other businesses.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
The only rich drummers i know are:

Charlie Watts
Ringo Starr
Phil Collins

also know as proud owners of horse-race-teams, left-handers (two of them) and members of famous Rock groups. All British, all over 50, 60 or even 70, all nice gentlemen.
Drumming: just fine, ok.

..also Lewis Hamilton is a drummer, shall we count him in also - or is he too fast or too young?

Bernhard
 

freebirdgdw

Silver Member
And I'll bet that he has an accountant or a solicitor who invests for him. I'll bet Travis Barker owns real estate and interests in other businesses.
Yea he also has advertising deals and endrosements and clothes lines etc, etc.

'Effin loaded' springs to mind.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The only rich drummers i know are:

Charlie Watts
Ringo Starr
Phil Collins

also know as proud owners of horse-race-teams, left-handers (two of them) and members of famous Rock groups. All British, all over 50, 60 or even 70, all nice gentlemen.
Drumming: just fine, ok.

..also Lewis Hamilton is a drummer, shall we count him in also or is he too fast or too young?

Bernhard
You forgot to mention yourself Bernhard!
 
John Bonham's school teacher once wrote on one of his report cards that "He will either end up a dustman or a millionaire."

Maybe or maybe not as millionaire - money wise - but for sure JHB is a millionaire with his strong and influential drumming legacy, left on earth...

"Drumming was the only thing I was ever good at." John Henry Bonham
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Gentlemen,

Could you please give me your thoughts and views on whether an amateur drummer who wants to become a professional drummer and drum for living in a life-long run has an opportunity to join 8.6 MM army of the world’s HNWIs (high net worth individuals) defined as those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables.

What does actually affect drummer’s marketability and what lead a drummer to the success and money?


Many thanks & best regards,

Sega

www.whatdrum.com
Why on Earth are you considering a career in music, if I may ask? Creative impulse? Desire to leave something around for other generations? Need for attention? Desire to make people happy? Each is a valid motivation, but I've never heard anyone come at it from your angle before.
 

cfrew

Junior Member
in my opinion, a hobby is a hobby and a job is a job. combining the two i feel as though would take away your passion for it and just make it too stressful, thats why i would never turn drumming into a professional career and rather just keep it as a life long hobby.

and besides, you dont need a million dollars to be happy.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Though the dream to make a lot of money playing drums is dangling in front of many young players, you have to count how many "rich" drummers there are compared to those out there simply banging it out.

Joey Kramer, Lars Ulrich, John Bonham (estate), Ringo, Larry Mullen Jr and Charlie Watts are the only rich drummers I can think of and that is because they are in an extremely rare case of being in a consistent multi-platinum selling band that shares every thing fairly. If not song-writing credit, they have been around enough to draw huge crowds and cash in equally on that.

Ask Billy Joel's ex-drummer Liberty Devitto how he's doing right now? Here is someone who could be in the same league as all the other drummers I listed in the previous paragraph but was just not given the same deal though he was BJ's drummer for over 20+ years.


i want to say this is a really stupid thread, but then that would be rude, so i wont.
Obvious by all the other comments, many disagree. I find when I feel this way, not commenting at all allows that thread to disappear faster.
 

sega039

Member
Why on Earth are you considering a career in music, if I may ask? Creative impulse? Desire to leave something around for other generations? Need for attention? Desire to make people happy? Each is a valid motivation, but I've never heard anyone come at it from your angle before.
Dear colleagues,

First of all I'd like to sincerely appreciate your valuable feedback and so many different views on my question. I've learnt a lot, all useful information and good food for thoughts.

Drummer is a profession as much as many other professions. If someone wants to spend all his life doing it he deserves to know whether he condemns himself to be a poor man all his life or he has a chance to do what he loves the most and at the same time to be viable to maintain reasonably good standard of living for his family. It's a fair question to ask when you or any young amateur drummers think about converting their life passion into profession, isn't it? It's not so stupid to ask when you choose any profession.

Somebody believes that to live like a millionaire nowadays you have to have many millions but some of you said that even one million was too much and unnecessary. If 8.6 million people in the world have managed to be wealthy I see no point for me to be a poor.

I'm glad that you explained to me all the pros and cons of this profession. Despite a little chance I do want to be a professional drummer anyway and when I become a millionaire I'll let you know, if not, it's really not a big deal I will live my life being happy.


Many thanks & kind regards,

Sega
www.whatdrum.com
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Drummer is a profession as much as many other professions. If someone wants to spend all his life doing it he deserves to know whether he condemns himself to be a poor man all his life or he has a chance to do what he loves the most and at the same time to be viable to maintain reasonably good standard of living for his family. It's a fair question to ask when you or any young amateur drummers think about converting their life passion into profession, isn't it?
A fair question, and obviously not just one answer. Let me expand a little on what I said about the absence of a 'career path' in being a musician.

When you said being a drummer is a "profession as much as many other professions" that's not really true. In most professions, you go to school or otherwise train, and earn a degree or practical experience that possesses a certain value and status to potential employers, or to potential clients/customers if you go into business for yourself. And as either an employee or an entrepreneur, there is an opportunity to grow and advance based on skill, effort, and most of all, desire.

But being a musician is quite a different situation. Employment is not based on schooling or training (music institute school diplomas mean little in terms of getting work,) or experience (necessarily,) how much effort you put into looking for work, or how much desire and passion you have. Every time you want to work, you have to interview (audition) and choices are made completely subjectively. If you don't look right, or can't sing well, or won't travel, or don't have a shiny kit, or are too old or too young... you may not get the gig. There's no policy or protocol in the hiring process (as with normal businesses,) typically no benefits, and no recourse if you think you should have got the gig over the other guy... good luck claiming discrimination!

The only exceptions to this would be 1) performing with a symphony, where there are union policies in place, and there is still a stringent audition process. And limited opportunities, as many symphonic players are lifers (they're also not making a million bucks!) and 2) a career as a music teacher at the school level, which isn't really being a working musician, and also unlikely to acrue a million by retirement.

Luck is the biggest factor in whether there can be an opportunity to pursue music on a financial viable level. Unfortunately, we do not create or manipulate or foresee our own luck.

I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue drumming as a profession if you really love playing. But playing drums in order to facilitate a higher lifestyle - which is all you've talked about so far - is going to be very unsatisfying, assuming you're the one in a million to make great money at it. But if you love drums unconditionally, you will have a happy life just playing local gigs and living modestly, and being able to legitimately call yourself a full-time musician.

Bermuda
 
R

Royal

Guest
Use the money that you earn from drumming to try to make your million. Although it's not the best of times at the moment, unfortunately.
 
R

Royal

Guest
Ask Billy Joel's ex-drummer Liberty Devitto how he's doing right now? Here is someone who could be in the same league as all the other drummers I listed in the previous paragraph but was just not given the same deal though he was BJ's drummer for over 20+ years.
.

Wasn't he also B.Joel's musical director? Or am I mixing up drummers?
 
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