Can I become a millionaire being a drummer?

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I can't tell you how much that rings true...do it because of the passion, not the monetary aspect of it. If you are strictly in it for the money, get used to living on welfare and being poor.

There are so many wonderful, competent musicians in my area that do it solely for the passion and sheer fun of it. Most, if not all, have different day jobs other than music and if they get paid for playing music, it's not even close to their professional wage. It's pocket change used to buy some new equipment, take the family out to eat another time, buy the kiddies new shoes, or put into savings.

I've never received a dime for drumming, it would be nice, but so far I only received a free meal once and several offers to pay for my gas and that was totally fine with me. For me right now, if someone compliments me on my playing, that is enough to sustain me.
 

Rusty_Bonham

Junior Member
I play 100 shows a year. My band gets guarantee's and door a lot in most venues. We still have to put that money into the band for merch, our tour van, and to feed us. Being a professional musician is all about paying your dues. If you want to try and make a living off of it right of the rip, and your good enough then you need to join a house band somewhere. Its decent money. I've done it a time or two. Also, teaching is good for money and a good learning experience. If you expect to be a millionaire, keep dreaming. Im not saying its not possible but, its extremely hard on the road and getting your name out there.
 

JT1

Silver Member
I've never received a dime for drumming, it would be nice, but so far I only received a free meal once and several offers to pay for my gas and that was totally fine with me. For me right now, if someone compliments me on my playing, that is enough to sustain me.
Awesome, there's nothing more satisfying than a good compliment!
 

Stoney

Senior Member
A: Yes you can but the chances are pretty slim. It also helps if you're in a successful band that happily splits everything equally. Coldplay and U2 springs to mind. I doubt you could become a millionaire drummer from being solely a session musician... not these days anyway but I'll happily be corrected on this. (how much does someone like Vinnie Caliuta get per gig btw)?
But if becoming a millionaire is that important to you I would suggest you put your sticks down and study to become a plastic surgeon or something...
 

sega039

Member
A: But if becoming a millionaire is that important to you I would suggest you put your sticks down and study to become a plastic surgeon or something...
To become a millionaire isn't an end in itself although I wouldn't mind to do what I like the most and at the same time to be able to maintain high standard of living. I appreciate so many opinions on this subject it's a very good reality check for amateur drummers with strong intrinsic motivation to drum who desire to become professional drummers.

Many thanks to all of you

Sega
www.whatdrum.com
 

Stoney

Senior Member
T it's a very good reality check for amateur drummers with strong intrinsic motivation to drum who desire to become professional drummers.
www.whatdrum.com
But you can make a living out of drumming without becoming super rich! If you have any inkling of passion for music or drumming then being rich should never be your motivation and if it is you will never make it! There are many super rich drummers out there and I bet they never expected it their fortunes today. It's a silly argument really. If you're into drumming then you must be into music and if you're into music then you must know where the money is... songwriting. Get off the drums!!
 

sega039

Member
If you have any inkling of passion for music or drumming then being rich should never be your motivation and if it is you will never make it! There are many super rich drummers out there and I bet they never expected it their fortunes today. It's a silly argument really. If you're into drumming then you must be into music and if you're into music then you must know where the money is... songwriting. Get off the drums!!
I know very few wealthy people who didn't have a motivation to become rich from the very beginning and became them by accident. Maybe that's why only few drummers in the world became millionaires and it's only because they have played in the right bands.

By your rationale if you want to be a good drummer money should be your least priority, if any. Nothing wrong with that if you're a lawyer, doctor or oilman and drumming is your hobby. But if you graduated a music college with the intention to become a professional drummer or percussionist and do it for living in a life-long run should you basically habituate or mindset yourself to destitution with zero extrinsic motiation in this profession? Intrinsic motivation and passion are very strong drivers to do smth. but they won't last forever unless one day you and your family will see the evidence of your success, acknowledgement.and monetary reward. Otherwise your children might think that you're looser.

Honestly I don't believe that guys like Benny Greb, Thomas Lang or Steve Smith are unselfish and commercially disinterested people. I think they are the people with a good commercial sense and it's not a disgrace to a drummer to have it.
 
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RollingStone000

Silver Member
But you can make a living out of drumming without becoming super rich! If you have any inkling of passion for music or drumming then being rich should never be your motivation and if it is you will never make it! There are many super rich drummers out there and I bet they never expected it their fortunes today. It's a silly argument really. If you're into drumming then you must be into music and if you're into music then you must know where the money is... songwriting. Get off the drums!!
Not sure if any of you cats have been on drumchannel.com but they had and interesting show I watched yesterday called "drumming and the law", and got into the legalities of the business for studio musicians. VERY interesting stuff.

http://www.drumchannel.com/entertainment/47827.aspx
 

Stoney

Senior Member
Honestly I don't believe that guys like Benny Greb, Thomas Lang or Steve Smith are unselfish and commercially disinterested people. I think they are the people with a good commercial sense and it's not a disgrace to a drummer to have it.
Yes I realise it's important to have a good business head if you want to be a professional musician. I was merely pointing out that if becoming a millionaire is your sole purpose for doing it you have a far higher chance of choosing a different profession that's all. Nothing wrong with aiming high I agree.

Actually whilst I've returned to the subject and thinking of the few millionaire session drummers... Josh Freese must be one of them. Then again he probably made over a million from APC alone.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I think it's possible if you invest your money. Now I'm far from being a millionaire, but I own real estate and that's made all the difference in the world. With the way the world-wide economy is going I really don't know how much money I have (I leave all that up to the wife and our solicitor) but we're doing okay.
See, nobody makes money from only one thing. You invest, you keep your eyes and nose open, you think ahead, you budget, you set up trust funds, you keep your money working instead of leaving it sitting in a savings account or a bogus retirement plan.
And you never, ever, play the stock market. I mean never.
There was an article in a recent Playboy written by Duff Mckagan, the bass player from Gunas and Roses & Velvet Revolver. He talked about since becoming a star, he went back to school to learn about finance. He didn't get into dollar figures, but he did discuss how he invests his money into various stocks, bonds and real estate to make money in the long term.

Most people think a guy like that has plenty of money, but the reality is he can't rely on residuals from Guns and Roses forever, and it's never a given that your next record is going to sell as well as your last one. He also mentions how he's met plenty of people in Hollywood who you would think would be rich, but just aren't, which is true, I've met some of them.

Several drummers have branched out into side businesses to gain long term financial health. Scott Rockenfield has his drum wrap company. Mark Zonder owns a recording studio. Terry Bozzio has his own business selling his own recordings and merchandise. Carmine Appice has said most of his money comes from his portion of the writing credits for two Rod Steward songs, and sales of his books.
 

Jeremy Bender

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
Don't forget Graeme Edge - The Moody Blues
Nick Mason - Pink Floyd

Who are also British Senior Citizens that made their name and fortunes back in the 70's playing to large crowds and selling millions of records. Interestingly enough Graeme is in his late sixties and still on tour this year after fourty years! I wonder if the lucrative career income formula is a matter of talent, luck of ttiming, mass appeal plus one more factor: Longevity.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I have been reading this thread and there is not one mention of this guy:


Zoro

www.zorothedrummer.com



I don’t know that he’s a millionaire, but he’s doing just fine! And the bulk of his playing, as said by Bermuda, is the 2 & 4 variety. In a lesson with him, he told me that Lenny was going to use drummer X and everyone in LA knew it was a done deal…..until Lenny went out to jam with drummer X, when drummer X started showing off all of his Jazz chops. Lenny called Zoro the next day and offered Z the gig. When asked, Lenny said that drummer X couldn’t play simple enough! One of the things that I remember hearing Zoro say at one of his clinics was that he only works on what puts money in his pocket. So it isn’t necessarily about having mondo chops!

Sega, I am the one person who is going to run against the grain and decry everything almost everyone here has said. It can be done and you can have both; do what you love, with people you love and the money will follow. Keep your thoughts positive and strive for your goals, however big or small. Write them down! Post them on your bathroom mirror where you will see them every day!

However, you must realize you time in history to understand what many musicians don’t; it isn’t the 1960s or 1970s anymore so you are going to have to think outside the box! Keep your attitude good and learn to bounce back.

An example is the click track. Many drummers’ fear of the click track eliminates them from many gigs, even on a Rock tour level! There many well-known bands touring right now, which use sequences during a show.

I saw that Vinnie Colauita was mentioned here somewhere. You have to know where you are in the timeline of history. What I mean here is that we aren’t in the past. LA isn’t the same as it was in the 1960s or 1970s. No town is for that matter! Vinnie came up in the time known as the Golden Age of recording in LA as did guys like Russ Kunkel, John Guerin, Jim Keltner, Hal Blaine. Having a drummer on a recording session was a necessity. Now many people use loops. They may vary in degree of quality but it is way of you getting replaced. Forget the much romanticized image of the rock band making it big!

However, with this technology, comes recording over the internet which means you can record with anyone in the world who has the same technology you have! However, some of the studios have remained for on reason which is the great sounding room they have! These are expensive to replicate!

It is just like the progress cars have made from 1961 to 2009.

Can you write songs? Can you think of something new that a drummer needs? What else besides just playing the drums can you bring to the table? How do you promote yourself? How many languages can you speak? There are musicians and techs who get a gig because they can speak Spanish or Chinese! It is a numbers game; the more you can do, the more chances you have of being a success! And yes, you will need to know about money in order to keep it! That is why so many people fail in finances; they haven’t learned about money – time value, return on investment, what is an acceptable risk and so on. Look for things which will still be paying you 20 years from now, not just this evening! And if you can think of something which everyone can use, not just drummers, you are way ahead of the game because the percentages are in your favor at that point!

Take a class on marketing. Garth Brooks admitted in print that there were better singers in Nashville than he was. But he said that he was a far better businessman and a better marketer than they were! And something else, he had to have the audacity to claim what would eventually become his! There is a fine line between arrogance and audacity btw!

Remember what I said about doing what you love with people you love…..one of the problems with bands is that a band is a marriage of convenience for most of the time. One person can’t stand another person but copes because ”the money will make it all worthwhile.”

We live in an era where music isn’t important to the masses. It is hard pill for those of us to swallow because music is our childhood sweetheart, our drug.

So back to Zoro….I gave Zoro $100 and he sent me five or six books to read. I know that one of them was the Cycle of Self-Empowerment by Dom Famularo (which I saved for last because I saw that it was some heavy reading). Ever since then, I look for books that are pertinent to my business of music. The latest I have found is Tour Smart and Break the Band. It is the music business 101. It is every mistake I have ever made or seen someone else make. Another book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad which has nothing to do with drumming unlocked the door to my imagination and drive!



And who says you can’t have both or that having money is wrong?


Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 

Stoney

Senior Member
There are tons of millionaire drummers. Name a big band and the chances are their drummer is/was a millionaire too..

Beatles - Ringo
Rolling Stones - Watts
Led Zep - Bonham
The who - Moon
Metallica - Ulrich
Iron Maiden - McBrain
Black Sabbath - Ward
Foo Fighters - Grohl/Hawkins
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Smith
Def Leppard - Allen
AC/DC - Rudd
Bon Jovi - Toris
U2 - Mullen
Coldplay -Champoin
Kiss - Criss
Tool - Carey
Pink Floyd - Mason
Genesis - Collins

I could go on and on and on.... but the key theme here is that they are/where all in BIG successful bands.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
There are tons of millionaire drummers. Name a big band and the chances are their drummer is/was a millionaire too..

Beatles - Ringo
Rolling Stones - Watts
Led Zep - Bonham
The who - Moon
Metallica - Ulrich
Iron Maiden - McBrain
Black Sabbath - Ward
Foo Fighters - Grohl/Hawkins
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Smith
Def Leppard - Allen
AC/DC - Rudd
Bon Jovi - Toris
U2 - Mullen
Coldplay -Champoin
Kiss - Criss
Tool - Carey
Pink Floyd - Mason
Genesis - Collins

I could go on and on and on.... but the key theme here is that they are/where all in BIG successful bands.
The main thing you have to remember when you talk about these bands is that they were all treated FAIRLY.

Ask the original band members of Ozzy's band how their money turned out, especially thinking of The BofO re-recording incident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_of_Ozz

In 1986, Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake sued Osbourne for unpaid royalties, eventually winning songwriting credits on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. The 2002 reissues of these albums saw the replacement of the original bass and drum tracks of Daisley and Kerslake with new ones by Osbourne's then-current drummer Mike Bordin and bassist Robert Trujillo. Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon, explained the re-recordings in a press conference: "Because of Daisley and Kerslake's abusive and unjust behaviour, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. "We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." Daisley and Kerslake deny the allegations of "abusive behaviour" and continue to battle for royalties owed them for their work on Blizzard of Ozz. However their case was dismissed by the US Supreme court on May 3, 2004, putting an end to any future potential litigation on the matter.
 

Stoney

Senior Member
The main thing you have to remember when you talk about these bands is that they were all treated FAIRLY.

Ask the original band members of Ozzy's band how their money turned out, especially thinking of The BofO re-recording incident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_of_Ozz

In 1986, Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake sued Osbourne for unpaid royalties, eventually winning songwriting credits on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. The 2002 reissues of these albums saw the replacement of the original bass and drum tracks of Daisley and Kerslake with new ones by Osbourne's then-current drummer Mike Bordin and bassist Robert Trujillo. Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon, explained the re-recordings in a press conference: "Because of Daisley and Kerslake's abusive and unjust behaviour, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. "We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums." Daisley and Kerslake deny the allegations of "abusive behaviour" and continue to battle for royalties owed them for their work on Blizzard of Ozz. However their case was dismissed by the US Supreme court on May 3, 2004, putting an end to any future potential litigation on the matter.

Yes thanks for pointing out the ONLY drummer there that I wasn't too sure about...Bill Ward Replace him with Tommy Lee or someone. I know that The Ozbournes (particularly Sharon) are pretty ruthless.

Just looking at Wiki he must've made a few bob out of this alone....

In December 1997, the group was joined by Ward, marking the first reunion of the original four members since Osbourne's 1992 "retirement show". The original lineup recorded two shows at the Birmingham NEC, which were released as the double live album Reunion on 20 October 1998. Reunion reached number eleven on the Billboard 200[37], and went platinum in the US

Also when I talk big bands I'm talking stadium fillers here (Aerosmith - Joey Kramer) etc. And when a drummer has no song writing credits it's usually the tours that make them the bucks. Particularly reunion tours! It would be ludicrous to think that bands like The Police (Copeland) net MILLIONS from these tours and the drummer comes out of it with anything less than a million.


I'll add I'm referring to bands and not say George Michaels drummer.
 
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BrewBillfold

Silver 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. . . .
How are people saying no? Just to be sarcastic because it's a silly question?

There are certainly drummers who are millionaires. It's not a high percentage of all drummers, but there are some. That should answer your question.
 
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