Some questions drum techs.

mcbike

Silver Member
You can get in touch with your local IATSE union alot of jobs go through the union. The few techs/roadies that work full time in my area are in the union and they pretty much do local support for big tours that come through and festivals. There are a few that do drum teching. and a few of the local guys I know go out on the road a few times a year on bigger tours. http://www.iatse-intl.org/home.html

Another way to get a job doing teching is to look for cartage or music rental companies in your area. You can get a job with them and you will usually go set up rental kits in all different kinds of situations. Most major cities have one of these, some like los angeles and nashville have tons of companies that do this. You will probably end up setting up all kinds of gear though, not just drums. I have found that most of these guys that work for these companies don't really know alot about drums, they are usually speaker/technical/electrical types, so if you know drums you will be an asset.

I know one other drum tech in town who actually is a studio technician. He gets paid alot to come set up and tune drums in the studio. He has a good relationship with the biggest studio in town and knows all the producers. He has several kits and lots of snares that he rents out to clients and comes in and sets up the drums, tunes them, etc. There are a few companies in nashville that do this kind of work, I imagine los angeles and new york too.

as far as electronics go you need to learn them. If your goal is to be a tech for a top touring drummer you will be responsible for setting up all kinds of gear like triggers, electronic drumsets, sequencers, samplers, midi, click tracks, etc. You might even be asked to design a click track set up for the band. as far as mics go you need to know these things too. You have to be able to talk the talk and also address concerns and be the expert.

You also need to be able to perform any repairs related to drums and hardware that might need to be performed.

There is nothing a drum tech does that can't be learned through experience, but if you want to go to school for it I would suggest going to a recording school, or a live sound class. From what I have seen the high-dollar programs are generally a rip-off and you can get just as much information out of community college programs.

I know two succesful studio owners that got their start being the top students in a community college program, and then got internships at a major recording studio.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
1. How easy is it to find a job as a drum tech?
Good question, and I'm not sure. Even living in one of the biggest music cities (Los Angeles) I can't see I see many ads for techs in the trade papers. I suppose they do exist somewhere.

From what I've read, many drum techs get started because they knew someone before that someone got signed or got the important gig.

2. I know alot about acoustic drums, but not much about live sound/recording. will i have to learn alot about this?
It would help. With most bands, the sound man will take care of most of the sound work, but knowing about microphones and placement would be an asset in helping set up.
Like any job, the more you know, the more valuable you are to your employer.

3. Are there any good schools that i should start looking at?
I could be wrong, but I've never heard of a school or class about being a roadie/drum tech.

4. Is the pay good? (sorry if anyone finds this a bad question to ask)
Like anything else in the music business, it's going to depend on how well the band is doing. A band that sells out arenas everywhere can afford to pay more than a band that sells out clubs everywhere. A newer band on it's first tour might only have a budget for one or two guys to take care of the whole band's set up.

Like anything, I would suspect you'd have to start out small, and work you're way up.

When I was 18, I worked for a local band as the drum tech. I didn't get paid, and they couldn't have afforded to pay me anyway. I was a huge fan of the band, so I was pretty happy just to come along for the ride. But I learned first hand a lot about the music business, how to be a band, and other lessons that stayed with me. And had that band actually gotten signed and went out on a major tour, then I would have been 1st in line for a paid position (although that wasn't my objective).
 
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Cottontop

Senior Member
So ive been thinking about what i want to do with my life and what im really interested in and it always comes back to becoming a drum tech. I just have an obsession with the different sounds and the overall products of drum/cymbal companies. my friend who recently bought a new drum set came to me and said i had help a lot and that he was suprised at how much i knew, which gave me more inspiration.

Anyway, what i wanted to know was...
1. How easy is it to find a job as a drum tech?
2. I know alot about acoustic drums, but not much about live sound/recording. will i have to learn alot about this?
3. Are there any good schools that i should start looking at?
4. Is the pay good? (sorry if anyone finds this a bad question to ask)

Thanks a lot.
 
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