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Old 11-27-2015, 10:07 AM
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NotQuiteMyTempo NotQuiteMyTempo is offline
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Default *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

Hi i am a drummer in high school school and i was wondering if i could get some advice from you more experienced folks on Drummerworld forum. I am a freshman in high school and i want to really plan and explore my options for my future as a drummer. I know some would say its a bit early to be be planning for so far into my future but i'm the kind of person who likes to be informed and prepared and if you really think about it is only about 4 years away. So i know there is not that many well paying jobs or any jobs for drummers but i really want to explore my options as a passionate drummer who really like what he does. I was planning on going to school and ultimately getting a job in something in the computer realm to you know have a steady paying job to pay for food, bills, living space etc. and maybe going to music school? I don't really know yet. But coming back to present time what should i do meanwhile in high school i know i should practice of course, listen to music a lot, i try to play as many opportunists i get to play with other people i play in my schools symphonic band, jazz band, marching band and i have a small band on the side. I'm currently looking for a private teacher to help me out. Is that enough? Is there other things i should be doing? Is music school a necessity? I also heard being in a touring band is a option. Sorry if this is a lot of questions i just have so many unanswered questions in my head. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:06 PM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

Well, first, BREATHE ;)

At this point in time, once you get a private teacher, it sounds like you're doing all you can do. Get through high school with good grades so you can go into college semi-familiar with the workload.

It's good that you're thinking about making money doing something else, but at the same time, whatever you choose to do, will eat up most of your time. So if you're serious about the computer aspect, keep in mind that that profession takes as much dedication as being a musician would.

I would probably bring this up with your guidance counselor in school, along with your parents. You are right that in four years you will be embarking on adulthood, but at the same time, there's probably a lot you don't know about yet, so sharing what you want to do with your parents and counselors would be a good way to go.

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:41 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

Most of the drummers who make a living in my city have a teaching qualification as well as a music degree. They mostly teach drums in schools or shops or privately during the day, and play gigs some nights.

Also, those who can read charts, write arrangements and songs, play a wide range of styles and also play some mallets and orchestral percussion can earn money playing for musicals, cirque de soleil, earning songwriting royalties, casual work in orchestras, filling in for other drummers, recording studio work, etc.

In Sydney (Australia's largest city) there was a pool of work for film, television and advertising for many years. This dried up with the GFC in 2008, and almost zero live musicians are employed in film and television now, at least in Australia.

As a teacher, I've seen a few students join touring bands when they finished high school, and in each case it lasted two or three years, then they were back at square one. Obviously there are bands who do well, but these are rare.

My conclusion - get a college degree, be versatile. Write songs and arrangements. Teach. Play in several different bands at once.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:17 PM
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2underpar 2underpar is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

First off... I'm having a hard time believing this is written by a 14 year old.

I just hung out with two of my nephews which are your age and although they are "A" students I highly doubt that neither could have written and expressed their self as well as you did.

With that said, you have proven that you obviously have the ability to peruse higher education in probably just about anything you desire. I would choose a field of study that you are truly passionate, weather it be computers, music or anything else you love to do.

As for solid advice on what you should do with your life, well that's hard to say. That's one of those things everyone here wishes they had the answer.

I will tell you this. I have two other nephews (brothers) that are both highly musically inclined. Both attended D1 schools. One for engineering and the other for music. And guess what. Both are doing extremely well and both seem to have made the right decision in life.

But it's good that you are thinking about your future at your age. I guess it's never too early to start making plans. Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:50 PM
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Frank Frank is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

For pro aspirations:

- Reading is very, very important.

- Do you live near great live music? If so, immerse yourself in it, and find any open jam opportunities to jump in.

- You are wise to be talking about finding a second, complementary career. Teaching can be one of those. Work from home situations can also be great.

Wishing you the best.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:24 PM
vxla vxla is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

There are plenty of people working full time jobs as doctors, lawyers, or in tech that still maintain an active performing schedule. Follow whatever dreams you want in life; just be sure to have a way to achieve them in all manners (musically, financially, etc.).
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:44 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

- School is huge, but not a deal breaker. Be immersed in nothing but music for 4+ years will really help you become "fluent", and will give you a leg up on other players, but it's certainly not the only way to succeed in music.

- A private teacher will help as well; you really want to find one that can teach you music theory as well as drums/percussion, being limited to drums will negatively impact your ability to work. Again, not a deal breaker, but understanding music theory will improve your ability to work with others and to play more musically.

- Location. I make my living playing drums, mostly jazz, but I live in Boston/New England. There are 4 music schools in my city, and there must be 100 theatres, 1000s of clubs, where I can play. On top of that there are 10-12 cities with active music scenes, within an hour of where I live. Plus there are several states within a couple of hours that have large music scenes (NYC among others). Location matters a great deal; I wouldn't be able to live as a musician if I lived in, say Malta, Montana...

Keep working at it; I know it's only 4 years, but it's also 4 long years for you to figure out who you are as a person, and what you want to do. I didn't have the internet when I was in High school, which wasn't that long ago, but you have the largest collection of information in the world at your fingertips... Go to music school sites and lookup the various majors they offer, the classes, et cetera. Figure out what you love to do, and see where you fit in terms of colleges. Maybe you'll be interested in music technology, marrying your computer skills and love of music...
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:16 PM
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force3005 force3005 is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

Hi NotQuiteMyTempo, from what I read you are going places. My advice (this is only me) is get in all the school bands that you can in and get the best music teacher (drum) possible that your parents can afford. Learn to read and brake down songs. Go to collage as you stated for something other than music. Use music to help pay for collage as I did. After that, if you still want to then go back to school for music. Because now if you donít like it or feel itís not fore you, you have your two or four year degree in hand and music now will even become more enjoyable. But as Matt Bo Eder said above, four years is a long time and you need to get everyone involved. Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:44 PM
Smoke Smoke is offline
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Default Re: *Need Advice* Jazz drummer in high school

First things first. You need to plan for the future, but you need to excel now to get the best leg up. Work on a plan for college now, but graduate at the top of your high school class for your best chance at a full-ride scholarship. Hard work now will pay dividends in the future.

And you DO need to plan for college. To quote Sir Winston Churchill, "He who fails to plan is planning to fail." Do your research on several courses of education that interest you now. As you get closer to graduation, your direction(s) for schooling will be more firm. Right now, it's enough to to say, "I will be attending university after high school."

Remember that a job in "the music business" can take on many forms. You can be a very good drummer with a sound engineer "day" job. In 5 years, there will be music related jobs that don't yet exist. The person who can be employed in his passion, doesn't ever "work" a day in his life. Most people don't get to work their passion, but if you set realistic goals, make plans and work toward those goals, your chances are better.

Good luck and keep your nose to the grindstone!
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