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  #41  
Old 08-22-2017, 04:18 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
However, I'm not sure I could shake the feeling that I haven't given myself the BEST chance by going to study a percussion/music degree at Royal College of Music, for example :)
Maybe take a year off, get some additional private lessons, regular gigs, recording experience, and develop your playing a bit. If and when you do get into a big music school, it's a good idea to be skilled enough that you stand out among the crowd as one of the really good players. More opportunities will open up for you that way. There isn't much point in exposing yourself to a bunch of musicians, teachers, and band leaders, if you don't make much of an impression with your playing, you know?
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  #42  
Old 08-22-2017, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Maybe take a year off, get some additional private lessons, regular gigs, recording experience, and develop your playing a bit. If and when you do get into a big music school, it's a good idea to be skilled enough that you stand out among the crowd as one of the really good players. More opportunities will open up for you that way. There isn't much point in exposing yourself to a bunch of musicians, teachers, and band leaders, if you don't make much of an impression with your playing, you know?
I understand. I've gotta do some thinking over the next week or so. Either I take a year out like you say, or I just carry on and play whenever/wherever I can.

Either way I won't drop out completely (not just yet, not without a very GOOD opportunity, as people in this thread have suggested).


For getting regular gigs, I should just look online ads for people needing drummers I assume? I truly am clueless! But my understading is there is a good portion of luck involved in finding gigs.

I suppose I can contact my old drum teacher, who has always said he would be happy for me to fill in for him in his band (at least he trusts me :))


I will re-read this thread a hundred times over while trying to decide I'm sure.
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  #43  
Old 08-22-2017, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

I think I remember somewhere in this thread that you said you had problems with networking at your college. Find out if there's an Open Mic and go watch. If there's not one, go start one and see who shows up. I might lead to nothing, but it might lead to something too.
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2017, 04:27 PM
mesazoo mesazoo is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
OK, well of course it is very hard for me to objectively assess how good I am. I am very critical of my playing in general and never satisfied with my current level of play regardless of how much I improve.

I've been playing around 8 years now. I suppose my range of playing styles is more limited than I would prefer. Jazz I play at a basic level, and generally rock/gospel/funk are the styles I feel I can play to a high standard.

I guess all I have to go by is my drum teachers in the past and what they have said. All have said I have natural feel/technique. One in particular would always say have the best half-time shuffle he has ever seen (haha!), he would make me show his other students.

While nice to hear, it is of course really meaningless, he is A) bias because I'm his student and B) a small time teacher, not a big guy at the top of his game. Regardless those sorts of things gave me hope as a younger teen about making a living from drums :) I guess that's where it all started

Other than me trying to get some footage of my practising and showing you all, it's hard for me to analyse myself.


Of course there are millions far far more talented than me, who practice much more. And certainly I need to work on my versatility, playing different styles/different forms of percussion etc.

All in all I'd guess I probably am not good enough, but I certainly believe I could get there with some serious dedicated practice over the next few years.

I suppose the idea of getting into brass band/ jazz band/ rock band/ playing musicals at uni isn't too bad. Get my skills up, work my ass off and then when I've got my degree go for a music career with everything for a few years.

However, I'm not sure I could shake the feeling that I haven't given myself the BEST chance by going to study a percussion/music degree at Royal College of Music, for example :)
So do you have any experience playing in a band setting? How many have you been in? How often did they gig? If you haven't ever worked with a band a cruise job is unlikely.
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  #45  
Old 08-22-2017, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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So do you have any experience playing in a band setting? How many have you been in? How often did they gig? If you haven't ever worked with a band a cruise job is unlikely.

I haven't done much. Basically:

- Played drums for two of my schools musical productions.
- My band away from uni have played a big live event at a church
- We've done a variety of other (small) events at summer fairs etc.
- I played some originals of my friends at a local arts centre.

We did have a pub gig set up but unfortunately had to cancel.

Probably nothing worth anything in the real world, I'm aware those are very small/meaningless things. I think it's true I need to get more involved with the uni brass/orchestral bands and musicals to get more experience.


The only hope in regards to cruise ship is a close relative of mine actually knows someone who's son is a cruise ship entertainment manager, although I 'm unsure (and think it unlikely) they are close enough for them to arrange me to get involved with that.
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  #46  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Quite the fork in the road you have here.
I'm with the majority who say "take a break, but don't drop out". I ASSURE you doing so would cause issues down the road.

People like Neil Peart who at 18 went to London with his drums to try & "make it" said in an interview that after a year, he came home as his idea was unrealistic.
I'd stick with keeping school on your mind & taking a break to see if music will work out.
Definitely try music for a year & see what happens. You might just strike it rich & be well on your way. But if not, you'll at least have something to fall back on.
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Quite the fork in the road you have here.
I'm with the majority who say "take a break, but don't drop out". I ASSURE you doing so would cause issues down the road.

People like Neil Peart who at 18 went to London with his drums to try & "make it" said in an interview that after a year, he came home as his idea was unrealistic.
I'd stick with keeping school on your mind & taking a break to see if music will work out.
Definitely try music for a year & see what happens. You might just strike it rich & be well on your way. But if not, you'll at least have something to fall back on.
Yes, that seems the best option. As for deciding to take a break now, or wait until i'm done (at which point I'll be 22 and better at drums), do you think I may have a better chance if I do it after?
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  #48  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:10 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Yes, that seems the best option. As for deciding to take a break now, or wait until i'm done (at which point I'll be 22 and better at drums), do you think I may have a better chance if I do it after?
You've gotten a lot of advice, but there is one point I haven't seen anyone make and I would like to make it strongly:

Do. Not. Take. A. Break.

It could be that I'm entirely off base. I went to college about 20 years ago. But my experience was that everyone who 'took a break' never went back to school, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

If you are on a scholarship you will lose it. If you are receiving grants or loans you will find them much harder to get outside of that high school to college transition. You will find it difficult to even get accepted back, as there is a constant flood of new students being pushed into the mill of "higher education".

The actual value of college is a long debate ... but in the current economy it's basically a must-have even for many blue-collar jobs.

Instead of taking a break or quitting I would suggest, like many others, you try to find what it is you want to learn in college. When I went I had no idea. I was just really good at school so I got to go for almost free. I wasted a year thinking I wanted to be a psychologist and fell ass-backwards into software engineering, which led to a pretty fulfilling career. I started drums late in life and had a phase where I wanted to ditch it all and bang on them drums all day long ... but it passed.

Everything you do for a living is a job. I would say having a successful, happy life is about finding the job that hits that perfect spot between keeping you fed and keeping you fulfilled. Given where you are with your drumming I would say 'making it' as a drummer is a long shot.

One other thing - the baseball analogy is quite good. There are a lot of amazing baseball players in high school who flop out in the majors (like Billy Beane). There are many others who do well then get injured. You never know what will happen, and the odds are long.

But it is your decision, and you only have one life. Don't let us older, more risk-averse guys entirely kill your spirit ... just weigh all the advice and make your call.

Best of luck!
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  #49  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:11 PM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Also, having music as a plan A should not stop you from achieving all prerequisites for a plan B, just in case plan A falls through for whatever reason.

I was raised to always have a plan B to fall back on, and boy did that serve me well. People saying you should not have one as it will take your focus away from your main objective are out there, but in my experience they are the ones that fall the hardest when hit by a reverse of fortune.

My main point here : It's good to have options.

Plan C is becoming either a ski or a beach bum. Or both. Tough call. A drum bum I have always been, and always will be.
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  #50  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

I tried to make the point that he should continue with school in post #38,
also suggesting that he try branching out into different areas.

Some of the university classes that meant the most to me, and have stuck with me after all these years, had nothing to do at all with my degrees.

Much easier in the long run to stay the course, rather than quit, and try to muddle back again later in life.
There'll be plenty of time after age 22 to further define where you're going.
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  #51  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Don't quit school for music until you are gigging regularly. Maybe consider a different major. You will know the time to quit school is right when you are to busy working to study.
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  #52  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Dont quit school. switch majors. I was a Classical Composition major though i had also been accepted into the opera and classical percussion programs. Going to music school was one of the best things i ever did. I wouldn't be half the musician i am today if i hadn't.
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  #53  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:57 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
I suppose I can contact my old drum teacher, who has always said he would be happy for me to fill in for him in his band (at least he trusts me :))
You should obviously take advantage of this, and any other opportunity!

You could also take lessons from a second drum teacher (yes, there are drummers out there with multiple teachers!), establish a rapport, and ask around for opportunities to play. Could be with other students, could be a drum line, whatever.

You can establish a weekly jazz jam session (maybe put the word out on social media?), and ask a more experienced pro to stop by and offer advice once in a while. Record yourselves. Get some video, too.

Quote:
The only hope in regards to cruise ship is a close relative of mine actually knows someone who's son is a cruise ship entertainment manager, although I 'm unsure (and think it unlikely) they are close enough for them to arrange me to get involved with that.
You should work this connection now. At least let the manager know that you're a drummer looking for cruise ship work. Often, bands assemble themselves, and then book a contract with the cruise line. Your contact might know other musicians who are putting together a group for future bookings. Who knows, you might get an opportunity for next summer!

You're in college, but you can still find time to develop your skills. You will have to create many of your educational opportunities yourself.
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  #54  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

I went to college and have a career and a degree in computer science. I've had bandmates who are attorneys, portfolio management, and so forth. I've also had a bandmate who didn't go to school, is now in his late 40's and life is a real struggle for him to try to supplement his day job with gig money. I'm not saying going to school is the be all/end all, but I'm really glad that I did. I wouldn't give up the opportunity that you have to get a higher education. Making a living playing music, especially where I am...I don't think it's ever been more difficult. It's too bad but it is what it is. Of course, there are those who followed their passion, and and are now world famous...
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:36 PM
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  #55  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Sex & Drums & Rock n roll!!!

I say quit school and live your rock n roll fantasy. Don't be a wage slave like the rest of us. Being broke builds character. Busking for a few bucks here and there is only a thing. Knowing some guitar might help a little. The experience you get in school will never compare to the experience that life and struggle will give you. Never say die !!!
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  #56  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

My post apparently got posted early before i finished lol... heres the full version.
Altho my post may sound like a strict pro-school, it isnt.. i have many friends around me who are musicians who did or did not go to school and i respect everyone. But this is my two cents and the route that i took and how i gained satisfaction.


Ive been reading thru the posts in here throughout the day and wanted to chime in when i felt time was right. OP, take ur thoughts in ur head and try turning it this way: re-evaluating life - want to succeed in life (subjective) and pursue being awesome at drums. Kinda adds a new perspective to life in general and a glimmer of hope of wanting best of both worlds. Could it be done? Absolutely. Could it be done FAST (within 5 yrs or however long school is for ur program) and WITHOUT school? Technically yes but pretty much impossible within that time period that wouldve gotten u through school and a decent job following that.

As many have already said it, busking/surviving off musical skills and talent alone in this day and age is a near pact for suicide (economically lol). As many also have said, a lot of us are life long musicians whom most of them finished school and have a career as a priority for source of steady income. Why do we do this?.. because.. music and skills associated with it does not equal money in this world. Whereas if you take a credible course on anything in post-secondary education, chances are you will be able to use it to make money as long as your heads in the right place. It is about making moneyyy...nothing else. Finishing a science degree doesnt mean you will work as a scientist or a science only field and that you are forever confined to the world of science. You and others probably all know this by now.

I think about the days when i used to complain to my mom why i have to go to school...when my passion was BMX biking and wanted to ride PRO!! HAHA

I have a science degree but was in a very technical field of medical radiation sciences. It was a degree program basically allows u to streamline into becoming either of xray, ultrasound or radiation therapy technologist. It is very narrow in nature and once u were done, you should be working as one of those techs provided you presented competence by passing a national licensing exam. Salary out of the gate ranged from 50-65k (canadian dollar) as a full time tech depending on how many days u work a week and as a 24 yr old graduate who just became an xray tech, i had too much money to blow on a monthly basis. Anyways the point im making? School allows u to develop certain skillsets the rest of ANYONE else around u is also eligible to receive, and allows them to go out and make steady income without having to impress too many people. What you are passively asking us is can i ditch this school gig and make it as a pro drummer....and fast!!! Unfortunately i really dont think a short cut like that exist anywhere. Especially in order to succeed as a musician, u need to truly "IMPRESS" everyone around u to make a decent living out of it. We dont all make it out to become the Paul McCartney's of the world either. What ur asking is can i get by as a halg decent drummer and will people pay me for it so i can live in a decent place and eat decent food? Answer is technically yes, if u put enough years and go thru thousands of rejections inbetween to sacrifice decades of ur life for it. School? U need to endure thru give or take, 4 or 5 years of ur early 20s and you likely have a steady income.


Tl;dr version:
Dont quit lol
Schools not that long
Make money the easy way first (school)
Then worry about wanting to switching to drumming career

Honestly it is really easy for anyone at any age between 15-30 to ponder "why cant i?... mccartney did it" mindset at some point. But get back on yer horse lad... real worlds tough still
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  #57  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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<snip>

It wasn't that long ago in LA that Josh Freese was playing on anybody and everybody's recording for almost nothing. He really lowered the rent. Wonder whatever happened to him.

</snip>
Seems to be doing okay now. Currently on tour with Sting. ;-)
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  #58  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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I tried to make the point that he should continue with school in post #38,
also suggesting that he try branching out into different areas.

Some of the university classes that meant the most to me, and have stuck with me after all these years, had nothing to do at all with my degrees.

Much easier in the long run to stay the course, rather than quit, and try to muddle back again later in life.
There'll be plenty of time after age 22 to further define where you're going.
Hmm my understanding is things work very differently here in UK compared to US (in regard to uni/college).

My degree is very specific, any modules I choose will be related to biochemistry, even from the first year. My Bsc lasts 3 years and there is not the wide options at the start e.g. I can't do a module in any subject.

So extra curricular groups are the only option I have for less related things
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  #59  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by TripleStroke View Post
My post apparently got posted early before i finished lol... heres the full version.
Altho my post may sound like a strict pro-school, it isnt.. i have many friends around me who are musicians who did or did not go to school and i respect everyone. But this is my two cents and the route that i took and how i gained satisfaction.


Ive been reading thru the posts in here throughout the day and wanted to chime in when i felt time was right. OP, take ur thoughts in ur head and try turning it this way: re-evaluating life - want to succeed in life (subjective) and pursue being awesome at drums. Kinda adds a new perspective to life in general and a glimmer of hope of wanting best of both worlds. Could it be done? Absolutely. Could it be done FAST (within 5 yrs or however long school is for ur program) and WITHOUT school? Technically yes but pretty much impossible within that time period that wouldve gotten u through school and a decent job following that.

As many have already said it, busking/surviving off musical skills and talent alone in this day and age is a near pact for suicide (economically lol). As many also have said, a lot of us are life long musicians whom most of them finished school and have a career as a priority for source of steady income. Why do we do this?.. because.. music and skills associated with it does not equal money in this world. Whereas if you take a credible course on anything in post-secondary education, chances are you will be able to use it to make money as long as your heads in the right place. It is about making moneyyy...nothing else. Finishing a science degree doesnt mean you will work as a scientist or a science only field and that you are forever confined to the world of science. You and others probably all know this by now.

I think about the days when i used to complain to my mom why i have to go to school...when my passion was BMX biking and wanted to ride PRO!! HAHA

I have a science degree but was in a very technical field of medical radiation sciences. It was a degree program basically allows u to streamline into becoming either of xray, ultrasound or radiation therapy technologist. It is very narrow in nature and once u were done, you should be working as one of those techs provided you presented competence by passing a national licensing exam. Salary out of the gate ranged from 50-65k (canadian dollar) as a full time tech depending on how many days u work a week and as a 24 yr old graduate who just became an xray tech, i had too much money to blow on a monthly basis. Anyways the point im making? School allows u to develop certain skillsets the rest of ANYONE else around u is also eligible to receive, and allows them to go out and make steady income without having to impress too many people. What you are passively asking us is can i ditch this school gig and make it as a pro drummer....and fast!!! Unfortunately i really dont think a short cut like that exist anywhere. Especially in order to succeed as a musician, u need to truly "IMPRESS" everyone around u to make a decent living out of it. We dont all make it out to become the Paul McCartney's of the world either. What ur asking is can i get by as a halg decent drummer and will people pay me for it so i can live in a decent place and eat decent food? Answer is technically yes, if u put enough years and go thru thousands of rejections inbetween to sacrifice decades of ur life for it. School? U need to endure thru give or take, 4 or 5 years of ur early 20s and you likely have a steady income.


Tl;dr version:
Dont quit lol
Schools not that long
Make money the easy way first (school)
Then worry about wanting to switching to drumming career

Honestly it is really easy for anyone at any age between 15-30 to ponder "why cant i?... mccartney did it" mindset at some point. But get back on yer horse lad... real worlds tough still
Thank you! It really is a shame that music is so hard these days career wise, although I'm sure it was never easy in the first place

I have certainly reached the decision to finish, and any break that I took would ONLY be done with the certainty that I could return to the same degree at the same uni and enter my second year (I know a friend who has done this)

In a way then it's a risk free "intermission" if I did that, however has someone has already mentioned I may struggle to return with motivation after the gap year.

On the other hand, I may have hated it and have a new found love for my degree :)
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  #60  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Sex & Drums & Rock n roll!!!
That's the dream.

But I think - reading everything I have - fully quitting may be a bit hasty and possibly just straight up stupid.


But if I can find a compromise through a gap year (during or after degree) where I put everything into trying to make some money out of drums, I could live with that

Sex, drums and qualifications :)
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  #61  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

DrumWild's story is a good one. Similar-ish to mine.

I moved to Los Angeles with thought of I was going to make it in music or die trying. After a number of years, I realized I didn't want to die.

Of my buddies who do make a living in music, the amount of sacrifice they've gone through is pretty amazing.

Read this thread for more:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=138203
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  #62  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
Hmm my understanding is things work very differently here in UK compared to US (in regard to uni/college).
....

Apparently so.

In that case: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...2&postcount=55

LOL
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  #63  
Old 08-26-2017, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Sorry to bump this again.

What are thoughts on "contemporary" schools where essentially focus is on 100% kit rather than more traditional music.

Here in UK we have BIMM and ACM for example.

I assume it's the same story, just probably not worth it? It's just I know of someone who went to one of these and is now a hugely successful drummer (played O2 etc)

Again though I assume he's just a one off , and the majority of drummers who go there will amount to nothing?
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  #64  
Old 08-26-2017, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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How do I get started?

I just think I'm 19 - i have no obligations, responsibilities (kids, mortgage) why shouldn't I?
You should probably finish school, get your degree/diploma, and then try to find work as a drummer. I think you'll come to the realization pretty quickly that surviving as a full time musician will require a vow of poverty and/or playing music you don't enjoy playing.

Perhaps try auditioning for a gig on a cruise ship or with Cirque du Soleil.

Basically, I really think you need a dose of reality.
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  #65  
Old 08-26-2017, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
What are thoughts on "contemporary" schools where essentially focus is on 100% kit rather than more traditional music.
It really depends on what you plan on doing. I don't imagine anyone is asking for a music degree, unless you're going to teach lessons, or fight 300 other people for a shot at that orchestra seat, playing triangle. Within the context of other situations, such as a rock band, kicking ass is the criteria.

Focus on the kit only might be okay, but it is limited focus, and you may end up neglecting other areas. To quote Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, "Drummers that are just drummers are very annoying." What he means is that it's important for drummers to have a concept of other instruments. Source of the quote, with additional context.

When I went to University for Percussion Arts, things went WAY beyond drums. My required classes included string bass, piano, marimba, music theory, ear training, notation, etc.

You might wonder when the hell anyone is going to ask you to play piano or string bass. But it's all about having that concept, because then you can play and write in a sympathetic manner that makes the other guy sound good, while being more musical.

Music theory can also improve your ability to communicate with other musicians, and it has helped me, especially in the studio, where time is money, and I'm serving as Music Supervisor for an album. Communicating quickly with studio musicians is key, when time is money.

I'm getting a bit of a refresher in Music Theory with my guitar instructors, and will be getting a major refresher in September with a composer who earned his Masters in Composition under Frédéric Durieux, and a prix d’analyse under Claude Ledoux. I'm expecting my brains to leak out of my ears.

But even if you don't have to use the actual names of things, you can still lean on the concepts.

I guess the short way to describe it is "well-rounded."

Also, lots of drummers end up becoming producers, and having an ear for all of the instruments, as well as the knowledge, is certainly a leg up.

Whenever I hear that joke about, "Who's the guy who hangs out with musicians? THE DRUMMER!" I tend to laugh, but for a completely different reason. I'm convinced that, in most cases, the drummer is the most musical person in the room.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by Drumsarefun View Post
Sorry to bump this again.

What are thoughts on "contemporary" schools where essentially focus is on 100% kit rather than more traditional music.

Here in UK we have BIMM and ACM for example.

I assume it's the same story, just probably not worth it? It's just I know of someone who went to one of these and is now a hugely successful drummer (played O2 etc)

Again though I assume he's just a one off , and the majority of drummers who go there will amount to nothing?
If you work hard enough at drumming and being the greatest drummer you can be, then you have no choice than to believe in yourself. If you're not well-trained and well-connected, you will miss 100% of your chances just by not being there. Your friend was there when it became available. He put himself there. Where are you going to put yourself?
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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If you work hard enough at drumming and being the greatest drummer you can be, then you have no choice than to believe in yourself. If you're not well-trained and well-connected, you will miss 100% of your chances just by not being there. Your friend was there when it became available. He put himself there. Where are you going to put yourself?
It's true, but if I did a course like that for three years and nothing comes of it, that's £30,000 down the toilet.

I really do want to, but I'm not sure I could justify the risk when I think of it that way.

I'm going in circles here, I've just got to decide one way or the other. Nothing is guaranteed, so there's no definite answer : /

I appreciate all the advice, thank you to everyone
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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It really depends on what you plan on doing. I don't imagine anyone is asking for a music degree, unless you're going to teach lessons, or fight 300 other people for a shot at that orchestra seat, playing triangle. Within the context of other situations, such as a rock band, kicking ass is the criteria.

Focus on the kit only might be okay, but it is limited focus, and you may end up neglecting other areas. To quote Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, "Drummers that are just drummers are very annoying." What he means is that it's important for drummers to have a concept of other instruments. Source of the quote, with additional context.

When I went to University for Percussion Arts, things went WAY beyond drums. My required classes included string bass, piano, marimba, music theory, ear training, notation, etc.

You might wonder when the hell anyone is going to ask you to play piano or string bass. But it's all about having that concept, because then you can play and write in a sympathetic manner that makes the other guy sound good, while being more musical.

Music theory can also improve your ability to communicate with other musicians, and it has helped me, especially in the studio, where time is money, and I'm serving as Music Supervisor for an album. Communicating quickly with studio musicians is key, when time is money.

I'm getting a bit of a refresher in Music Theory with my guitar instructors, and will be getting a major refresher in September with a composer who earned his Masters in Composition under Frédéric Durieux, and a prix d’analyse under Claude Ledoux. I'm expecting my brains to leak out of my ears.

But even if you don't have to use the actual names of things, you can still lean on the concepts.

I guess the short way to describe it is "well-rounded."

Also, lots of drummers end up becoming producers, and having an ear for all of the instruments, as well as the knowledge, is certainly a leg up.

Whenever I hear that joke about, "Who's the guy who hangs out with musicians? THE DRUMMER!" I tend to laugh, but for a completely different reason. I'm convinced that, in most cases, the drummer is the most musical person in the room.
I suppose a lot of those skills I can self teach / learn as part of bands/orchestra at uni though?


I did think about teaching myself music theory as I like the idea of having knowledge outside of drumming, mainly coming from a writing standpoint, but I guess its useful in many ways
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:20 PM
iwearnohats iwearnohats is offline
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

You could do what I did.

Worked in a job I hated for >10 years

Finally figured out what I wanted to do and by a combination of luck and talent joined the Fire Brigade full time in 2015. I absolutely love the job, which means I'm always looking forward to going to work, even working overtime shifts when I can which is something I would never have done while working in IT

Now thanks to the roster (it's probably different all over the UK and would be worth looking into) I have plenty of time off that I can focus on drumming. Due to family commitments I don't do much gigging but I have so much more flexibility than I would have done had I remained in a Mon-Fri job.

I'm 33.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

My two cents.

Get your degree. You'll need a degree to make a decent living. You might make a good living playing drums or you might starve. Get yourself some training that can make you real money.

I'm not saying to not pursue drums. I think you should if you love it. But get an MBA too. Why couldn't you have a music degree and an MBA?

Then you can create a business that makes you money while you pursue your drumming. You can play, but not starve. And you could still achieve your dreams.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Follow your desires. Now. Don't wait. Your young. And if things don't work out, after two, four, five or ten years. Or you burn out. You'll still be young enough to start again. I'm 44 and still re-inventing myself every five to seven years.

Example: Ever since I was young, I wanted to own a small retail store. I finally did a few years ago. Then I realized, I hated it. Now I feel better, I got that, out of my system. I also lost a few grand of my money too. But, it was worth it.

Live life. Don't keep dreaming and dreaming.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

University was THE best time of my entire life. I was doing something I loved. (Turned out I couldn't make a living doing it, but that's a detail.) If I hadn't loved every second of it, I couldn't have stood it, and this is in the days before tuition fees, AND the government paid me a grant. The idea of racking up thousands of £-worth of debt, studying something you don't care about and wouldn't want to pursue as a career, turns my stomach.

If you are that serious about your drumming, and believe that you have the ability, then my advice would be to study drums at the Guildhall. Their graduates have a 100% employment success rate. They don't take many drummers, so you have to be shit-hot even to get in.

Whatever you do, don't go to BIMM in London.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

I'll bet what's happening is that classes are starting up again, and you're thinking
"Oh man - not this crap again". Ha ha.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

Drumsarefun, it just sounds like you don't have much of a concept of the field you're getting into. I think you need to get out and see some music-- any and all music possible for you to see live, because those are the first gigs you'll be trying to get. Talk to the drummer, tell him/her you're interested in getting into music, find out what they're doing professionally-- have some conversations.

I would seriously be going out 5-7 nights a week the next couple of months. Call retirement centers/community centers/fraternal societies and see if they're having music if you run out of places to go. Consider the money you spend drinking coffee an investment in your future. When you've done that, you'll have an idea of what you need to be able to do, and if this is something you want to get into.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Drumsarefun, it just sounds like you don't have much of a concept of the field you're getting into. I think you need to get out and see some music-- any and all music possible for you to see live, because those are the first gigs you'll be trying to get. Talk to the drummer, tell him/her you're interested in getting into music, find out what they're doing professionally-- have some conversations.

I would seriously be going out 5-7 nights a week the next couple of months. Call retirement centers/community centers/fraternal societies and see if they're having music if you run out of places to go. Consider the money you spend drinking coffee an investment in your future. When you've done that, you'll have an idea of what you need to be able to do, and if this is something you want to get into.
I agree with Todd. You need to have a much better picture of what it is that you think you'd like to do musically speaking, and what opportunities actually exist.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Drumsarefun, it just sounds like you don't have much of a concept of the field you're getting into. I think you need to get out and see some music-- any and all music possible for you to see live, because those are the first gigs you'll be trying to get. Talk to the drummer, tell him/her you're interested in getting into music, find out what they're doing professionally-- have some conversations.

I would seriously be going out 5-7 nights a week the next couple of months. Call retirement centers/community centers/fraternal societies and see if they're having music if you run out of places to go. Consider the money you spend drinking coffee an investment in your future. When you've done that, you'll have an idea of what you need to be able to do, and if this is something you want to get into.
Good idea, I live in a smallish town so would struggle to find that many gigs to fill up 5 days a week i imagine, but I will try to, certainly if I decide to take this gap year
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
I'll bet what's happening is that classes are starting up again, and you're thinking
"Oh man - not this crap again". Ha ha.
Definitely a part of it lol - but it's a bigger feeling I've had for a while aswell :)
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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University was THE best time of my entire life. I was doing something I loved. (Turned out I couldn't make a living doing it, but that's a detail.) If I hadn't loved every second of it, I couldn't have stood it, and this is in the days before tuition fees, AND the government paid me a grant. The idea of racking up thousands of £-worth of debt, studying something you don't care about and wouldn't want to pursue as a career, turns my stomach.

If you are that serious about your drumming, and believe that you have the ability, then my advice would be to study drums at the Guildhall. Their graduates have a 100% employment success rate. They don't take many drummers, so you have to be shit-hot even to get in.

Whatever you do, don't go to BIMM in London.
Haha so BIMM not thought of highly? Yeah I don't imagine I'd get in to guildhall, not sure if I need prior skills in aural/orchestral stuff, or just kit either.

I guess the thing with this is I want to play kit, not really the triangle in an orchestra. Not sure how it works.

Really though I will probably suck it up and finish my degree, it isn't totally unbearable, and really I don't seem to have many other realistic options (i.e. guildhall is probably too competitive)
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

No one ever said "it's bad to have stable income".
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Revaluating life - want to drop uni and pursue drums

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I suppose a lot of those skills I can self teach / learn as part of bands/orchestra at uni though?
Indeed, you don't have to become proficient at those other instruments, and I think that [for some] a handful of lessons can serve one well.

I just found this somewhat relevant note about studio musicians, and where that person is headed: https://youtu.be/CcKFiDONNDI

That's just one of many outlets and opportunities.
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