Any LA Drummers?

tbone68

Member
Hi all, i wanted to know if there are any Los Angeles based drummers out there that can offer insight to the LA scene. How is the scene for working drummers? Any studio work, gigs, teaching etc? Im talking about guys that are new to LA and trying to "break in". Hows it going? Any insight is appreciated.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
There are more playing/teaching opportunities due simply to the area's size and population. But, the number of eager players is also large, so relatively speaking, it's about the same as any other big metro area.

As for studio work, don't even consider it - there's precious little left, and too many established players competing for what's left.

The types of music that pay are country, blues, and top-40 bands in bars, and that pay isn't very high. There's still a fair bit of "pay to play" (through selling tickets) for many original and metal bands, and there's virtually no jazz/fusion scene. DJs get some work, but they're not getting paid a lot either.

It's a real leap of faith to move here in order to make money with music. I don't know anyone who showed up as the new kid in town, and made any kind of splash.

Sorry, that's probably not the answer you were hoping for.

Bermuda
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
hey Tom

I love your playing...Im back in the NY/NJ area after living in LA for nearly a decade

Los Angeles is very cluttered with musicians ....as NY is of course

I have found it a bit easier to get gigs and recording session in NY than LA

in Los Angeles there seemed to be this untouchable A list that has cornered the market for a very very long time.....I'm lucky enough to know just a few people in this tight circle so was able to get a tiny bit of good paying work....just not enough to keep me there

I think its slightly more who you know in LA than it is in NY.....of course its that way here to....just a bit more so in LA ...I have found it that way anyway

I absolutely love the city of Los Angeles and everything that surrounds it .....but the griddyness of the east was calling me back ....that NYC dirty grind that I missed so much

Im most of the time glad I came back because work is a bit more abundant and I feel a bit more at home....

but I sometimes miss LA when I see what some of my good friends that I left behind are doing now

I try to get back at least twice a year when I can get some work lined up

I say ....if you are not too tied down here....take a few months or a year and move out there just for the experience

its a much different music biz than we have here .....you wont regret the experience

I learned a ton to take back here with me that helped me bob and weave my way through some obstacles
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I have a friend in Garden View (don't know it's relation to LA exactly) who is a guitarist. She was going to try to promote a local (and really small) producer near me. I wonder how that is going.
 

tbone68

Member
Thanks guys. Gvdadrummasum, interesting that you lived out there for a while. Like to talk with you more about it. Im pretty tied down here in NJ, but maybe someday. Ive been there several times and have some friends out there that have done some good stuff. I hear what you're saying about the studio scene though. Really tough, and I too like the grittiness of NYC and the drummers there . What kind of playing , gigs are you doing now? Love to see/ hear you play sometime!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Excellent playing, but there's a glut of excellent players in L.A. as well. Skill and passion are important, but as Gvda. said, it's who you know. More accurately, it's who knows you, paired with the luck of being in the the right place at the right time. But it's like that anywhere you go.

As such, a fresh player can come from anywhere, not just a large city or music mecca. It doesn't hurt to be near a large city with a decent music scene, but it's not required for success, particularly if you can market yourself online. In the area of teaching for example, Mike Johnson has done very well with this, and he's based in Sacramento, far from L.A. and not close enough to San Francisco to count. But he does clinics and is well-respected, and I know he also plays.

But if you want exposure and fame, take a number!

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'd also add that in marketing yourself online, offer a variety of styles, with a focus on simpler grooves. That's what 90% of working drummers are doing. Well, more like 95%, But don't forget some chops, it's important to be able to do as much as possible, and in the right balance. Post 8 short vids, and make 5 or 6 of them simple grooves and fills. And I mean SIMPLE. Think Ringo, Keltner, etc. The others can be funk, jazz, maybe Latin, whatever you're strong in. Drummers will love those. but the people who are looking for drummers will mostly gravitate to the simpler stuff.

Bermuda
 

tbone68

Member
No, Im not looking for "fame". Im firmly entrenched where i live and am making a good living supporting my family doing a variety of gigs, recordings, and teaching. As I said, not looking to move there, just simply wanted to know how the scene is compared to here on the east coast.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've been living out in the LA area all my life and I still feel like a new guy trying to break in. Almost to the point where I've given up and people find me because I don't care ;)
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I'd like to add these two books - the big gig book by Zoro and "The Wrecking Crew" by Kent Hartman. With Bremuda's post about networking, Zoro's book talks quite a bit about that. I like the book on the Wrecking Crew as it talks about how the studio scene evolved in the 1960s and early 70s. Things change and these guys made the best of it until times changed on them.

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
http://www.skillpages.com/mike.mccraw
 
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