Continuing the Income thread

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
There was a post attempting to address how much professional earn. I’ve been a full-time professional for 30 years and I’ve played drums for multiple Grammy winning artists both on record and on tour.
I’ll be transparent and say I am posting to give you insight, but also to let you know about my super affordable Patreon subscription page. The reason being , that I answer all questions for my members, and the person that posted “Pros seem to be very secretive about their income” is 100% correct. On my patreon a five dollar a month subscription will give you access to monthly videos and the ability to start dialogues with me and other members.
After reading the responses on that particular topic, i’ll say that most of the drummers answering are misinformed about the inner workings of a drummers income.
I’ll begin the truth by saying that 0.5% of all drummers are able to sustain a living at it. That’s 500 per 100,000. And successful band drummers, have basically won the lottery. A band drummer is not a real professional drummer as far as skill set. They got lucky. I’m speaking of skilled sidemen who auditioned for an already successful act and became members. I’m speaking of a drummer who’s been in a band from the ground up and is only capable of playing the music genre of that band. I won’t mention any names but we know who they are, and some of them are my friends and students who are super grateful for the luck in their lives . And luck definitely plays a part in every career to some degree. I’ll also say, that in a city such as Los Angeles or New York, you need to be earning a minimum of $5000 per month, to survive . So let’s say a freelance drummer with a name living in these areas will earn anywhere between $60,000 to $500,000 yearly. Many of them cannot sustain this cost of living and end up selling to live better in another city. Of course with that comes much less or zero local work .
My Patreon address is www.patreon.com/hassbeat where I will gladly share a multitude of valuable and honest. information with you , whether you are interested in earning a living at this or not.
Best of luck to you all!
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
So for $5, you will talk to someone? We do it here for free. This smells of spam to me. Why not just hold a sign on a street corner and beg for money if you need $5 that bad?

For $3 I'll give you my phone number and tell you the meaning of life.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
It’s not spam. It’s an opportunity to gain knowledge. I do offer this info amongst much more to my subscribers. I just wanted to chime in to let drummers know that this exists. From what I’ve seen, the info on this site given by other members on the this topic isn’t exactly accurate, and being that I’ve been doing this successfully for 30 years, I wanted to post so that I can be a resource. However I don’t have the time to devote to coming to this forum, so I do it via my own educational site. And having gone to Berklee College of music, my one gripe with that school is that no one ever really talked about numbers and how to sustain yourself and a family by being a professional instrumentalist . I’ve known Bernard for years and I’m one of the featured drummers on drummer world, so rest assured this is not spam .
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Good luck.
This is a case where one gets that they pay for. When I read suggestions and information on this site the reality is that half the people have zero idea what they're talking about. It's not a terrible or evil thing for an accomplished player to dole out their insight for a cost if someone thinks it will benefit them.
Good luck Steve. The ways for musicians to earn a living are currently being rewritten so it's nice to see creative approaches. Those who speak negatively of what you're offering I hope also speak negatively of every teacher on the planet so that they maintain their consistency. :)
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I appreciate that. I’ve paid $50-$200 per lesson with my then mentors, and the topics have always been about getting the gig through understanding music and the instrument. Getting the gig! Sustenance. Today my playing experience equals theirs , and although I charge a significant rate for one on one lessons in my studio, my five dollar per month subscription site offers much of the same information that a music school student would be accessing for a $200,000 degree. And of course there are always those who are sour in these forums. This is why I don’t make a habit out of visiting them. Thanks again.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It’s not spam. It’s an opportunity to gain knowledge. I do offer this info amongst much more to my subscribers. I just wanted to chime in to let drummers know that this exists. From what I’ve seen, the info on this site given by other members on the this topic isn’t exactly accurate, and being that I’ve been doing this successfully for 30 years, I wanted to post so that I can be a resource. However I don’t have the time to devote to coming to this forum, so I do it via my own educational site. And having gone to Berklee College of music, my one gripe with that school is that no one ever really talked about numbers and how to sustain yourself and a family by being a professional instrumentalist . I’ve known Bernard for years and I’m one of the featured drummers on drummer world, so rest assured this is not spam .
Fair enough. It just comes across as a "look at my site" thing.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
It partially is. Although I see it as “ this is here for you , if you want to participate”. I did give some broad info in my post. But for detailed info A) I don’t feel comfortable divulging my varying income info and concepts in an open forum, and B) I’ve worked incredibly hard with much sacrifice to gain this knowledge and career, therefore giving it away is not an option. Im sure you understand. Thank you!! 👍🏽👍🏽
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
If only there were a dedicated sub-forum for Education, this thread would fit there. And there are obviously subdivisions in Education just as there is equipment. "Technique" is about as close as it gets as of now.

Thanks for sharing.

As a side note, I buy knowledge/experience/perspective from other Financial Advisors from time to time so Steve's concept isn't foreign to me at all.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Thanks Lee! I find it interesting though that within my post I mentioned real info about drummers income, cost of living and statistics which all apply to the original thread of “how much do drummers earn” . That is what sparked my interest in posting here. Yet , the responses are all about the mention of my Patreon. That’s fine, just very telling. This topic of expected income has been a common one in my phone consultations and 1 on 1 teaching. I’ve had professional drummers on tour with huge pop artists, asked me flat out at lessons, what should I be earning on this tour ? I also understand that some are just not interested in earning a living at drumming. I teach high level hobbyists as well and help them with the areas they wish to excel in.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I am almost always studying with a teacher so I do get tons of this type of advice as part of my lessons, and it is super valuable. I can see how a self-taught working drummer who doesn't take lessons could benefit from honest dialog with a full time working pro.
I don't know Steve, but a quick Google search will show you that he's a true pro.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Whether it's anyone's business or not, the real problem with discussing salaries is that they are so disparate, that learning what a drummer makes for their particular gig has little bearing on what might be expected on a similar gig. That is, while the numbers might be interesting, they're of little actual value. Some pros are more forthcoming with their info privately, and I'm usually surprised at how much or how little they make on their particular gig, and how it compares to my primary gig.

I’ve had professional drummers on tour with huge pop artists, asked me flat out at lessons, what should I be earning on this tour ?
Salaries are extremely subjective, and except for a handful of players, aren't negotiable. The artist/management tells the prospective player what they pay, and the player makes a yes or no decision. Sometimes the money is quite good, sometimes the artist is cheap and feels it's an honor just to be playing with them and the 'exposure' is worth it (Zappa was notorious for that.) It varies. And therefore, any answer is probably not going to be helpful. It's probably safe to say "you can expect to make between $500 and $5000 a week, although it could be less, or more." So, not really helpful. And knowing what the previous drummer made isn't necessarily an indication of what the new drummer can expect to make.

Bermuda
 
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Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
That’s interesting Bermuda. Why do you think that is? I have definitely experienced that when I was doing a gig that a drummer such as Dennis Chambers or Dave Weckl have done, where quite honestly the audience is 25% larger because they are playing drums . It make sense that with Oz Noy or Jeff Lorber etc Dave Weckl would charge more than me. More people attend. But I have not experienced that otherwise. I believe if you are bringing a certain skill set to the gig that you should be paid accordingly, and when I recommend lesser known players than myself for a gig , I tell them what they should be asking for . Negotiation Fear, even with big names, plays a big factor, and I do discuss this with my students that play professionally . You can’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth . 👍🏽🙏🏽 Survival is at stake. I definitely do not agree that the numbers are of little or no value, I have come up with my entire pay structure through learning about what certain drummers charge.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
With the exception of subjective salaries , I have not experienced any of that . And again Musicians are usually afraid to negotiate, and this is why it’s subjective. In 30 years I have never NOT negotiated with artist management. Artist management always goes to the artist before making any decisions, and if the artist wants you, they’ll make adjustments . If they don’t care who’s playing drums , then I don’t care to work for them. It’s also important to “right size” the gig . You can’t ask for money that isn’t there when you’re doing a jazz tour in Europe with someone who is not very known . Everyone makes exceptions occasionally . And even then there are ways to double and triple your income with supplemental gigs when you are on a lower paying creative music tour . $500 weekly is not a sustainable professional income unfortunately. That’s a fee for 3 hours on a Saturday night here in LA. In NYC it’s higher. That’s 2 weeks of groceries in la or NYC. 😁
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Why does this remind me of those schemes wherein someone says, hey, for $5 I'll tell you how to make lots of money! - You pay the cash, and they say "so what you do is, you just walk up to people and sucker them into giving $5 for advice on how to make money! Have a nice day!"
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
So for $5, you will talk to someone? We do it here for free. This smells of spam to me. Why not just hold a sign on a street corner and beg for money if you need $5 that bad?

For $3 I'll give you my phone number and tell you the meaning of life.
Rush to judgement much? The guy has played with Cher and Scofield — both pop and jazz/fusion gigs — that most likely represent a wide understanding of a working drummer financial arrangements.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Thanks Brent! I believe if I can do it, I can show others how to do it. I also earn a pretty significant living just playing locally in Los Angeles . And I’m not Vinnie Colaiuta if you know what I mean. Unfortunately there will always be haters, or people that don’t do their homework before speaking .
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Rush to judgement much? The guy has played with Cher and Scofield — both pop and jazz/fusion gigs — that most likely represent a wide understanding of a working drummer financial arrangements.
Not judging, just calling it as I see it. I don't beat around the bush. Information is not gathered by just accepting things at face value. It's okay to question everything.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Not judging, just calling it as I see it. I don't beat around the bush. Information is not gathered by just accepting things at face value. It's okay to question everything.

Let’s just be honest and say jumping to conclusions is not exactly an accurate perspective. Questioning is encouraged and should always occur. But assuming without having done any research doesn’t help anyone. There’s a bit of attacking and unnecessary sarcasm. It’s origin is basic psychology . We all know why it happens. I only posted to offer a resource. I’ve been a successful professional drummer my entire life in three different cities . I can help those looking to do the same or similar . If people have nothing to add, or they are not interested, they just shouldn’t respond. That’s proper etiquette
 
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