Continuing the Income thread

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I continued to work a day job pretty far into my career with Al... 1996 to be exact! Lots of Gold and Platinum albums and drum gear were shipped to me at my job, and my dual careers were widely known. I was the envy of my local bandmates and other pros, because I had a paycheck year 'round.

Of course it takes a special company and a special employee to make that work, and I was that employee and Westwood One was that company. They allowed me to come and go several times in order to tour 3 or 4 months with Al, primarily because I was a conscientious and valuable employee. I didn't treat my day job like a day job, and replacing me wasn't easy (although they did try!)

Yes, it was the right company at the right time, but it wasn't just luck - I personally balanced my day job with my music.

Bermuda
So THAT’S how you afforded 500 cymbals and 106 snare drums
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I will try to explain this one last time. If you still don't get it, not my fault.
88304

What Beyond Betrayal said is absolutely 100% true. Owning 100 unique combinations of lottery tickets will increase your personal odds of having the right combination in a lottery. YOU own more ticket combinations, YOU have higher odds of having the correct combination.
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
The only thing i care about when playing in a band, is that we all earn the same..

Also when playing as a 'hired gun' in a backing band btw..

Like, hypothetically spoken, even if i would play in the backing band from Taylor Swift, for me would be very difficult to accept that for example the guitar player would earn more than myself..
 
The only thing i care about when playing in a band, is that we all earn the same..

Also when playing as a 'hired gun' in a backing band btw..

Like, hypothetically spoken, even if i would play in the backing band from Taylor Swift, for me would be very difficult to accept that for example the guitar player would earn more than myself..
I totally agree with you.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
The only thing i care about when playing in a band, is that we all earn the same..

Also when playing as a 'hired gun' in a backing band btw..

Like, hypothetically spoken, even if i would play in the backing band from Taylor Swift, for me would be very difficult to accept that for example the guitar player would earn more than myself..
I feel in a band where 4 members at the same level START a band, this is often the case, and how both of my bands work... If Taylor Swift asked me to drum, I would not expect to make with the current members do.. That's just how it is.. You are hired for a job. When you start at a company you don't make with the other employees work off the hop either.

Also, the lead singer in this case (Owner/CEO) tends to make more than the new guy forever too. When the "band" is someone elses name, they often take the lions share of the profits.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I feel in a band where 4 members at the same level START a band, this is often the case, and how both of my bands work... If Taylor Swift asked me to drum, I would not expect to make with the current members do.. That's just how it is.. You are hired for a job. When you start at a company you don't make with the other employees work off the hop either.

Also, the lead singer, (CEO) tends to make more than the new guy forever too.
That's an excellent point. But what if you hired Taylor Swift to be your new singer (that's a freaking hilarious thought)? Since she is Taylor Swift, should she get an equal cut or no?
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..If Taylor Swift asked me to drum, I would not expect to make with the current members do.. That's just how it is..

I disagree with that..

If i would be asked to play in her band, i assume that i am asked because i have at least the same playing level like everyone else in that band and also enough experience to play on that level and then to me is not relevant that for example the guitar player allready plays a few years more with her..

The only acceptable exception i can think of, is when the guitar player also would be the band leader (or musical director or whatever) and therefore would have a much bigger task/responsibility..

But as a backing band we all play and contribute to the same show on that evening and in my opinion that means we should all be paid the same in that case..
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Re tickets for lottos and raffles: In raffles, you're playing the odds. In a lottery such as Powerball, you're playing probability.

Raffles have a winner. A winning ticket is drawn from the actual tickets sold.
The odds of a winning a raffle are a ratio of the number of tickets you own vs the total number of tickets sold.

Lotteries don't ALWAYS have a winner. Numbers are drawn at random, regardless of the number of tickets. If no one bought a ticket w/ the correct numbers, the winnings pool grows until a drawing's numbers matches a purchased ticket.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Wow, that's crazy. I would have thought that by Even Worse you would have been able to retire from the 9-5. That right there speaks volumes.
I definitely could have quit sooner than I did, but I enjoyed what I did, it was a comfortable situation with a regular paycheck, and it never interfered with my music. Truly the best of both worlds!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
That's an excellent point. But what if you hired Taylor Swift to be your new singer (that's a freaking hilarious thought)? Since she is Taylor Swift, should she get an equal cut or no?
No. She has a much bigger name, and would come with a higher cost. Everyone has a a price they think they are worth, and a price they should or do get paid. Both of those for her is higher than me or anyone else I jam with. Some people lowball themselves, some take every possible gig to get by, an some know their worth and would straight up tell you a dollar amount or say no to a low offer. Someone of that caliber might agree to the same pay if the other musicians were all on the same level with the same fame. I don't know. I'm not at that level.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
The only thing i care about when playing in a band, is that we all earn the same..

Also when playing as a 'hired gun' in a backing band btw..

Like, hypothetically spoken, even if i would play in the backing band from Taylor Swift, for me would be very difficult to accept that for example the guitar player would earn more than myself..
I've gone back and forth on this idea a few times and my current position, and where I'll philosophically stay, is that I don't really consider what the other players are earning.
There are scenarios where I see a lead guitarist taking on singing duties and saving the band from having an extra person to split the earnings with. In this scenario I think it's fair to pay the guitarist/singer more than the rest of the group. I know cases where the drummer also owns the PA, books all the gigs for a group and takes care of sound and other bandmates just show up and play a gig. That drummer should pay themselves more than the rest of the group.

I've never worked a professional job where every person made the same amount of money so I wouldn't expect it in a musical group either.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If someone asks me to come and play for $200 and I agree, it doesn't really matter to me if everyone else gets paid more. That's what I'm contracted to do, so that's what I'll do. I'm pretty sure the lead singer makes more than I do, but I don't care. Why? People show up to see him, not me. It's not my name on the side of the trailer, I'm not in charge of paying rent on the practice space, I didn't help pay for the PA or the trailer, and I handle none of the booking, phone calls, emails, etc. If he's staying funded, I stay booked.
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey guys!
Just for the record, I didn’t start this thread. I was googling salaries just to see what kind of information is available. Members of my Patreon, as well as a few touring students of mine, seemed to have misinformation from the internet . I was curious what was out there. At the top of the Google list was a drummer world Thread entitled, how much do drummers earn or something to that effect . I read it, wanted to post , but was unable to find the thread after I joined , so I just made a new thread. the topic already existed here. It’s not as if income is my only concern, it’s just one facet of the business. If you don’t have the necessary skills and talent, chances are income won’t be an issue. I try to help those who don’t know what to ask for in the different types of work skilled drummers are called for . That’s all.

I have received many thank you emails from drummers around the world who have taken my advice and have managed to earn good salaries for themselves . I only wanted to share info, and to inform drummers that I do have A Patreon where I share all info concerning drums , drumming and how to make drumming your career, if that’s your intention .
Teaching for me is an inconsequential income, it accounts for less than 5% of what I earn yearly . I play music with musicians. Nearly every day and every night. That’s how I feed my family and support our lifestyle. No producing, no band leading, no clinics , and I’ve never had another income source. Only freelance drumming. I try to take one or two nights off and go on an occasional vacation because I do have a family . I do this locally in LA, I did it locally in New York, as well as Boston, and I also go on the road if it is the right circumstance . It is a privilege for me to be able to share information with other drummers on how I got to this point . You are either interested or not, it’s all good, I wish everyone the best. Bernard wrote me an email to tell me that this thread was getting heated, and I can’t understand why, it’s just information.
 
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Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Some time ago I went back to one of my old drum teachers for a new round of lessons.

He had spent several years touring with a Big Name artist.

When I asked what happened, he explained management kept cutting his pay. They would say it's only temporary, just for this run of shows, etc, but then they would cut it again, and again, until he felt the level of commitment involved was no longer worth the severely reduced pay. But he also said they replaced him with *insert name drummer* who would easily command a much higher pay rate. so he didn't think it made much sense. Of course, if they simply wanted him gone, they didn't need to play the reduced pay game, they could have just canned him. Who knows.

As few years ago at NAMM, I was in on a conversation of someone who lost a gig because they got undercut by an almost-famous musician who was willing to do the gig for cheap just to get back in the game after some fame set backs.

It's brutal out there.

I just hired someone for my (not music related) business from the music business. He says you wouldn't believe how some famous people in the music business make no money. On the other hand, I have a recent client who bought a very nice house based on touring/recording with various bands.

So it's easy to see how one person's financial success at any one gig has little to no bearing on someone else's financial success doing similar or even the same exact, gig
Not to play devils advocate, but always consider ego, and consider the source . The story you mentioned is common, it has happened to me . But if you have enough going on, and a good enough reputation, it doesn’t make sense to go on tour for low rates . I was asked by one profile artist if I was willing to except the lower salary of the new drummer they were considering, and I said no. Simply because it pretty much equaled what I would make sleeping in my own bed under my own roof with my family . At least they gave me the option of keeping the gig. For the same or less than what I earn staying home. Ha! Hell no.

I have also been in situations where drummers would tell me that they left a gig because of a pay cut, but I would later find out that they were let go for other reasons, being personality or musical . At one point in my career I auditioned for a gig with an amazing paycheck, and the drummer that was doing it before was telling people that he got undercut which is why he wasn’t on the gig anymore. And that was not the case . In fact what I asked for was more. Definitely consider the source and ego. Many musicians say they left a gig due to a pay cut , when in fact that is not always the truth. No one wants to admit that maybe the artist wanted a change.
It’s definitely brutal out there , but it’s no different than any other freelance profession with a useless union. There are ways to make it less brutal .
 
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Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I’ve heard there are name players still living with their parents.
A) what constitutes a name player in the 2019 insta world?
B) depending on the wealth level of their parents and size of their home, that may be a smart decision. Could be they’re still making 70 K plus a year, and saving a ton of money . Depending what you mean by “name” .

Me personally, I come from nothing really. Decent home , always food on the table and a gift at Xmas. I had no choice but to move out and pay bills with my drums at 18. But I always tell younger drummers to take advantage of their resources if they have them. I did not. But many known jazz/fusion musicians who are now 60 plus , come from wealthy families. It’s how many of them avoided the hustle of having to play sessions and events for money .
 

Steve Hass

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Thanks! Yes If you sign up for the monthly video which I casually make with my iPhone, you will have access to everything in that members area, including supplemental videos or just plain rants on topics . 😁
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I've noticed a lot of takes on this forum (and elsewhere) that Patreon and GoFundMe are a bad thing. It seems like some people view it as a kind of freeloading or panhandling. I've seen some comments like, "I didn't have to ask for handouts," or some such thing.

I don't think of it like that at all. It's a way to charge for services, and as long as people are willing to pay for it, I don't see what there is to complain about. When I was learning to play drums, I had no access to the top pros I was into. Now, I can connect directly with musicians I would have never been able to in my younger years. I've sponsored a couple PledgeMusic projects over the years and got some extremely cool perks from it, even a Skype call with one of my drumming heroes. And considering how tough times are these days for musicians, with recording revenues drying up in recent years, it feels crazy to throw shade at players for taking advantage of a way to make a living.
 
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