Getting the Gig


Junior Member
I'm new to drums; however, I played bass semi professionally for 30 years. I've done a lot of things to get or keep good gigs in the past: played in a suit and tie, cut my hair, bought new gear, left my wife and child to go on the road, and more. Just wondering what other folks have gone through to get or keep a gig.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Assuming that the playing is the key consideration - and 99.9% of the time it IS - then staying vital is the way to keep a gig. That means adapting to new styles and technologies as needed, and providing appropriate equipment as needed.

To a somewhat lesser degree, personality is important. Attitude as well. Nobody wants a bitter old drummer hanging around when there are dozens or hundreds or thousands of nice people who can play and would be cheerful and grateful for a gigging situation. Appearance is somewhat important in some groups, but very important in others. A drummer that refuses to wear a suit is not going to be a team player in other areas as well. And being a team player with a pro attitude is important.

It's all of those things.

In a nutshell, you do whatever it takes to keep a gig, if you really want it.



Silver Member
A drummer that refuses to wear a suit is not going to be a team player in other areas as well. And being a team player with a pro attitude is important.

And for anyone who doesn’t believe something as apparently trivial as that, the biggest pain in the backside and sole reason for the break up of a previous band I was in was someone who “refused to wear a suit”. Except it wasn't even a suit, while we wore combat trousers or shorts he wore something entirely different, while we wore individual single colour skinny ties (& actually bought them out of the kitty) he wore a wider tie with a check pattern on it. And this refusal to dress like the team manifested itself in every other facet of his behaviour within the band.
Rant over.


Platinum Member
I've played music I hated just to go on the road on an 11-week tour.
I also played keyboards and bass just to go on the road for the same tour as mentioned above.
I was miserable the whole time, but I wanted to have the experience we also had a dress code (but that was not the worst of it by far).


Platinum Member
The right attitude is the key thing, most of us working drummers aren't lucky enough to wear what we like on stage or play what we like on stage but we do what is asked of us and if you keep/get a well paid gig then you're doing something right.

Stay humble and grateful that you're getting paid to play music, there's lots of people who would love to have a well paid gig.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
There is a lot more to gigging than musical skill. The owner of a venue telephoned me the other day, saying that he had a big fight with the Friday night guy and asked can I take over Friday nights at his venue. The other guy had some kind of volatile personality. He was OK most of the time but could explode in a rage occasionally. So I'm saying that getting along with other people, being reliable and dependable is important. Really important.
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