Hear me out please.

tom2zip

Junior Member
I want to convince my parents that i want to play drums for a living. They want me to be a doctor (they reluctantly bought me a kit) and I wanted to be one too until a few months ago when I really started to look at drumming as a non-hobby. I want to convince them that I gave up the dream of being a doctor and want to play drums even though I have a part time job at McDonalds or something. I'm sure they are gonna say "That's a bunch of non-sense! Are you joking?!" and stuff like that, but I really want them to know how I feel about drumming. Can anyone help me?
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I want to convince my parents that i want to play drums for a living. They want me to be a doctor (they reluctantly bought me a kit) and I wanted to be one too until a few months ago when I really started to look at drumming as a non-hobby. I want to convince them that I gave up the dream of being a doctor and want to play drums even though I have a part time job at McDonalds or something. I'm sure they are gonna say "That's a bunch of non-sense! Are you joking?!" and stuff like that, but I really want them to know how I feel about drumming. Can anyone help me?
Please answer the following questions, as they will help us give you some advice (although, in the end, no one knows how to talk to you parents better than you): How long have you been drumming? What kind of experience (bands, writing, performance, etc) do you have? What kind of time do you put into it? Why do you want to go pro? What else can you do musically (write, produce, sing, arrange, other instruments)? What styles can you play (don't list them all if there are a ton, but are you well versed in many styles, or are you just a rock or jazz or whatever drummer)?
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Music was made for folks that wasn't smart enough to be doctors. :) What do you mean? Tommy Lee said that.

Anyway, once national health care kicks in, doctors aren't going to be making much money. :)

If it's been your life long dream to be a doctor, why are you changing now, Is it fear? Thought I'd end on a serious note.
 

PreppieNerd

Silver Member
Are you a sophomore in highschool or a senior? Honestly all my "grand plans for my life" changed quite a bit thru highschool (and as I am just starting college, I am not naive enough to think they still cant change further)

if you are on the younger end of things, you still have plenty of time to mess around in bands, and work hard in school to stay on the doctor track, if you're later on in that process, you probably have a good idea of where you're headed.

Another thing, older people tend to have more life experience, than younger people, this means two things: they tend to be wiser HOWEVER, they also tend to be more biased, and that can be good or bad.

most cases, your parents have their best interests for you in mind. historically in the past several decades, being a doctor has been a well paying gig, and it seems your parents want a prosperous good life for you.

It may be worthwhile to have a serious discussion about the future and all that jazz, maybe what the initial resons why they wanted you to be a doctor, and maybe even talk to your parents about what their plans were when they were your age.
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
If you have the book-smarts and the money, go for the doctor regardless of what you want to do. If it turns out you want to be a drummer, your job as a doctor pays well enough to
1. Pay off any loans accumulated over your student years.
2. Kick start your music gear purchases/fuel your passion until you know you can survive as a drummer.

If you become a pro drummer now, the road to a doctor may not be as easy. (Oh I forgot, who says you can't do BOTH?)
 

Monica McCoy

Senior Member
Becoming a doctor is more than med school. There's internship after that, then residency, then a fellowship. It's more than a decade long process. You're in your early 30's by time you are a practicing physician.

With regard to what you should do, turn you ear to the immortal Frank Zappa:

"If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT."
 

what the funk of it

Senior Member
Funny you should mention the doctor thing. A friend of mine who plays the bass (damn well may I add) told me tonight that if the music thing doesn't work out, he'll just be a doctor. I laughed, but he was serious. He's in university on his way to becoming a doctor and plays in a killer band too. It's a win/win man.
 

d.c.drummer

Platinum Member
In the end do what you would like....

But remeber this. Education is all about giving yourself options so if one thing doesn't work out, you have another thing to fall back on.

Being a doctor is not anything that anyone should force you to do. My mom is one, and my sister is in med school... If your hearts not in its killer schooling and a killer lifestyle.

But i can understand your parents wanting you to go to school to get an education. Because once you have that you can do a lot of things that will allow you to provide yourself and your family should you decide to start one a quality lifestyle.

Sure, you have your dream and you should chase and not let anyone tell you otherwise but the not-so-rare event that drumming doesn't work out you will have a fallback.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Drumming in bands was all I wanted to do when I was young and the dream stayed alive until age 28, when I decided that it wasn't going to happen and I'd better get trained up in something. I continued playing gigs in cover bands on and off for another few years, then moved to jamming bands before quitting for 8 years and now back to cover bands again. A big mistake I made was not getting lessons.

Do you want to be a doctor? Is there anything other than drumming that you'd enjoy? Maybe get trained in a field you find interesting as a backup while having lessons and gigging is the way to go? You'll be time-poor but most of us have to work our tails off at some stage to get established in life.
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
I want to convince my parents that i want to play drums for a living. They want me to be a doctor (they reluctantly bought me a kit) and I wanted to be one too until a few months ago when I really started to look at drumming as a non-hobby. I want to convince them that I gave up the dream of being a doctor and want to play drums even though I have a part time job at McDonalds or something. I'm sure they are gonna say "That's a bunch of non-sense! Are you joking?!" and stuff like that, but I really want them to know how I feel about drumming. Can anyone help me?
I went through the EXACT same thing. My grandfather was a doctor so there was this enormous pressure for me to follow. All I was interested in during my late teens and early 20's was drums. I wanted to be a pro drummer in a band, but I did finally realize a few things about this path that just didn't suit me.

In the end, I wound up being an artist in video games and I love it! I have a great career and I still get to play drums as often as I'd like. The point here is: there really isn't much point in getting too worked up about this, nor is there much point in getting overly attached to any one thing right now. Life is unpredictable and career paths can be filled with many twists. Pursue the path(s) that interests you the most, but be prepared for, and open to, big changes along the way. Maybe it'll be drums. Maybe it'll be astrophysics. Maybe it'll be working as the dude who sprays "tan paint" on Playboy bunnies at photo shoots.

It is a rare thing for a person to pick their exact career at an early age, pursue that to the end and wind up genuinely happy.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Music was made for folks that wasn't smart enough to be doctors. :) What do you mean? Tommy Lee said that.

Anyway, once national health care kicks in, doctors aren't going to be making much money. :)

If it's been your life long dream to be a doctor, why are you changing now, Is it fear? Thought I'd end on a serious note.
You must be joking DD. A basic local general family doctor here averages $160,000 a year. The specialities (consultants) earn twice that and that's in the national healthcare system! I bet you can count on one hand the number of jobbing pro drummers making that each year (excluding the "famous" sector).

My advise young sir. Follow your instincts to the career path that gives you the best living then you can afford a really cool kit and play as much as you like. You'll be playing for pleasure, not because you need to eat! This means you can afford to be creative and enjoy making music rather than playing someone else's crap the way they want it to be. I know, I was a pro drummer for five years a long time ago. I made a half decent living at it but didn't get anything like the enjoyment I'm getting from it now. If you work on both paths, you just might succeed at both then you can choose between a great paying job and being a mega famous drummer! How cool is that.
 

BebopRob

Junior Member
I think the problem is that there's so many types of pro drummer, and so may paths to becoming one.
For instance I'm at a stage where I need to apply to unis and stuff, so I'm applying to quite a few Music Colleges....I'd really love to do a degree in Jazz Performance and become a pro dummer that way. But I also get 5 choices for normal unis so as well as a couple of conventional music courses I'm putting down a couple of History courses....I wouldn't know what that would entail but theres still a load of time for practising there!

Maybe you could go study to be a doctor and carry on playing drums?....It's probably easier to gain a degree in medicine and then become a good drummer than it would be to get a Music degree and be a doctor!
 

Stoney

Senior Member
The wisest thing to do would be to continue on the path as a doctor. There's also no reason why doing this should stop you from playing the drums.
Even if you do manage to make a living from the drums, the chances are you will have periods where you need to supplement your income from time to time (unless your one of the very few lucky ones). Better to have some sort of back up skill/trade. I wish I had one! Whenever I need to supplement my income I always end up having to do something I hate doing and for little money!!
 

freebirdgdw

Silver Member
"If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT."
Love this quote!

Anyway, once national health care kicks in, doctors aren't going to be making much money. :)
Are you guys getting National Health Care like in the UK with free medical services etc?

Anyways I'd wait before you do anything to drastic because I don't know about you but my dream has changed several times.

First I wanted to be a mechanic, so I got a part time job in a garage for a few years and realised I didn't like the work, or the cold, or the hours etc. Then I wanted to be a motor journalist then I realised I wasn't interested enough in the English side of the education, only the cars. The I wanted to be in film (directer/producer/writer) so now I'm at Uni studying a TV course after just finishing my second year. Now however I'm getting into my drums sooo much that I'm thinking if I want to make it in a band, it's now or never. I'm nearly 21 and realise I've still got a lot of life decisions to make and still plenty of time left!
 

Average

Senior Member
You absolutely can be a doctor and a drummer. All you have to do is keep playing and practicing all along. There will be a time when you are in your residency when you won't be able to play much in bands because you will be way too busy but you can still practice. Use those years to maintain and improve your chops. When you finish and go into practice you'll have a lot more control over your life and you can get back into playing. The difference will be, you can pick and choose who you want to play with and what kind of music you want to play. You won't be stuck playing Girl From Ipanema for the 480,001st time at some stupid wedding with a bunch of drunk, fat people slobbering all over your drums. Unless of course that is your thing. No compromises. You can keep your art pure and the way you want it. You'll also be able to buy whatever gear you want and not have to think much about the cost.
 
Every time I turn my hobby into a job I get burnt out fast. I used to work at an auto body shop, now I hate working on cars. At my first engineering job I got really into CNC programming, machining, etc. I built my first CNC router, and bought a mill, made decent side money with them. Now I work for an aerospace company programming mills. I just sold my router and the mill cause I am sick of it!
Now I am back into playing drums. I think, man it would be cool to do this full time..... I better not.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Hey Keep It Simple, Ken was definitely kidding :)

Lots of good comments, even if conflicting. There was an Australian band, Hunters & Collectors, where one of the members had been a doctor.

What I find weird is that a parent can want their kid to go into a particular field. I mean, surely it's up to the individual what they want to do and where their particular gifts lie. Why a doctor? Why not a lawyer or engineer or architect or accountant or musician? Prestige? Money? A father's unfulfilled dream? Skills shortages and openings? Family tradition? Job security? Saving lives?
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
What i can tell you is the odds of becoming a doctor definately outweigh the odds of sustaining a career as a professional drummer. You can certainly juggle both and drumming is a great "steam blower" from a demanding career. You have to seriously sit down and think about this. Like others have mentioned, the doctor thing will involve serious committment but the reward will reap you a lifestyle and financial freedom to invest and support your drumming passion for the rest of your life.
 
N

nhzoso

Guest
Are you guys getting National Health Care like in the UK with free medical services etc?

QUOTE]


Geez I sure hope not but it looks pretty inevitable, oh well so much for personal choices.

Anyway I would still recommend the DR route, much more security and money making possibilities. There are a ton of musicians with all kinds of degrees who barely can make ends meet for themselves never mind raising a family.
 
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