Hi everyone, i want to discuss with you about a drumming thing: find the work and a professional carrer with a band maybe

Jagg

New member
I am 21 y.o. and i'm from Italy. Meanwhile, I apologize for my English. I wanted to discuss one thing since in this period I find myself at the mercy of "chaos" and I am more or less understanding what to do in my life. I have many passions in life but that of drums is what I am feeling more and more mine. The problem arises from the moment I have to face the working world. And here are the various questions that I have been asking myself for a few months: for example, drummers (leaving out private lessons or in a school), how do they make money? I play with a friend who has an "indie pop" project, but I sound more like an "arranger" and just yesterday we were discussing the label factor, booking-shows factor and things like that together and it seemed to me a totally unknown world, thick and above all challenging compared to the (perhaps) "amateur" one we are in now. Yet I would love to enter this world of professional drummers, where meetings are held with managers, people in the sector, recording studios and things like that and yet I keep asking myself HOW to do this ... in order for this to happen, the drummer must have a band in the proper sense and not an arranger project?

P.s. there is also to say that I listen to a lot of metal, I am a huge fan of metalcore bands and in the last period also of Djent :D and I dream of living in America where this genre is more in vogue. "Unfortunately" here in Italy the Trap (copied by the Americans) and the Indie genre do a lot. In this sense, I often do not really feel these genres as my own, but it is also true that for metal there is no one and above all I DO NOT LIKE TO HAVE AMATEUR BANDS, HOW CAN I ENTER IN PROFESSIONAL PROJECTS? This is my dream
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've written about three responses and erased them all.

It sounds to me like you really, really want to work with a record label. In order to do this, you need to get a recording contract. To do this, your band MUST have a REALLY good following. You have to play a lot of shows and build a solid fan base. Here's the thing - record labels are more interested in taking a cut in what your fan base is already giving you as opposed to giving a "nothing" band a shot at stardom. Once you sign with a label, you are then obligated to earn for that company/label, not just for yourselves. Back in the day, a lot of labels only took a cut of your record sales. These days, ALL record labels do what they call a 360 deal. They take a healthy portion of everything: downloads, ticket sales, t-shirts and other merch, etc. They also own the name of your band, so anything you do or earn through the band's name goes to them, including anything and everything that has to do with the copyright of the bands name.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but it's a really, really difficult business to sustain long-term.

You need to read Confessions of a Record Producer by Moses Avalon.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
P.s. there is also to say that I listen to a lot of metal, I am a huge fan of metalcore bands and in the last period also of Djent :D and I dream of living in America where this genre is more in vogue. "Unfortunately" here in Italy the Trap (copied by the Americans) and the Indie genre do a lot. In this sense, I often do not really feel these genres as my own, but it is also true that for metal there is no one and above all I DO NOT LIKE TO HAVE AMATEUR BANDS, HOW CAN I ENTER IN PROFESSIONAL PROJECTS? This is my dream
Sounds like you are in the perfect position. No metal bands in Italy? Start one! That's how you get noticed, do something no one else in your area is doing. If you make enough noise, people will start to notice.

I'm a metal drummer in the US. Even though we probably have more metal bands per capita, it's still not a huge money maker here either. Most metal musicians do it for the love of the music. On the weekends. When they aren't at their real jobs.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I really don't wanna pop your bubble but if you wanna pay the bills being a musician you've gotta be prepared to play anything and everything, which is usually things you don't like and there's no money in metal unless you're 1 in a million and the stars align at the right place at the right time.

Remember record companies are in it for the money and will suck you dry unless you're that 1 in a million.

With everything going to clicks, views and likes rather than how good something sounds, the arse has fallen out of the music industry. Plus with the aids that is drum programming software, we're becoming extinct in the studio. Nobody buys music anymore so there goes royalties. Downloads generate a pathetic revenue stream.

I've made more money playing Brown Eyed Girl than anything I've ever written or playing any song I'd listen to through choice. If you can work your ass off doing paid gigs and teaching you've made it as a pro but that's the reality of being a pro unless you can land a big gig.
 

Channing

Member
I think being able to support yourself only as a drummer is pretty rare these days. It's kind of like winning the lottery.

That's not to say it can't be done but more that it's really unlikely, and as such, there's no set path to follow. It's not like saying you want to become a nurse or a lawyer or an electrician, in which case the steps are obvious and pretty much guaranteed to lead to success if you follow them.
 

Trickroll

Junior Member
If you are asking the answer is that you should find something else to do to make a living.

Those that do it full-time don't feel like it's a choice - they are compelled to pursue it regardless of the pros/cons.

You also need a lot of talent and luck.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Music is the worst career in the world. Do not do it.
When it goes well, it's actually pretty good. :)

However, pnly a very small percentage of hopeful players gets to enjoy a full-time career in music. And the lucky few who do should consider themselves privileged (I certainly do!)

There's no career path for being a full-time musician except for being a teacher at the school/university level, or possibly an an orchestra member ( although that's not normally a year-round gig.) You don't go to school, earn a degree, and suddenly you're a marketable player, in the same way you would pursue a legal or medical career path, earn progressive degrees or certification, and are then qualified to join a law firm, hospital, or open your own practice.

Being a career musician is not for those who are easily frustrated, disappointed, or impatient. I've heard many young, prospective players say they'll keep trying until they're 25, and if they don't make it, they'll give up and find something else to do. It's a safe bet that 99.99% of them never became full-time players.

So to Jagg, be sure to keep a realistic perspective on your journey.

Bermuda
 
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Skyking

Senior Member
Long ago I had the choice to be a fine arts painter or a pilot. I chose flying because I thought it would be more lucrative... However, it wasn't until I wanted to retire that I realized how lucky I was to have chosen a career with a pension and health care benefits. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't thank God for lucking into the right choice. When you are looking back in your 60's you'll realize that you either chose right, or chose wrong, either way, starting over is rarely rarely an option. Good luck.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Learn how to play everything, and especially learn how to love everything. As Bermuda says, there’s no path, you just have to be ready for an opportunity to present itself, and if you don’t like certain things or can’t play them, there’s an opportunity lost. I’m a musician for Disney and everyone of their musicians can read, arrange, and perform, and do it in any style with a smile. So there’s the craft part you have to get together, then the social part of being friendly to get along with everyone. That’s really the only way. Be flexible and one of the best.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
P.s. there is also to say that I listen to a lot of metal, I am a huge fan of metalcore bands and in the last period also of Djent :D and I dream of living in America where this genre is more in vogue. "Unfortunately" here in Italy the Trap (copied by the Americans) and the Indie genre do a lot. In this sense, I often do not really feel these genres as my own, but it is also true that for metal there is no one and above all I DO NOT LIKE TO HAVE AMATEUR BANDS, HOW CAN I ENTER IN PROFESSIONAL PROJECTS? This is my dream
Funny you should say that. IMHO, it's Europe where metal is way more in vogue. Europe has all the metal festivals, and it seems far more quality metal bands. I live in Los Angeles, but most bands I listen to are European based. And i have friends who play huge music festivals in Europe every year but are completely unknown here.

And Italy gave me one of my most favorite bands, Lacuna Coil.

As for the rest, it's tough. I used to think I was giving 110% of everything I had and sacrificing everything to make a living playing drum, and it didn't happen. In retrospect, I maybe gave 70-80% of what I could have done to make it.

Of the people who do make it, it's practicing 8-10 hours a day, every day. It's being able to read, write and transcribe music quickly. Playing a large variety of styles. Being willing to go on the road for little money and eat dog food for those 1st few tours.

And even then, it still might not happen.
 

jansara

Junior Member
And here are the various questions that I have been asking myself for a few months: for example, drummers (leaving out private lessons or in a school), how do they make money?
There once was a time when you could make a living if you could play many styles and play them well. Those days are long gone, probably never to return.

However, if you want to bypass "amateurs" and break into "professional projects", it's not what you know, it's who you know. That applies to wherever you live. Good luck. You picked a tough road.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
from my experience, you have to start small and work your way up the ladder to become professional, some of the best pro players in the world started playing the pubs and clubs and small projects to get where they are now. and some didnt even do gigs! for example hal blaine didnt play live shows (from what i've read) he did his entire career in the recording studio playing for thousands of artists and thousands of albums :) work towards your goal by forming bands, playing one type of music and using that income to fund playing your passion music :)






i love metal music, but to pay the bills playing music (which thankfully, i can do) i play 50s-00s rock & pop covers with a variety of bands. theres a lot of mis-conception around being a "professional" these days i've found, mostly people assume to be a professional you have to be touring the globe or be famous or have a big record deal. when to me (and please correct me if i'm wrong!) being a professional means being able to make a living off of playing music, whether that be from recording, touring or just playing enough to earn a living :)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
However, if you want to bypass "amateurs" and break into "professional projects", it's not what you know, it's who you know.
Actually, it's who knows you. Getting your name and playing ability in front of other players that can hire you is crucial, and networking is the key to that.

Bermuda
 

Pootle

Well-known member
Long ago I had the choice to be a fine arts painter or a pilot. I chose flying because I thought it would be more lucrative... However, it wasn't until I wanted to retire that I realized how lucky I was to have chosen a career with a pension and health care benefits. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't thank God for lucking into the right choice. When you are looking back in your 60's you'll realize that you either chose right, or chose wrong, either way, starting over is rarely rarely an option. Good luck.
Yeah totally agree, I wanted to be a professional photographer and pictured (pun intended) myself working for National Geographic travelling to distant lands for projects. I could probably make a living doing weddings and some corporate gigs but not especially exciting. That level of employment just isn’t there now, or just is incredibly small for a few who probably got into it years ago. See also print advertising, graphic design and many other jobs where a lot of the human skill has been taken out because of technological advances and the inevitable cost savings. Back to drumming, my advice would be to get a job in the music industry and over time try to gravitate over to a drumming focus. Maybe an account manager for a brand? Play your music as a secondary project, no less important of course, as at least you will be involved and you get to know people in the industry and who knows..
I’m sure everybody has seen this video of Dave Lombardo but for one of the Big Four, I found this pretty eye opening...
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Long ago I had the choice to be a fine arts painter or a pilot. I chose flying because I thought it would be more lucrative... However, it wasn't until I wanted to retire that I realized how lucky I was to have chosen a career with a pension and health care benefits. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't thank God for lucking into the right choice. When you are looking back in your 60's you'll realize that you either chose right, or chose wrong, either way, starting over is rarely rarely an option. Good luck.
Yes, OP, you are 21 now, but I promise you, you are going to wake up one day, and you'll be 35 years old. It happens much quicker than you think it will.

My personal story is much like Skyking's quoted above. I don't care what anyone says - you need a plan B just in case your music career doesn't work out. I did, and I'm glad.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Long ago I had the choice to be a fine arts painter or a pilot. I chose flying because I thought it would be more lucrative... However, it wasn't until I wanted to retire that I realized how lucky I was to have chosen a career with a pension and health care benefits. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't thank God for lucking into the right choice. When you are looking back in your 60's you'll realize that you either chose right, or chose wrong, either way, starting over is rarely rarely an option. Good luck.
I can tell you another story, about a singer I knew who had a weekend gig he did for fun, as he worked a regular job at a bank. He was telling us about his retirement plan, which was really set up beautifully. Then one day he woke up not feeling so well, went to the doctor, found out he had some kind of advanced cancer, and he was dead in six months. I think he was ~59, and this story is the most interesting thing there is to say about his life. He may as well have spent the last 35 years writing poetry.

“It's just like when I was twenty and my father and sister got killed in a car accident. I thought, If this can happen to people, you might as well do what you want— which is to be a writer. Don't compromise at all, because there's no point in it.”
...from Jim Harrison. It's not like you're betting on one outcome-- like selling $150k in paintings per annum-- and if that doesn't happen, you're dead. You figure out how to make a living out of it.

Anything in the arts won't be an easy career, and most people are not cut out for it, certainly not anyone who can be talked out of it.
 
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