Making money as a drummer - getting better or worse?

Talking about that: we have a gig coming up May 19 at the finish of a bicycle tour in the middle of a city, so on a stage outdoors.
We had a talk with the sound guy and we have to confirm to some Category II sound regulation, meaning the sound level at the nearest house may not be over 75 dB. That is the noise level of a hairdryer!
And we're a classic rock / pop coverband, we don't play soft background music.
Let's hope the nearest house is not too close...
Best of luck with that. Outdoor sound is a funny one and you need a massive sound system to do outdoor gigs. Just hope wind isn't blowing in the wrong direction!

It's stuff like this that's forced my hand to get an electronic set. It's a double edged sword for me. I don't like using them live but because I can do it I've got about 12 dep function gigs on them this summer. They have v-drums I can use but I'd rather get my own so I can use it with my usual band when I get the noise gestapo at gigs like you've got. Guess I'm adapting to how the market is going.

Having said that there is nothing flatter and more bland than playing party music that people can have an audible conversation over which you can hear whilst playing.
 
I saw Pat Metheny once, open air in downtown Boston. it was so quiet it was hard to hear all the detail. I have seen PMG many times and this was the worst experience.
I saw Fleetwood Mac open air in the vineyards in Australia. It wasn't ridiculously quiet, but the show was ruined by my hearing untalented, out of tune audience members singing along louder than the band itself.
 
The other thing I don't think I've read on this thread is having to evolve with technology now (and the expense that comes along with that) and electronic drums are really starting to become a must have over the last couple of years. All venues seem to have noise limiters in them or these dreadful silent stage venues that have crept in. I've fought against it but even I've bit the bullet and got some electric drums just to save the hassle.

I bought a pawn shop Roland mesh head Vdrum set long, long ago for probably $350. I'd be fine using it in rotation for certain venues, but the last band I was in did not react well to it the single time I tried it. I'd need to spend money on redundancy to gig with it. It felt sketchy not having a backup module, power adapter, kick tower.
 
I bought a pawn shop Roland mesh head Vdrum set long, long ago for probably $350. I'd be fine using it in rotation for certain venues, but the last band I was in did not react well to it the single time I tried it. I'd need to spend money on redundancy to gig with it. It felt sketchy not having a backup module, power adapter, kick tower.
If you never have to worry about noise limiters and venues that aren't suited for bands then you have nothing to fear.

Stick with the real thing until you absolutely have to do something about it.
 
I don't play to make money, I just get some expenses paid and get to be on stage playing drums.
This is me now as well. At 53, I'm to old for some bands & not skilled enough for others. So I just play what I can & try to have the most amount of fun doing it.
 
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If you never have to worry about noise limiters and venues that aren't suited for bands then you have nothing to fear.

Stick with the real thing until you absolutely have to do something about it.

I'm fine using either kit. I like both.
It's something the band should see the benefit of adapting to, but they were neg on it.
 
Reading this string makes me a little concerned. I use to often say that I play professionally for the love of the music. Early in my career I knew then that all I earned went back into the music. I was lucky to be employed full-time in another profession making a solid living. Seeing what is posting here makes me wonder sometimes about the industry and where its going, or not going.

I stopped gigging in bands around 2002 and in a 4 or 5 pc. band we would each normally clear $100 - $300 each night plus a percentage of the door. While most of my time was prior to the heavy DJ scene, it still hits me hard that the industry hasn't seemed to improve for you current players. You can guarantee that everything, and I mean everything, associated with playing out in bands has increased in costs; gas, food, sticks, heads, repairs, upgrades, lights, sound, etc.; that is unless that kind of stuff is provided in sponsorship or the gig contract.

The little work I've done in studio has improved some, but not a lot. I think this kind of work is strongly based on the budget of the studio and producer versus their desire to have you on the recording as well as you or your managers ability to haggle your worth (smile).

As far as orchestra work, I've found that many have 1 - 2 percussionists they might pay and the rest are retired music teachers or musicians who volunteer their services. Now that may be totally different, depending on your location (New York, L.A., etc. versus smaller district or regional orchestras).

Brothers and sisters currently playing out for a living, I hope your earning conditions continue to improve and adjust to current cost of living standards. If a totally unskilled 16 yr old working fast food can easily earn $60-$70 for 4-5- hours work flipping burgers and fries, then a skilled percussionist with their own equipment and experience should easily double that as a starting minimum and actually earn much more (IMHBO).
 
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+my band just got with a new agent, better venues and twice the 'minimum musician wage"
someone who wants to make money for their self and the band, as opposed to others (fellow musicians actually) who want to make money by cutting into the band's pay.
 
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