Registered Drummer

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I know a lot of careers and such have licenses and registration to become a professional. Like in land surveying, you can't call yourself a land surveyor until you are a licensed professional. This is for obvious legal issues. But there are other examples of competence in a field. Take nursing for example...You have your LPN (LVN) nurses, which are licensed vocational nurses like the senior home care people, and then there are the RN's, the registered nurses who make the good money.

I know music is a different animal, but wouldn't it be cool to have a national or even global registration for drummers where you can go to a place, take a registry test that satisfies a certain criteria for a competency level that would qualify a drummer to become a Registered Drummer. That would put a little status to all of your hard work and separate the wannabees from the pro level players. It would be cool for those of us who haven't gone to PIT or Berkeley or pursued some type of degree in music because it would look good having some letters behind your name. Like John Doe, RDP (Registered Drummer and Percussionist).

I know in my field, at my level, there is even a national registry for certified Survey Technicians.

I don't know, I just thought this would be a interesting idea for a thread. Any thoughts on this? Does it even matter? If you play good, it's obvious? But what's gonna get you in the door for that Big Audition? It wouldn't hurt to be a Registered Drummer & Percussionist. That shows you took the time to learn X, Y and Z.

Well, you all enjoy your drumming now. I'm out. There's nothing left for me to learn here.
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Degrees from the 'schools' don't carry much weight in the real world, and I doubt any kind of independent proficiency standard would, either. Reaching a given standard is one thing. What the drummer does with those skills is quite another. It's just too subjective.

Also, any kind of certification doesn't take into account the drummer's attitude or personality disorders. It's like a doctor who's perfectly skilled, but has a poor bedside manner... you don't really want to go to him a 2nd time.

I don't see how it could really benefit either the player, or prospective employer..

Bermuda
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Like Bermuda says, it would be mostly meaningless, but I'm not totally opposed to the idea, if it was well implemented. That's a big if. I couldn't sign on to Sick Drummer Magazine coming up with some kind of TOOOOOTALLY SICK DRUMMER111! license. But I'm half surprised PAS hasn't implemented some kind of certification. It could be a real money-maker for them. There are so many drummers trying to teach now that I think a lot of people would jump at the chance get some kind of official endorsement with some teeth. For that matter, I'm halfway to thinking cities should start issuing cabaret cards again. What's it going to do, kill the club scene?
 

bigd

Silver Member
It doesn't mean anything in the drumset world but in the classical percussion world you can't even get an audition unless your resume is up to par. You have to have the correct schools on your resume to even get a call for an audition. The players winning auditions for real paychecks seem to be coming from all the big places right now. New England Conservatory, Cleveland State and Cleveland Institute, Eastman, Temple, Manhattan School, Juilliard and Indiana are the places that truly make a difference. Advanced degrees also. I don't know of anyone with just a bachelors degree winning spots. It's all Masters and DMA's. My son's former teacher won the spot in the top marine band "President's Own" and he's got a doctorate. That was one tough audition he went through.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
No.

Music is art, and art is subjective.

Who's to say who is good and who isn't?

Many well known and well respected musicians started out as not very good.

Can you imagine if studios or clubs started to require all the bands be registered to perform? Bands like U2, Fleetwood Mac or the Ramones might never have got off the ground.

And as Bermuda said, having gone to a school doesn't mean squat in the real world. Either you can do the gig, or not.

And there are far too many styles out there to make any test really valid.
Some guys are really good at one style but can't play others styles. Some drummers can play a little of everything, but are not expects in anything. How could any licensing process possibly take into account all those differences? There are many potential gigs where showing you took the time to learn X, Y and Z wouldn't be necessarily relevant.

As for getting a big audition, many "big audition" are via world of mouth. Most players even get considered for such things via a recommendation or established reputation. So such a recommendation would trump any license.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
in music degrees mean absolutely nothing to someone who has no desire to teach

they sure as hell don't make you a better musician, just a more scholastically educated one......but in my opinion the ole school of hard knocks is much more valuable than any certificate or degree.....and I'm a grad

and as far as licenses ...back in the day without a Cabaret Card you couldn't work in the clubs of NYC

and if you did anything wrong they would pull your card and you couldn't work .....ask Monk, Billie Holiday, Jackie McLean, and Lenny Bruce
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
and as far as licenses ...back in the day without a Cabaret Card you couldn't work in the clubs of NYC

and if you did anything wrong they would pull your card and you couldn't work .....ask Monk, Billie Holiday, Jackie McLean, and Lenny Bruce
Billy Higgins, too. He couldn't work in NY during the period he was making all of those Blue Note records. It's probably a horrible idea-- just an idle, half-baked fantasy. It would be nice if local governments took an interest in encouraging a a revival of music in clubs...
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Billy Higgins, too. He couldn't work in NY during the period he was making all of those Blue Note records. It's probably a horrible idea-- just an idle, half-baked fantasy. It would be nice if local governments took an interest in encouraging a a revival of music in clubs...
totally agree

NYC is all but dead compared to what it used to be........and the years I remember were dead compared to what the generations before me had

from doing a lot of touring for the past decade I realized that compared to the coasts of the USA the people in the middle of the country still love to go see live music ...but there just aren't enough venues out there either .....compared to the NY, Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville, and LA haydays anyway

someone about a month ago actually said these words to me...."why would I pay to go see a band when I can pull them up on Youtube and put my laptop through my 64" Sony with Apple TV and not have to drive home afterward?"

I told him....you are the sum of what is wrong with current generations
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
But I'm half surprised PAS hasn't implemented some kind of certification. It could be a real money-maker for them.
That jogged my memory - back in the day, there was the N.A.R.D. Essentially, those members judged other members by ear, so that the 'standard' for rolls, flams, ruffs, etc., was passed down to new members who would eventually judge prospective members.

It started in the early '30s, founded by the likes of Roy Knapp, George Stone (Sr.), J Burns Moore, William Ludwig, and nine other contemporary.drummers of the day. By 1937 membership was in the hundreds, and included Gene Krupa, Fred Hoey, Frank Arsenault, George Way, Wm Ludwig Jr., Ralph Eames, and probably many more names I should recognize (I happen to have a Jan 1937 membership roster.)

Membership requirement was a test playing the (original) 13 rudiments: long roll, 5 stroke roll, 7 stroke roll, flam, flam accent, flam paradiddle, flamacue, ruff, single drag, double drag, double paradiddle, single ratamacue, and triple ratamacue. Each rudiment had to be played open, close, and open, on a drum, while standing (basically, marching or orchestral style.) Tempo was at least 132bpm. Any member 18 or over could be a judge and examine new applicants. The object of the N.A.R.D. was to "further and promote standard rudiments by personal contact." Once in, you were a member of the Thirteen Club. Also, no membership fee or dues were required.

I'm not sure when the N.A.R.D. became inactive or forgotten, but I was aware of it in the '60s when I started taking lessons. But I imagine that membership in the organization spoke volumes about ability, and members probably received preferrential treatment at auditions.

Bermuda

PS, that stands for National Association of Rudimental Drummers. :)
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
totally agree

NYC is all but dead compared to what it used to be........and the years I remember were dead compared to what the generations before me had
Dude, this NY trumpet player who did my little 2010 tour was telling me about a bandleader who called a semi-hip club every day for eight months trying to get a gig. They finally gave him a happy hour on a Tuesday, and he was apparently really stoked to get it. No word on whether his career busted wide open after that. I suspect they played the 90 minutes, got their 7 bucks and that was it. I don't know New York well, but it sounds like being a jazz musician there is an awful lot like being in a hair band in LA in 1989. I know there are cats there, but it seems absolutely insane and dysfunctional.

That jogged my memory - back in the day, there was the N.A.R.D.
NO!

PS, that stands for National Association of Rudimental Drummers. :)
Phew.

Just kidding. Right! That'd be fun to have around, given a less disturbing name.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Dude, this NY trumpet player who did my little 2010 tour was telling me about a bandleader who called a semi-hip club every day for eight months trying to get a gig. They finally gave him a happy hour on a Tuesday, and he was apparently really stoked to get it. No word on whether his career busted wide open after that. I suspect they played the 90 minutes, got their 7 bucks and that was it. I don't know New York well, but it sounds like being a jazz musician there is an awful lot like being in a hair band in LA in 1989. I know there are cats there, but it seems absolutely insane and dysfunctional.
Brooklyn is actually pretty good right now

lots of warehouse jazz shows
underground shit.... unadvertised stuff that people who want to hear jazz actually seek out.

not sure how long it will last but since Dec. I have been working pretty steady and meeting some cats that burn.......they are out of their minds ...but they burn none the less

a good friend of mine is deaf and she has this poetry group where they sign poetry ...its pretty amazing....and they pack these parties and we play jazz behind them.

people seem to love it

the director Judy Lieff made a movie about this girl its call Deaf Jam ......and people love the movie and come from all over to see her perform ...her name is Aneta Brodski

look her up...its pretty amazing ...she is blowing up right now....so I'll ride that wave :)

so its kind of odd that deaf people signing poetry has a ton of people loving listening to jazz right now...but I'll take it
 
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Anon La Ply

Renegade
No way, Jose - I ain't gonna be no number! (apart from TFN, ABN, Medicare, and customer numbers for gas, electricity, phone etc etc)

Screw the bureaucracy. I'd rather just let things happen the way they happen unless predatory behaviour is broadly harmful ... which I doubt is the case when it comes to drummers dropping sticks / beats / pants and miss out on their piece of paper.

This from a retired public servant of 25 years :)

Midnight, you have had a brain fade (happens to the best of us) and I second Dr Worm's advice ...

...take two paradiddles and call me in the morning.
;-)
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
Brooklyn is actually pretty good right now

lots of warehouse jazz shows
underground shit.... unadvertised stuff that people who want to hear jazz actually seek out.

not sure how long it will last but since Dec. I have been working pretty steady and meeting some cats that burn.......they are out of their minds ...but they burn none the less

a good friend of mine is deaf and she has this poetry group where they sign poetry ...its pretty amazing....and they pack these parties and we play jazz behind them.

people seem to love it

the director Judy Lieff made a movie about this girl its call Deaf Jam ......and people love the movie and come from all over to see her perform ...her name is Aneta Brodski

look her up...its pretty amazing ...she is blowing up right now....so I'll ride that wave :)

so its kind of odd that deaf people signing poetry has a ton of people loving listening to jazz right now...but I'll take it
I live in a warehouse loft in Brooklyn. It's on the edge of bushwick, Brooklyn right by the Wilson stop of the L train and there are tons of private jazz, electronic shows out here. It may be a bit farther out into Brooklyn than the location your referring to but regardless from Bedford ave all the way out here there is a ton of new exciting music going on. Brooklyn is becoming the next 52nd street (or "the street" as they called it in the 40's) of NYC. I play electronic dance music out here (drum and bass/ dub stuff) but we do it in AABA 32 form and take solos like its jazz. It's really exciting. Check out moon hooch, check out my stuff, check out Jonny Arco's group and I'll check out your stuff. Link up on face book and maybe we can play a show together at my spot. www.facebook.com/Zach.hopper is my personal.
 

Ami

Senior Member
It would not be cool to be a "registered drummer"... at all. Why should someone else decide if your artistic choices are valid?
As far as getting work, your playing skill (or lack thereof) will be evident and the absence of letters after your name is not going to change that.
 
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