What cost you more? Your gear or your lessons?

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Lessons are hard for me. I have to travel, so when I actually do get lessons I blow a lot of money, but travel expenses are usually equal to the lessons.

I'd think they're probably about equal especially since my degree was on guitar and not drums.

Now, if we start talking about drum books, that's where the real money is. The reason is easily that it's always been a priority especially when I was in full public employment, but also that each book doesn't cost much, so even if it adds up over time I don't really notice. Now, having tons of books isn't really a requirement to become a decent drummer, but if you want to grow and be a well rounded teacher that can help as many different students as possible it should be.
 

mpungercar

Junior Member
The real question is, have you made more money playing music than you spent on the equipment you used to play those gigs?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The gear has been used more for teaching and making materials for my students which is my main gig and had provided much more money that my gear costs.

Since the main gig became teaching the live playing gigs are few and far between and 50% of them are not really paid gigs, but stuff I do just to make things happen locally.
 

J-W

Well-known member
The real question is, have you made more money playing music than you spent on the equipment you used to play those gigs?

Or the lessons you took in order to play that equipment?

The answer for me is a definite yes, to both, but I paid pennies on the dollar for all of my equipment and landed a gig that paid well a few years after.
Even so, I would have been just as content in my music "career" had I not. I play the drums for fun, for me, and money was never my main motivator.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Definitely gear-- I haven't had that many private lessons in my life outside of college-- which was still relatively cheap in the 80s. And the expensive school paid for me to go there. Definitely make more as a musician than I spend on gear, or I would have been out of business years ago.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Ashamedly gear by a country mile. Lessons, I think I took 3, which were just jamming and listening to and discussing music, probably less than $100 spent on lesson. Probably about $20,000 spent on gear. Ugh, great thread, I just took you off my holiday card distribution list.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
The real question is, have you made more money playing music than you spent on the equipment you used to play those gigs?

Absolutely! Otherwise, I probably wouldn't HAVE much gear!

I keep tabs on how often I use particular pieces of gear, on which gigs I use them for, and how much I make. I try to make sure that those pieces if gear have "earned their keep," so to speak. My timpani paid for themselves within 2 years. My first set of vibes paid for themselves within 6 gigs. My 5 octave marimba still hasn't paid for itself after owning it for 16 years! (what a lazy slouch!)

One of these days I need to go back and look over my ledgers from when I used to buy/sell gear all the time. It might just be that I made enough profit during my gear flipping days that all the gear I currently own has been paid for. In fact, I highly suspect that this is the case.
 
The real question is, have you made more money playing music than you spent on the equipment you used to play those gigs?
Well, that's why I mentioned that I'm far off from getting the cost of my lessons back but that I don't regret that. Of course, it's an open question and if you want to get really scientifical with it, you could try to factor in inflation and what not. I'm more interested in rough estimates and the discussion, though. So far, some interesting points were raised. :)
It just worries me a bit when some beginner asks which set to buy at a maximum budget of 1500 and then all of it is spent on gear and not a single Dollar on lessons. Now is a good time to support your local musicians by taking lessons - who knows when we'll be back to regular concerts..
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
Paying $200/mo for my kit bought through sweetwater 4yr / 0% interest. Paying $80/m for lessons. So in the short run, paying more for equipment.
 
Spent more on my French Horn lessons than my own personal gear. But I also never owned expensive gear, just played everyone else's expensive stuff ... School's, Studio's, Drum Corps', Music store rentals lol.

Now that I'm away from all of that and not even pursuing a music career, I'd love to pick up an old Slingerland or Ludwig jazz set, or maybe a new Sonor set, and just play for myself.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
"What cost you more, your gear or..."

...the gear. I have a lot of really great gear on a couple different instruments, but then again I do have a studio where part of the appeal is the gear available for clients to use. But in the interest of adding the best possible stuff at the lowest cost I've started building my own gear this year. A set of octobans, four compressor units and a deluxe Marshall plexi so far.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
Gear by far. I took lessons for about a year and a half total.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Hmmm. Well, I'm 58. The heart of my drum kit was given to me by my parents for my 13th birthday. They gave me a four piece. I added a set of 10" and 12" Remo Roto Toms, a 9x13 mounted tom that didn't really match because it was a two lug design rather than the single center lug design of my Stage Band drums. I bought a Premier 16"x14" floor tom as my second tom because a friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Cost me $20. I then was able to find a Stage Band 9x13 tom with matching wrap. This year I was able to snag a second snare, Pearl Sensitone for $50. In awesome condition. As for cymbals, I bought over the years a 20" Zildjian mini-cup ride, 16" Zildjian medium crash, 17" Zildjian dark China and a 10" Paiste splash. I also bought some cheap no name boom stands. I have a mix of cases and bags for them as well. But even with all that, I took lessons in Manhattan at The Drummer's Collective for a while. I also took lessons from a friend/drummer that has amazing chops and feel. I would include the cost of getting into Manhattan from Long Island into the cost of the lessons. I also took lessons while in college from a local jazz player. I'm going to guess that the cost of lessons to gear is pretty close. But if you asked me to quantify it, I'd have no way of even trying to calculate either one. And then, what difference does it make? I don't play the drums for a living. I have had the one off gigs here and there and played for peanuts in a local dinner theater house band while in college. I'd be embarrassed to admit what I got paid for that. But I did end up with two girlfriends out of it. I just love playing the drums and love jamming with people of like mind and like ability. So, I guess from that point of view, I've earned far more than I have invested in both gear and lessons.
 
Hmmm. Well, I'm 58. The heart of my drum kit was given to me by my parents for my 13th birthday. They gave me a four piece. I added a set of 10" and 12" Remo Roto Toms, a 9x13 mounted tom that didn't really match because it was a two lug design rather than the single center lug design of my Stage Band drums. I bought a Premier 16"x14" floor tom as my second tom because a friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Cost me $20. I then was able to find a Stage Band 9x13 tom with matching wrap. This year I was able to snag a second snare, Pearl Sensitone for $50. In awesome condition. As for cymbals, I bought over the years a 20" Zildjian mini-cup ride, 16" Zildjian medium crash, 17" Zildjian dark China and a 10" Paiste splash. I also bought some cheap no name boom stands. I have a mix of cases and bags for them as well. But even with all that, I took lessons in Manhattan at The Drummer's Collective for a while. I also took lessons from a friend/drummer that has amazing chops and feel. I would include the cost of getting into Manhattan from Long Island into the cost of the lessons. I also took lessons while in college from a local jazz player. I'm going to guess that the cost of lessons to gear is pretty close. But if you asked me to quantify it, I'd have no way of even trying to calculate either one. And then, what difference does it make? I don't play the drums for a living. I have had the one off gigs here and there and played for peanuts in a local dinner theater house band while in college. I'd be embarrassed to admit what I got paid for that. But I did end up with two girlfriends out of it. I just love playing the drums and love jamming with people of like mind and like ability. So, I guess from that point of view, I've earned far more than I have invested in both gear and lessons.

Bump for Mountain Man. I went away to drum corps and university, but guys like this seem to always pop up in tryouts.
 
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