How do you make money playing the drums? We know this isn’t every drummer’s goal, but for some this can be a career choice. Stephen Taylor has been involved in, and making a living from, the music industry basically ever since he started playing drums. In other words, these tips work.
Step one, and arguably the most important tip from this list. If people don’t want to be around you, they won’t want to hire you for a gig or take you on the road. Having this trait will sometimes even land you gigs over the next drummer who might be a “better” player than you but have a crumby attitude.
You can never network too much! Make it your goal to make every musician you meet leave with your number. Don’t be pushy, but let them know you’re always interested in playing and to let you know if they ever need a drummer. Go out to the places in your area where music happens regularly. Put yourself out there, be confident, and make an impression.
Find out what your specialty is and own it. Maybe you’re the go-to country player, or maybe you’re known for your solid pocket. Don’t try to be all things for all people all the time!
In the gig world, being on time means being early. Show up, get everything setup, and give yourself time to make sure you’re fully prepared for the job. If you just get your kit assembled moments before you’re supposed to start, you won’t have any time to warm up or fix problems that may arise.
Start with yourself. How did you play? What do you need to improve on? Follow up with the rest of the band members as well. Were they comfortable? Is there anything they especially liked or disliked about your performance? Let them know that you’re completely open to feedback.
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