How to become a drummer and make a career out of it

Being a drummer is fun and offers happiness, but bills need to get paid, too! But in the endless sea of musicians, can you really stand out enough to make a career out of it? You bet you can!

Now, there is no instant-rock-star button, not even for the best drum and percussion players out there. Becoming a professional drummer is way more than just having the chops and will require a lot of work, especially in the beginning.

The first thing you need to realize is that being a drummer is not the same with playing drums in your free time. It gets even more complicated if you don’t play drums at the moment. The main motivation for starting out with drums, or any other instrument, needs to be love for music and for the instrument – you can simply not choose to become a drummer just for the sake of becoming a rich musician. But even if you are really good at playing, that still doesn’t make you a “real” drummer just yet.

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Chops and technique are important, but you will also need to learn to properly maintain your kit, find a way to transport it to gigs and , most importantly, to work together with other people. This may sound easy in the beginning, but all musicians have their own vision of how things should sound. The guitarist will most likely blame you for the bad sound, no matter if it’s really your own fault for dragging or their fault for rushing. You will need to know how to de-escalate the situation and how to communicate with your band mates.

Keep in mind that the music industry is changing. Drummers with a diverse range of core skills are more likely to establish themselves as professional musicians. Make sure to own and to learn how to use an electric drum kit besides your acoustic kit as it may help you land gigs for alternative rock, hip hop, disco and electronica events, but it will also enable you to have quieter late-night practice sessions which you may need. Here is an overview of the best electronic drums sets for every budget!

One thing you will definitely need to consider is giving drum and percussion lessons. Gigs will not always be available and you will need to earn a living even if your band splits up. Being a teacher will help you develop your communication skills and will force you to learn many different styles and new songs as your students will probably have a different taste than you. Don’t be afraid to explain to people that you want to start with beginners only and that you’re just starting out as a music teacher. Make sure to have knowledge about harmony and melody, as well, as it that might help with teaching people who play both percussion instruments and instruments like the guitar and piano.

Being a musician is no easy task because it requires you to internalize more skills than just playing a musical instrument. But that’s OK, because everything can be learned. We hope that we’ve managed to give you a general direction that you should take when pursuing a musicians career! For more articles on drums, recording and music in general, visit

Calvin Russell

Calvin Russell