What all goes into it? The many hats of today’s working drummer

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So I was thinking the other day about my chosen career as a drum educator, freelance musician, blogger, and podcaster. Just thinking about what all is involved in my day-to-day life and many others out there that are doing the same thing. There is much that goes into what we do on a daily basis that sometimes goes unseen and if you are like me, you might not have realized every little thing that you’ve been doing all this time. That’s why this list came to be. Just kind of a reminder of what really goes into it besides just playing drums.

We have to wear many hats and educate ourselves without someone making us do it. Yes we are our own boss but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy task or that we constantly live in vacation mode. We have to learn to do new things, educate ourselves in areas where we might not have a set of skills to execute a specific task, learn new material to teach our students, how to do taxes, record, market ourselves, etc… We have to stay hungry and motivate ourselves. It’s a constant state of learning. Of course we have to work on our craft constantly but what else goes on behind the scenes that people don’t see?

Here is a list of the many hats that I and many of us working drummers wear every week to make this whole thing work. After making the list it kinda put things in perspective for me. I definitely didn’t make this list to toot my horn or have people sing praises about what Matt Dudley does, it’s more so just a moment of realization of how hard we all work to do what we love and sometimes never stop to think of all that goes into it.

Some of these topics might not hit home because we are all on a different journey but I’m sure you you’ll notice that a majority of them do. If you want to add to this please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Musician

I have to be a musician in the bands that I play in first. I have to know song structures, styles, how to read sheet music for certain gigs, etc…

Drummer

This instrument will never have a definite end. I am constantly on a journey to learn new styles, grooves, fills, and different techniques. I try to keep a normal practice routine throughout the week, mainly mornings right when I get out of bed.

Educator

I teach drum education to students. By claiming I am an educator means I have to constantly educate myself on new material to provide for each student.

Publicist

Every day I wake up I set up hootsuite.com with social media posts to go out that help generate traffic to my website, podcast, and business. This could be blog posts, tweets, pictures, videos, etc…

Videographer

I film all of my drum videos for my YouTube channel and Instagram every week. Many takes and time to edit these down to the final product. I use iMovie on my iPad for all of my video editing.

Podcaster

I interview drummers, educators, and companies every week and book all of these interviews all on my own through email and twitter.

Blogger

every week I make posts to my website using WordPress.com.

Web designer

I designed my website and had to educate myself in HTML.

Photographer

I take photos for my website and do all of my own cover shots. I’ve had to educate myself about photography and lighting, etc…

Marketer

Everyday I have to market myself for drum lessons, my website, and podcast. I do this by social media, and putting out business cards and flyers.

Graphic designer

For each episode that goes out from Behind The Kit, every blog post, business cards, flyers, and album art for projects I’m working on sometimes. I use www.canva.com because it’s free and easy ;).

Recording engineer

Between the podcast and recording bands I have to have basic knowledge of how to use certain recording programs like Abelton, Pro Tools, and Garage Band. Also what type of microphones to use for certain projects, and how to edit wave files in post production.

Producer

I am currently producing podcasts every week and will be producing my band Gathering Grey’s newest album this year.

Music Transcriber

I transcribe music  every weekday for students. I also am hired by a few local high schools to write cadences, percussion features, and warmups. I mainly write these out by hand but have recently had a friend to show me a program for free called http://aerodrums.com/aered/ that I’m learning to use now.

Accountant

Teaching drum lessons in my hometown and being a one man business means I have to keep up with every dollar that is made and spent, mileage, receipts, and quarterly taxes.

Booking Agent

I have to book shows for the two bands that I’m in which involves making phone calls, sending out emails, visiting venues.

 

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2 responses to “What all goes into it? The many hats of today’s working drummer

  1. I love what you are doing for the drumming community. I hear the “dumb-drummer” jokes so often and yeah, they can be funny at times, but people like you and my boss Erik Truelove put those jokes to shame! This article made me really admire what my boss has done and keeps doing out here in Tucson. He had a vision 5 years ago of creating Drum & Drummer School of Music and it’s both amazing and inspiring to see what it has flourished into. You’re list touches upon all that he’s been doing and all that he is starting to do. These 5 years have evolved at an incredible rate and the sky’s the limit for people like you and him. So I just want to say thank you for all that you do and for inspiring people out there like you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Paulina! That means a lot to me! I just heard from Drum&Drummer School on Twitter about this post. So glad you guys enjoyed it. Many people don’t understand all that goes into it so I felt like maybe I could shed some light on all of the things we have to tackle to make it work. Seems like you have an amazing boss!

      The drumming community means the world to me and I just want to create content that people like myself can relate to in hopes that it will inspire and educate.

      Thank you so much for reaching out! I’ll get in touch with your boss and see if he’s interested in being on the show sometime (Behind The Kit Podcast).

      Matt

      Like

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