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A Drummer / Unicyclist / Marketer

No matter what you think, you are never just what your title is. You are always to a certain degree, dipping your toes into other professions. For example, I am by no means a blogger, however, I do enjoy writing from time to time, and as a bonus, it can influence my page rankings on google. So although I am a “drummer” or a “musician”, I am a writer, videographer, producer, marketer and I also dabble with PR. All of these skills are very necessary for me to make it as a “drummer".

If you go to a circus and see a bear, that is kind of interesting. If you see a unicycle that is interesting. But you see a bear on a unicycle, that is really interesting. When you combine things you’re not supposed to combine, people get interested. -Naval Ravikant

Of course, we are drummers first and foremost, and we need those days where we spend hours upon hours in the shed working on our independence, linear fills, and behind the back stick tosses. But if it is all for the purpose of making it as a freelance musician, learning a thing or two about marketing, communication, or music theory, would potentially be as helpful as learning that next crazy fill.

Most people that I have taught are learning drums for the fun of it, which is the whole point! They are learning drums to be able to play with their friends in a band, or maybe they just want to be able to keep up in an open mic jam session. For me, I would be glad to teach someone every week about hand technique, linear fills, or what have you. But if they want to become a freelancer, maybe learning how to run a social media profile would be a great way to get them into the network of musicians that they can play with. That way, all the work that they are putting into drumming can be put to good use.

For each branch of the drumming industry, there is a necessary level of proficiency needed. If you want to be a famous YouTuber you better be able to blow me away with some fancy chops or find some other creative way to get me interested. If you want to be a freelancer, you better be able to make the song feel good and keep the band happy. If you want to be a session drummer, you better be able to learn songs as fast as I can say “Steve Jordan”, and play them well. Each of those professions has the title “drummer” attached to it, but each one has its own set of skills on the side.

Name any idol that you have in the drumming community, whether they are playing stadiums or to millions on YouTube, I can guarantee that there is someone out there that can play better than them. The thing is, they were just never found or never took the time to market themselves, or simply don’t have the desire to do so, all of which are perfectly fine. With the exception of the very few (5% or so) people who got success handed to them, the rest of us mortals have to find a way to make it work for ourselves.

Needing to learn about other professions to help our own in one way is great! Doing so means we don't have to live like it is groundhogs day and keep doing the same things over and over again. Some days we can put on our tight jeans and button-up shirt we got from the thrift store and pretend to be a marketer. And it is all going to help us get one step closer to the ultimate goal.

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