Blog – Life as a working drummer – The need for teamwork!
Learning the drums can require many hours of practice to perfect techniques such as new beats, fills and a good sense of timing. But aside from actually playing the drums, there are many other things to learn when it comes to playing in a band…….
History tells us there are challenges to life as a working musician. If you were to look at a selection of bands from the past 50 years, you would see the vast majority of them split up within a few years of forming, sometimes perhaps even a few weeks! The reason? More often than not, it’s down to a lack of teamwork. This is a crucial skill required to be a working musician, particularly a drummer. Think about it – many other musicians can work on their own, a singer/songwriter guitarist busking, or a pianist working in a café perhaps. When it comes to drummers, this is not the case! Most people would not be prepared to go to a gig and watch a drummer play a drum solo for two hours! Therefore it’s plain to see that drummers need to be able to get on with other musicians in order to be a successful working musician!
Successful career musicians tend to be people with good common skills – and one of those common skills is the ability to be a team player. In my experience this means respecting other musician’s thoughts and ideas, being polite to them, and trying to find some common ground in all things musical. Some of the best band relationships are the ones where all the musicians feel at ease voicing any ideas/suggestions/concerns with other band members, whilst at the same time listening to the ideas of other musicians. By holding constructive conversations with fellow musicians, (rather than digging your heels and saying you want your own way or you’re leaving the band!), this can ensure you are building or maintaining solid, professional relationships with the other musicians!
As a good team player, you may also build some really strong friendships with musicians over the years, as I have been lucky enough to do!