Being a part of multiple projects can really help keep things fresh, and especially if the projects are very different from one another (they should be) it can help you develop new styles and techniques. This is crucial for growing as a musician, but it can also leave you drained and on the brink of insanity at times if you aren’t careful.
Drummers are always in high demand (You know, since everyone else thinks playing guitar is cooler for some reason). Staying busy as a drummer is way easier than you think, but finding people you want to play with that also want to play with you is the tough part. Thats the ultimate goal as a drummer with the mindset of having fun, gigging, and getting called back.
Im currently in 4 active bands, 3 other recording projects, rotating cover band sets with random talents from around Raleigh, I teach drums and am currently consulting for a concept album (4th recording project), all while trying to keep up with blogging, networking, social media (not doing so hot right now), an amazing girlfriend (who’s also the badass bombshell bassist for the Pie Face Girls) and work.
I’ve always had a scattered mindset, love staying busy, and I have a lot of experience with what it takes to keep your cool when the heat is on. Here are some key points to consider when thinking of joining multiple projects.
You MUST ask yourself these questions first. If you can answer yes to all of them…go for it. If you can’t, don’t even think about it.
- Do I like the music/idea/people involved?
- Do I have the free time?
- Is my schedule flexible enough? (things ALWAYS come up)
- Am I doing the band justice rather than joining because I cant say no?
- Can I actually bring something new and innovative to the table?
Odds are if you answered yes to all of these, it will probably work out. Its important to keep things fun, so make sure you really are having a good time. Don’t half ass it. The music world aint’ got time for 2nd place.
Playing in 2 or more projects can be extremely fulfilling, but its easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. If your bands are pretty active, or people really like your stuff, you will have dates thrown at you constantly.
Here are some tips for keeping track of everything.
-Get a planner. A real, analog, made of paper, fits in your bag or pocket, planner/calendar.
-Mark your work days, girlfriend days, birthdays, other shows you want to see, and whatever else you have to make time for so you already know your availability.
-Any time you get show offers write down all dates being thrown at you from all projects.
-Once you decide which shows you can do, talk to the bands and see which shows they can/want to do.
Things to keep in mind:
A good nights rest is your best friend in the whole universe.
Eat right, you’ll be way more productive…trust me.
You can’t make everyone happy all the time.
Sometimes you will have to ask off of work, cancel important plans, or disappoint loved ones in order to play gigs. (only do this for super awesome, well planned, great exposure, politically good move shows, and make sure to make it up to anyone you let down)
Don’t be afraid to say no
Saturating the market, especially with local bands, is a huge mistake that can cost you valuable momentum down the road. Its much better to leave people wanting more than to give it all away. This also goes for you as a person.
There you have it folks! Keep drumming!
If you want to check out any of my projects you can find them below. Also check out the instagram and Facebook for real time updates!