officially a gigging drummer

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SGarrett
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:50 pm

In that instance, my personal philosophy is that "pro" isn't short for professional, it's short for proficient. For me, it has to pay your bills before you're a professional. I look at it more in the sense of business, law, or medical professionals. :)
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
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eml
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:52 pm

SGarrett wrote:In that instance, my personal philosophy is that "pro" isn't short for professional, it's short for proficient. For me, it has to pay your bills before you're a professional. I look at it more in the sense of business, law, or medical professionals. :)

I do too, I just like playing with the idea that I'm a professional drummer and songwriter because I've made money of both. I don't consider myself professional in the sense of proficient though, I hope that I some day will be if I keep practicing as I do now.
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TheLoneGunman
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:55 pm

yeah, it's all just semantics anyways. The only subjective thing is money. I know I make a certain amount of money playing the drums right now. I may think that makes me a pro, someone may not, but it doesn't change how much money I'm making, and the bills I pay don't care whether someone thinks I'm a pro or not.
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:05 pm

I'm not talking about how much money you make, man. I'm talking about drums making you completely, or almost completely (in the case of lean times) self sufficient. That is what a professional musician is. I get paid a decent amount, too. I'll be professional when I don't have to work a day gig anymore. :)
"If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self--a goal I have to reject."
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TheLoneGunman
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:27 pm

SGarrett wrote:I'm not talking about how much money you make, man. I'm talking about drums making you completely, or almost completely (in the case of lean times) self sufficient. That is what a professional musician is. I get paid a decent amount, too. I'll be professional when I don't have to work a day gig anymore. :)


lol dude I think at this point we're just debating for debating's sake. All I'm saying is that the definition of the term professional isn't really that important. It's value is all equated with one's view of the term, and therefore different for everyone. I just use money because it has a subjective value. A dollar in America is the same for everyone. Although it's relative value is different for everyone ie a house worth $200,000 in KC but LA it'd be $900,000 but then we're getting back into terms of objectivity. I just like using subjective terms as much as possible. I'm not really debating your definition of professional. It seems quite logical.
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nightcrawler_steve
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:26 pm

Ask yourself this...

You are meeting, Jason Bitner, Chad Smith, Gadd, or the like... Would you say, "hello my name is (insert your name here). I am a (professional, semi-pro, weekend warrior, hobbist, etc.) drummer and I have admired your work for a long while. I think this puts it into proper perspective.

You can tell yourself, your girlfriend or your friends you are a professional if ya like, but I wonder if you would to the guys mentioned above.

Personally, I have averaged 130-160 shows a year for quite a while and make a handsome chunk of change. A significant percent of my income. I consider myself a semi-pro.

PS....congrats and have fun to the OP. I wish you all the best and may it be the beginning of a successful career in music that is what you desire :)
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:34 pm

my life's starting to swing back toward playing much more often. after almost dying from hep b, I really lost steam there for a while, and my body just wasn't up to the late nights any more, so I was just playing with a band that gigged a fe times a month. several years later, I'm feeling better and starting to get my momentum back. now I'm doing 2 bands and recording a fairly involved project.

one of the issues with doing music here in austin is that it's hard to get gigs that pay unless you're either doing cover/wedding band gigs or playing country or blues. club owners here have gotten comfortable with the humongous talent pool, and basically gotten to the point of feeling entirely entitled to pay bands shite wages. this isn't entirely true, I still make some cash, but it always amazes me when I go to other towns and we make a nice stack of bills. I have always wanted to break into the country talent pool here, but it's kind of insular and I haven't had the right introductions, even having been here for years. this may change soon if I get the drum seat for an album this local hot-shit steel guitar player is putting together. love me some rowdy texas outlaw country.

I do have to say that the project I'm producing/engineering/drumming/consulting on is providing a nice little income cushion, as did some demo work I did last month. the train's a movin again, even if it's picking up speed slowly.
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:17 pm

I love Cheese and drums wrote:maybe professional was a bad term I couldnt think of a better term at the time. I guess giging drummer. this is my first gigging band I've been in and I'm super excited!!!

Understood. Scott edited you topic heading which I feel is probably alot more appropriate. Once again much luck and have a blast. P.O.Y!
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:00 pm

nightcrawler_steve wrote:Ask yourself this...

You are meeting, Jason Bitner, Chad Smith, Gadd, or the like... Would you say, "hello my name is (insert your name here). I am a (professional, semi-pro, weekend warrior, hobbist, etc.) drummer and I have admired your work for a long while. I think this puts it into proper perspective.


I would say hey I'm a professional drummer from the KC area, I'm a huge fan of you and I'm totally not worthy but let's play some drums. I kinda did that to Derico Watson. Who is very nice btw.
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:34 pm

Yeah I just wasnt exactly sure what to put but giging is definetly better their are alot better drummers out there than me but this is my first serious giging band which is what I want to do!! :)

oh and thanks Garrett!
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:46 pm

I guess technically that would make me a professional drummer, though it's not a comfortable living, that's for sure! :)
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SGarrett
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:00 pm

TheLoneGunman wrote:
nightcrawler_steve wrote:Ask yourself this...

You are meeting, Jason Bitner, Chad Smith, Gadd, or the like... Would you say, "hello my name is (insert your name here). I am a (professional, semi-pro, weekend warrior, hobbist, etc.) drummer and I have admired your work for a long while. I think this puts it into proper perspective.


I would say hey I'm a professional drummer from the KC area, I'm a huge fan of you and I'm totally not worthy but let's play some drums. I kinda did that to Derico Watson. Who is very nice btw.


I mean no offense by this, so please understand. :)

You aren't a professional musician, man. You're a gigging musician and quite possibly a semi-pro.
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:20 pm

TwistedFate wrote:Professional pro·fes·sion·al adj. 3. Performed by persons receiving pay American Heritage Dictionary

As hard as it to believe, a professional is simply defined someone who gets paid to do something. There is no degree of success attached to it. Play one gig that covers your bar tab, and technically you can say you are a professional musician. So if these are paying gigs, you are technically a professional musician.

Gigging is perhaps a better word, though, since many people equate 'professional' with 'making a living as'.

Congrats either way, man!


Zen would tell you that from federal tax point of view this is exactly correct and legal...so don't fight it when you think about your gear write offs and traveling expenses.
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Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:28 am

I would have always associatied the term 'Professional' with someone that is particularly fluent in their instrument and is getting paid for their services as a drummer and not just as themselves in a gigging band, eg. session drummer.
Although when I think of it it wouldnt matter if it was your band, if your at it long enough and making a steady income to support you then i guess your a professional. :wink:
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Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:18 am

Kris wrote:
TwistedFate wrote:Professional pro·fes·sion·al adj. 3. Performed by persons receiving pay American Heritage Dictionary

As hard as it to believe, a professional is simply defined someone who gets paid to do something. There is no degree of success attached to it. Play one gig that covers your bar tab, and technically you can say you are a professional musician. So if these are paying gigs, you are technically a professional musician.

Gigging is perhaps a better word, though, since many people equate 'professional' with 'making a living as'.

Congrats either way, man!


Zen would tell you that from federal tax point of view this is exactly correct and legal...so don't fight it when you think about your gear write offs and traveling expenses.


Technically I am a professional drummer (I have been payed to play), I have tax write-offs and everything. Would I tell someone I was a pro? No. I think the argument here is not that I was payed a dollar to play DRT, it is that my main source of income is not playing. I could go so far as to say that I am a professional event promoter, hell I put in a lot of time and effort, but I didn't make a dime.
Semantics is the word to focus on here. In the little box at the top of the tax form do you write Drummer, or something else?
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