The best professional drum jobs are those jobs that are fulfilling for the drummer and provide financial security. Depending on the drummer's ambitions and goals, jobs may be local or may involve touring with a band. Some drummers work entirely in studios, while others work entirely on stage. It is also possible to find drum jobs that relate to drumming but do not involve performance, such as teaching drumming, writing about drumming, or even writing drum music. Depending on the skills the drummer possesses, a wide variety of careers relating to drumming are possible.
Many people believe that the best professional drum jobs are those that focus on performance. The most commonly desired job of this type is playing with a band professionally. When someone is a founding member of a successful band, this is not a problem, but when he or she must join a touring act, getting jobs can be more difficult. Many performance jobs are obtained through word of mouth rather than auditions, so becoming a known name among musicians in your area is a good strategy. In some cases, performance can also be on a gig basis, such as drummers who play for local musical theater performances.
Performance does not always take place on a stage, and many musicians find that studio drumming provides good income and artistic satisfaction. Working in a studio requires slightly different skills than working on stage, and in some cases these jobs can be obtained by audition. In most cases, however, people become drummers of this type at least in part through reputation. Having an agent can also be helpful.
There are also many drum jobs that do not primarily consist of performance. For example, teaching percussion can be satisfying for many drummers. Some drum teachers work with a school, but many provide private lessons and effectively run their own businesses. Teachers who are good at managing large groups or who have experience with drum corps can sometimes go on to lead this type of group as well.
Other drum jobs may relate to drumming in a variety of ways, including writing about drumming, writing music for drummers, or even working in the music industry to help aid communication between labels and drummers. In general, drum jobs relating to drumming require the drummer to be skilled but not necessarily an excellent performer. Understanding theories relating to drumming as well as drumming culture can be more valuable in non-performance positions, and depending on the skills the drummer possesses, highly prestigious or high-paying jobs can be found that relate to drumming.