3 Rules Of How To Become A Successful Drummer

Tips how to become a successful drummer

How can you become a successful drummer?

That’s a great question.

In today’s article, we’re going to answer it.

I’m sharing 3 rules helping you crack this goal.

Please notice:

This article is not for you when you’re searching for tips and hacks to sharpen your drumming skills.

It’s about becoming a successful drummer in terms of a way of life.

Also, they are key elements for making a proper living by drumming and beyond.

1. Define What Success As A Drummer Means To YOU

To start-off, let’s get real:

There’s nothing as the ultimate state of being successful for everybody.

Instead, you need to define the drumming success you want to achieve for yourself.

  • For some, it means being able to play lots of gigs.
  • Others define being a successful drummer with being a worldwide renowned teacher.
  • And then there are people just enjoy playing the drums as a hobby.

The first and most important rule on how to become a successful drummer might seem obvious.

However, it’s a 1,000 % not.

Instead, this one’s crucial:

What means being a successful drummer to you?

Knowing your answer to this question is REALLY important.

It’s a deal-breaker.

Thing is:

Ask 300 drummers how they would define being successful.

I’m pretty sure you’ll get 300 different answers.

As human beings, we’re all unique.

There’s no such thing like a global definition of being successful.

Goals are unique.

So set yours, because:

Your drumming success is 100 % unique.

If you want to become a successful drummer at your own terms, make sure to keep this in mind.

Speaking of:

Your definition of what success means to you might change over time.

I’ll give you an example:

I’ve often hear that people say a drummer is successful when she or he has tons of followers on Social Media.

This might seem obvious at first glance.

However, it’s not.

Having lots and lots of followers is awesome if that’s your goal.

When you think that’s what makes you successful:

Great, then you’re successful.

That’s awesome!

But if lots and lots of followers are not important to you (which is perfectly fine as well), it’s not YOUR kind of success.

Success is what you wish it to be.

It can be everything from

  • earning a living by teaching drums to
  • being a famous drum influencer on YouTube to
  • just having a ball rocking the kit in your spare-time.

How to be a successful drummer then?

Rule number one is:

Define what being successful as a drummer really means to YOU.

That’s the first and most important thing to work on.

If you follow the goals set by others, you might have a hard time reaching them.


When you become successful in a field you don’t really care about, this can be really stressful.

You definitely want to avoid that.

So keep following your own heart and beat.

Define what being successful as a drummer means to you.

2. How To Become A Successful Drummer? Learn To Set Motivational Goals

There are many motivational quotes out there.

I’m sure you know the one saying

Shoot for the moon and if you miss it, you’re at least going to reach the stars.

(Or something like that.)

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to set high goals.

You know, the one’s that inspire you to give your darn best.

However, we’re again facing more than meets the eye when striving for success – not only as a drummer.

Thing is:

Big goals are a great tool for keeping your motivation on a high level.

But again, they have to match your personal desires and dreams.

If you don’t want to become a worldwide renowned drummer –

why try to reach this goal?

Just because others define it as being successful?


That’s not the best way to life your life.


Set the goals that are motivating you because YOU want to reach them.

They can be as high as the moon.

Or not.

It’s up to you and again, your goals might change over time.

Rule number 2 for this reason is:

Set drumming goals that match your needs, desires and wishes.

You can use the famous SMART method for doing so.

Speaking of:

Here’s An Extra Tip To Tackle Big Drumming Goals

BIG drumming goals can be a BIG motivator.

At the same time, they can be an even bigger saboteur.

That’s because a real biggie in terms of drumming goals can simply be too big at the point where you are now.

I’ll give you an example:

This drumming blog is still comparably new.

I’m not where I want to be with it.

What can I do?

I write the best damn article I can write right now.

That’s the next step.

It’s certainly not the big dream.

But it’s a motivational goal helping me to reach my bigger ones.

So when thinking about your big drumming goals, ask yourself:

What’s the next logical step to come a little closer to my big drumming goal?

And then, ACT!

Little improvements will add-up hugely over time.

Set and work on small goals to reach your big ones in the future.

3. Keep Working On Your Mindset And Attitude

How to become a successful drummer?

That’s the question we’re all about in this article.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t talked a lot about

  • networking,
  • marketing or
  • practicing a ton

so far.

And sure, they are outstandingly important.

All three of them can and probably will skyrocket your drumming success to the next level.

However, it’s more about

getting to the point where you – as a drumming human being – are happy with.

Maybe you really wanted me to talk about networking strategies.

Hacks for gaining more followers on YouTube.

Or simply make money playing the drums?

(Which you all can do by offering value to others.)

Hey, I totally understand your point.

However, I do need to come back to the fundamentals of your wish on how to be successful as a drummer.

For me, it’s not about external achievements.

It’s about your state of mind CREATING external achievements.

They are a result of owing a helpful mindset or attitude as a drummer.

I’ll give you some examples:

  • If you’re a pain in the ass to work with, not many musicians will give you a second call.
  • When you constantly doubt your drumming skills, other people tend to do so as well.
  • If you think you’re already too experienced for practicing properly for an audition, maybe you’re really not.

So rule number 3 is this one here:

Constantly work on your mindset and attitude.

Following this rule, you will hugely benefit:

For instance, having a great attitude will make others enjoy working with you.

This understandably will result in you being recommended to other musicians and stronger relationships in the music industry.

And yes, now we’re finally at the sweet networking and marketing topics.


Networking & Marketing Might Be Not What You Think They Are

For me, having strong relationships was and is crucial to my personal drumming success.

However, they were not the goal.

They are results of what I’m doing and how I act.

It’s all about serving the people around you.

And no, it’s definitely not about helping others because you expect something in return.

You serve others because you simply want to.

Hey, being kind simply makes the world better, right?

Some will thank you for your help in return.

Others won’t.

It doesn’t matter.

Deliver value by helping other people.

Basically, that’s how networking or marketing works.

It’s actually the economy in a nutshell.

Speaking of doing music business:

You’re totally allowed to make money from the value you deliver to others.

In the music industry, I often find that people tend to hesitate charging for their services.

And a lot of people charge way too less in comparison to the quality they provide.

But this surely deserves another article.

So if you ask yourself how to become successful as a drummer, remember this:

A strong network is outstandingly important for you.

Building it up will take some time, however.

And don’t forget to deliver value to the market.

You could create unique content like

  • online lessons,
  • a blog or
  • fun drumming videos

for example.

Again, this type of content has to come up to your needs and personality.

If you don’t like online marketing, go for local marketing.

You can visit concerts of local bands for example.

Talk to people and see what’s happening.

I’m sure you’re gonna love this process. 🙂

Conclusion On How To Become A Successful Drummer

Puh, this was pretty much information, wasn’t it?

I hope the three rules of how to become a successful drummer will do the trick for you.

Let’s have a short look at them again:

  1. Define what drumming success means to you.
  2. Learn to set the right – motivational – goals.
  3. Work on your attitude and mindset.

Basically, those are the 3 rules.

And what can you do now, straight after reading this article?

To start-off, define what drumming success means to you.

You might find it handy to define one aspect of it like

  • being regularly invited to auditions.

And next, find a way to reach this goal in small steps.

While reaching small goals finally adding up to your big goals, work on your attitude.

That’s all.


This process might sound simple, but it will take it’s time.

That’s the reason why your drumming success has to come up to your needs and desires.

If it doesn’t, you likely won’t make it through the process.

And this really would be a pity.

So keep up the great work and start now!

All the best,

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Author: Manu Holmer

Hi, I'm Manu Holmer, nice to meet you! As a professional drummer and drum teacher, my vision is to help others transform their lives with the power of music. Let's not only play the drums. Feel the rhythm & and walk to our own beats!

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