20 episodes

The Internet's longest-running drumming podcast, Drummer Talk is devoted to drums, drumming, education, the music industry, and other percussion-related topics. Features news, reviews, interviews, and much more.

Drummer Talk 818 Studios

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.6, 86 Ratings

The Internet's longest-running drumming podcast, Drummer Talk is devoted to drums, drumming, education, the music industry, and other percussion-related topics. Features news, reviews, interviews, and much more.

    Drummer Talk 273 – So you want to MD! Now what?

    Drummer Talk 273 – So you want to MD! Now what?

    If you’re ready to jump into the next level as a music director, be sure to check out today’s episode!


    Opening Detritus

    What happened to September’s show?
    Gigs, gigs, and more gigs!

    Rock of Ages

    Wigs, Fake Cigs, and Drummer Gloves

    From Lance
    Hey Dave, been listening off and on for awhile now and wanted to get your opinion on something. I’ve been wanting to get back into playing drums and hopefully start doing some side gigs down the road. However, I need to practice as I am sure I will be extremely rusty and I would of course want to improve my skills. My house will not accommodate an acoustic drumset in regards to either space or volume for practicing. I’ve been starting to look at electronic sets. All I would need is something to practice on, so I’m trying to keep it as inexpensive as possible. I saw a Simmons sd100 for $200 but didn’t like how you can’t really adjust the spacing of the pads. I also saw the sd300 which would be just about perfect at $300. Do you have any suggestions on an inexpensive electric kit (really hoping to keep it under $300) for purely practice? I may actually use it for some midi work but that’s not my primary purpose. Just want to get something that feels as close as possible to an acoustic kit. Thanks! Lance
    From Maximillam:
    Hey, Dave & Troy! Been listening to the podcast for the past year – but thanks to the Archives I’ve probably heard close to 200 episodes. Thanks to both of you for the incredibly valuable information as well as the entertainment. I have a legal question and can’t think of anyone better to ask than the two of you, and would super-appreciate any kind of clarification on the matter! When transcribing drum parts, are we dealing with any copyrights/licensing fees/etc? Am I allowed to completely transcribe the drum parts for a whole tune and share it with the world? How about if I were to sell the transcriptions? Again, thanks to the two of you for going strong with this podcast. I’m an absolute fan. /Maximiliam Andersson
    From Lynn
    Hey guys, been a while since I wrote you, but still been listening. Question, so I was asked to sit in and sub for a drummer for a cover band. They do 80s and 90s rock. I am familiar with most of the songs, but many of them I’ve never actually played on drums. No practice and I have a week to learn 60 songs. I may be able to meet with the guitar player for a little bit. So my question is do I chart out the songs? Or is that bad? If I do chart them do you have a way you would use for 5 hours worth of music with is about 60 songs? You can use this question for podcast, but if you have time could you try to respond ASAP, I’m nervous about this, but excited too. I normally just play at church lately so I’m looking forward to playing out again. They are paying me $150. Thanks guys keep up the great work! Lynn

    Topic – So You’re Ready to MD. Now What?

    Why be the Music Director?

    Power trip?
    Attention to detail and genuine joy from keeping all the plates spinning
    You must have patience!

    Running the show

    Situational Awareness
    Knowing what all the other musicians are doing and should be doing
    Cues and count-offs

    Booking the band


    Knowing players you can trust

    Know all the details before you reach out to other players

    Gig Time(s)

    Including rehearsals

    Venue and Rehearsal Location
    Gear the players will need to bring

    Music Stands
    Stand lights
    Odd instruments

    Dealing with W9’s

    Venue Details

    Sound Needs
    Stage Needs and Stage Plotting

    Power Needs
    Make a diagram in Keynote or Powerpoint!

    Green Room


    Running the rehearsals

    Call times vs. start time


    Gathering the charts

    iReal Pro

    Knowing the arrangements, yes even the chord changes

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Drummer Talk 272 – State of the Union (So What IS Up?)

    Drummer Talk 272 – State of the Union (So What IS Up?)

    Dave and Troy pop in for a show to bring you up to speed with what’s been up this Summer.

    Opening Detritus

    The state of the union – what have Dave and Troy been up to?

    What’s next for Drummer Talk? We want to hear from you!


    Remembering Johnny C.
    Death of Remo Belli
    Nick Menza (Megadeth) Autopsy Results Revealed
    John Blackwell Health issues


    Steven Adler Joins Guns N’ Roses for first time in 26 Years

    Music from this week’s Show

    What Have You Done for Me Lately – Janet Jackson

    In closing…

    Find out when new articles and next episodes hit by following us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/drummertalk) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/drummertalk)
    Want to support Drummer Talk and help us to continue to bring news, reviews, articles, transcriptions, and videos to free to you? Please consider becoming a Drummer Talk patron. You can find out more information including patron rewards (like shout-outs, stickers, T-shirts, and more)  at drummertalk.org/support.  Patron levels start at just $1. Remember, every donation helps keep us on the air and ad free!
    Have a topic suggestion or question for the show?  Let us know at www.drummertalk.org/contact

    • 1 sec
    Drummer Talk 271 – Agents and Managers 301

    Drummer Talk 271 – Agents and Managers 301

    Prof. Troy covers band managers on today’s episode.

    From James: I love Drummer Talk and have been listening for years. I want to go back to the very first episode you have available and download and listen to them—one by one, and in order— but I can’t figure out how to get to the very first episode in the archives and begin the process of downloading. Is there a link that will get me to this first episode? Thanks very much!
    From Craig: Hey, guys! Loving all the information from Troy on the different management sources for bands and artist. The inspiration that your show gives is priceless. Since listening to your shows I have started playing Tama drums (starclassic). Started building custom drums, started making custom drum wraps, and becoming more involved with the local music scene. I can’t wait to see where your inspiration leads me next! Great jobs guys, Craig. Check out my Facebook pages for the drums.

    Dennis Davis (David Bowie’s Drummer) Dies

    Topic Notes
    When To Hire A Manager
    Just before or just after signing a record deal or a major contract.
    The Role of the Personal manager

    Advise and counsel the band/artist in all aspects. Think COO of a corporation

    The areas that a manager should have experience in are. Touring, Project Management, Income, Contracts/Licensing, legal issues, strategy and visioning.
    Artist Development ( think producer meets manager )

    Objective eye on the band/artist sound, image, performance etc.
    Objectively identify choke points in the artist development. IE weak musicianship or song writing skills and providing solutions
    Provide objective improvements to live performances and strategies to create a smooth product.

    Business development / Procurement

    General meetings: getting meetings with . Labels, talent agencies, publishing, graphic/web development, legal, and other entities
    Researching and validating suitability of the previous said individuals and professionals
    Working in collaboration with other professional in your team. Ie legal council, talent agencies, graphic/digital media etc.

    All Aspects from start to finish project management

    Creating the task to-do list for project
    Managing tasks to completion
    Making the work/work-in-progress and making it visible
    Managing the Calendar IE Radio promotion, new media (Internet), sales and marketing
    Organizing transportation to and from said events


    Helping you find other team members: Business manager, Tour Manager, Talent Agent, etc.
    Working with other members of your team: Business manager, Tour Manager, Talent Agent, etc.

    Monitoring Physical / Mental Health

    Being the ring of defense between the artist and the rest of the world

    Types of management firms
    Small start ups

    A friend, a business person, club owner, etc.
    The intern: because drummers cannot afford business managers they get free interns usually music students.

    Mid level management firms ( Cam )

    People with a large amount of experience/power or influence but have not been able to break a major artist like lady gaga
    Usually have a well developed network in the industry and can get general meetings easily

    Big Leagues ( Q Prime management )

    A least a decade of experience and with a few phone calls can make things happen
    These management companies are very well established but are able to take a bigger chunk of the pie

    Management Contracts

    Exclusivity: They will want to be the only company worldwide
    Key Persons : The person who signed you to the company is your direct representative
    Terms of the agreement: Year’s / Cycles / Tours /

    Paying The Manager ( Commissions )

    10-30 % of gross earnings
    Have a well defined contract that clearly spells out what constitutes gross income Ie recording advances.

    Types of Payment Structures

    Deferred: working for free until money flows
    Escalation : starts at 10 or 15% then escalates to 20% as more income

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Drummer Talk 270 – Agents and Managers 201

    Drummer Talk 270 – Agents and Managers 201

    We continue on our series on representation with a focus on business managers.

    From Scott
    Hey guys hope all is well in drummer talk land. First off I got to say I love the podcast! I just recently started listening maybe two weeks ago. I’m listening in semi reverse order which is fun because to hear Troy’s excitement to bring stickers to Pasic or Namm (which ever it was), comes after hearing about him forgetting to bring them. It’s like reading a suspense novel backwards lol.
    Secondly, Troy please please please please do a segment on cutting snare beds. I have a few snares that I received from a now defunct custom company, on which I never thought the snare beds were correct and have had nothing but trouble with my snare wires seating properly. I loved the bearing edge segments due to how well you clearly described the tools and the process and I think hearing from you on what to do with snare beds would be enlightening.
    Thanks very much guys for reading this and taking it into consideration. Keep up the great work and thanks for providing the drumming community with such a great resource. ~Scott “skipper” Gentry

    6 Tips for a Manageable Drum Set

    Topic Notes
    The role of a Business Manager in your career

    A business manager is like a chief financial officer of your company. The key scope of the business manager handles all financial issues such as investments, financial planning, bookkeeping and accounting, asset management and administration, tax services, insurance, and royalty examinations.

    Bookkeeping and Accounting
    Some of the services of business manager does paying monthly bills, collecting royalty earnings, depositing money and monitoring your bank and credit accounts for discrepancies.
    Some of the bills a BM my pay from your accounts

    Rent or mortgage payments
    Vehicle payments
    Credit card bills
    Personal services such as housecleaners, personal trainers, gardeners etc.
    Insurance Bills, utilities such as water, power, sewer, and Internet

    Touring Services and Financial Controls

    Transportation cost such as airfare, tour bus etc.
    Lodging such as hotels
    Salaries and Per diem for band and crew members
    Insurance for liabilities, missed shows breach of contracts etc.
    Logistics such as trucking and transport of gear, sound equipment and stage needs
    Fees and commissions for Agents, other managers, promoters, etc.
    Fees for productions costs and rehearsals

    Asset administration

    Shopping for big ticket items such as Homes, cars, expensive gear etc. Your BM will let you know what you can afford or if certain items qualify for tax breaks, incentives and other tangible ways to be a wise steward of your financial resources.

    Tax planning
    This is broken into 3 main categories

    Indemnify the appropriate business entity: Ie inc. LLC, S corp etc.
    Planning and handling of Payroll and income taxes: IE w-2, 1099 etc. Also IRS audits etc. Meet with IRS and give over all records.
    Estate planning: Wills and living wills, Trust funds, Life insurance, Gifting strategies etc. Generally BM’s work with estate attorneys

    Auditing Rights
    When, How, Time frames, records requests etc. You must discuss how you can request an audit. It’s not personal everyone in Hollywood audits everyone else. It’s a way to gain an understanding of what is really going on.
    Power of attorney and limited Power of attorney

    Never Grant Full Power of Attorney: with full power your BM can purchase houses and large items without your knowledge
    Limited power of Attorneys grant your BM to represent you in IRS audits and prepare checks for you to sign
    In some cases set up a petty cash system and make sure you look at it. In some cases add Lower limit credit cards. Amex is a favorite for this one.

    Payments to your BM

    Retainer: Generally from 500-5000 per month. depending on the success and monitory flow of the client.
    Hourly Fees: $20-$1250 p

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Drummer Talk 269 – Agents and Managers 101

    Drummer Talk 269 – Agents and Managers 101

    We start part 1 of a 3-parts series on professional representation.


    How to Fake It (with Fred Armisen)
    Ginger Baker to Make Comeback after Surgery
    Woman, 99, Celebrates Birthday by Rocking Out on Drums
    Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Drummers All-Time
    Neil Peart to Publish 3rd Book
    Rumors Spread of Meg White Replacing Peart

    Topic Notes

    A Talent Agent is a person or company that role is to find you the client work and jobs. Ie gigs, writing jobs, teaching jobs etc. 
    A Business Manager handles your personal and company financial affairs. From income, expenses, retirement, asset purchases, taxes, financial planning etc.
    A Manager handles the day to day operations of the band or artist.

    The role of a Talent Agent in your career:

    Procure work for you or your band that is mutually agreeable
    Help you in constructing tours
    Strategize aspects of touring that move your goals forward
    How to package and sell the artist or band
    Pricing for tickets and negotiating fees for live performances ( this includes radio and television
    Collecting deposits and handling of venue fees

    Agents and Territories

    Agents in California are regulated by the state labour commission. Agents can be regulated by the AFM Sag and AFTRA these are known as franchised agents.
    Territories usually by continent 

    Qualities to look for in an agent and agency and what questions to ask
    What kind of agency is it?

    Boutique or specialized IE A specialized Internet talent agency – www.bigfra.me
    Full stack agency like CAA or William Morris – music, film, television, product endorsements and literary speaking engagements. or expert role jobs
    Major role agency IE the same agency that represents major artists that you could get packaged up with. IE Taylor Swift, Metallica, U2 or acts of that size etc. They have great relationships with promoters and can generally elevate you to the next level if you perform well.

    Things to look for in a specific agent

    How long has your agent been with their agency?
    What kind of agencies have they worked with in the past?

    How many clients does your agent manage / firm manage
    Will the agent you are talking too be the real agent who books you

    Red Flags

    Beware those who want income from writing, endorsements, and other works that are not directly procured from the agent.
    Beware agents that charge fees for mail, calls, copy, presentation preparation etc.
    Agents that will book you everywhere or for anyone who asks for a fee
    Agents that say this is the standard in the business and you should sign
    Agent wants you to change drastically to become more commercial, many times to fit into a category that they control. Many times certain agents have developed networks that they will try and fit “warm bodies” into to generate income.
    Agents that will charge a fee for housing to be with other artists

    Approaching the Prospective Agent

    As a rule agencies will generally reach out to management companies or record labels but that is not always the case.
    You need to have a polished product with a provable and measurable amount of success.  Ie successful youtube channel, record contract, contracts with promoters, opening for a major act etc.
    Should have at least 100,000 subscribers with at least a few hundred videos with an average of 350,000 views after 30 days
    Have daily weekly metrics of how your videos perform

    The fees and structures

    The fees and structures gent fee’s are 10% of the gross money the agent generates.
    The scope of the agreement: Exclusive, Duration of the contract 3-5 years not more than 5 years for a jr band
    Rights to terminate (setting up goals and incentives for the agent)

     Music from this week’s Show

    White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
    White Stripes – Icky Thump

    In closing…

    Find out when new articles and next episodes hit by following us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/drummertalk) and Facebook (htt

    • 1 sec
    Drummer Talk 268 – NAMM 2016 Recap (Part 3)

    Drummer Talk 268 – NAMM 2016 Recap (Part 3)

    We wrap up our NAMM gear recap with part 3: cymbals, sticks, electronics, and some accessories.

    Opening Detritus

    Join Dave on PSN: DoktorTakt!

    Topic Notes





    Dream Cymbals



    Vic Firth



    Regal Tip




    Sound Synergies

    Music From This Week’s Show

    Bodhran – Young Dubliners
    I’m Shipping Up To Boston – Dropkick Murphys
    Linger – The Cranberries

    In closing…

    Find out when new articles and next episodes hit by following us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/drummertalk) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/drummertalk)
    Want to support Drummer Talk and help us to continue to bring news, reviews, articles, transcriptions, and videos to free to you? Please consider becoming a Drummer Talk patron. You can find out more information including patron rewards (like shout-outs, stickers, T-shirts, and more)  at drummertalk.org/support.  Patron levels start at just $1. Remember, every donation helps keep us on the air and ad free!
    Have a topic suggestion or question for the show?  Let us know at www.drummertalk.org/contact

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
86 Ratings

86 Ratings

Shireman1 ,

What happened?

I used to love listening to your podcast. Just curious what ever happened to you, and Troy? Guess all things come to an end but it would have been nice for a wrap up show for the longest running drumming podcast!
Hope all is well.

redbarron34 ,

Best Drumming Podcast

These guys know what they're talking about when it comes to drums. Fun to listen to, and great information. They really know their stuff,and the show has great production, and they are sincerely nice guys. Keep it up!

Shelbykat1231990 ,

Girl drummers

You had mentioned breaking down stereotypes regarding girl drummers, while simultaneously referring to drumming being a "sausage fest". It might not be a huge deal to most people listening, but just a friendly reminder that some of us drummer chicks have dicks, and some drummer DUDES have vaginas, trans drummers are slaying the drum game and smashing stereotypes, too.

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