How to Be a Famous Drummer and Build Your Brand

By Tiara Ogabang

Alright, have a seat. We’re talking about how to be a famous drummer. Is it easy? No. Is it a guarantee? Of course not. 

Famous drummers of the last 100 years or so have all been extremely skilled musicians, and the most famous drummers tend to be members of mega-famous bands. 

Things aren’t quite the same today, since we also have the internet to make celebrities out of otherwise unknown musicians. 

The tips you’ll find below are about balancing both sides of the equation: the playing itself and the self-promotion that’s so important to getting famous as a musician. 

We’ll even pull in some general public relations tips to help you cultivate exactly the image you want to project to your fans. 

Get good 

Does that heading sound a bit harsh? Good. There’s just no skirting around this one. If you want to be a famous drummer, you need to actually know what you’re doing when you’re sitting down at the kit. 

There’s already a lot of competition between drummers in a very machismo sort of way. You’ve no doubt already seen different kinds of drum battle videos online or clips of a specific drummer who’s managed to nail down an especially show-offy style of playing. 

All of that stuff is pretty extreme, and it’s definitely not the extent of becoming a highly technical and skilled drummer. 

Still, you should be practicing at least once a day, regardless of what kind of day job you’re working or even if you’re touring with a band at the time. 

This is the shared quality of all your favorite musicians. Even if their playing style is non-traditional, they still practice that style constantly. 

From day to day, you won’t notice yourself improving all that much, but you will improve. By the time you’ve got more fans, you’ll be able to prove that you’re worthy of all that attention.

Get good

Meet musicians 

Networking is an important part of moving up in any industry, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s even more important in the music industry. 

In particular, you should try to meet other musicians. If you’ve been playing for a while then you probably already have, but don’t stop there. 

Always keep trying to expand your circle and meet all kinds of professional musicians. If they know you and know how well you can play, then they could call you up for a gig at just about any time. 

The more work you get, whether on stage or in the studio, the better your chances are of catching the attention of record company executives, producers, and fans. 

Spending time with a lot of other professional musicians is also just a great way to gauge how well you’re doing on the technical side of things. If you want advice on how to nail down a specific technique, ask for it. 

This kind of networking is also how plenty of drummers wound up joining famous bands, which boosted their own fame in the process. 

There’s just no going wrong here. Even if you don’t use all these other musicians as professional contacts, you’ll make new friends and dig deeper into the local music community. 

Build your own brand 

That’s right, branding isn’t just for car companies and energy drinks. If you want to be any kind of a public figure in the 21st centuryyou need to consider branding. 

In short, branding is how you present yourself to the outside world, and, more specifically, how you present yourself to your consistent audience. 

Just being a drummer isn’t much of a brand. That’s not a very exciting identity, and it also comes with assumptions the general public is going to make based on their impressions of other famous drummers. 

But if you have other aspects of your personality or your work that you’d like to be part of your image, now is the time to use them. 

What makes you different from all the other drummers you’ve ever met or listened to? How would you describe your playing style? How do you want to come off during interviews? 

You need to know these things about yourself and have a plan for your brand. When you do, it will make it that much easier to increase your fame and establish your identity as a famous drummer.

Build your own brand

Secure press coverage 

This tip is very much about modern-day public relations and taking advantage of the wealth of high-quality online publications you can find online today. 

Let’s say you’ve followed the tips that we’ve laid out here and now you feel pretty good about your public image. 

You’re a killer player, you’ve recorded a good bit of music, and as a musician, you have a strong brand that’s easy for fans to identify and share around. 

You might even have a YouTube channel with tons of subscribers who anxiously await each new video. 

All of that is well and good. In fact, it’s pretty darn impressive. You’ve done some good work. 

But. having your own dedicated group of fans isn’t always enough, and it can quickly slow down the growth of that fandom. 

A very common PR move is to secure press coverage for clients, whether it’s in the form of an interview with a publication, a feature article that talks all about what the client is working on right now, or a guest spot on a TV show where the client can solidify their public image even further.

Secure press coverage

But what’s the benefit of having other outlets talk about you and your work? Well, the most important benefit is that it increases your legitimacy. It’s one thing to have popular social media profiles, but it’s a very different thing to also have press that talks about your skills and your personal brand. 

If you can manage to have both, all the better. Press can also help expand your audience, which is the ultimate goal here. Being a famous drummer means that people all over know that you’re a force to be reckoned with, and press can communicate that message on your behalf.