The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

INTRO Professional Drummer seeking advice on online business

JohnathanJena

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 2, 2018
7
6
17
Massachusetts, USA
Hi there!

I am Johnathan and am a professional drummer (endorsed by companies, etc. all that jazz) and I love drumming more than anything. I want more than anything to make a living and a rich life playing drums but have run into a snag.

I want to start an online drum tutoring business and have an idea to make it unique and improve on an old model, but I would still be trading time for money in the end and would like your advice on it because I am really stuck.

There is an abundance of online music tutors, not oversaturated, but enough so where it is hard to charge a premium price for lessons as most people are only comfortable with spending $25-50 an hour for professional instruction. This is fine, but given that one on one lessons require me to be there in person (at least on the screen) with the student, it limits my ability to scale, as I would only be able to handle like 25-40 sessions a week (which would begin to feel very much like a job to me).

I currently work 55 hours a week 6 days a week at a Learning Center as the head tutor and while I love the impact I have, I am paid minimum wage by a boss who honestly doesn't know how to run his own business. I am frequently drained and seeking freedom, but I worry that even if my online lessons are a success, it'll only wear me down and my favorite activity and passion will begin to feel monotonous and mundane.

I don't know how I can disconnect myself from my business unless I maybe record lessons and sell them, but there are a million of those out there and great free resources like Drumeo which uses professional drummers for hour long (or longer) lessons which you can find for free on Youtube. I don't know how I am supposed to compete if I go that route.

I had an idea of using screen capture software to record my student's lessons in real time so they can always track their progress (so they have the replayability that pre-recorded lessons have with the direction and personalized care that one on one sessions give), but I don't know if this change will have an impact or entice enough customers.

Any advice? I am really stuck and need your help. Thank you
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,794
12,134
2,454
United States
I want to start an online drum tutoring business and have an idea to make it unique and improve on an old model
How unique? How much better than what's out there? Enough to where people would pay more?

as most people are only comfortable with spending $25-50 an hour for professional instruction.
And most people want to spend less $10 a plate when they eat out. But there are still restaurants that sell $25 a plate... $100 a plate...

Without concern for what the market will pay... What do you think your hourly time is worth?

I used to teach bass lessons. I could teach in a public school for the school-district mandated $15 a lesson ($30 an hour). Or, I could charge $60 an hour for people to come to my house. When I charged more, and made them drive to my house, I got students who were more invested... they did what I told them, they came back each week wanting more, they were the all-stars. The "fun" students.... and I didn't have to leave my house! And, the higher price makes you seem more legitimate.

Typically, in any business, the "low end" customers tend to me more of a pain in the a$$ than the ones willing to pay more. The ones who want to be the best, they WANT to spend more. They won't think they're getting the best if they pay the average price. Think of your best kid at the learning center. Would you burn out if all of your students were like that, or would you love your job?

This is fine, but given that one on one lessons require me to be there in person (at least on the screen) with the student, it limits my ability to scale, as I would only be able to handle like 25-40 sessions a week (which would begin to feel very much like a job to me).
If you're just going to be doing one on one lessons, why be online at all? Surely there's enough people in Boston looking for drum lessons to fill your schedule (assuming you know how to market yourself). The purpose of being online is to access a global market. It only makes sense to tap that market if you have a scaleable product.

it'll only wear me down and my favorite activity and passion will begin to feel monotonous and mundane.
This is a very real concern. After 10 years of being a semi-pro classical musician, I haven't touched my bass or my horn in 3 years. I burned out.


but there are a million of those out there and great free resources like Drumeo which uses professional drummers for hour long (or longer) lessons which you can find for free on Youtube. I don't know how I am supposed to compete if I go that route.
I don't have an answer for you, but I'd encourage you to "niche down". Any industry seems overwhelming and impossible to compete in when you try to take it in all at once. What segment of the customer base is being underserved? Is it a certain demographic of drummer? Is it a certain genre of music? What does the new generation of drummers want that they aren't getting?

These types of questions can help you find an opportunity.

I had an idea of using screen capture software to record my student's lessons in real time so they can always track their progress
Only the most intensive students are going to be interested in reviewing old lessons. This is a nice sounding feature, but I think it's only a tiny value add.


I hope you find something above helpful.
 

GoGetter24

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 8, 2017
571
1,113
365
Various
1. Establish yourself as an authority, likely through YouTube videos demonstrating your drumming. E.g: like that Luke Holland guy who played covers over current popular songs. Also by explaining equipment selection.
2. Create a video course. I don't know why but people really like "courses". YouTube videos are free, but well-structured courses of instructional videos can fetch some silly high price points. It's all about the wording. It's not a video, it's a "webinar". It's not a playlist, it's an "instructional course". Just like how people put "premium" on the same product and it sells better. People are hungry to pretend skill & success comes from spending money on content products. Give them the opportunity to indulge in that.
3. Do research into niches that are not adequately fulfilled in the drumming space. It could be people have difficulty choosing drums, or they may want to half the same drum kit as drummer X but it's too hard to gather it together, so you could provide a "done for you" service for that.
 

Karume

New Contributor
Aug 14, 2018
17
5
14
Hi there!

I am Johnathan and am a professional drummer (endorsed by companies, etc. all that jazz) and I love drumming more than anything. I want more than anything to make a living and a rich life playing drums but have run into a snag.

I want to start an online drum tutoring business and have an idea to make it unique and improve on an old model, but I would still be trading time for money in the end and would like your advice on it because I am really stuck.

There is an abundance of online music tutors, not oversaturated, but enough so where it is hard to charge a premium price for lessons as most people are only comfortable with spending $25-50 an hour for professional instruction. This is fine, but given that one on one lessons require me to be there in person (at least on the screen) with the student, it limits my ability to scale, as I would only be able to handle like 25-40 sessions a week (which would begin to feel very much like a job to me).

I currently work 55 hours a week 6 days a week at a Learning Center as the head tutor and while I love the impact I have, I am paid minimum wage by a boss who honestly doesn't know how to run his own business. I am frequently drained and seeking freedom, but I worry that even if my online lessons are a success, it'll only wear me down and my favorite activity and passion will begin to feel monotonous and mundane.

I don't know how I can disconnect myself from my business unless I maybe record lessons and sell them, but there are a million of those out there and great free resources like Drumeo which uses professional drummers for hour long (or longer) lessons which you can find for free on Youtube. I don't know how I am supposed to compete if I go that route.

I had an idea of using screen capture software to record my student's lessons in real time so they can always track their progress (so they have the replayability that pre-recorded lessons have with the direction and personalized care that one on one sessions give), but I don't know if this change will have an impact or entice enough customers.

Any advice? I am really stuck and need your help. Thank you
It doesn't matter how many drum courses are out there, even if the whole universe is full of them, you can still be successful in making a fastlane business. The most important thing is to be able to come up with valuable promise to your customers who learn that incredible music instrument. For instance if you can have tricks on how to play the drum like a Pro in a short span of time, you can win many people. Last but not least, don't be distracted by your competitors, focus on your end product and how many others will benefit from it. Business is a highly competitive sport and if the players put their focus outside the game instead of inside it, they'll lose it.

All the best wishes.
Karume.
 
OP
OP
JohnathanJena

JohnathanJena

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 2, 2018
7
6
17
Massachusetts, USA
Thank you you guys! I am definitely going to launch instructional videos and do Youtube covers and streaming of my drumming live (via Twitch) and perhaps start a Patreon. I know it'll take time and as mentioned by GoGetter24, the correct wording to establish myself to others as the professional I already am. That is in regards to teaching.

I also had 2 invention ideas that I'd love your feedback on. I am currently beginning to learn how to code so I can start to design things more effectively beyond an idea but here are two ideas I have had:

Music: Haptic feedback, fitness tracking drum sticks: They measure hydration, heart rate, body temperature and through haptic feedback track a drummer's timing throughout their gig (by pairing via bluetooth to the click track on the laptop or in-ears. They could even optionally use pulses to subsidize the click track so drummers playing live could have physical cues and measurement for their timing.

GPS: Another idea I had i totally unrelated and involves GPS systems. One of the annoying things about most GPS's are the inability to customize a route. Sure you can avoid highways or navigate from street to street, but you often have to jump through hoops to say "I wanna go from place A to B using these roads in this sequence" My mother is a special needs bus driver and has to set up multiple layers of re-navigation just so the GPS takes her on her desired streets so I think inventing a software/companion to navigation systems like Google Maps/Tom Tom/Waze that allows for users to customize a route and save it as a preferred route would be so helpful to many.
 

lowtek

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 3, 2015
1,555
4,936
1,130
37
Phoenix, AZ
Thank you you guys! I am definitely going to launch instructional videos and do Youtube covers and streaming of my drumming live (via Twitch) and perhaps start a Patreon. I know it'll take time and as mentioned by GoGetter24, the correct wording to establish myself to others as the professional I already am. That is in regards to teaching.

I also had 2 invention ideas that I'd love your feedback on. I am currently beginning to learn how to code so I can start to design things more effectively beyond an idea but here are two ideas I have had:

Music: Haptic feedback, fitness tracking drum sticks: They measure hydration, heart rate, body temperature and through haptic feedback track a drummer's timing throughout their gig (by pairing via bluetooth to the click track on the laptop or in-ears. They could even optionally use pulses to subsidize the click track so drummers playing live could have physical cues and measurement for their timing.

GPS: Another idea I had i totally unrelated and involves GPS systems. One of the annoying things about most GPS's are the inability to customize a route. Sure you can avoid highways or navigate from street to street, but you often have to jump through hoops to say "I wanna go from place A to B using these roads in this sequence" My mother is a special needs bus driver and has to set up multiple layers of re-navigation just so the GPS takes her on her desired streets so I think inventing a software/companion to navigation systems like Google Maps/Tom Tom/Waze that allows for users to customize a route and save it as a preferred route would be so helpful to many.
Played drums as a kid, up until about 18. Can still throw down some notes, so I'm not talking through my rear end.

I can't see too many systems standing up to the abuse people put their sticks through. Also, what happens when the stick breaks?

Who is the market for that? Specifically, who would buy it?
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
29,224
100,884
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
And herein is the problem with "following your passion" or "doing what you love" or "doing what you know" -- you're stuck fitting a talent into a need which probably doesn't exist, or exists with limited upside. Your laser focused on .000000001% of the total opportunities available within the GDP.

Music: Haptic feedback, fitness tracking drum sticks: They measure hydration, heart rate, body temperature and through haptic feedback track a drummer's timing throughout their gig (by pairing via bluetooth to the click track on the laptop or in-ears. They could even optionally use pulses to subsidize the click track so drummers playing live could have physical cues and measurement for their timing.
What size market would this be? Seems too small.
 
OP
OP
JohnathanJena

JohnathanJena

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 2, 2018
7
6
17
Massachusetts, USA
And herein is the problem with "following your passion" or "doing what you love" or "doing what you know" -- you're stuck fitting a talent into a need which probably doesn't exist, or exists with limited upside. Your laser focused on .000000001% of the total opportunities available within the GDP.



What size market would this be? Seems too small.
Thank you for the response. I am just so so unsure of what to do. I am not a technology professional and don't know how to code yet but would be willing to learn. Just unsure of what I could offer if not something along the lines of music or mentoring/education. I am also a writer so maybe I could try copywriting or writing for businesses but I am unsure of where I would start. Or maybe an ebook on Long Distance Relationships since my wife and I just got married after living 3000 miles away for three years with little stress and developed systems and habits that made the process a lot easier. Any thoughts?
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
29,224
100,884
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Thank you for the response. I am just so so unsure of what to do. I am not a technology professional and don't know how to code yet but would be willing to learn. Just unsure of what I could offer if not something along the lines of music or mentoring/education. I am also a writer so maybe I could try copywriting or writing for businesses but I am unsure of where I would start. Or maybe an ebook on Long Distance Relationships since my wife and I just got married after living 3000 miles away for three years with little stress and developed systems and habits that made the process a lot easier. Any thoughts?
Ugh. Learning to start a business is not about learning how to code. That's just one of option of a gazillion. Most opportunities I see today have nothing to do with CODE or programming. It's frustrating for me to see readers of my books automatically default to "Oh, I need to learn how to code an launch something on the web."

If that's what they walked away with from my books, I failed as an author.

I would suggest you read Unscripted as it details the concepts of Productocracy; Value Skew, Value Arrays, and Value Attributes. Once you see business from that angle, opportunity is everywhere.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE4iUdRu8sw


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr_sj4Cq6GM
 

Karume

New Contributor
Aug 14, 2018
17
5
14
Ugh. Learning to start a business is not about learning how to code. That's just one of option of a gazillion. Most opportunities I see today have nothing to do with CODE or programming. It's frustrating for me to see readers of my books automatically default to "Oh, I need to learn how to code an launch something on the web."

If that's what they walked away with from my books, I failed as an author.

I would suggest you read Unscripted as it details the concepts of Productocracy; Value Skew, Value Arrays, and Value Attributes. Once you see business from that angle, opportunity is everywhere.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE4iUdRu8sw


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr_sj4Cq6GM
Thank you MJ...
 
OP
OP
JohnathanJena

JohnathanJena

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 2, 2018
7
6
17
Massachusetts, USA
Thank you MJ...
I guess I can focus on making online drum courses and maybe an ebook and such as well as growing my presence on YouTube with covers and such as well as lessons. :)
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Destiny Warrior

New Contributor
Aug 30, 2018
5
11
16
I guess I can focus on making online drum courses and maybe an ebook and such as well as growing my presence on YouTube with covers and such as well as lessons. :)
Upgrade yourself as a niche drumming expert for amateur bands as a consult in how to play better at gigs to up their game and teach styles and swag, then the wannabe drummers will follow you by word of mouth. Upon doing this, create a drummer blog page and Facebook group page and Meetup page for drummers to network and hold events for fees.
 
G

Guest3722A

Guest
Something else to keep in mind is that also surfacing now are guys like Weckl, Erskine, Suchermann, Berklee professors, etc etc jumping on the the same basic band wagon. Even Colaiuta and Gadd do this once in a while. The founder of DW also just opened something similar to Drumeo. And then on top of that, I just found out that Paul Bostaph is giving lessons back stage when he comes through with Slayer. Bostaph. Cobham has something interesting, too, going called "Drum Fantasy Camp" where he has students come out to AZ to study with him for a week. Funny side story with this is last year they talked him into going out to do a jam night somewhere and the musicians he jammed with on stage didn't seem to know they had a legend on the kit. Anyway, the barrier is high with this, from what I've seen.
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,794
12,134
2,454
United States
Just unsure of what I could offer if not something along the lines of music or mentoring/education.
I was a public school music teacher and part-time gigging musician for 5 years.

I am now doing very well in a completely unrelated industry that I didn't know anything about before entering it a year and a half ago.

I just read a new biography on Snapchat. Evan Spiegel barely knew how to code. He was the visionary for the app and had Bobby make it happen. Welcome to entrepreneurship. Where you don't have the answers to anything and you have to figure it out.


Maybe this will help you brainstorm: Look beyond your vocational training (drumming) and look at your skills. The traits that make you who you are as a person. The talents that you can take with you into something else.

Then pay attention to needs or problems in the world, and a way that you could apply the talents you already possess into a solution.

Lack of knowledge is not a good reason to not pursue something. You have the internet, and you have the ability to work with others who possess knowledge you lack.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
Very interesting, I like your style, I check it right now! Thanks @Lenin looking forward to it. :)
Replies
6
Views
501
Top Bottom