Balancing Work and Life: JP Bouvet


The Working Musician Playbook


Lesson Info

Balancing Work and Life: JP Bouvet

As part of our second statement today I really think it's important that we talk about the balance of life and work which man that's hard that can be so hard and you know, for the two of you who picked up and move like you get here I'm sure and it's like okay, now I'm here oh my god I have to work I have to work but then again it's like you want to build relationships you wanna build friendships you don't wantto be alone all the time and you have to balance that you know like how do you do it? How did you do it so far from when you when you move from l a to seattle how did you approach balance and and work and the urgency of needing to get going right away? Well, I have a serving job on weekends but it's in a blues club so I'm able to hang out with some journeymen musicians and I'm able to just kind of assimilate some of those vibes which is nice you know, you pick up freelance jobs here and there it's not dissimilar to what I was doing in l a I but I do I really want a transition tomb...

or sort of workaday life that involves my you know, some kind of creative outlet because it's it it really wears you down having to having to freelance your way around, you know doing odd jobs it's it's tough but you know you just grind great and grand basically it that's that's it I mean you put one foot in front of her, hit the pavement and go you know, one of one of the biggest struggles that I see as a working a touring musician really is the balance of relationships and family and you know, even for me it's like I struggle with leaving home and worrying about my business and making sure that when I'm on tour and I'm overseas I can still have internet every day and being in different time zones that aiken balance you know, doing the work I do with my band doing the work I do with the unhappy and still keeping in touch with my girlfriend keeping in touch with my family making sure that my dogs are okay and my dad's take take care of them, which we're really lucky to have him for that for sure, but there is this gigantic stress if you don't know how to balance that and I've seen relationships fall apart I've seen people go down the wrong path because of this I've seen people make bad decisions that not only affect them but affect their family and their friends and their band mates and they're working situation because the stress of this balancing act is truly you know it's it's heavy it could be very, very heavy so you know, I really think that even though it's not necessarily one of the you know, tactical things like we discussed yesterday with business or even you know, the budgeting of how to become a working musician and and, you know, use your formula for your goals just understanding the importance of having that other side of your life is just it sze paramount to me because it keeps you sane and it keeps you focused and it allows you to have a portion of your day where you work really hard and then you stop and you go to the other side and you say decompress, soak it all in and it's funny we were talking about educating and teaching or learning I always compare it to that because you know so if you ever try toe, learn something or get something down on an instrument you practise and practise and practise and practise and you can't get it and you get stressed out and you get frustrated and you're just like burnt out from all the work and then at some point you say alright, throw the sticks down put the guitar down you get up and you walk away and you go do something else go to sleep, eat some food whatever it is and then the next day you sit down, you pick up your instrument and you have it ok instead of putting yourself through all of the stress and just grinding yourself completely down. It's really important to kind of have a schedule that you stick too and it's really interesting when you talkto our artists or musicians because when you think about schedules, like schedule nine to five that's not, I'm not doing that no way it doesn't need to be nine to five with art and with this type of business, as you even learned yesterday, like I'll text my manager at midnight and he'll hit me up at seven a m you work when you're inspired, okay? And if you are inspired, ride that wave to the fullest and really take advantage of that, because that is priceless and that that will be your most productive time. It really well, but if you're feeling like you're hitting a wall and you're feeling like what you're doing at this point in the day after so many hours of work is unproductive than you need to have the other side that you khun go too, okay, you need to have that balance and you need to know when it's time to stop. So when I talk about a schedule it's, not like, okay, I'm going to work today from nine to five, and then I'm gonna go do this it's my goal. Is to work as long as I can today while I have the inspiration but you know what if I don't have it after three hours I'm going to take a little bit a little bit of a break go do something else and then come back an hour later don't waste your day but give yourself a nice little break to come back it's like the segments between this class you know we were going for I don't know what is it seven hours straight I'd be burn out you guys would be like oh my god I can't listen to this guy talk anymore he looked so stupid and sounds horrible aw the brakes are necessary because it allows our minds to rest and it allows our bodies to just breathe and just get the blood flowing and just just chill I mean we need that's what we need sleep we have to let our bodies rest so that is really tied to this whole balancing act you have to have other outlets and as I discussed for me you know my favorite thing to do when I'm not playing drums or when I'm not working is to just go hang out with my dogs could be something as simple as that you know this, right? Yeah I mean you have jack and juno have these two great dogs I have tyson and charlie chuck I called chuck just of course but I mean like when I got in his car for the first time I rubbed my luggage around the back of his car to get the smell of chuck on my luggage so for the next two or I could just smell a dog and everyone well like I just need a little chalk man love dogs yeah no I mean I think it's funny you know the reason why I think we both like dogs and maybe some people can relate to this because we spent a lot of our days talking communicating and as much as that is important which we highlighted you also need to give yourself a break and with dogs you don't you don't have to look at him yeah and they got a batch of pops and I'm like that's a kid and it's it's game over you know exactly so whatever that is for you whether it's you know writing or reading a book or hanging out with your friends were playing video games or um I mean there's a million things that that we all do make sure that you incorporate that recreational time into your life if you don't you will become a slave to your job it won't be fun anymore the art won't be fun because it will be like this this just stressful job that you are forcing yourself to do it and I talked about this yesterday there's a difference between productive practice at something and then practice that that will not allow you to progress because in anything that we're talking about today, there are other skills we need other than your talent with drumming you know this if you were to sit down all day for twelve hours a day and do nothing but drum and had no social interaction or had no other interest or didn't teach yourself anything else or do anything else for yourself, you'd be like a robot and you play like a robot and you act like a robot, you need to be around other people you need to give yourself outlets, it will give you experience to put into your art and into your craft to make it more original. Art isn't supposed to be happy in jollity all the time that's why, when you hear a song like ash was talking about yesterday from adele, people connect with they get shows and it's like, oh my god, she got like in this horrible relationship and I could totally relate to that it's horrible but that's the thing I mean it's all about human connection is all that expression and everything we're talking about is about building relationships and that's how you build relationships, you express yourself and through art and through music and through drumming and teaching, you have to be honest about your craft and you can't I have things to be honest about it all you do is just play drums and you'd be like, well, I did this parrot it'll thing today for twelve hours what do you do? Oh parented als aren't that not cool right? You need you need that balance so to help amplify this this point I want to welcome our next guest uh who is one of he's younger than both of us he's smarter than both of us and he's more uh inspirational he's like a shaman he's also an amazing drummer I can tell you this the two of us take a ton of advice from this kid sitting in the back of our car while we're driving and it's like j p what do you think you know and it's always that what do you think he'll just hit you with some truth and you're like, wow, I gotta really reexamine my life anywhere is the coolest pants in the world talk about style, dude the fact that he's got the andromeda galaxy on right next to you know the sombrero galaxy on his pants that's pretty rad and before we bring him in here I just want to point out j p also has his own website that is a business for him a cz well it's called j people music dot com and it really is centered around his drumming education and you khun I mean he's literally he's a berkeley graduate or no he went to berkeley who went to berkeley wants a berkeley graduate very easily. He just left to train from drum off yeah, and he is a one of the best teachers I know and one of the best drummers I know best musicians in general is a producer he's a drummer he's a web designer. He is a businessman. Hey, is a fierce friend say yeah he's raising friend and I think that if you want to learn about all of these topics you go to j people music dot com it's not mike's lessons it's not band happy you want to learn about j p and how he does things and believe me, if you talk to him, you will go here, go to this website and I promise you it will be worth your time and worth your small investment to get access to his life and what he does so let's bring him up to be good to see him. Wow, there is yes what's up. There is no way that after that introduction you could never live up to it on skype. Thank you so much. Yes? Can you hear me? Fine, we could perfect yeah, we could hear you great how's it going I can hear you guys great too how you doing super super great actually I just came back from pakistan actually and it was uh it was a good day of practice this morning that's great that's great I it's like the perfect setup right now because you have your mind als symbol fast plaque yeah right behind you and yeah there it is and I just wanted to kind of have you from your perspective tell the story about how the three of us met and sort of what the common threads no pun intended were between us that that pushed us to start working together and start doing what we're doing tio I think accomplished our mutual mission you know absolutely take yeah well we met summer of two thousand twelve summer of two thousand twelve it was the model drunk festival and it was a year we're like we the three of us our lives just sort of lined up kind of magically in my opinion because I knew off mike and matt I didn't I didn't know them personally I didn't like really dig deep into what they were up to so meeting them in and in germany and guten stepped in germany at the model drone festival was like we were pretty much strangers from the get go but that year I had won the enough which is why I might know asked me to play the festival and it was my first drum festival ever my biggest performance too to that date for sure and I believe it was also both of your first festival is that you yeah so it was like we were all there coincidently on our first big drum festival I know I was a big deal for me and I didn't know the time it was a big deal you guys too I think it's safe to say and way were the three american guys were the three natively english speaking folks around as well so way had a lot to bond over that way and like the three of us have a ll like on paper most things are different right but like why we started to click and why we started to work together later is all the internal stuff that like the reasons that I really respect and love mike and matt is like it's all I see so much of the same like the things that I find most important just in life and in business and in drumming I see the same things inside of these guys so months later after the drum off might hit mike's I think he had the spark of the idea that we should do some stuff together because I was playing on my own clinic to her mike saw that he was doing clinics like we should do something together like people really do that and it would be quite a special thing so we start chatting and as mike says lily there are a lot of people that say they're going to do things, and then there are people that do things, and just by happenstance, the three of us happen to be firm believers in the du ist mentality, so the fact that will be all kind of started chatting about this, it was like, yeah, can you explain the du ist mentality? Request duelist ah friend of mine named josh thing from chicago once said, I'ma do us he's like that's. My I don't know what he's like that's, how I live my life, I always try to be due east, and the moment he said that it never left my mind. It is like that such a simple way to sum up a lot of things I believe is like a du ist is someone when they have that idea, that brilliant idea, and in that moment they're so sure that this is what they need to do that it's their calling, they do not let go that they don't let themselves convinced themselves out of it, and they literally just it's so simple they didn't make it happen. I like to be a duelist is to be the guy that organizes all the rehearsals, organizes the show books, this books that organizes everything. Gets people paid if they need to get paid or explains to them very plainly we're not going to get paid or you're still into this like the dew, it is just like someone who is not afraid to take on the task that's it and it's like you get so many ideas throughout the day and it's like just think, if you if you live the du ist life and capitalized on walton tenth of the ideas you get like the progress you make will be unbelievable, but instead, if you're not doing that, you just have this backlog accumulation of great ideas that you regret not doing and it's like it's some point it just just like eat it knew on the inside. Yeah, I know that that's that's very important, I think, for everyone to hear, no matter what it is that you want to do, the only way that you could make things happen is if you do it, yeah, and and like for his apples like there, there could be some really common missa perceptions. Is that a word or the word like misperceptions? Ana, like like you guys, I'm sure you've gotten this from people as well, and I do sometimes too, like sometimes people are like, like those h like own like matt halpern, like you're like such a making a big deal in the drum world like you must have like like this team of people that like makes all this stuff happened for you and it's like so like what? What everyone needs to understand is like that's a huge matt was only cover amount of drummer so was mike he's got to like modern drummer is like the coolest thing you can possibly do like that means you're a big deal but mike and matt make everything happen themselves like that's the thing there's no one like making mike's drum camps have like mike's business is two people matt's ban happy is because matt made band happy happened that's not like make sure there's other people involved at this point but they're there because met hired them or matt got them involved the matt talk to them like it all comes from like the actual person like when like people sometimes we're like how do you do all these klink tour this that was like well, I little start calling emailing people and I harassed people and then I make a plan like a really great plan and like I make it so they literally just have to say yes or no and that's all like they have to do almost nothing to make a clinic happen and that's how the clinics happens like it's not some magical thing there's no manager there's no assistant is definitely just like in the time between when you see me publicly or in the video is like that's when I'm making the things happen that that I can then show people you know what I mean like my whole career is based on doing things but like I have to make the things like appear to do them and it's the same with you guys this is his leg work you have to do the prep you have to have to get to be prepared and putting them behind the scenes work to make the public things happen and you know it's funny because yesterday what we talked about we talked about some keys values which were setting your goals which is sort of like making a plan and then learning how to communicate what you want and build relationships so that then through the hard work you khun make things happen you khun do things and I think you sort of just you know, summarize that in your description because that's what you have to do when you book a clinic tour you make a plan first you set a goal and then you have to communicate you have to call people and say, hey, I'm this drummer give me a chance you know and of course your accolades and your reputation makes it very easy for you in a lot of ways but that is not because it's just god given and here he has it it's all of the work for years and ours and just everything you put into it to get to that point but even with that talent you still have to make the phone calls and harass people as you said and stay in their face and figure out creative ways to get people on the phone you know that is not easy to do and then it becomes a little bit easier because then once you've made that connection and you've communicated to this person they've given you the yes and you go do your clinic you build a relationship with that person so the next time you want to come back it's uh I only had to call this guy once and he was like yes you know and I know you can relate to that too it's it's um it's very hard to get the yes at first but if you put in the time and then you deliver to get a yes again and to maintain that relationship is actually super easy you do and you hit the nail on the head when you said get the yes and then deliver because like let's talk about what happens after you get okay yes okay so let's talk about ok so like just because I've done enough like clinics at this point like that isn't like a new like endeavor right now so that that has become something that I that can happen as not so it's not so difficult but like another example leg this so I'm planning like a big event this summer it's it's like a big charity event my friend drew and I are going to try and break a world record while we like pack a bunch of people pack a bunch of meals for this thing it's a it's a long story but the point is this is something I've never done it involves way more people than I have ever organized in my life and there's kind of a lot writing like the fundraising our vegas numbers I need to fundraise to pay for it that I've never thought about numbers that big before it is not money going to me it's money to pay for the entire event and I think it's it's going to be an awesome thing and it's like pushing me in new directions but like what I'm going through a ce faras admin stuff to make it happen is like an uncharted territory because now it's not only convincing like shop owners and music people that you exist but now it's people that have no idea what the music world is like charity organizers and like the venue is just a big rule like a big beautiful room it's like getting a plan together to send them and reading through your email and before you click send being like if I read this heck yeah I would be convinced in a second that this is the greatest idea ever you know what I mean? But then like you said about delivering like I really believe this is the way this is like to pave a golden path forward for you and to develop not only relationships where like you're cool with people but people want to work with you is to do the following lock in the days and then instead of making the event run making it go through the motions make whatever you're doing the best thing that could have possibly happened exceptional in every way and like that's what I'm just like with this event coming up I'm obsessed with that man todd is like everything needs to not be like it happened it used to be like it was exceptional like any detail when anyone involved speaks about it it should be like oh my gosh it was so well organized oh my gosh the venue was so beautiful my gosh things went actually went according like on schedule for the first time in history like that's a huge goal we like the people were treated really well this was blah blah, blah whatever it may be like I really want every aspect of it to be not doing but exceptional like better so that next year I want to make this an annual thing why wouldn't everyone involved who benefited from it be like yeah, obviously we'll do it again that was incredibly easy like all we had to do was show up and everything happened like that's the goal do you see what we mean? You get it now? Okay, this is this is thank you for sharing that I didn't even know about this. You have to tell me about this, I'll tell you about it, okay? We're together it about epic way we'll all be together about a week with another clinic run. Uh, yeah, we'll be in my house. My mom saw stars cool I care way well, uh I can't wait to hear about this so that's that's awesome. So the other thing and I can fill everybody in on sort of the story a little bit more about how he met and started working together for the common thread, but I really think it's important for the people that are viewing this this this broadcast to understand, as I mentioned, the balance of life and work and within that balance setting up a support system and finding the right kinds of friends and right kind of partners in business to really help you achieve your goals and people that you can actually help is well along the way and that was, you know, mike alluded to it too, but that was something that was so amazing about when we first met you when we first did the clinic run on the east coast was we had never seen a group of people that was one like so productive but so productive together and you're all best friends so how did you do that? How does that work and how do you balance your practice schedule this charity event drum clinics running your website and having a life and having an outlet for you to just stop and go uh breathe how do you do that? How how would you tell other people to do that? I'm just writing a couple of thoughts down here or then any notes right? Um it's it's the thing to remember is like it's a constant it's like we're testing this it's an eternal balancing act like there's no point when you figure it out because like your life continues to change you continue to get older things become more important whatever maybe like it's a constant balancing act but learned to really enjoy the balancing act of balancing life of work because like those days that you think you nailed it like they feel so good you know? I mean when at the end of the day you're like dang man like I had such a productive day and then I had so much fun with the people I love like at the end of that day you're so happy it doesn't matter like whereas you always know, you know, when you when you aren't balanced, because at the end of the day, how do you feel? Oh, I should I should have done all those things that are due in two days, but instead I just, like, went to the park all day, that was the wrong decision today or like, oh, I worked all day, I feel unfulfilled and, like, unloved, and I wish I would have liked taking time to see a friend or call my mom or something, you know, whatever it may be so it's like it's, a constant balancing act, and I'm kind of realizing I've been realising some stuff about where I'm at right now, because when I was at and berkeley, it was like an obsessive, like I was upset est with work and being productive and practicing and like, my whole day was just, like, wake up music rehearsal, like, eight hours rehearsal practice after that classes and asleep like that was just like every day, and I was just asking because it was like, this total immersion thing. That was the right thing for me at that time. And now that I'm not at school, and I'm where I am now, and I'm a few years older, so I'm twenty three now and it's like I've been dealing with why can't I do that now? Like why can't I work all day and love it and be just like so happy and it's like but I've changed and like things have changed, I have different like values and things important me now now I need, like it's really important for me to see the people I love from me to, like another important thing like because we get so obsessed with productivity and like doing things, so then your relaxed time becomes, you're still doing things like, okay, I'm gonna stop drumming and instead I'm gonna, like, learn about the history of the world I'm gonna learn about this trying to get better at this or I'm gonna like practice this other skill it's like but it's really important to remember that like sometimes you need to just, like literally sit or like walk or like a little like the art of doing nothing, actually nothing is incredibly important and it's it's, it's, it's hard but it's a constant balancing here's something that has been helping me keep my drumming in check because ironically, my drumming practices the first thing to go when I get busy it's like that's backwards because my whole my whole life is based around me drumming and it's the thing I love to do more than anything why is that the first thing to go? Because there's no one there to tell me. There's no need to test me, there's no one to be like obviously you didn't practice slap on the wrist. So what? You know I was reading this and there's a book called the war of art not the art of war, the war of art um a really good book and he talks about being a professional he's a writer ok, which is like all the arts of the same. So what he's talking about is what makes a professional professional and so a commonly people say your professional you start getting paid for what you do. But I disagree and he disagrees as well because this is this is like the write down point. This is the point is that becoming a professional is not a promotion it's an attitude like it's all internal it's all in your own mind, like becoming a professional. Is you deciding right now? I'm a professional. What is it professional do? This is one point from a ton from the book that sticks with me every day. What is the professional due in any field they shot toe work every day that's it they show up to work every day so now in a world where I'm I get to make my own schedule right now I have to make a schedule like I have to treat my job like it's a job like so many artsy people just float through and it's the worst feeling in the world when you've gone entire month goes by and you had so many things you wanted to do and you thought you were kind of doing all of them at the same time and then at the end of the month nothing has been done I was like if you would have sat down and done one thing and made a schedule say okay in two days I'm gonna finish this one thing and every day I'm going to show up to work because my whole career is based on me being a drummer okay when's the best time that you work and then do that every day for me right? When I wake up I need to go drum because if I put it off it always gets pushed back until it's one a m and I'm like I'm not going but the thing is I've realized about me if I wake up I go drum for two hours no matter what happens in the day I could get hit by a car and punched in the face I'll be happy at the end of day because I put my time and I'm stoked about it that's it it was like, if I show up to work and while I'm at work, I just try my best maybe I'm off maybe my brain's not working, but I'm there and I'm trying my best I've done all I can that day like if I show up to work, I'm a professional I feel excited about that. I know I did what I could do and I can go on with my day and like, try to figure out the rest of day out but like that's a big thing because being a professional not a promotion is in your head it's like right now become a professional and the money will come in time because I do a lot of stuff for free, like I just recorded on a holy p this last weekend for free it took me hours and hours and hours seller in the music am I not a professional? While I'm doing that? I thought I treated it as professional as I possibly could have actually has nothing to do with the money. Yeah, no, I think that's that's a great point and you know, for for all of the hard work that you put in each day, you know, I think when you have a schedule and you work as hard as you can and as you put it, you show up even just showing up like you said when you go to bed at night could be like, you know what? Maybe I didn't accomplish everything today that I wanted to accomplish in my life, but I took these little steps forward and that feels good and it inspires you to want to do that the next day yeah, and I'm finding it so it's okay to points one it's really easy to kind of have b s work slash get distracted for twelve hours straight is really easy to do that it really hard to actually be productive for four hours, three hours liketo actually sit down no distraction phones off whatever you're doing, you're actually doing it the best you can and if you do that, you'll knock one thing off your to do list every day, and if you have one thing off your to do list every day that's in a less like an immense amount of progress and they don't have to be huge things, but if you're half b s ing slash, I should go to the grocery store slash I should go and do some push ups slash I should call this person slashed this is this is this like e end of the day it's like that's when nothing has gotten done like it's just like really like this whole schedule thing like they're really they're like there are, like, kind of a lot of hours in the day, you know what I mean? Like, if you were really focus on whatever you needed to do for, like, six hours like you're probably going to be burned out, in which case ok, then you take it like a count the time you need to eat meals and then you take in a account like the time you're going, I don't know read a book, see a friend, whatever you're going to dio like that's your day and like all of a sudden, you've kind of, like formed this balance and use your right man it's not like at the end of the day, you can't get down on yourself, it's just like okay, how am I gonna change? You know what I mean? Like, what am I going to do differently tomorrow? It's like it's like it's also really like pay attention to you because like, like I said, I worked best in the morning that's why I like to get up early? I don't stay up too late all the time, but some people they really worked best way late at night like two am toe for am like that's there time, but then the problem is like a find out when you weren't best and then be work at that time because if you first best at night, what else is happening at night? Everything ever like every party, every get together every excuse to not work happens like yeah between eight and one am so if you have time to work is that night you kind of have to really make the sacrifice of doing that you know what I mean? Because that's another time like if you weren't best tonight it's gonna be really easy to never ever work, especially if you live in a city like new york city there's like a thousand cool things going on every night that are way more exciting than going in practicing but like then when you go practice instead of do all those things you feel so fulfilled and you feel so good but it's like for some reason we don't we just don't do that, you know what I mean? Yeah, and the point that you're bringing up is actually I was going to ask you and you pretty much just answer the question but it's like, you know, a lot of people say, well, I'm a artist, a musician I don't want to work nine to five we were just talking about this, you know, do you think it is a simple is just looking at yourself from the outside and saying, you know what I know that I'm the most inspired at this time of day so I'm gonna do my best to schedule this time to really put in the hours you know is that is that the message you think I think that is really important and e I mean it's hard to treat your job like an hourly job when you work off inspiration like you said because sometimes you're just not inspired but I guess it is just a constant like getting no yourself and then like acting on the cues like if when you get inspired like you know it's common you can feel you're like oh my god that's such a great idea I got to do that that's your cue to like turn your little wifi thing off on your computer and put your phone away and like actually do do some stuff because it takes very little to snap out of that space you know what I mean? Like you get the q you're like oh, I need my guitar and this is it oh my god the new animals leaders I've never had such cool ideas and then it's like somebody calls and they want to chat about like your dad calls he's like you need to start a retirement fund you're like oh that's really stressful jesus well I don't make any money that howling and any that option is gone you know? I mean it was like those moments when you can work on your art are sacred, so, like, let them be and give them the time and space deserve. And also this is a side note. But on the topic of nine to five jobs, I've realized I'm doing an interview series with, like average working musicians in new york and by average, I mean like exceptional human beings. We're making a living as musicians, and some of them have day jobs like a lot of musicians have day jobs and there's this weird connotation that that's something to be frowned upon, but it's not at all like if you think about it. Like my good friend, he just moved to new york. You like six months ago and he's a guitar player he's really like artsy music it's hard to get paid for artsy music, but he's committed to like the art off music. He also worked in a pawn shop. In the first I was like, well, that's, really cool and they start to think more bottles like that's, epically cool, like you will do whatever it takes to play music. You moved to the most expensive city, but you could have moved teo to play music that is almost impossible to get paid for. But it doesn't matter, because you're doing what you love and he wouldn't trade it. The thing is, he wouldn't trade it, and he wouldn't change a thing because he's happy because, yeah, he goes to work in the pie shot four days a week, and then he goes home and he's done what he needs to do so he can do what his life calling it's it's like a day job, isn't it's, not it's? Not a bummer. It's is necessary if it's necessary it's necessary, like, treat it that way, you know what I mean? Like proud? Like, yeah, I have a day job so I can do whatever the heck I want when I'm not in my day job. Booyah! You know, they mean, instead of, like, the opposite of that would be asher instead of doing that, just joining a bunch of like, a bands that he can get paid in that play, weddings and stuff music that he hates and all of a sudden that's talking up his whole life and he can't do his project. You know what I mean? An hourly, structured thing that pays you can be a beautiful day.

Class Description

It takes more than raw talent to make a living as a musician – and it doesn’t happen overnight. In this online course, Modern Drummer’s 2013 Best Metal Drummer of the Year and founder of BandHappy Matt Halpern will show you how to break out of the garage and build a lasting career in the music industry.

Drawing on his own successful experience with the award-winning band Periphery, Matt will walk you through the everything you need to know about breaking into the industry, improving your technical skills, and making the right moves to ensure long-term success. You’ll learn how to get your foot in the door, build a sustainable career as a working musician, and keep growing your career from there. From finding the right management, agent, and label to building relationships with sponsors and key industry players, you’ll learn it all from one of this generation’s most respected minds in the business.

Special industry guests include:

  • Ash Avildsen - Sumerian Records Founder/CEO
  • Mike Mowery - Outerloop MGMT Founder/CEO
  • Mark Scribner - Business Manager for Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Animals as Leaders
  • Mike Johnston - Drummer, Clinician and Founder of
  • Chris Brewer - Head of Artist Relations for Meinl Cymbals USA
  • J.P. Bouvet - Drummer, Clinician and winner of Guitar Center Drum Off 2011

By the end of this class, you’ll have a comprehensive, actionable playbook for breaking into the music industry and putting in the right work.


Nathan Mason

This was all so insightful! It's early in my soon to be career as a working musician and this class is everything I wanted to know. It's great to hear some validation from people who've made it. This isn't some magic trick, this can all be achieved with talent, hard work and a being the best you can be to everyone around you. On top of being insightful I instantly connected with every guest and speaker. We're all going to friends one day and I can't wait. Great class lead by great people. Thanks Matt.