Simple Drummer: How I Turned My Drumming Into A Lifelong Business

Simple Drummer: How I Turned My Drumming Into A Lifelong Business

Table Of Contents

  • About Simpledrummer®
  • Turning Struggles Into Successes
  • What’s So Challenging About It?
  • Opportunities That Lie Ahead 
  • Do What You Do Best!

Sitting behind a drum kit and playing music with others is my favorite thing to do. It didn’t take long for me to know that what I really wanted for my future was to turn my passion into a career. My name is Kevin and I am the founder of

About Simpledrummer® is an awesome online learning platform for drummers in every walk of life. Designed with simplicity in mind, it features step-by-step video drum lessons with a focus on clear, concise instruction and guided practice. With a growing library of over 1,400 lesson and practice videos, the lesson materials guide the user at a manageable pace that fosters progress and prevents overwhelm.

There are several ways a user can benefit from the lessons at Simpledrummer®. The best way is via a membership, which allows members access to all or specific areas of the website. Some lesson content is also bundled and available to users a-la carte (without a membership) by purchasing one of my interactive courses, printed textbooks or downloadable PDFs.

In addition to the pre-recorded lesson content, I also offer 1-on-1 virtual drum lessons via zoom video conferencing. This is by far my favorite aspect of the business. I get to meet people from all over the world to coach and inspire them in their drumming. I absolutely love it! 

Simpledrummer has allowed me to share my own knowledge of drumming and my passion for teaching with people all over the world. It has given me a lasting sense of purpose and fulfillment in my life, which I am grateful for. It hasn’t been easy getting here, but my commitment and persistence in the face of all doubts got me to where I am with my business today. Here’s how it all started…

Turning Struggles Into Successes 

Music has always been a source of joy for me as well as a refuge. It helped me to find a creative outlet with other people that I could relate to and identify with. Although I love all aspects of music, I’ve always felt that my calling was to be a drummer. Playing the drums allowed me to escape teenage pressures and I enjoyed the feeling that I was getting “good” at something.

After my post-secondary studies in music, the name of the game became the gig “hustle”. I spent most of my 20s and 30s meeting other musicians, playing gigs and generally trying to make the most out of a career as a drummer-for-hire. It was not easy. There is very little stability and it can be incredibly volatile. Some months I was busy and getting by nicely and other months I hardly any gigs and was struggling to pay my bills. Deep down, I knew that there was a risk that this life was unsustainable for the future. Rather than change course, I wanted to figure out a way to “make it work” on my own terms.

Fast-forward to 2014 and my wife (girlfriend at the time) was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.  That put the breaks on our entire lives and my drumming career. I wanted to be there for her everyday. All of the appointments, chemo treatments and radiation. It all happened so fast and changed my life so drastically. I continued to teach lessons because it was flexible. I could always cancel my lessons in the event that she became sick and needed to go to the emergency room. 

Live gigs however, require more commitment that I was no longer able to take on. I couldn’t just call in sick for a gig if she needed my help. If you are a gigging musician then you have to be dependable to others. If, at the last minute you can’t show up, then most of the time, the gig would be canceled for everyone involved. Someone else can’t be expected to be available last minute AND learn all the music to stand in for you. 

It was at this time that I began filming video lessons in my basement for what would become I spent hours everyday making videos that documented my approach to teaching. It took time, learning and experimentation over the course of 9 months to make my first 80 videos. I had to learn about lighting, camera technique, video editing and post-production. I spent hours almost every night watching tutorials and editing the clips I had filmed. My goal was to make professional looking videos that captured the viewer’s complete attention on the drums and instruction. I wanted to be able to film from anywhere, without any differences in the background.

By the time my wife had recovered from her cancer, I was engaged in the construction of while continuing to film and edit videos. A bandmate from the past was now a freelance web designer and was helping me build the site for a very friendly rate. On the side, I learned a boatload about web design from him and that enabled me to get more done, save on costs and be more independent in my construction and operation of the website. At the same time, I was able to get back to the music scene and gigs were picking up again.

Simpledrummer officially launched in 2018. It was a slow start and I continued to invest in the site’s design, reaching a wider audience and making more content for the library. I also began work on my 2nd and 3rd drumming textbooks, which are now available in the shop at as well as select musical instrument retailers.

Then in 2020, the covid pandemic hit and for the 2nd time, my drumming career came to a grinding halt again…except for Simpledrummer®. I was able to provide value to people who were stuck at home with time for their drumming hobby. Many people just wanted something new to do, to help them cope. I was already in a good position for growth and it picked up right away. I expanded the website to include stand-alone courses that didn’t require users to pay for a membership as well as virtual 1-on-1 lessons via video conferencing.

Early on in the pandemic, the revenue from Simpledrummer began to grow and it could not have come at a better time, since I no longer had any gigs or in-person lessons to rely on. I was soon able to, for the first time ever, pay myself back some of the money I had invested in it. Simpledrummer had now fulfilled its purpose of helping to stabilize the volatility that comes along with a career in music. 

What’s So Challenging About It?

There are a ton of other great businesses that offer online drumming lessons and education. Since the dawn of YouTube, students have come in and shown me videos and lessons they found on the internet and then asked me for an explanation. There is a disconnect there. While it is great to demonstrate something cool (as most videos do), it is entirely different to effectively teach someone who doesn’t have any prior know-how. Creating engaging online content that actually works as effectively as taking lessons, that is the biggest challenge in this industry. 

The other aspect of this business that has been challenging for me is the tremendous amount of learning that needs to take place. I could have taken out a bigger business loan and hired professionals to edit my first hundred videos, build the site, etc. But what about the next 100 videos and maintaining and growing the site? I didn’t want to always be dependent on others to get things done.

In order to make this work, I had to put myself through “customized schooling” and learn about every aspect of the business that I could. Filming and production, audio and video editing, web design, marketing and even filling out my own corporate tax return (ok, that last one was not necessary and sucks, but I’m proud that I learned to do that too).

Inevitably the challenges I will face now are growing pains. The more the website community of members grows and the more my social media audiences grow, the more I will have to choose the work that’s important to me, and hire others to do the rest. The challenge will be to continuously produce engaging content, while running the business as it grows. These challenges come along with growth and are good to have. 

Opportunities That Lie Ahead

The greatest opportunity I look forward to is the continued immersion in the drumming industry. I have already met so many great drummers, some of them my heroes and I look forward to the inspiring people I will meet in the future. Even though I have competitors in this industry, we are all a drumming family all around the world. We are all just doing our best to advance the art in our own ways.

I have had the pleasure of collaborating with drummers for my own projects and it’s always been a thrill to get others involved. Check out this fun drummer trivia game I recorded for my website and YouTube channel with some drummer friends.

It’s already awesome that the technology exists to do what I’m doing. It’s amazing to me that I can so easily deliver value through drum lessons, to anyone in the world. The future will unlock new technologies in virtual reality and that is an enormous opportunity. I imagine what a drum lesson experience might be like 10 years from now and that excites me. 

Do What You Do Best

Turning your passion into a business is rewarding in so many ways. It’s a boatload of work and will likely test the boundaries of your self-belief and potential…but it’s worth it. The most important thing that you need to succeed is a willingness to learn. No matter what your business is, there will be a lot to learn. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is crucial. There’s a lot you can learn to do on your own. It’s very empowering to learn the ins and outs of your own business and to have the know-how to keep it running and growing. Sometimes however, it can be wiser to outsource a task to a professional. It may cost you money up front, but will likely save you time and money in the end.

One last thing I’d like to offer you is the power of diversification. Having more than one income stream can help your business grow. It isn’t always possible depending on the kind of business you have. But, if you can offer physical or digital products as well as subscriptions and other services, they can help keep your business growing. If one area of your business experiences a slow-down, other streams can compensate and prop up the business. 

So in the end, the moral of the story is…you really can do anything you set your mind to, as long as you have commitment, a willingness to learn and you’re not afraid of a little blood, sweat and tears.

Have you ever thought about learning to play the drums? If so, now is the time to turn that thought into a reality. It is a super fun and exciting hobby that can last your entire life and lead to many meaningful experiences and connections. If you would like to learn the basics, or if you are already a drummer and want to dig deeper, please visit:

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