The SWOT analysis is very useful to discover and work on weaknesses in your personality and playing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis for someone who wants to become a working drummer
Strengths - your positive attributes and selling points:
- Positive personal traits for a working drummer – Are you reliable, organised and punctual? Are you easy to get along with?
- Relevant skills, knowledge and work experience – This section is very relevant to your practice routine. Working to recreate album parts exactly is often a must on a dep or session gig. You should be a strong pocket player and be good at playing a multitude of styles – look back to this area when creating your practice routine.
- A strong network – This is a big part of getting gigs, and often fixers will give a gig to their friends.
- Gear - You should have good, clean, working gear, it doesn't have to be the most expensive but it should look good and sound good.
Weaknesses – your negative attributes and selling points:
- Negative personal characteristics and poor work ethic– Are you reliable and organised? Can you be trusted to be professional at a gig? If the answers are no to these questions you need to work on these elements.
- A lack of work experience or relevant experience – Your practice regime and CPA should rectify these issues.
- No network or a small one – Once you start gigging this will broaden.
Opportunities - uncontrollable external events that can be taken advantage of:
- Industry trends – Think about your image and how you portray yourself (particularly session players and bands)
- A specific job opening – Are you ready to do any audition/gig opportunity? Although these are ‘uncontrollable’ events at times, you can always be ready for any situation.
- Use of a new technology – Do you know about the latest gear used in the industry? Working drummers these days should have a clear knowledge of programs such as Ableton Live and Logic Pro, micing up your drum kit etc, this is a huge advantage.
Threats - uncontrollable external factors that may work against you:
- Reduced demand for one of your skills.
- Evolving technologies you're unprepared for – the use of backing tracks on live shows, advanced loops when recording.
- The emergence of a competitor – Are other drummers likely to take your jobs? If you ensure you are the best this should not happen!