SWOT analysis

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:

  1. Positive personal traits for a working drummer – Are you reliable, organised and punctual? Are you easy to get along with?
  2. 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.
  3. A strong network – This is a big part of getting gigs, and often fixers will give a gig to their friends.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. A lack of work experience or relevant experience – Your practice regime and CPA should rectify these issues.
  3. No network or a small one – Once you start gigging this will broaden.

Opportunities - uncontrollable external events that can be taken advantage of:

  1. Industry trends – Think about your image and how you portray yourself (particularly session players and bands)
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Reduced demand for one of your skills.
  2. Evolving technologies you're unprepared for – the use of backing tracks on live shows, advanced loops when recording.
  3. The emergence of a competitor – Are other drummers likely to take your jobs? If you ensure you are the best this should not happen!