Nothing personal against your job (though I do hope that your job is the best job in the world for YOU), but I think I have the best job in the world. For me.
It’s not just that I teach drums and perform on drums–although that’s a big part of it. It’s because of this: I’ve developed a teaching approach based on song drumming. This was hard-won knowledge (it took me all of my life until 6-8 years ago to realize that this approach is THE unique thing I have to offer the music world). As a part of this approach, I play guitar and sing to accompany my drum students. This gives the student important context for what they’re doing as a drummer, and also gives them experience playing music with another human (which is huge).
Anyway–the main idea is that this not only makes me unique as a teacher, it forces me to keep my guitar playing and singing skills sharp. And THAT for me, is the fun-nest thing ever!
I’ve always been primarily a drummer, but I’ve always loved playing guitar, bass and singing too. First off, it’s just plain fun to do for me. Finding the time to work on playing songs on vocals and guitar is just a joy (assuming that my schedule is not out-of-control busy).
It also makes me a better drummer. Why? First off, it makes me think more in terms of the song and what the song needs in order to present it in the best fashion. Also, as a drummer, playing guitar and singing in front of another drummer makes it incredibly clear what I want (or don’t want 🙂 from a drummer in a song. That knowledge I then apply to my own teaching and playing.
Another part of the benefit for me is, being a song drummer, it forces me to think even more like a record producer and be focused 100% on what will make the song better, what will make the song come alive.
One of my favorite guitarists is Johnny Marr (The Smiths, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs, etc., etc.). I saw a promo video on YouTube where he talked about a Boss multi-effects pedal that he uses live. (This pedal is a way to, digitally, get a huge amount of different sounds from your guitar.) He said something about the pedal that really struck me–that having all the different sounds available to him via this pedal while playing live was like “producing with my feet”. It allowed him to control his sounds much like a producer would on a recording since he could call up any sound he could imagine for any part of one of his songs just by touching one pedal.
This inspired me to get one of my own multi-effects pedals (I got the beginner version–I AM new to this after all–he has the top-of-the-line version). And now I’m able to act even more like a record producer–not just as a drummer, but as a guitarist and vocalist too. This is too cool, and WAY fun. For me.
So then yeah, I have the best job in the world. You can read some old blog posts of mine of how I came by that hard-won knowledge in the links below.