Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray bring in drummer Graham Doby to discuss drums and the music scene in New York City.
Graham tells the guys about his musical journey, including playing jazz in high school and studying jazz drumming at George Mason University before moving to NYC to work as a full-time musician. Graham remembers playing at different venues in Washington, DC while he was in music school, and Joe and Graham reminisce about ear-training classes at George Mason with Dr. Anthony Maiello. The guys also contemplate the value of Berklee College of Music as it compares to other music programs/options.
Graham talks about the complexities of the NYC music scene: it’s competitive nature, it’s different circles of musicians (from professional jazz players to wedding bands to professional players of other genres), and it’s often low-paying or pay-to-play gigs. Despite any difficulties, Graham loves being part of NYC’s scene. There are great players, exciting opportunities, and cool people.
Aaron gets Graham to tell us about his experience opening for Parliament and the stories of his interactions with George Clinton.
Graham has built a recording studio in NYC to record other bands and to produce his own music. The guys ask him to explain how he manages the noise and his neighbors in an apartment building.
Aaron, Joe, and Graham discuss how to book gigs for a self-managed tour. Graham talks about his work with a non-profit group that provides music education for youth, senior citizens, and students with disabilities, which reminds Joe of Fret Buzz Episode 38 with Joe Hamm of El Sistema.
The guys talk about the business skills it takes to make a living playing music, from doing taxes to wearing multiple hats (teaching during the day and performing at night). Graham answers the burning question about how NYC musicians deal with getting show equipment to their gigs considering the obvious transportation difficulties. The answer: they often don’t have to worry about it because so many venues have house drum kits and amps.
Graham tells us about his plans for the future, including recording projects, more teaching, and staying in NYC for at least five more years.