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Episode #21: Guiding The Way With Emily Dolan Davies


I didn’t ask Emily to be on my show because she’s an Arsenal fan.

Seriously.

But finding that out in my research was the cherry on top of meeting her and talking to her about drumming, entrepreneurship, and her career.

I first encountered Emily on Instagram. As I said in the intro to this episode, I follow a lot of drummers out there, but not the crazy choppy players who do things I can’t even wrap my head around. I follow the working pros. People like Sarah Tomek (Episode #11). People like Jason Tait (Episode #4).

People like Emily.

Emily has made a wonderful career for herself. She has toured with acts like Kim Wilde and The Darkness – people playing at the highest level. She intrigues me for that alone, but the fact that she is so conscious of her place as a role model is really special. That’s why she started A Drummer’s Guide To – her web series (now podcast) about the practicalities of being a pro musician, including impostor syndrome and some of the other mental challenges that come with the territory. For people like me who aspiring to higher levels, this kind of information is absolute gold.

It was also instructive for me to talk to Emily about being a band person versus being a freelance player. It’s something that’s on my mind a lot lately as I navigate the waters as a “hired gun” in the music world. It can be very challenging to be what feels at times like an interchangeable drummer unit. Being a band player comes with certain comforts and position, but often not much money (especially in the indie world). Freelancing is more precarious, but Emily reminded me what can be great about it – playing with lots of different people, new opportunities, perhaps even making a living.

I needed to hear that perspective.

I love Emily’s attitude and energy. I love the fact that she is forging her own path, including building a home studio and doing remote recording sessions. You have to be intrepid to make it as an entrepreneur of any kind. She’s not afraid to take a shot, learn what needs to be learned, and – dare I say it – put herself out there.

Whether you’re a musician or not, you can learn a lot from Emily about building a business, being an optimist, working from love, bringing your energy, taking chances, and having courage. I hope you’ll be as inspired by her story as I am.

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Emily Dolan Davies

Emily Drums

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