how many drummers are there?

Disco Stu

Senior Member
Here's one estimate that mostly considers USA demographics, but there is a world figure in there as well:

USA Market Size
According to an older US Census report, approximately 30% of all adults 15+ are amateur musicians. The CIA World Fact Book estimates the July 2006 population size of this demographic is 237,637,496. That’s a projected 71.3 million adults. In this group, according to various industry reports, are 25 million guitarists, 25 million installed pianos, 10 million bass players, 1 million drummers, and perhaps as many as 3,000,000 adults recording their music with specialized software called sequencers (more on those in a later article).

http://www.soniccontrol.com/stockwatch/details.php?ID=328
So, if I understand the above correctly, this estimate puts the number of US drummers at 1 million. This represents 1.4% of the total US musicians. If we apply the same percentage to the world figure of 237,637,496 musicians, we get approximately 3,326,924 drummers in the world. Your mileage may vary.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
That's not actually that many.

But does that mean drum kit players, and not other percussionists?
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
This question really can't be answered (although Disco Stu dropped a great bit of knowledge on you. Disco Stu has facts for you! Ooooh yeah!). The problem is: What is a drummer? A person who owns any drum at all? A person who plays every once in a while?

What about my dad? He used to play, in school and stuff. When I was in school, he would sit on my kit from time to time. He can still to this day sit down and jam with us, but I don't think he's played on a drum kit since 2002 or so. Still, he knows the technique, can talk shop, and I trust his timing and skills enough that if he wanted to sit in with my band, I would let him (and I don't let people sit in unless I know they can play, and respect the gear).

What about the kids that are signed up for their first year of drum lessons, learning the instrument basics, but hate it and can't wait to quit?

What about the kid who's mom bought him a kit, and he bangs on it once or twice a month, with no technique, no feel, no musicality, and no intent to learn any of those?
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I just read a little blurb on Google that said 1% of Americans are drummers, so check the latest census and do the math. Sounds like a lot.

July 2008*, 304,000,000 Americans= 3,040,000 drummers *Census Bureau estimate
 

veggo32

Silver Member
I don't think you can use the USA or Canada for that matter as a sample and then average it out. I can't see there being 1 drummer per 100 in places like Rowanda, ethiopia etc.
It is very difficult to come up with a number worldwide. I doubt it is even 1/1000 in third world countries, if not 1/10,000.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I was only offering statistics and making no inference to to world averages.
 

jer

Silver Member
I don't think you can use the USA or Canada for that matter as a sample and then average it out. I can't see there being 1 drummer per 100 in places like Rowanda, ethiopia etc.
It is very difficult to come up with a number worldwide. I doubt it is even 1/1000 in third world countries, if not 1/10,000.


I can see there being more drummers in places like you mentioned, drums are a huge part of some cultures' traditions and spiritual rituals.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
According to 10 year old information released by a researcher from Music Educators National Conference /or MENC/, there are a little over 200,000 school music ensembles in the US, with approximately 1 million of that group playing drums. I would assume that at least half of those are predominantly marching band and/or concert band drummers.

Now that's 1 million just school drummers at any one time, which means when you include their alumni, there are far more than one million drummers in the US. In fact to believe that only 1 in 300 Americans play the drums would be nonsense.

American school bands are the single most vibrant example of the living American artistic culture. Approximately one in 6 Americans has experienced organized school music in a classroom environment. When I lived in Europe, trained musicians were a relatively small number. It was rare and special to see large school ensembles, and far from all places had them. In America, nearly every public middle school and high school has a band of at least 35-40 members, while some of the programs are huge.

I attended 2 high schools from grades 9-12. The first school in Michigan had 300 in the middle school and 210 in the high school, divided into 3 concert bands, a jazz ensemble, and a 160 member marching band. My school in Georgia had nearly 400 in the middle school, 3 concert bands in the high school, 2 jazz ensembles and a marching band of 280 members. I can't tell you how many drummers were in those 2 school programs, but I'm certain it was more than than the total number of school drummers in the entire country of Romania.

In the US alone, there are millions of actual performing drummers. Yeah, few get paid, but they are playing, and regularly.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I don't think you can use the USA or Canada for that matter as a sample and then average it out. I can't see there being 1 drummer per 100 in places like Rowanda, ethiopia etc.
It is very difficult to come up with a number worldwide. I doubt it is even 1/1000 in third world countries, if not 1/10,000.

I guess you mean the conventional drum SET players. Trust me there would be more drummers per square yard in Rwanda or Ethiopia, or the rest of the third world than in the all of the US.

Drumming is the most basic form of human expression. Every culture on earth has some guys with a bunch of drums, just banging away and blowing everyone's hearts & minds.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
I guess you mean the conventional drum SET players. Trust me there would be more drummers per square yard in Rwanda or Ethiopia, or the rest of the third world than in the all of the US.

Drumming is the most basic form of human expression. Every culture on earth has some guys with a bunch of drums, just banging away and blowing everyone's hearts & minds.


The discussion is not about the U.S. vs. the whole third world, its how many drummers are in the world, some are using the U.S. as a basis for coming up with a number, thats fine, but no matter how you approach this it is near impossible to come up with a figure which is remotely close.

Furthermore, yes, I do mean conventional drum set players. I'm sure if I was to take the square area of say a country like Ethiopia and compared that ratio to the U.S, U.S would still have way more drummers than Ethiopia per square yard/metre/foot per capita etc.

But assuming the question was not restricted to drum set players, but to anyone who has used a stick or some part of their body to hit any surface that produced a sound, then my answer would be 6 billion drummers in the world.
Because at some point everyone has tapped their foot, hand or finger to a beat or song.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Does this include "air drumming"?


Sorry Jason...I couldn't resist!
 

rootheart

Senior Member
how many drummers in the world? how many of them speak english? i know you can only give an estimate but try to explain how you came up with the number? 2 million 10 million or more or less?

j
there are no drummers out there.
In your world, there is only 1 drummer: You. Understanding this is very important
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
there are no drummers out there.
In your world, there is only 1 drummer: You. Understanding this is very important

That must make finding inspiration from other drummers complicated. On the other hand, you save a ton of cash on DVDs, teachers, etc. And I guess you can get any (and every) gig you want. Hmmm.
 
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