Whether you've been drumming for awhile or just getting started...
...the fastest way to improve is to study one-on-one with an experienced drummer who can help you set attainable goals and work with you to reach them.
Goals you say? That sounds boring...like homework.
Sure there's work to do, but it's DRUMMING work, and what's more fun than that? Besides, without goals and a plan for achieving them, you'll end up practicing the same things over and over. You might even get bored, frustrated and give up. That would be sad, because drums are fun, and drummers are fun, and the world needs more of both!
A little secret
It's worth sharing that when I started playing drums at age 10, I was probably THE worst drummer to ever pick up sticks. I mean, I stunk big time! I had absolutely no natural ability. I couldn’t even clap to the beat of songs on the radio. I’m not kidding!
So no matter what your current ability is, I guarantee you I was worse! I got much, MUCH better though, and so will you.
A Bit About Me
I played drums and percussion throughout mid school and high school in the form of competitive marching band, concert band, symphonic band, and jazz band. I was an all-state percussionist, too.
Unfortunately, regular drum lessons weren’t in the cards for me, so I studied and listened and worked a lot on my own. Without regular drum lessons though, I learned everything slowly, and the hard way! It's not the best approach. Sure, you can set goals and figure things out on your own, but a qualified teacher will get you there faster and with a much stronger foundation.
After high school I headed to California for Musicians Institute. I'd seen ads for M.I. in Modern Drummer magazine for years. It was basically drummer Mecca for me. I auditioned and was accepted, but as I was getting my tuition sorted out I heard about this interesting little place called The Grove School of Music. When I learned who the instructors were, and what the curriculum offered, I opted for Grove over M.I.
If you don’t know any of the following musicians, that’s OK. I mention them because I learned a ton from them.
I was fortunate to study with David Garibaldi, Luis Conte, Peter Donald, Dan Greco, Chuck Silverman, and many other amazing and inspiring teachers, and I participated in master classes with Jeff Porcaro, Alex Acuna, Ed Thigpen, Emil Richards and others.
On top of the stellar percussion program, another great thing about Grove was that drummers were expected to learn music theory and harmony, and to compose music with melodies, chord progressions and structure. I’m definitely a better musician for it. I still practice and use lots of things I learned at Grove. I’d like to pass some of that on to you.
I’ve been lucky to play in a variety of bands over the years, covering a range of musical styles: blues, jazz, funk, rock, pop and country. I’ve played for crowds of 20 people to 20,000 people. These days I play drums for two Phoenix-based bands: Honeygirl, and my new band, Sonic Revival.
I'm always interested in other projects too, plus subbing, recording, and of course lessons.