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San Francisco, CA Drum Lessons

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Beats in the Bay: Drum Lessons in San Francisco

By Jeff W. - San Francisco Drum Teacher

My name is Jeff and I teach drums in the Peninsula, which covers all the cities between San Jose and San Francisco. I’ve been teaching for five years, and playing drums for 17 years. My favorite styles are pop and funk because of the sweet grooves and accents.

San Francisco is a great place to learn drums. Think about the drumming from Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Santana, Metallica, Third-Eye Blind, Green Day, and Rancid; those are just a few of the legends to come out of the Bay Area.

With so many well-qualified teachers in San Francisco, aspiring drummers can feel confident about learning to play a new instrument.

Drum lessons in San Francisco are fun, and aspiring drummers have access to live music of all genres seven days a week. Here are some of the awesome venues you can explore:

Bottom of the Hill

With live shows almost every night, you can check out local, up-and-coming, and well-known artists. The Bottom of the Hill was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as “the best place to hear live music in San Francisco.”

Davies Symphony Hall

This is the perfect spot for drummers who are interested in classical music and percussion. Make sure to reserve your spot in the pit section for the best view of the percussionists at work.

The SFJAZZ Center

With over 300 performances each year, the SFJAZZ Center is the mecca for jazz in the city. The SFJAZZ Center also offers listening parties, live drum/instrumentalist scores, and a discovering jazz class.

Farley’s Coffee Need caffeine fix to get you amped on learning the drums? Check out Farley’s Coffee in Portero Hill!

With its unique history and rich culture, San Francisco is a great place to experience music and learn to play drums. I love seeing students learn and grow as drummers, so if you sign up for drum lessons in San Francisco, maybe I’ll see you soon!

Time to go teach, -Jeff W.

About Rob F.

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San Anselmo, CA
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About Rob
Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, performer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ h
as directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused.
I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact,
I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers.
I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning.
I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach.
I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.

Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset.
Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.

*** Specialties ***
Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
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Reviews
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Barbara S. October 29, 2013
· Drum ·
I Got Lucky

A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
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KatyV January 11, 2012
· ·
Rob Franco

You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
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Rob F.

Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA 94960
(2)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Jeff W.

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Montara, CA

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Please see details Below***

Thanks!

About Jeff
Hello Students/Parents:

I have been drumming for 20 years. I tend to work mainly as a freelance drummer on multiple acts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My main Styles tend to include; Pop,Rock,Funk,Reggae and Hip-hop. I am funny, friendly, outgoing, great with kids, and have been teaching music for 5 years and counting.

Example of our First Lesson:
we will work on a fun song/groove-- then we will work on reading and/or rudiments. I am also very patient and Flexible to those students whom have special needs, or want to go slower.
I teach using a combination of modern, traditional and personal books, and Popular music charts.

"œWhen the student combines his/her playing with a strong practice, playing, and performance regimen, they are bound to get better and improve to continue making music a concrete hobby in their life."

-Jeff
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Reviews
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Julia March 28, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Jeff has been great! I'm an adult student, returning to drumming after at least 15 years. My lessons have been fun, and the instructions have been excellent.
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Matthew B. October 19, 2015
· Drum · In home
Jeff is awesome! He's super kind and patient, as well as talented at the drums. He's definitely invested in his students' success too.
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Adrien P. February 8, 2014
· Drum ·
Great lessons, great teacher

It's only been 4 lessons but I really appreciate how the lessons are going. Jeff gives good explanations on how to read music and how to execute on the drums.Good pieces of advice too when some parts are hard to play !
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Jeff W.

Jeff W.

Montara, CA 94037
(9)
starting at
$45 / 35-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Beginner
I'm not currently taking beginner drum students. Please refer to my studio partner Andrew:
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Intermediate
Start to learn about polyrhythms as well as developing your ears and body to play songs more accurately. Start to spice up your playing with ways that are interesting, but not intrusive.

Advanced
Really push your polyrhythms and add asymmetrical meters to your repertoire to expand your grasp of complex rhythms. Also learn to use dynamics, cymbal work, and fills to effectively communicate and lead a band without words.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio along.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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BRIAN July 18, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(86)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Charles S.

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Waldorf, MD
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About Charles
Outside of teaching percussion and musical performances I have worked in special education for over 15 years.

My life of music started knee high at the age of 4 playing drums and piano. At the age of 15 I gave my first musical performance, from that stage on I knew my talent had found a home.

In the 11th grade I toured with a local funk group in Washington DC through 26 cities learning music and the life of travel at an early age. During my last high school and college years I performed extensively playing classical, jazz, rock, funk, go-go, gospel, marching band, R&B, and with local rap artist.

Recording credits and highlights include work with Def Jam artist Steady Eddy, recording go-go Mario with Double Agent Rock, and recordings with Little Benny and the Masters.

My other musical passion is teaching. Throughout my col
lege years and beyond I served as a percussion instructor and assistant band director at Morgan State University. As part of the Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine I served as a instructional leader in music and performance mentor for the team. I taught part time as a percussion instructor at Milford Mill High School giving individual lessons for over 10 years.

Musical inspiration is an important element to the refinement of my craft. A few personal musical influences are Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Neil Peart (Rush), Dennis Chambers, (Santana), George Gray (Roberta Flack), Ricky Wellman (Miles Davis), Quinton Mack-Davis (Rare Essence) and Michael Bland (Prince).

*** Lesson Details ***
Within the first three months of lessons student will gain a strong foundation of sight reading and basic drum techniques in both rudiment studies and playing the drum set. My style of teaching music consist of breaking each skill down into chunks and allowing students to learn using their individual learning styles. I utilize rewards for perfect practice and each lesson contains a safe, fun learning atmosphere with students exhibiting in their best behavior.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in store front studio, drum kit provided

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will bring a practice pad. Students should have a drum set.

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, Funk, pop, and classical.
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Reviews
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Melanie H. April 10, 2017
· Drum · In home
Our son has never played in a marching band before but is interested in playing in the marching band when he attends college in July so we were specifically looking for an instructor who had marching band experience to teach our son since he's never participated in the marching band in high school. We saw Mr. Stewart's profile and decided to have him work with our son. That was the BEST decision that we could have ever made. We have been nothing but impressed with Mr. Stewart. He definitely has the gift of teaching and he is very patient, knowledgeable, and he challenges our son to get better by giving him homework after each session. Our son absolutely LOVES Mr. Stewart and he is always excited for each lesson and to practice what Mr. Stewart has taught him. Our son went from not playing in the marching band at all in high school to making his college band and receiving a scholarship all thanks to Mr. Stewart. We are very grateful for his outstanding teaching and we would definitely recommend Mr. Stewart 100%.
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Wesley E. March 4, 2017
· Drum · In studio
Charles is calm and patient, and yet gently pushes for better and better performance every lesson. As the parent, it is amazing to me to see how much my son has learned in only 3 lessons... and working on a drum set right from the beginning has been very inspiring to my son. We highly recommend Charles!
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Anthony H. November 11, 2016
· Drum · In home
My son had his first drum lesson with Charles and he was very impressed. He thought Charles was very patient and did a great job of explaining everything. He is very much looking forward to his next lesson. Would definitely recommend Charles to anyone.
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Charles S.

Charles S.

Online
(11)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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Whether you are a complete beginner or getting more advanced and need some keys to reach the next level, I'm your man! I started playing drumset (and snare drum) when I was 12yrs old (I'm quite a bit older now so I've been doing it for a while! :) and I LOVE teaching drums.
I wanna teach you to read and write drum music, play strong beats and fills, develop natural technique, relaxation and independence. Eventually you will learn to use stylish transitions, interpret song structure, and achieve proficiency in a variety of styles. And most importantly, know how to play it musically.

About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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About Andrew I.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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I will help you get familiar with a drum set or hand drum. I will make sure my students understand proper technique when playing drums. You will learn to count along to the music as you play to keep track of yourself and most importantly to keep a steady pace while playing (keeping time). We will discuss different rhythmic styles and how to apply them to the beat you play on the drums so that you can play any songs you like. I teach all my students to read music for their instrument so they can have a foundation that works with their instrument and other instruments as well. With drum lessons I always play a different instrument alongside to give it a bit of a group feel if you are interested in learning to play in a group. My lessons are adjusted to the specific student's pace and their learning style.

About Andrew
I have been playing and studying music in a variety of settings since 2008. I have performance experience with both classical ensembles and contemporary rock bands. This has given me experience in writing music, playing music, and ensemble management all within a wide range of musical styles.

I have been training people in various fields since 2013. I am currently a junior instructor at MTS Studios in Sunnyvale CA where I teach a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano and ukulele.

I am looking forward to helping you further your musical goals and aspirations. Feel free to send a question if you want to ask about anything before starting up.
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Reviews
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Lucas I. August 17, 2017
· Drum · In studio
Andrew is a really good teacher, my son enjoyed his drum class, we will continue to take lessons here
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Mayu June 13, 2017
· Piano · In home
Andrew has been an amazing piano instructor for my 6 year old son. My son is so comfortable that he acts a bit silly at times and have to remind him that this is a lesson. He is familiar with other instruments too which makes it really fun for kids. Currently he plays the ukulele while my son plays the piano and he absolutely loves it. Outside of his obvious skill, he is probably one of the most patient instructor I know. Maybe that's why my son loves him so much :) Definitely recommend him if you want your child to start enjoying music.
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Destinee T. June 11, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Thank you
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Andrew I.

Andrew I.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(20)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Amritpal M.

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Santa Clara, CA
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I've been teaching drums for 2.5 years. Within the first few lessons, you'll be able to develop an understanding of drums and as time goes on you'll be able to play like your idols. I specialize in many genres and odd time signatures. I love working with students of all ages and experience levels and I can't wait to meet you!

About Amritpal
Hi! I'm Amrit M.
I've always been passionate towards music from a young age. I start playing piano when I was around 5-6 and would write songs but never gave it any importance until later on in life. Around the age of 8, I got my first drum-set and that started everything. 2 months later I got a guitar and began writing and learning songs of all sorts of styles. Now 15 years later, I've continued the same path but added production to the menu as well as some bass and auxiliary percussion instruments. I've gone to school for music theory and recording arts. I've been a drum teacher for about 2 years now -- teaching over 100 students collectively. Over the years I've been in about 10 groups that are local to San Jose -- so I have plenty of performance experience as well.
With all of that said.. I would love to help you develop your skill
s in anyway that I can!
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Amritpal M.

Amritpal M.

Santa Clara, CA 95054
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Don M.

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Valrico, FL
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Drum kit lessons. Rudiment and snare for school band or marching band. I have a full drum kit to play on.

About Don
I have the gift of music and love to share it. I have been teaching guitar, bass and drums for over thirty years. Many of my students have received full scholarships to the best music schools. I teach reading and theory as well as ear training. I have references from previous students as well as parents.
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Ela Z. August 8, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Great teacher.
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Tracie May 7, 2017
· ·
Best teacher ever!
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Aviv Z. May 5, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Super professional teacher!!!!!!
Highly recommended!!!!!
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Don M.

Don M.

Online
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Dennis W.

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Palo Alto, CA

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I make sure all my students play with proper technique and dynamics. You will learn how to play to a metronome, read music and rhythms, play with your favorite songs, and improvise your grooves while playing with other instruments. I teach many various genres of music including those with odd signatures, polyrhythms, and double kick patterns. Over time, you will learn to play like the professionals that inspire you.

About Dennis
I have been playing drums since I was 9 and have been teaching for 4 years. I currently play in a professional band in the bay area. I specialize in many genres and odd signatures. I make sure that every one of my students understand and play with proper technique and dynamics to perform like the professionals. I teach how to read music, play various types of rhythms, play to a metronome, and play along to any of your favorite songs. I will often times play another instrument with my students to give them an understanding of what it is like to play in a band setting. I also offer group lessons where multiple students learn to play different instruments together to make music.
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Dennis W.

Dennis W.

Palo Alto, CA 94301
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Erik H.

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Novato, CA

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Time to achieve your true potential and goals behind the drum set! I am a professional drummer from the Bay Area with a Bachelors degree in performance from the Berklee College of Music and I have spent the last 10 years sharing my art and knowledge with students of all ages and skill levels.

When you sign up for your first lesson with me, my goal is to construct a plan that caters to your specific drumming interests. I highly encourage versatility and creativity in my students, and we will explore a wide range of subjects in the contemporary drumming world including hand and feet technique, groove and fill construction, different world styles, playing and recording along to music, and so much more!

I very much look forward to meeting you and starting our drumming journey together!

About Erik
I am a professional touring and recording drummer currently playing with the rock band Eyes On The Shore and several other projects and groups. I graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in drum set performance.

I started my musical journey on the piano at 5 and picked up my first pair of drumsticks when I was 11. I quickly fell in love with the drums as an instrument and dedicated my life to mastering my craft behind the kit ever since. Notable past performances in my drumming journey have included two concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall as the lead timpanist, the 2014 Progressive Nation At Sea festival hosted by Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, the 2014 All Stars Tour, a special performance at the 2016 NAMM show, and SXSW 2016 with my band Eyes On The Shore.

My students tend to be w
ide-ranging in terms of both ages and skill levels. Beginning drummers can expect to develop a solid foundation on rock beats and fills while playing along to some of their favorite bands/artists and having fun doing it! We will also make sure you are playing with proper technique and staying fluid and relaxed as you get used to the motions required between your limbs.

Intermediate and advanced students will dive into the deep end as we explore a wide range of topics including linear drumming, jazz swing and improvisation, funk and latin grooves, drum soloing, double bass drumming, rudiments and snare drum solos, recording drums, and much more!

The most important aspects of teaching for me are to keep our lessons fun, exciting, and to never lose track of why we picked up this instrument in the first place. I am here to help you achieve your greatest drumming goals and look forward to working towards them together!
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Erik H.

Erik H.

Novato, CA 94947
starting at
$34 / 30-min

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress, we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

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No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

Convenient

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Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

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Average Cost of Drum Lessons in San Francisco, CA

The average cost of 60-minute drum lessons in San Francisco is $70. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $87 per hour.

30-min $30
 
$40 average
$60
45-min $40
 
$56 average
$72
60-min $50
 
$70 average
$87

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute drum lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute drum lessons are 20% less expensive at $56, and 30-minute lessons cost 43% less at $40.

Curious how much drum lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best drum teachers near San Francisco.

Drum Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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