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The Denver Music Scene - A Drummer’s Perspective
Let me introduce myself. I’m a drummer with 24 years in the music business, and for the last decade I’ve been lucky enough to be an active and integral part of the music scene here in Denver Colorado. It’s been a long and interesting ride so far and I thought I would use this opportunity to share some of my experiences through the unique perspective I’ve gained as an in demand drummer with those of you who are currently taking or looking to take drum lessons in Denver.
Colorado has a diverse musical background, and there seems to be more room for hybrid musical styles here, rather than most places that have an older, more established scene. Between the location, the weather, the close proximity to the mountains and the sister vibe of neighboring Boulder, Denver just seems to be a better place for experimental bands to flourish. Funk, Reggae, Jazz and Electronica for example are a big force on the Front Range in the festival circuit, and also in the mountain towns. Despite being far from an ocean, where these musical styles typically dwell, Colorado really gives the local musician a platform to express more creativity in between what you would normally expect from a specific genre. There are a variety of outdoor festivals that draw big crowds during the summer and bands that offer a wider musical palette are everywhere here.
This has treated me kindly as I have a background in auxiliary and hand percussion in addition to drum set, and have been known to dabble with electronic interfaces as well. One of the most interesting groups I have been a part of was a group called Aphelion, which was a live progressive trance and dub-step group focused on mixing organic elements such as live afro-Cuban percussion set-up with pre-programmed beats. Of course most of what we were performing on stage was live, but using a mixture of tracks sequenced in real time or performed in conjunction with an electro-acoustic set up yielded very interesting results. Later we added a live keyboardist and live guitarist to the mix, which was received with even more enthusiasm. One of our biggest shows was playing a mountain festival on the Fourth of July opening for a Pink Floyd Tribute band. There’s something about looking out over a sea of people and noticing little kids doing back-flips to your music in an open space near the stage that helps you realize your potential in a place where there is no fixed norm.
To take it even further, I’ve recently had the opportunity to join an Afro-Funk ensemble that will be brining the music of Fela-Kuti and other well-known African artists to the jam scene and festival circuit. (It’s been a few years now since I’ve had the opportunity to play in a band with a full horn section, so needless to say, I’m stoked!) Again, Denver just seems to leave more room for individual thinking and while this group could have come together anywhere, the range of players here that are into unique projects like this one never ceases to amaze me.
As if this weren’t enough for my plate, I’ve also been actively perusing a career in Rock for the last 3 years with my main group, Genre Theory. Taking some time off from the stage recently to finish up our upcoming self-titled EP, GT has been a strong force recently in the Indie Rock establishments of the Hi-Dive, the Marque, The Bluebird Theater, and Gothic Theater here in Denver. Not that these are predominantly rock venues, but there does seem to be a strong foothold for this type of music here; again, I feel that this is because we’re allowed to take some chances musically that would be a hard sell to crowds immersed in the standard issue rock mentality. I don’t take this for granted, and neither do the other musicians embedded in the scene. A few notable groups have even used this liberated platform to rise to great heights, including Rose Hill Drive, The Epilogues and most notably, The Fray. By Mike M. - Denver Drums Teacher
If you’re taking drum lessons in Denver, make sure to get out to some local shows to experience this for yourself, even from the audience’s perspective. The most important aspect of any show is the interaction between the audience and performers. Support for any scene is support for all scenes, and with populations on the rise here on the Front Range, it won’t be long before everyone gets to be a part of our collective evolution. I feel lucky to be able to survive as a musician even on the local level, and with a constant influx of young musicians and audience members, I feel a real sense of belonging to something greater than myself. So keep an eye and ear open, and I’ll catch you in the scene.
I teach in whatever way suits you. If you want classic textbook teaching, I can do that, or if you want to start by learning your favorite song, we can do that as well. My skill set can be applied to any genre of music that you would like to learn. I will share some of the best tools with you so that you can learn the fastest while having the most fun! I attended Berklee School of Music!
· Guitar · In studio
Most importantly, he teaches you the things you want to learn, with music you love.
· Guitar · In studio
· Guitar · In studio
30 years of experience playing all styles, and over 13 years of private drum and percussion instruction. If you have specific goals on your instrument and need some polishing and a fresh approach to your instrument I have just the curriculum for you! Newbies are also a specialty of mine as the majority of my longest running students, some of whom have been with me for over 8 years, started from scratch. Not only do you get a very qualified and respected teacher, but you get a friend and mentor in the local music scene as well. I have performed professionally in over 25 bands of all instrumentation, size and style you can think of! If there is a specific style that you are into, chances are I have performed many live concerts in that genre and will be able to directly help you achieve the same respective goals. I am more than happy to help you or your son or daughter hone their skills through real world application of Rudiments, Chart Reading, Speed and Endurance drills and Creative ...
I'm a professional drummer, percussionist, and composer here in Denver offering a fresh new approach to drum instruction. I teach at two separate locations complete with dual drum sets and a complete sound system that allows for both my students and I to play simultaneously and at full live volume!
As a Graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, I've been lucky enough to have studied with some of the most diverse masters of drumset and percussion from several continents around the globe. I've been a player of the drums for over 26 years now, and I'm still practicing and perf
Let me start by saying that I highly value the freedom that I've been able to enjoy by passionately perusing music as a career. Any field where you get to socialize, interact with other musicians, and have fun performing with your friends, is a dream gig by any measure, but it does take hard work, sacrifice and tenacity to achieve that level of recognition. Fortunately I have the background and skills to not only make our lessons interesting and exciting!, but to also get you up to speed so that you can enjoy the life of a musician as well!!
My Complete Education:
Born in Santa Monica, California, I lived in and around Los Angeles in several areas before moving to Denver in 1990. I began on the Piano at age 4 and slowly gravitated towards playing the drums by my 9th birthday.
My first teacher, AND first mentor in music: Mark Foster (Metro College of Denver & Colorado Symphony Orchestra), At a very early stage he introduced me to Jazz and Latin and gave me a solid understanding of Classical Percussion as well.
My second instructor and Mentor: Jimi Bauchet, whom I took Rock, Progressive Rock, and Fusion lessons from, was a session and commercial artist in Los Angeles during the eighties and nineties.
Upon High School Graduation I left Denver to study percussion with Dr. Pennington at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. It was here that I would get my first taste of performing music on a high art level, as Dr. Pennington was one of Michael Udow's young prodigies when he attended the University of Michigan, a nationally regarded school for the percussive arts.
Two years at Fort Lewis College provided me with the perfect spring board to transfer and I then returned to my home state to earn a degree at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (CIA). It was here that I had the honor to study with the likes of John Bergamo (Master Percussionist), Randy Gloss (John's closest disciple), Joe Labarbera (Jazz Drumset Master), David Johnson (My Mallet & Orchestral Mentor), Alfred Ledzekpo (African Percussion Tribal Leader), Wenton Welojo (Balinesian Gamelan Master and Celebrity), and Swapan Chardui (THE Tabla Guru, Truly an Honor). The Multi-Focus Curriculum allowed me to study a wide array of disciplines while still receiving a degree based heavily in Classical Percussion. My BFA is essentially a custom built degree with a strong background in Theory, Composition, Jazz Drumset, Tympani, Mallets, and a variety of pitched percussion instruments from around the world.
*** Lesson Details ***
My Personal Philosophy:
In many parts of the world there is no separation between music and culture, and to that end I strive to bring my students closer to the outside world through the strength of their own musical bond. Having music be a part of my life has brought me great opportunities to meet other players and fans of the trade, through which I have experienced some of my most rewarding moments with, as well as making some life-long friends along the way. So to me, MUSIC IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE!!!, not just something that you do, and that concept is the fundamental reason why my lessons will often go far beyond just the common practices of instruction, to not only show you WHY you would want to use a certain rhythm or technique, but also HOW to apply it in a real situation in the most musical way. Through the deeper understanding of music, there is an equally deeper understanding of ones self..........
Drumming is a very root level based instrument. It is primal in its nature and very emotionally driven. This is great in many ways, for playing the drums can be meditative, or used to relieve stress and pent-up energy, but the bottom line is that drumming is expressive and FUN!!!
So keep in mind that while there is a student-teacher relationship that I must keep, in order to get my points across, you really should enjoy each and every lesson while you're learning. It's proven that you'll retain more of the information that I'm teaching if I can get you to leave with a SMILE on your face!!
OK, so the real trick to what I do as a teacher that sets me apart is my approach. I don't have a "cookie cutter" format for stamping out drummers that all sound the same and have the same library of beats to pull from. If you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, I will custom tailor a lesson, or a set of lessons in order to maximize our time together, all while allowing you to develop your own individual voice on the instrument.
For beginners, I will set up a more structured program to get you up to the level where we can begin to experiment a little more and be able to play along with some popular songs. Using a few time tested books, some rudimentary exercises, and few hand written examples, you will begin to see results immediately. Together we will keep a binder of notes that contain all of your previous and current exercises, and from lesson to lesson you will be able to see the progress that you are making through your collection of notes and music. With this method I have taught everyone from 5 to 65 how to navigate their way around the drums, so you will be in good company if it's your first time on this instrument.
As far as the intermediate to the advanced player is concerned, well, we are going to have a great time jamming together and sharing amazing contemporary concepts. I will still offer the structured program to anyone that is interested, but for the drummer that already has years of playing under their belt, I really have something special to offer you. Odd time, Mixed Meter, Four Limb Independence, Ostinatos, Displacement, and even Polyrhythm
*** Studio Equipment ***
Pearl Drumsets, Ludwig Drumsets, Sabian cymbals, Istanbul cymbals, DW drum pedals, Various reading materials, a stereo, mixer and isolation headphones for playing along with music tracks at full live volume. Comfortable thrones to sit on while playing. Various instructional DVDs that can be borrowed from time to time.
*** Specialties ***
Music, Drum set, Orchestral Snare Drum Technique, Hand Drums, World Percussion
Moeller Technique, Multi-Fulcrum Technique, Four-Limb Coordination and independence, Odd time, Polyrhythms, Mixed Meter! Capable of teaching drum set Reading and Notation! Also capable of teaching ALL STYLES of music. If you can think of it, I have played it. Too many to list here.
· Drum · In studio
· Drum · In studio
· Drum · In studio
I will teach students how to approach their instrument comfortably. I can teach you how read music, help you work on a solo, anything that you want to improve on. I will do my absolute best to make sure you get where you want to be.
· Marimba · In studio
Drumming has been a passion of mine since an early age. Having deep rooted experience in marching percussion, students can expect to gain a strong understanding of technique and sense of time.
I hold a bachelors in music performance from the University of Colorado Denver. Before involving myself with local Denver band Wildermiss and other musical projects, I was a member of the Blue Knights World Percussion Ensemble. H
Lessons can be offered both in my home at your own home within the greater Denver area!
Kevin J. has been writing, recording, and playing music for over 25 years. Music is meant to be fun and it is his goal to help others enjoy music. He has been a teacher for 11 years and has composed hundreds of songs. He is passionate about teaching his students the songs they want to learn, no matter the difficulty. He specialized in guitar, drums, and song writing.
Kevin has a great way of encouraging others to keep going no matter what challenge is in front of them.
I would love to start lessons with you soon.
Check out my website: http://www.strum2thebeatguitar.com/
My Video: https://youtu.be/qw9BpEU1t08
· Guitar · In home
· Guitar · In studio
Haha Thank you Kevin!
· Acoustic Guitar · Online
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