Denver Drum Lessons

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Drum Lesson Reviews from Students

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Drum in Denver

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.

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