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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.
Drums! The backbone of the band! I play a wide variety of instruments, but I hop on the drums any time the opportunity presents itself-they're so much fun! You control the time, set the mood, and get to express yourself however you want! When you take drum lessons with me, we really work on your sense of time and how every piece of music revolves around you keeping time with your new instrument. As we develop an understanding of keeping time, we also discuss rudiments. Rudiments are the building blocks of drumming-with each new rudiment you learn, you discover a new way of expressing yourself on the drums. The more rudiments you know, the more you can express yourself freely in your music! As we learn rudiments, you will also be learning how to read drum music, so that you'll not only learn to play, but you'll be learning how to seek out new techniques for yourself to become an independent learner. And, as with all the music lesson I teach, we'll be focusing on songs that YOU
Can teach up to intermediate level in drum technique.
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 ...
Beginning players- All of my lessons follow my own, proven teaching method. All lessons take place with the student at the drum kit playing 90% of the time. I approach all drum lessons beat-by-beat always with a metronome. My goal for the first lesson is to teach at least one basic pattern. We progress through a series of hundreds of different drum patterns that become increasingly more difficult. Every week is a new opportunity to practice clean technique and improve internal timing.
Intermediate players- After a brief assessment of your abilities we will begin discussing concepts of pattern construction. You will start coming up with of your own patterns and ideas. I will provide guidance for more complex fills and I will give tips to help you figure out the right groove for the right song. Every week is a new opportunity to add another tool to your kit.
Advanced players- come and teach ME something! I'm still working on super triplets and sextuplets in 5/4 time :-)
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