Bill Shirk

Bill S.

Scottdale, GA

Lesson Details

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Bill teaches



Bill delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 10+

Teaching since:
January 1988

I am a career musician and teacher. I am always looking for more good students, performance opportunities and studio session work. I began playing drums at the age of 10. I hold a Bachelor's degree, and am a Magna Cum Laude graduate of GA State University's Commercial Music Recording / Production program. I studied with Atlanta Symphony Principal Percussionist - Jack Bell, Mike Cebulski - Atlanta Ballet, Mark Yanchich - Atlanta Symphony, Robbie Coleman - Freddy Cole, and Ted Howe. As a career musician, I have played drums and percussion in more than 100 bands to date, touring mainly in the Eastern US, from the Mississippi east. I have performed with members of the Allman Bros., The Derek Trucks Band, The Atlanta Symphony, Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, The Dixie Dregs, Boston, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Col. Bruce Hampton's Aquarium Rescue Unit, Blue Note recording artists Marcus Printup, Russell Malone, and many, many more. Let me tap on my vast knowledge and experience on the drums to provide you guidance as you travel your path to becoming all you can be on drums.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach all styles, ages, and skill levels, and I am here to help you.
I am serious about drums and drumming, but I do want you, the student to be
comfortable in the lesson setting, so you will find I teach in a casual
manner. I want you to have fun while you learn how to play! For your first
lesson all you need is a pair of drumsticks and a plain spiral bound
notebook. I will go over some basics, like how to hold the sticks, how to
move the sticks, and begin introducing you to the rudiments of drums. I feel
it is important that you learn how to read drum music, so I will have you
get a good method book. I prefer Haskall Harr's Snare drum Method, Book I.
For the drum set, I will write out exercises that start simple and build from
there. I always try to give you info that is practical, and you can use to
play music you choose. As time goes by, you will find yourself building
confidence and competence as you meet and exceed your goals on your
instrument. I will always encourage you to ask questions so can tailor the
info to meet your specific needs and desires. If you have already been
playing for a while, and need help, I encourage you to come to me. I will
give you new good information, and help find the holes in your abilities, and
fill them as you work towards your individual goals of becoming the kind of
performer you want to be. Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing
from you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lesson room - Separate from main house. Seating for parents available.

*** Specialties ***
On the snare drum, or pad, I focus on the tradition of drums and drumming through the rudiments, concert style, and reading. On the drum set, I teach all styles of rock, jazz, fusion, R and B, country, blues, zydeco, and even polkas, etc.

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BS Commercial Music Recording and Production
Jul 1984 - Dec 1986
Georgia State University


Fluent / Native Proficiency

5 Reviews

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Charlie P. Jul 22, 2015
Drum · In studio

I've only been going for a month or so, but have been really impressed being a first-timer in the field of music. Despite not playing any instrument before, he's been a big help not worrying about the overwhelming feeling of having so much to learn - focusing on one thing at a time.

He obviously very much knows what he's talking about and seems to be good at picking up things that I may not of noticed just following online courses only.

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richard O. Jun 19, 2015
Drum · In studio

I started pretty late in life taking drum lessons, 49. Met Bill and have been drumming ever since. For the first few years I studied weekly with Bill and have continued off and on ever since. He has given me a better understanding of different types of music as well helping to instill the confidence and discipline to stick it out through the early, clumsy phases of learning and through his encouragement made it fun. As a teacher, I don't see how he could be beat. He has a very large knowledge base, great sense of humor, and shows keen interest in what direction his students want to go. Not to mention, he's a damn good drummer!

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Hal D. Jan 13, 2015
Drum · Online

I have been taking lessons on and off for about 10 years with Bill. No matter how good I have become, there is always something more that Bill can teach me. He makes lessons fun and always has me playing music that I enjoy. My band mates love what he's done for me as well. lol

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Matthew P. Jan 9, 2015
Drum · In studio

As a semi professional musician and music teacher myself, I found Bill S.'s teaching to be both inspiring and educational. I've taught guitar for several years, but wanted to gain fluency on another instrument. Bill's vast experience in both playing and teaching was hugely helpful to both my drumming and my whole perspective on music. His encyclopedic knowledge of rhythm and drum technique would be overwhelming if he weren't also an extremely experienced teacher who knows exactly how to tailor each lesson to fit his students needs and style. Where other teachers often fall short by forcing their own style upon a student, Bill always had an upbeat attitude and was ready to help you get what you want out of your lesson.

I highly recommend Bill S. as a teacher. Taking lessons from him has been an invaluable experience for me that i don't think i could have gotten from anyone else.

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Scott N. Mar 7, 2013
Drum ·

You can't find a better teacher, and I'll tell you why

I have been taking lessons from Bill Shirk for going on a year now, and instead of telling you all about my experiences, I am going to simply express that Bill has everything I LOVE in a "teacher" of any-kind: First of all, he is always punctual: on time if not early. For me, time is always an issue, so I was willing to pay a little more for him to come to my studio, but he will come to you, OR you can save money & go to him. Either way, every penny you expend for his lessons is money WELL SPENT.

From what I understand, he will be producing a video series to supplement his lessons. So, if you take lessons from him, you may benefit in that area as well.

Bill has a ton of playing AND teaching Experience, Passion for drumming & music in general, amazing Patience & Communication skills, not to mention that he is a monster, versatile drummer in the classic sense of the term.

Bill has changed me into a real drummer, and that was our goal; to evaluate my abilities, and if I had the potential, to take me from being a life-long hobby-enthusiast and turn me into a viable gigging Student-Professional. I am currently playing in several situations and enjoying my development. I am also still taking lessons from Bill, and plan on continuing to do so.

In the process of taking lessons from him, we have become good friends, but understand that this is my objective evaluation of my experiences as his student. I don't know what else to say:

What MORE do you want in a teacher??

~ If you need anymore info, or further reference for this guy, contact me. Otherwise, let me just say that you will NOT be disappointed if you learn/take lessons from Bill Shirk.

Warmest Regards
TS Negron

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