Brad Allen (a.k.a. Bradley Allen Votava)

Brad A.

Peculiar, MO
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I really enjoy teaching beginning guitarists. I love to see the joy in people when you can take them from the very beginning, and teach them how to play their favorite songs on the guitar.

I also enjoy helping intermediate students to further develop their skills. Many times I work with adult students who used to play but want to pick it up again. It's never too late to continue to learn!

About Brad A.

Professional musician with 20 years of performing experience, including 7 years in the U.S. Army Band. Have performed with many different types of bands, including jazz, rock, blues, alternative, country, and steel drum. Recorded 5 CD's. Achieved 1st. chair percussionist for 2 state honor bands, winning the position over 70 other students who auditioned. Helped several students to achieve 1st chair in their state honor bands as well. Have several former students who are now playing professionally. Helped several adult students, who had never played an instrument before, learn to play well enough to play in local bands, achieving their lifelong dreams. Over 10 years of experience teaching guitar and drums to students ranging from small children to adults. Hobbies and interests include songwriting, singing, home recording, bicycling, running, weight lifting, history, traveling, movies and web design. Fun teacher who loves to help others learn to play an instrument.  

*** Lesson Details ***
Instructor teaches both drums and guitar, depending on the student. This is unique because if you're studying drums, the teacher plays along on guitar. If you're studying guitar,the teacher can play along on the drums. In this way you learn to play in a band rather than just learning to play an instrument. Most importantly, it's fun!The focus for new students is to quickly teach them to perform in a band. For beginning guitarists, this means learning power chords, simple songs, and 2 scales, eventually progressing to more advanced songs and techniques. Most beginning drum students start by learning basic rock beats, and songs, eventually progressing to advanced fills, techniques and styles. Lessons are geared to the individual student's interests and abilities as well. For instance, percussion students sometimes focus on marching percussion techniques, jazz band skills, etc.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Ludwig s/l series drums, and Zildjian cymbals. Fender stratocaster electric guitar, Carvin all tube amp and Peavy trans-tube amp. Seagull acoustic guitar, handmade in Canada.  

*** Travel Equipment ***
Instructor provides drum-sticks, mallets, a practice pad, and/or guitar and amp if applicable. If student is taking drum/percussion lessons, they need to have their own snare drum and /or drum-set and sticks. For guitar lessons, they need to have their own guitar and picks.

*** Specialties ***
Many years of experience in jazz and rock drumming. Many years of experience in marching percussion. Additional skills in country, blues and Latin drumming.

I also play and teach rock and folk guitar.

Ed Feltman
"Brad worked as a drum teacher for my son from the ages from 11-16. Brad encouraged by son day by day at each lesson, the encouragement resulted in the constant addition of new skills and great competence, Brad encouraged him to play in many different styles and situations and provided opportunities that allowed him to stretch himself out of his comfort zone in many situations. In outside situations my son was not required to "try out" due to his well-known skills."

"I would recommend Brad's teaching expertise to anyone interested in learning drums or continuing to expand their skills."

Kim Wheeler
"Brad started teaching our 11 year old son the guitar about 2 years ago. He offers reasonable rates and flexible scheduling. Our son was enthusiastic about music but discouraged after taking piano lessons and feeling like it was a chore. Within 3 months of taking guitar lessons with Brad, he had learned the power cords and could play over 5 songs by ear. Brad s method of teaching emphasizes learning the basics and immediately applying it to playing music a young student recognizes and can grasp. He understood that just learning notes in a book would not keep a young man s attention long, and instead emphasized learning cords by sound and developing good fingering and hand/eye coordination on the instrument. Brad emphasizes positive encouragement while adding layers that pushes our son s learning a little bit further with each lesson. After 2 years, our son can play a portfolio of songs including the solos, he s performed in school talent shows and he s learning to read music on the page just in time for school band. We couldn t be happier with our son s progress thanks to Brad s measurable teaching abilities."


Write a Review
4 Reviews
John J.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Brad does very well with my 8 year old who hashould a very short attention span. He I'd more than accommodating coming to our place for his first lesson and showing him how to put his drum set together.

Posted Mar 3, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter has taken four lessons so far and Brad has her playing very well already. He will even play along on the guitar which gives her the feeling of playing in a band. She is having a good time and looks forward to more lessons.

Posted Dec 3, 2016
Duane S.

Great Drum Instructor

Brad is currently working with me as a drum instructor. I had been working with another instructor for about 2 yrs when I realized it was time for change. Brad was a perfect fit when we met. Brad works with me once a week for anywhere from 1/2 to 1 hr depending on my needs. He has been so encouraging and supportive of everything I want to learn as well as what he feels I need to learn. My skills are improving everyday with the techniques he uses which fit me very well. I am very blessed to have him as my new drum instructor. He is very good at adapting to where you are and moving forward from there. I would recommend Brad to anyone who is ready to learn the drums no matter at what level you are currently playing.

Posted Dec 5, 2013
Brad A.


Brad worked with me as a drum teacher from the ages from 11-16. Brad encouraged me day by day at each lesson, the encouragement resulted in the constant addition of new skills and great competence, Brad encouraged me to play in many different styles and situations and provided opportunities that allowed me to stretch myself out of my comfort zone in many situations. In outside situations I was not required to "try out" due to my well-known skills. I would recommend Brad's teaching expertise to anyone interested in learning drums or continuing to expand their skills.

Posted Jul 31, 2013

Photos & Videos

9 Photos & Videos


Aug 2006 - Present

Freelance Performer

Thousands of solo performances as a singer songwriter ranging from wineries and clubs to festivals, Also performed as guitarist/vocalist in a top 40 band.

Professional Drummer
May 2000 - Present

Various Bands

Thousands of performances with many types of bands, including rock, country, blues, jazz, theater pit orchestras and Caribbean steel drum groups.

Singer/Drummer/Band Leader
Mar 1996 - Present

The Brad Allen Trio

Performed thousands of shows as a jazz drummer and vocalist with The Brad Allen Trio. These included clubs, festivals, wineries and concerts.

Music Teacher
Apr 2004 - Aug 2014

Brook Mays Music

Taught guitar and drum lessons to hundreds of students, from beginners to advanced, ranging from small children to adults. Several of these students went on to have careers as professional musicians. Also led classes similar to "School Of Rock," for both teenagers and adults.

Jan 1989 - Mar 1996

U.S. Army Band

Served as drummer/percussionist with The U.S. Army Band. Performed on drum-set with jazz ensemble, Dixieland band, jazz combo, rock band and show bands. Performed on snare drum for hundreds of military ceremonies and parades. Also performed on mallets, tympani, and other percussion with the concert band.


Music Performance
Jan 1990 - Sep 1990

Armed Forces School Of Music

Music Performance
Sep 1986 - May 1988

University Of Nebraska-School Of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Student Of The Month
Oct 2004

Armed Forces School Of Music

All State First Chair Percussionist
Mar 2001

Nebraska All State Band


United States Army
Jan 2008
The U.S. Army is made up of the most dedicated, most respected Soldiers in the world. These Soldiers protect America’s freedoms while serving at home and abroad, and they are always prepared to defend the nation in times of need.
Jan 2008
Broadcast Music Inc. was founded in 1939 by forward-thinkers who wanted to represent songwriters in emerging genres, like jazz, blues and country, and protect the public performances of their music. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, BMI is now the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and is still nurturing new talent and new music.

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