- Teaches students:
- Ages 7+
- Teaching since:
I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. My drumming began around age five with toy drums and Mom’s pot lids (cymbals)—which were precariously held up by cardboard paper towel cores. The next step was a snare drum followed by a drum set at age ten. During that time I was taking drum lessons and playing along with records. Before I got in my first band I picked up the guitar and for a while almost forgot about the drums on the other side of the room.
During my teens my tastes in music veered toward progressive rock and I began listening to classical. Because of that experience (which is on-going) my approach and philosophy is quite broad. I appreciate the simple as well as the complex. I appreciate great drummers, but also great music. My philosophy about drumming, simply stated, is that technique by itself isn’t a substitute for musicality.
As a drummer I spent many years playing what’s called “cover music.” I played pop, rock, country, jazz, standards. Through that performing experience, often 3-6 nights a week, I evolved in to a disciplined and consistent drummer. I also learned something very important: How to play for the song.
Recently I performed with a folk singer/songwriter and had the pleasure of playing on one of his CD’s.
I now compose my own music using digital audio software. The drum parts are either programmed by me or I use loops that I edit to my taste. I play the guitars and keys and sing as well. I love exploring new ideas with arranging and the challenge of mixing techniques.
*** Lesson Details ***
How to hold the sticks
Playing in time; having a good sense of meter
Ear training, both in playing and listening
Playing softly but with intensity
Preparing for performance in front of an audience
parts of a song
Picking and strumming techniques
A regular practice schedule of at least one-half hour, 5-6 days a week is greatly encouraged. This is how the student will progress to a higher level. With beginning drummers there will be a focus on rudiments played at different speeds and with dynamics. When progressing to drum set, picking a song to learn. Guitar students will be learning chords, picking and strumming techniques, songs the student wants to learn.
I will do my best to tune in to each student’s style of learning. I will challenge my student, but with a laid back approach and sometimes humor that will make it fun.
With children I think there is a great opportunity to influence or enhance the younger student’s creativity. I would ask what the young student what he or she listens to. Is there a song they would to learn? At that point we can listen to the song and figure out what the drummer is doing and break it down to, say just the snare and bass drum, and build up from there. For the guitar student we would figure out the chords and even the bass guitar part, for example. I encourage drum students of all ages to experiment on their own.
Adult students will benefit from my drum teaching. We sometimes get in ruts, develop bad habits with posture, unnecessary movements or bad grip, etc. I can help identify these things along with some fresh ideas and musical input to re-energize your chops.
I have over thirty years experience playing professionally in various styles, in front of varying audiences. I have also been through a few stages, mainly in my youth, where I allowed myself to become stuck. At one point it meant going back to the start with my grip. Through these personal experiences, I believe that I possess the knowledge that can help economize the student’s path from point A to their goal of point B. With some students, it may come down to figuring out how to help them figure out their own path.
I am also aware that I have the unique perspective of someone who is largely self-taught by ear, but has a fine tuned sense of composition, arrangement and musical structure. What I have absorbed is immense within a lifetime. And it still goes on. What I love about music is also what has been a source of frustration. I see music not just as a few chord progressions. It can be that. But it is best when different melodies or textures are woven and layered to create something truly unique. This not only goes for guitar, but drum parts can play an integral role in a song as well. Still—simplicity is best. Sounds contradictory, I know, but that’s what makes music so great. I’ve learned so much from the more technical musicians, and from those who just do what they do in their own way.
There’s such a mass of information these days regarding various techniques. But it really does simply come down to just playing your instrument. And great drummers, guitarists come in all shapes and levels of so-called formal learning. It’s about taking in all that is out there. Jam with friends, listen to drummers and those on your local scene, watch instructional videos on YouTube. Then you and I will get together, I’ll offer feedback and we will hash out what you’ve picked up. This is what I am here for.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Guitar lessons only, no drum set available, acoustic guitar, music stand, chairs, additional seating parents.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I could provide:
2. Snare drum and stand.
Students ideally provide/have on hand:
1. Drum sticks.
*** Specialties ***
Various rock, country, jazz.