Christian Johnson

Christian J.

Big Bear Lake, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Hello, my name is Christian and thank you for checking out my page! I look forward to working with you on your journey to becoming a better drummer!

I'm an easy-going and passionate educator who truly enjoys welcoming others to the world of drumming. I love helping students like you become better players as you deepen your love of music and feel great about yourself in the process.

I devote time to helping you develop a strong foundation of fundamentals while also guiding you as you immerse yourself into your passions. Simply, I can teach you how to learn and appreciate music - a skill that can be applied to all areas of your life.

I believe that we can be complete musicians, not JUST drummers, so I like to involve music making into all we do in our time together. I’m also a constant learner, so if you want to learn something that I don't know, then we can explore it together and I'll teach you my process for educating myself.

If you have other musical interests, like beat-making on your smartphone or playing other percussion instruments, we can incorporate those interests into the drum set lessons.

In this community you’ll find a camaraderie and brotherhood here unlike any found with players of other instruments. Drummers of all levels are known for being open to sharing tips, talking shop and geeking out over gear. You’re welcome to join us!

About Christian J.

I work with students of all proficiencies and desires - from drum circle to the concert stage. You can read more about me below, but first let's talk about my plan for you!

It all starts with your goals as a musician. We'll talk about the types of music you want to learn and your plans for that music. Ever want to have the courage to jump on stage at a jam session, or dream of marching in a Big 10 band? We’ll get you there with a custom lesson plan that is designed to show improvement quickly regardless of your starting level.

Here’s an overview of what a student typically learns as she grows from beginner to advanced.

For beginning students, I like to focus on what makes music universally fun and open up a world of creative possibility for you. We'll learn to listen to music, feel the pulse, and recognize the rhythms. For younger students I like to focus on making music from the get-go. For older students, it’s boring reading and repetitions. Just kidding! We’ll dive into the music you like and have you playing along and making music from the start.

From there, you’ll learn to read music and what it means when translated to sound. I’ll also plant the seed of good technique by focusing on posture and stick handling. As a student of Dom Famularo and Joe Bergamini, I have a direct line of instruction to the greats of drumming going back to the last century.

You'll also learn to chart out your own songs and learn drum covers. Ever wonder how the YouTubers learn their songs? I'll show you how!

Throughout the process, we'll collaborate on ways to make your playing more personal. I'm known for developing innovative exercises on the fly to tackle challenges that are specific to your playing experience.

As you become more advanced, I like to focus on learning to play different styles of music. We can learn specific genres as you wish, or go for a more rounded education by playing many different styles. I have a great method book library and as you start to focus on specific areas of your playing, I’ll be able to make suggestions for books that will cater to your exact needs.

At this point, you'll be able to handle mostly any reading and playing situation, so we may move on to more advanced studies like independence, polyrhythmic beats, odd time signatures, and linear time playing. You're only limited by your imagination and desire to keep going!

Thanks again for stopping by and if you’re interested, book today!

About me:

I'm a drummer, percussionist and music producer with nearly 25 years of playing and teaching experience in the New York and Los Angeles areas. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music Management from William Paterson University in NJ.

I'm currently the touring drummer for hit 80's band Bow Wow Wow - best known for their 1982 song, "I Want Candy".

I'm a student of Dom Famularo, Drumming World Ambassador, educator and author of the award-winning book “It's Your Move”, among many others.

I also study with Joe Bergamini, top NY drummer for Broadway shows such as Hamilton, Movin' Out, Jersey Boys, and The Lion King.

Prior to that, I studied with Tommy Igoe, bandleader and best-selling author of Groove Essentials and Great Hands For a Lifetime.

I currently play in the L.A.-based band Glowbird. I've performed live with well-known pop stars as well as provided incidental music for music videos.

In addition to that, I'm an avid songwriter and producer and I really look forward to incorporating writing music into our lessons together.

Thanks again for stopping by!


Write a Review
3 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Christian Johnson is one of the finest percussion instructors I have ever known. He worked on our marching band staff for several years serving as the drumline instructor. Thanks to his patience, professionalism, and wonderful personality, the drumline grew to unseen levels and helped thrust the band into one of the finest in the state for many years.

I strongly recommend Christian Johnson for any type of percussion teaching.

Posted Apr 20, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I started a bit behind the other kids in elementary school band. Chris was the drum instructor for the high school marching band at the time and my band teacher highly recommended him for private lessons.

Chris was able to get me caught up to the other drummers within a couple months. I was finally able to read sheet music fluently and began to be assigned more advanced parts to play in the school band. Each week Chris gave me homework assignments such as working on different rudiments or reading and playing different types of percussion sheet music (bells, xylophone, etc). My lessons with a Chris paid off over the years, as I was able to join the high school marching band as a middle schooler and went on to win accolades for my drumming in the school plays. Everything I learned and accomplished most definitely stemmed from my lessons with Chris!

Posted Mar 14, 2019
David D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Christian is a very knowledgeable and patient drum instructor. As a music teacher and producer myself, I like to have a good understanding of instruments I don't play such as drums, and Christian has helped me have a much deeper understanding of drumming techniques, concepts, exercises, and styles. He is quite versatile, has a great understanding of music, and is a very effective communicator. I highly recommend!

Posted Mar 7, 2019

Photos & Videos

13 Photos & Videos


Touring Drummer
Nov 2019 - Present

Bow Wow Wow

I am currently the touring drummer for hit 80's band Bow Wow Wow. Known for their 1982 US Hit, "I Want Candy", Bow Wow Wow plays high-energy, punk and pop influenced rock that features heavily on Burundi beat-inspired drums and virtuoso bass.

Jan 2012 - Present

Glowbird (rock band)

Glowbird is an L.A.- based rock band, playing shows in the immediate area. We are currently writing music for a single release this year.

Mar 2017 - Aug 2019

Little Galaxies

Little Galaxies is a Venice Beach-based psychedelic-influenced rock band. In my time with them, we released two singles with music videos, with another in the works and a full-length album on the way.

Drums and Percussion
Sep 2012 - Sep 2012

Melody Thornton

In 2012, I was asked to put together a band to perform a live set with Melody Thornton of The Pussy Cat Dolls on That Grape Juice's "The Splash". We played three songs, including "Sweet Vendetta", "Lipstick & Guilt", and "Smoking Gun". The performance was recorded live in a studio and is still available on YouTube.

Military Drums on "Part Of Me"
Mar 2012 - Mar 2012

Katy Perry

I was asked to play military-style drums for Katy Perry's Part of Me music video. In the original version I was given a credit during the video, but the drums and the credit have since been removed from the video.

Drum Line Instructor
Jul 2003 - Aug 2005

Mahwah High School Marching Band

I took over instruction of the poorly-managed Mahwah drum line prior to the band's 2003 season. The line included middle school students as well as high school students, so there were challenges in creating repertoire that was skill-appropriate across the age ranges. I quickly developed routines and cadences (which I am told are still being used to this day) and tried to instill a sense of pride and tradition into the drum line. I wrote the drum solo that year, including some very difficult passages, which the players absolutely devoured - proving to themselves and others that they COULD be an elite unit. I am really proud of my work with these students.


Drum Set
Mar 2020 - Present

Joe Bergamini

Drum Set
Aug 2019 - Present

Dom Famularo

Drum Set
Mar 2006 - Sep 2008

Tommy Igoe

Bachelor of Music in Music Management
Aug 2000 - May 2004

William Paterson University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


#42 "Out In Control" - 100 Best Songs of 2018
Dec 2018

Big Smile Magazine

Greatest Hits... This Week (Vol. 109)
Nov 2018


Hot 103.9 Local Artist Spotlight
Oct 2018

Hot 103.9 FM

2000 Scholarship Recipient
Jun 2000

American Federation Of Musicians Local 248


Percussive Arts Society, The
Feb 2021
We offer students and professionals opportunities to grow artistically and professionally. Students can learn have a music industry experience through the PAS Internship program or apply to receive a PAS scholarship or grant. Professionals can create new percussion programs or gain recognition through PAS grants and contests. Many individuals have significantly impacted the world of percussion through the Percussive Arts Society and they are recognized in our Hall of Fame and Awards pages.
The Sabian Education Network
Jul 2019
Education is a priority at Sabian. Not only do we support hundreds of clinics around the globe each year, we also support education in schools, provide funding for scholarships and are actively involved as sponsors with collegiate ensembles and drum corps.
D'Adarrio Education Collective
Jul 2019
a global community of music educators who are committed to inspiring the next generation of lifelong musicians. Our program provides music teachers with access to resources and other tools to help support their role in education. The Education Collective will grow to include opportunities to network with other teachers, share your knowledge and content, and attend special educational events. Our goal is to support those that support the future of music.
Mar 2011
ASCAP is a membership association of more than 625,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We uphold the value of our members’ music, and help them thrive alongside the businesses that use their music every day.
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America
Nov 2000
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) is an American collegiate social[1] fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men "who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America."
Aug 1994
Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world. Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members' opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa.

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