Hi, I’m Jeff and I have been playing the drums for over 40 years and an instructor for the past 10 years. I began my teaching career at The School of Rock where I spent one (1) year helping the drum students learn to play along to songs from various rock groups such as The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rush, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. We also covered funk artist Sly & The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic and James Brown, to name a few. From there, I started teaching at Dale Music, Co., where I served as the Director of Drum Set Studies for the past nine (9) years with a concentration on performing jazz. My personal drumming style has been influenced by Steve Gadd, William Kennedy, Jimmy Cobb, Art Blakey, Steve Smith and Ndugu Chancler to name a few. Utilizing my combined experiences has lead me in creating a course curriculum to help my students develop a full command of the essential skills every master drummer needs, what I call... “The 3 T’s” – Timing, Touch & Taste.
My following course outline was designed to work for students as young as 7 years old up to adults and will cover from the beginner to intermediate and also advanced students. It will provide a solid foundation in drumming, allowing the student to confidently play whatever musical style they choose.
• The Basics (grip, posture)
• Rhythmic Notation and Timing (reading music, working with a metronome)
• Stick Control (rudiments, etc.)
• Coordination (synchronizing hands & feet)
• Musical Styles & Rhythms
• Advanced Rhythms & Odd Meters
• Improving Your Sound (touch)
• Drum Tuning
• Handle Your Business (musically prepared, proper dress, arrive early)
You will be expected to be on time for your lessons and with the proper materials. While my teaching method is relaxed and without pressure, you the student must be willing to do consistent daily practice to achieve results. “Practice Is the Key to Progress”! The question is, how good do you want to be? Take ownership of the results you want to achieve but keep in mind; “you can’t get a full result with half an effort” and “the best shortcut is hard work”. My desire as an instructor is to help you achieve your musical goals and become the best drummer you can be.
My musical training as a beginning drummer started with The DC Youth Orchestra Program and lasted for three (3) years.
Later in life, I continued my educational experiences by attending yearly conferences (2 yrs.) of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and (3 yrs.) of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) as well as (5 yrs.) of the KoSA Percussion Workshop where I attended master classes and private lessons with some of the industry’s top professionals; Elvin Jones, Ndugu Chancler, Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, Ed Shaughnesy, Steve Smith, Ed Thigpen and Ralph Peterson, Jr., to name a few.
By following their lead, I’m determined to practice, explore and seek different training materials as well as teaching methods to continually sharpen my skills as a drummer and educator.
I have been blessed to perform with some of the Washington, DC area’s premier jazz, funk and blues artists such as; Janine Gilbert-Carter, Cloudburst, The Adrian Duke Project, Mary Ann Redmond and Sandra Y. Johnson. I've also recorded multiple CD projects at Blue House, Bias and Omega Studios.
I have shared the stage with such notable’-s as; Gladys Knight, Stanley Turrentine, Keter Betts, Scott Ambush and Delfeayo Marsalis. My drumming has graced me to performed at many notable locations and venues; Blues Alley, The U.S. Capitol, Twins Jazz, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, DAR Constitution Hall, The NBA’s “2002 All Star Weekend”, Bohemian Caverns, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The DC Convention Center, The Hamilton, The Capital Jazz Fest and The Metropolitan Room in New York City, to name a few. I have performed on tours in Italy, England, Spain, Portugal, Cozumel, Guatemala and Costa Maya as well as Belize.
My theatrical credits include; ‘Five Guys Named Moe’_(productions at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC and The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA). And, for local productions of ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Just So’ and ‘Footlose’. I have performed under extended contracts on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian’s Sun and The Queen Elizabeth II cruise ships as a member of their elite “Show Bands”.
Live radio performances include; WTMD 89.7 FM – “Unsigned Artist Series” and WPFW 89.3 FM – “Live @ 5” program. I was also interviewed on WPFW’s “Robyn’s Place” tribute broadcast, “Salute to the Drummer”.
Recurring performances have been with various on stage artist and as the rhythm section house drummer for three (3) years at The East Coast Jazz Festival and the past four (4) years at the renamed Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival.
I am a member of Advance Church where I serve as drummer for the Praise & Worship Team.
· Drum · In home Great teacher. Never thought I would get to the point where I could read music or play an instrument....but I can. I started playing the drums under Jeff's instruction shortly before I turned 63...I am 64 plus now and enjoy playing daily.
· Drum · In studio Off to a good start
· Drum Set · In studio If you are looking for a percussion instructor I can recommend Jeff Neal with complete confidence. I am the mother of a student who has studied with Jeff for over 6 years, from about age 11 to age 18. Jeff is a talented professional percussionist who starts the student with the fundamentals and takes them as far as they want to go. He is patient and helps the student progress at their own speed. Jeff is a left-handed drummer which was perfect for my son who is left-handed. He is kind, reliable, and dedicated. He has a genuine concern for his students. His lessons are well prepared and enjoyable. As a parent it has been a pleasure to watch my child grow through the instructions of Jeff. Therefore, I can highly recommend Jeff as a drum teacher.
· Drum Set · In studio My son has been Jeff's student for almost 2 years. We are very grateful for the knowledge and skills that Jeff has. He has taught my son how to play the drums the correct way, and it shows! Jeff is easy to work with, and always willing to help whenever and however he can.
· Drum Set · In studio My son (13) is a current beginner student of Jeff's. Jeff has been a great instructor - patient, thorough and always positive. Jeff is encouraging and supportive - my son enjoys his lessons with him. I would highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking for an outstanding drum instructor.
· Drum Set · In studio Jeff taught me for 7 years. Over that time he became more than just a drum teacher, he became a friend and mentor to me. I was always excited to go to his lessons because I would improve every day with him. Every lesson I would learn something new. Jeff is a great teacher and wonderful company, I'd recommend him to anyone. Perfect practice makes perfect and there are no short cuts.
· Drum Set · In studio If you want to learn to play the drums right, Jeff is your man. He'll make sure your fundamentals are sound so that when you advance you can really fly! As an adult taking lessons with Jeff, I appreciate a true professional. Jeff is clear, makes the most of your time and is also eager to work with you on specific requests as well.
- Philip Chou
· Drum Set · In studio “He (Sam) was a really anxious nervous kid when he came to you. But your unbelievable patience, kindness and humor kept him going. Your focus on the fundamentals has helped him tremendously. You gave him the confidence to keep going and such a great foundation. He still quotes you on the way to hold the sticks.”
– Mary D. (Sam A.’s mother)
· Drum Set · In studio "My 8 year old daughter, Chloe, has taken drum lessons from Jeff for about a year. Jeff is excellent- incredibly supportive, very thorough, and teaches with humor and respect. His expectations are high, yet, his style is in no way overwhelming- Chloe worked a lot in lessons, but she also laughed a lot. We think he is just great!"
- Courtney & Chloe F.