John Mears
Carlsbad, CA
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John Mears

John M.

Carlsbad, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Learn the Tricks of the trade and get up and going fast on Piano!!! Please change "Subject" to see full bio for other instruments, especially Drums which is my primary.

About John M.

I have 43 years of Professional drums & percussion experience and 12 years of teaching beginning to advanced drummers by ear, performance & notation. Preforming drums has brought so much enjoyment to my life and has expanded my cognitive and creative mind more than I would have ever realized when I started in 1978. Teaching/sharing my drumming experience is a passion, my students are taught not only how to play drums but also about music structure (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.), how to perform with other musicians and how to dissect a piece of music. Various styles and rhythms are taught and rudiments are covered thoroughly - nothing better than an impressive double stroke roll! I have always been a teacher that I feel can understand each personality and adjust my approach to each lesson as needed and furthermore, I always treat my students with respect, courtesy and patience which I find makes them more apt to relax, listen, learn, feel the music and have fun!


Write a Review
25 Reviews
Colette & Eli
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mr. John is the best! My kids love him and he’s so great at teaching them and patient with my kids as they are learning and young. I recommend him to everyone!

Posted Sep 28, 2021
Lucas N.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John personalized the lesson to focus on the songs my son was interested in while he also covered the important fundamentals to start off right!

Posted Jun 30, 2021
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Just had my first drums lesson with John. He is great at breaking the instrument down into manageable pieces and building confidence quickly. I am very excited for future lessons!

Posted Jan 11, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Great instructor! Great communication

Posted Nov 14, 2020
Royce M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Best instructor ever!

Posted Oct 20, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Payten has absolutely flourished under John’s instruction. It’s the highlight of her week and her skills improve weekly.

Posted Sep 17, 2020
Fred A.
Profile-location-online Online

I looked until I found the right instructor for my husband...and it was John!. He is very skilled as well as endowed with the ability to teach! Great personality and is a great fit!

Posted Jul 22, 2020
Willy A.
Profile-location-online Online

I bought these lessons for my 15yo nephew and like others . he is spending most of his time during this social distance, with video games,,being cough up in a game he wanted to delay drum lessens, plus I think my nephew loves the drums but he didn't think he had a drummer in him so,anyway, I had my nephew call John and make arrangement for the lesson schedule ..well,, after John talked to my nephew, my nephew was so excited to take the lessons that he schedule for the next day,,, what ever John said got my nephew excited about music and my nephew realized that he does hv a drummer in him,,, bc,. after his lesson,, my nephew has been practicing ,,, and taking a break from his video games,,, thanks John,,,

Posted May 2, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John, Is a knowledgeable and friendly drum teacher that is eager to help you reach your drum performance goals. Being a guitar player first, my lessons with John have been at a sporadic beginner pace as I attempt to generate time for both worlds. That being said John has been very patient and accommodating, and I'm sure he will help me dial in my drum skills.

Posted Nov 5, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio


Posted Apr 4, 2019
Larry Y.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I really liked John's patient approach to me as a rank beginner. He jumped right into it which I liked so we could take good advantage of our hour together.

Posted Nov 14, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My 15 year old son is very happy with his electric guitar lessons. He looks forward to his lessons with John.

Posted Sep 21, 2018
Jay C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John is terrific. I'm an adult learner, and John does a great job tailoring my lessons for the kind of instruction and music I'm most interested.

Posted May 15, 2018
Caroline D.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John is an amazing teacher. His ability to comprehensively synthesize complex ideas and explain them in easy-to-understand terms makes learning guitar approachable and fun.

Posted Apr 25, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

John was patient, very helpful, and met my son where he was in his journey. Already after the firs lesson, he was well improved and excited for the next lesson.

Posted Jan 14, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John was patient, kind and very encouraging with My 7 year old son. He was able to keep him engaged, interested and inquisitive the entire 30 minutes. We are looking forward to his next lesson.

Posted Nov 3, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John has been a great drum instructor for our 9 year old son. In a short period of time, John has taught him tons of skills and also helped develop his love of drumming. He keeps it fun, easy and motivational, but also has challenged our little drummer. He is very encouraging and positive with our son's progress. John is always on time and is a great communicator. We definitely recommend John!

Posted Oct 16, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

I picked the perfect instructor for me! John is genuine, fun, extremely knowledgeable on drums and a great communicator! He took time to learn about my goals and has given me direction for achieving them. I feel like I am in great hands and look forward to future lessons!

Posted Apr 13, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John is an excellent drummer, but most of all he is an amazing teacher! Referred by a friend, my son can't wait to "jam" with John every week :)

Posted Jan 18, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

We feel like we hit the teacher jackpot with John! He really knows music & has a passion for sharing this knowledge. Plus he can REALLY hit those drums. He was patient, flexible, & 'made it fun' with my 12-year-old son picking up drum sticks for the first time. So grateful we booked with 'Mr.John!'

Posted Nov 1, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We would like to thank John for becoming our all time favorite drum teacher. In just 7 lesson John managed to not only give our daughter the support and teach the techniques she needed for her upcoming concert, but also boost her self-confidence tremendously. Our daughter is a quite girl and as the only percussionist in the school band, she needed and needs to learn from someone with John's experience at teaching children.
Thank you, John. We can't wait to take more lessons soon!!!

Posted Jun 17, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have had a couple different drum teachers and learned to play pretty good, and then I saw John performing at the Belly Up! I was able to get his contact info through a mutual friend. Called for lessons and he was so cool, he asked all about my musical styles and direction and really made me feel comfortable and confident. I jumped from feeling like a 5th grader on drums to a legit drummer in just a few weeks (got paid for my first gig last month:)) Yes, Recommend!!!

Posted May 9, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John was my drum teacher a few years ago, always on time and ready to go with fun and cool new stuff to learn - he's your man if looking to be a solid drummer.

Posted May 9, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Thank you John, when I started last year I wasn't sure I could ever do this, but I am and so stoked -5 star teacher no doubt!

Posted May 7, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took beginning lessons from John about five years ago. I learnd so much about drumming and music! Awesome teach, super patient and motivating. Time for band rehearsal... Thx John!!

Posted Mar 9, 2016

Photos & Videos

18 Photos & Videos


Drum Instructor
Apr 1993 - Present

Private Lessons

I began teaching drums after college in 1993 in Colorado Springs, CO. My wife and I relocated from San Diego on a wing and a prayer, and with quality jobs thin at that time I decided I could start my own business doing something I knew and loved, drum instructor. I transformed our basement to a studio and ran classified ads (no internet then) and the phone started ringing and friends told friends and before long a nice cliental emerged and I landed myself in a great band to boot. I was always looking for new and fun teaching ideas/techniques in the private lessons, and during these years I really learned a lot about customizing each lesson for each personality and ability. This kept (and to this day still keeps) things fun, interesting and makes for a great learning environment. After nearly five years of consistent teaching and performing in Colorado we returned to San Diego County and I picked up where I had left of with bands I performed with prior. I continued my teaching but on a lesser scale do to the demands of performance and recording for the next ten years. The experience gained during this period elevated my drum, music, performance, etc. knowledge to a new level and I began my passion again, and continue now, teaching all ages - with a full arsenal of fun! For beginning students my method of teaching combines a balance of learning the fundamentals such as rudiments with notation, stick control, dynamics, meter, etc. while also teaching the student to play by ear, which is imperative for a drummer perhaps more so than any other instrument. Lessons are always designed to be fun, interactive and engaging -never tedious or mundane. For practicality, drum practice pads are used to learn rudiments, but since the whole idea of learning drums to play a drum set/kit I get the student on the set on day one, and every lesson. I discuss what music styles the student is interested in and work on learning rhythms and songs by performing with the actual recordings. Also, with a practice pad set and a drum set in my studio I am able to play side by side, or I can also step into the role of guitarist or keyboardist and the student can perform songs with a live musician - a very valuable teaching technique I have found. Finally, I often employee computer based programs such as Acid Loops, Sound Forge & Garage Band to assist with fully hearing and dissecting drum beats and rhythms as well as to record the student so they can hear themselves as others do and to chart progress.

Professional Musician/Drummer
Jun 1984 - Present

Bands, Preformances & Recordings

Notable Bands I have been a member of: Crash Carter, Michael Tiernan, Tower 7, The Surf Chiefs, The Standards, The Late Walter Phobicman (w/ Matt Beckley), Life of Wryley, Tom Yermak's Tomfoolery, Head Full of Zombies plus many others. Notable Musicians I have performed with Live on Stage: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Chad Forman & Ryan Fischer of Switchfoot, Surf legend and musician Brad Gerlach, Cella Blue of The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Paul Johnson of the Surfari's (Wipe Out!), Paula Nelson the daughter of Willie Nelson, Ryan Montana of The Ike Turner Band, Matt Beckley son of Jerry Beckley of the 70's super group America as well as a current LA Producer, Doug Allen of the The Mar Dels, Chris Swan of The Tom Curren Band, International Jazz flautist Bradley Leighton and former Frank Sinatra pianist Ron Igarta among others. Notable Bands that I have been on the same bill/opened for: Jack Johnson, Dick Dale, Jason Mraz, Etta James, Macy Gray, Slightly Stoopid, The Heartbreakers, The English Beat, Dread Zeppelin, Venice, Desmond Decker, Tower of Power, Third World, Karl Denson, Mikey Dread,The Tom Curren Band, The White Buffalo, The Mar Dels, Dovavon Frankenreiter, Peter Sprague, Jack Tempchin, Jeremy Kay, Common Sense, +++ Performance Venues: Hollywood's Fonda Theater, N. Hollywood's Palomino Club, The Belly Up, The La Paloma Theater, Rusty's on the Santa Monica Pier, The Casbah, Humphrey's by the Bay, DiPiazza's, The Hard Rock Café, The Del Mar/San Diego County Fair, Festival Del Mar, San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon, Canes, Fiesta Del Sol, The Sony Art Walk, Winston's, The Bacchanal, The Underground - Colorado Springs, Hansen's/Machado Surf Classic, Lowe's Coronado, St. Regis Resort in Dana Point, Falkner Winery in Temecula, The Calypso and numerous other venues, events, corporate shows as well as live performances, Air Play and/or interviews on Television (NBC, FOX, KPBS, KUSI) and Radio (91X, 94.9, KPBS, KGB, KPRI, KKSM and others in and outside the San Diego area). Recordings: Over 50 recording sessions from Burbank/Los Angeles to San Diego. Crash Carter's release "Red Buttons Blink" and Michael Tiernan's "Jumping In" are available for your review on all digital streaming sites such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.

Drum Instructor
Jun 2016 - Jan 2019

Drum Flip Drums, Vista CA

In House Drum Instructor


BA in Business Adminstration
Jul 1991 - Mar 1992

National University

AA in Radio and Television Communications
May 1985 - May 1991

Palomar College

Studied Music Appreciation
Aug 1988 - May 1990

San Diego State University

Studied Music Production/Engineering
Jun 1989 - Aug 1989

Mira Costa College

Studied Music Theroy & Music History
Aug 1986 - May 1988

Palomar College

Private Lessons and Clinics
Feb 1976 - May 1982

Professional Drum and Piano Instructors



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Honorable Mention in Billboard Magazine's World Song Contest (Top 1500 Globally)
Jul 2007

Billboard Magazine

Triple A Album of the Year
Aug 2005

Los Angeles Music Awards


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 2005
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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