I have 36 years of playing and 12 years of teaching beginning and intermediate drummers by ear, performance & notation. Preforming drums has brought so much joy to my life and expanded my creativity 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!
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.
Bands: 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.
Performances: The Fonda Theater, The Palomino Club, The Belly Up, The La Paloma Theater, Rusty's on the Santa Monica Pier, The Casbah, Humphrey's, 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 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 in Los Angeles and San Diego. Crash Carter's release "Red Buttons Blink" and Michael Tiernan's "Jumping In" is available on all digital sites such as iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc. for purchase and/or streaming.
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