John Mears

John M.

Carlsbad, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Positive, patient and motivating, 40 years of playing drums & percussion and over 12 years of private instruction with a wealth of music knowledge to share. Lessons are always designed to be educational, engaging & fun, combining a balance of learning notation, playing by ear & performance with other live instruments! We will find out what interests you most and get you on the drum set right away for fast results!
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John teaches



John passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
John delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 6 to 80 and special needs

Teaching since:

I have 40 years of playing drums & percussion and 12 years of teaching beginning and intermediate 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!

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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.

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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, 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.

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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.

Photos & Videos

9 year old RB taking it to the next level!!
1-13-17 Drum Off !!
Live at the Belly Up!
Drummer & percussionist and co-song writer/producer for the original pop/jazz/soul band Crash Carter as appearing on NBC in 2009.
Do This!!!

LA Recording Studio - It doesn't get any better... you can too!


In the Studio! Learn on this set!!!

Drums and co-arranger covering Soundgarden's "The Day I Tried to Live". Michael Tiernan's award winning CD "Jumping In"
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16 Reviews

Write a Review
Juliette Apr 4, 2019
Drum · In studio


Larry Y. Nov 14, 2018
Drum · In 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.

Max Sep 21, 2018
Guitar · In home

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

Jay C. May 15, 2018
Drum · In 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.

Caroline D. Apr 25, 2018
Guitar · In 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.

Maxton Jan 14, 2018
Drum · 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.

Miles Nov 3, 2017
Piano · In 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.

Sarah Oct 16, 2017
Drum · In 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!

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Lynne Apr 13, 2017
Drum · 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!

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Kim Jan 18, 2017
Drum · In 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 :)

Melinda Nov 1, 2016
Drum · In 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!'

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Katja Jun 17, 2016
Drum · In 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!!!

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Greg May 9, 2016
Drum · In 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!!!

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Garret May 9, 2016
Drum · In 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.

Sam May 7, 2016
Drum · In 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!

Ammie Mar 9, 2016
Drum · In 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!!

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