- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate
- 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!+ Read More
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.
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.
In House Drum Instructor
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.
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.
My 15 year old son is very happy with his electric guitar lessons. He looks forward to his lessons with John.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!+ Read More
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!+ Read More
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 :)
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!'+ Read More
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!!!
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!!!+ Read More
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.
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!
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!!