John Swope

John S.

Lancaster, OH

About John S.

Background check: Last verified 05/26/2016
John passed a background check on 05/26/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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John teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: September 2010
Last sign in: Yesterday


I have been interested in drums for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I remember trying to imitate drummers from the bands I was listening to at the time. I had a toy field goal kicker that would kick a ball through the goal posts when I pressed down on the player's helmet. I remember taking the goal posts apart and using them as drumsticks. I would use those "drumsticks" to play on the side of my bed when listening to my favorite drummers. My interest in drumming hasn't diminished at all since those days.

I joined the school band program when I was in the fifth grade and I have played the drums for over 30 years in a variety of musical settings such as marching band, symphonic band, jazz band, worship team and home recording. A group of neighbors and schoolmates that I kept in touch with over the years contacted me sometime ago and asked me to record drum tracks for them. I'm privileged to have the opportunity to play on some of their albums.

I'm very thankful for the great drum instruction I have received over the years. In high school I studied with a drummer who played with musicians and bands such as The Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman, Diane Schuur, Maynard Ferguson and Tony Bennett. I have no doubt that these lessons played a big role in me winning the 1987 Louis Armstrong Jazz Award in high school. I have also attended Capital University’s Summer Drumset Workshop and a Drum Fantasy Camp at Seton Hall University. Some of the instructors involved at these university events were performers/educators such as Steve Houghton, Ed Soph, Steve Smith and Dave Weckl.

Drum lessons really helped advance my understanding of music and drumming. I improved my reading, listening and technical skills and even began transcribing drum parts. I now use Sibelius software for transcriptions. I enjoy passing along to students what I've learned from my excellent teachers and would be happy to help with just about any style of music (Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, Latin, etc.).

*** Lesson Details ***
My goal is to help each student realize their personal goals in drumming. I help them do that by building a good foundation and then adding to that foundation. Building the foundation can include method books, rudiments, playing with a metronome and developing reading skills. After this foundation has been built we then use these skills to, most importantly, make some music. We will listen to and analyze the drumming of many important players and incorporate their innovations into our own musical personalities.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a drum set in a finished basement with seating for parents available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring method books, but the student will need to have everything else (instrument, sticks, stereo with headphones, etc.). A smoke-free environment will also need to be available.

*** Specialties ***
I grew up with rock music for the most part but over the years I've tried to develop competency with as many musical styles as possible (Rock, Blues, Jazz, Latin, Country, R&B, Reggae, Motown, etc.).

Please see my latest article on the TakeLessons blog:

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4 Reviews on John S.

shawn B. Apr 3, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
First thing,John and his family are very nice people.Being a little older person looking to play as a hobby. I still knew that in order to even be a decent drummer, you have to learn the fundamentals first.John in my opinion is like a professor of the drums.Like anything worth anything in life,it takes lots of hard work and practice in order to come close to perfection.John has the knowledge to give you all the tools that you need to strive towards that perfection.
Mario F. Oct 2, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John is a wonderful drum instructor. I was very interested in learning the underlying drum structure and rudiments before progressing on into other complicated drum techniques. His teaching style is perfect for everyone from a beginner to an advanced player. He has an in depth knowledge of the drumming industry from his own personal experiences and from teaching as well. He is able to communicate in such a way that is very easy to understand for both the lessons and the practice homework. I highly recommend John!
Jennifer M. Jul 24, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John is great! He has a lot of patience with my son. My son is eight and a beginner.
Nice clean house, with a good learning environment. My son looks forward to his lessons and practice because of John's enthusiasm.
Nancee C. Feb 21, 2014
Verified Student
Excellent instructor for beginners

Our daughter is taking lessons from John. He is an excellent instructor. He is very knowledgeable, professional and is able to relate to our daughter in a way that keeps her engaged and excited. He is extremely flexible and is accomodating to our busy schedule. We are very pleased with John and I would recommend him as an instuctor.
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