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I’ve been a drummer almost my entire life and I began teaching drum lessons in 1998. Musically I have fairly eclectic taste both as a listener and a player – My roots are in jazz and funk, but I’ve spent many years playing with singer-songwriters, reggae bands, rock bands… I also play percussion in a few different duo situations playing mostly top 40 covers.
I find that my jazz background tends to creep into pretty much everything that I play and as a result my approach to drumming tends to favor subtlety and dynamics. In addition to playing the drums I’ve also been composing music for over twenty years.
I play several other instruments and have written and produced music that has appeared on major network TV shows. I believe that having this understanding of music and songwriting that goes deeper than just the drums allows me to explain the more conceptual aspects of drumming within a broader context. Understanding the drums comes from understanding music as a whole.
Some of my strengths as a teacher & drummer include:
Stick control & Hand technique
Funk, Jazz, Rock, Reggae, World music
Playing with dynamics
Odd time signatures
Improvisation, phrasing, and comping
Identifying and transcribing drum parts in songs
I have a 300 square foot sound-treated studio in my home with a vast library of resources. In additional to a drumset and various hand drums, there are tons of other musical instruments and sound/recording equipment to make learning fun and efficient.
Ideally students would have a drumset (acoustic or electronic), and a space with minimal distractions. If you’re eager to get started and don’t yet have any drums, a pillow and a pair of sticks can go a long way (seriously! Just ask Buddy Rich!)
I have a limited number of evening spots available due to my gig schedule. Daytime slots are a little more flexible. I try to schedule lessons back-to-back so it’s important to be punctual, prepared and ready to learn/rock.
Sometimes cancellations need to happen – try to give me as much notice as possible and I will do the same. No-shows are no-good. “Not having had time to practice” is my least favorite reason for cancelling a lesson and you will be chided accordingly.
In addition to playing the drums I also compose and produce music that has appeared on TV shows on CBS, MTV, TLC, PBS, Bravo, E4, Netflix, and elsewhere.
· Drum · In studio I have taken many lessons with Phil. Mostly in his studio, and a few at mine. Phil took the time to find out what I really needed to get out of lessons. We focused on rudiments, then applied them to the songs I was interested in learning. I was really impressed with how he was able to make these drum parts accessible by breaking them down into simpler parts, then progressively filling them in. Every song I brought to Phil, he was able to translate for me. More than the drums, we discussed music and what it means to support a song with percussion. I strongly recommend Phil as a drum teacher and musical guide. Rusty the V, Fly Like Venus
· Drum · In studio Phil is a great musician as well as a caring and wonderful teacher. When looking for a drum teacher it can be tough to find the whole package. Phil fits the bill. Patient and knowledgable, Phil really has a knack for presenting material in a way that is easily digestible and crucial to becoming a better drummer and musician. If you put in the time and effort of good solid practice, Phil will help get you where ya wanna be on your instrument!
Drew Miller - Bass Drummer and Co-Leader of Euphoria Brass Band
· Drum · In home I took lessons with Phil for many years, and every show I've played and every tour I've been on has been thanks to his instruction. He is patient, knowledgable, and a highly skilled drummer in his own right. Most importantly, he has control over many genres and stresses the importance of rudiments, practice, stick control, and technique. I know no drummer, however experienced to the craft, that could not benefit from lessons with Phil.
· Drum · In home Phil is both an excellent drummer and drumming instructor (a rare combination). I've taken lessons from other drum instructors in the past, that posses excellent professional credentials and experiences, but they fall short in their ability to actually teach others how to drum. Phil has an uncanny ability to articulate complex drum concepts into bite size, meaningful steps and builds off of that foundation. He is patient, easy going, takes the time to listen to your goals and ambitions, observes your drumming style, ability, and learning style, and masterfully demonstrates the proper drumming techniques. Since I've started taking lessons from Phil, I found that I'm efficiently spending time on the elements that matter, which has increased my skills and confidence as a drummer. I highly recommend Phil as your next drumming instructor!