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Drum Lessons in Sacramento: Your Guide to the Local Music Scene

By Justin B - Sacramento Drum Teacher

If you’re taking drum lessons in Sacramento, you’re in a fantastic city to learn. There are a number of awesome music venues, and several notable drummers have come from Sacramento like Johnny Rabb (Clinician, Author, Collective Soul, Roland), Abe Cunningham (Deftones), Dave Buckner (Papa Roach), Zach Hill (Death Grips, Hella), and Mike Johnston (Clinician). All of these great drummers have performed at some of Sacramento’s best music venues. Here are some of the places I recommend for aspiring drummers in Sacramento.

Ace of Spades is one of the bigger venues where you can catch some of the top touring drummers. Musicians play a wide range of genres from rap to rock, metal to jazz, and everything in between. The events calendar is always full, and it’s a great place to see both local performers and well-established drummers.

If you’re looking for a more intimate venue, check out a show at Harlow’s, my favorite place in Sacramento. There’s a great sound system, and I have seen some amazing drummers rock out on Harlow’s stage like Virgil Donati (Allan Holdworth), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), David Garibaldi (Tower Of Power), Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Dennis Chambers (Independent), and Zakir Hussein.

The Boardwalk is one of Sacramento’s oldest rock venues. Since the '80s, it has played host to some of rocks’ greatest touring performers. You can also catch some amazing local musicians if you stop by on Thursday nights. The Boardwalk is one of the best places to play, and a great venue for local, up-and-coming artists looking to get their start.

Folsom’s Powerhouse Pub is an awesome place to see a wide variety of performers. Check out cover bands on Friday and Saturday nights, local, up-and-coming drummers on Wednesday nights, and blues and jazz bands on Sunday nights.

There are so many great places to see live music, and watching other performers is a fantastic learning tool for anyone taking drum lessons in Sacramento. Now it’s time for you to get out there and explore the local music scene.

Practice hard, and have fun!

  • Justin B.
Profile_79885_pi_nathan4

Nathan B.

Sacramento, CA

Do you want to learn the Drums?

Have fun learning in a patient and enthusiastic environment. Begin the journey into your creativity and musical understanding!

About Nathan

TEACHING METHOD & PHILOSOPHY

Nathan knows that learning music can be intimidating. Because of this, he emphasizes patience, kindness, and encouragement: he wants the student to be as comfortable as possible. Nathan gently guides the student through various fundamentals which include scales, counting, finger exercises, melodic and harmonic patterns, and rhythmic structures. Then you move into working on a song or other piece of music (as lessons progress, you often begin with the song and work back toward the exercises). Nathan counts the beat or plays along with the student as needed.

St
udents of theory, songwriting and composition learn the names of notes, and then learn how these notes make scales and chords. There is also work on rhythm. With these elements, we move into exploring how musical pieces – songs, compositions – are made. Student original work is highly encouraged.

There is of course space for the spontaneous: students often will play something new, outside the lines of the lesson, and wonder what it is they made. Nathan shows them how to notate their creations so they may play them again. Also, students often have questions, and Nathan highly encourages the asking. They may be wondering about a song they heard or already enjoy, or something will rise from the work of the lesson. All music questions welcome.

LESSON STRUCTURE

Half-hour lessons are recommended. Thirty minutes of focused concentration can be a lot of time – especially for children (you often just need to be open to more spontaneity) – and much work can be done in that space. For those wanting a longer lesson, Nathan suggests considering learning two instruments at once, and/or complementing your instrument by going more in-depth with theory. What you learn on one instrument can be translated onto another. The lesson time would be split between the two areas of focus.

For drums and piano, Nathan use the adult and children’s versions of the Alfred Beginner Series. With guitar and bass (and often with drums), Nathan encourages students to bring material of their choice (as well as acquiring a tuner), however he can make recommendations depending on the student's needs and goals. Students of these instruments generally seem more motivated at the beginning by the thought of learning a song, or learning how to write a song, while the piano lends itself more naturally to learning notation. Nathan asks all students to use spiral notebooks. This helps track the lessons and brings clarity to what will be expected for the next lesson. For students, writing down their music goals is very helpful, too. With children, these books are great for communication, as well as aiding the parents in helping their children keep up with practicing. Nathan also recommends music manuscript paper (learning an instrument CAN make you a composer).

For theory, song-writing and composition, you use the aforementioned spiral notebooks as well as the manuscript paper. Nathan typically uses the piano and drums to teach these topics, but if the student wishes, you may enter this work through another instrument.

LOCATION

Lessons may take place in Nathan's home music parlor in Midtown, Sacramento or at your location. Lessons online via Skype are available.

COST

$25/30 minutes
$40/45 minutes
$50/60 minutes

BIO

With 5+ years teaching experience (and over 30 years music experience), Nathan is here to offer beginning level lessons in drums, piano, electric bass, guitar, theory, songwriting and composition. If there is a more advanced musician who just needs a refresher, or possibly some different ideas, Nathan is available to you as well. Learning music can be terrifying, and Nathan wants to be the one to help you get past that fear, to help you feel how joyful and fun it is to make music.

Nathan entered the world of music by listening and appreciating music (first memory – at age 2 or 3 – is being fascinated by the sounds of a Neil Diamond record). At age 11, he began to learn the drums. At 12, he joined the junior high Jazz ensemble and has been enjoying the drum set ever since.

After high school, Nathan dived into his study of music theory, songwriting and composition (and began studying piano, guitar and bass) and soon had an AA in Music from Sacramento City College. After a number of years wherein he composed and performed my own material, Nathan wanted to broaden his compositional palette. He transferred to the University of California, Davis, where he received a BA in Music. Diving ever deeper into composition at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, Nathan earned an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts. His MFA Thesis included composing and recording an album of all-original material for solo piano.

Throughout his teens, Nathan performed drums and percussion in numerous music groups, including marching and concert bands, symphony orchestras, instrumental and vocal Jazz ensembles, show pop groups as well as drumming in a band with close friends. In his late teens and early twenties, Nathan branched out, learning other instruments, songwriting and composition. At 23 he had his first solo show featuring his own songs, and soon after had his first band. Since then he has maintained various ensembles as well as working as a sideman in numerous groups. From wild and chaotic Noise and Free Jazz shows to the sad solemnity of memorials to the joyful bliss of wedding celebrations, Nathan has enjoyed and continues to enjoy performing in diverse situations and venues. Equally close to his heart is the writing: he maintains a composition practice, which he nurtures daily.

INFLUENCES

Nathan enjoys soaking in the influences of various styles of music. Jazz, Classical, Rock & Roll, Rock Steady, Progressive Rock, Hip-Hop, Folk, Blues, Heavy Metal, R & B, Reggae, Pop, Funk, Latin, New Age, Punk, World Beat, Trance, Country, Adult Contemporary, and Soul: all these styles influence his playing and writing.
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Reviews

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Kylie K. February 12, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great Teacher for young children.
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Gizelly C. December 9, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
It took us a while to find a good music instructor but I am glad though, because we found Nathan! With our children having short attention span, some instructors don’t have patience with kids like that.
Nathan is not only patient but also very calm and good with children. I recommend him to my family and friends. :-)
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Gabriel C. December 1, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Good teacher. my 14 year old daughter said he made learning easy and fun.
I will recommend him to whom ever needs a musical instructor.
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Nathan B.

Nathan B.

Sacramento, CA 95816
(7)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
222955_419578_1340851143

Tim K.

Sacramento, CA

Can teach a wide array of styles to ages 5 through 99+

About Tim

***Now available to teach Nationwide via SKYPE!!!***

My name is Tim and I have been drumming for 22 years. I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Sacramento State University and I teach and perform a wide array of styles: JAZZ, ROCK, HIP-HOP, FUNK, BRAZILIAN, AFRO-CUBAN and CLASSICAL SNARE. Beginners and beyond are welcome. I will teach you all you need to know, no matter what your skill level. The lessons are made to be fun! That is what music should be anyway...fun!

You will benefit from lessons with me by not only having fun and playing along with your favorite songs,
but you will also learn how to read drum music, which will offer you so many more opportunities once you go out into the musical world.

*** Lesson Details ***
***Now available to teach Nationwide via SKYPE!!!***

My style is pretty much right down the middle between laid back and always pushing my students. What I mean by pushing is that I always encourage, in a positive way, my students to Keep PRACTICING! Practice is one of the most important things while taking lessons. Students cannot get too far by not practicing. It just doesn't work that way.

I use a combination of simple rhythm books, drum set books, and listening and playing along with music. After 3-6 months of lessons with me, you should be able to play along with some of your favorite songs, and be decent at doing some simple sight reading out of books.

Please note: I have time available in the evening on my calendar, but that is only for traveling to a student's house. During the day, my studio is available.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Room w/ drum set, practice pads, music stands, seating for parents.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Student should have a drum set if lessons are at their house. I can provide sticks, brushes, etc.

*** Specialties ***
I teach jazz, rock, hip-hop, Latin, Afro-Cuban, funk, New Orleans second line, and classical snare.
...

Reviews

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Antonia V. February 5, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Tim is a patient instructor who caters to his students. He gave my husband
strong foundational skills for reading music notation to build upon. He
also clearly demonstrates how the instrument should be played from simple
to more complex syncopated rhythms. I am very pleased with the improvement
of my husband's ability to play drums from an instructor with extensive
knowledge and expertise. I would highly recommend Tim for lessons in any
genre of music
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Debbie S. December 21, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Tim has been working with my 15 year old son for several months now! My son has made great improvements and enjoys Tim's lessons! Tim is always prompt and ready to work! It is really awesome that he comes to our house for lessons!!
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jennifer R. April 1, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Since the beginning of our lessons, Tim has been on time, easy going, patient and challenging. A great teacher for beginners but I'm sure just as great a teacher for any level student. I will continue to learn from his drumming expertise :)
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Tim K.

Tim K.

Sacramento, CA 95833
(10)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
257178_d7vylh4ymzh947kjf6f6

Justin B.

Folsom, CA

I like to teach drum set utilizing instructional books so that a student can learn drum beats through true music notation.

About Justin

My name is Justin B. and I've been a professional drummer and instructor the last 15 years. I have toured extensively throughout the United States, as well as playing in the UK. I have been a part of many recordings and sessions during that time and have the knowledge to teach about what those experiences are like.

Currently, I am a member of the Street Drum Corps based out of Los Angeles. We have done TV shows including Cartoon Network's Hall Of Game Awards, as well as the opening segment of Kevin Nealon's special comedy show "Whelmed, But Not Overly." which aired on Showtime.

I am a
drummer that has been playing in some of the top nightclubs throughout California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and Chicago. I have been drumming alongside some very notable DJ's and am providing some of the newest entertainment in that industry.

I am currently endorsed with Pro-Mark drum sticks, Evans Drumheads, Soultone Cymbals, and play Shine Custom Drums.

*** Lesson Details ***
The focus on lessons are to identify the goals of the student, and tackle those immediately. Not interested in learning on a snare drum first? No problem. I prefer to have students playing behind a drum set from day one. I reinforce lessons through teaching true drum notation, making it easier for students to accomplish their goals in a timely matter. I like to keep things laid back and will not be a "task master" type of teacher. I want to make lessons as fun and comfortable as possible and strive to make that happen.

I use a number of instructional books from some of the best publishers of music instruction including The Drummer's Collective Series, as well as Berklee School Of Music Publishing. There are a number of DVD's as resources too! These instructional books cover a wide variety of topics including: Rock Drumming, Funk/Linear Drumming, Jazz Drumming, Latin/Afro-Cuban Drumming, Double Bass Drumming, and Rudimental Drumming.

It is my goal to have the student playing at least two different styles of drumming within the first 3 months, and being at an intermediate level within the first six months. The student will have an understanding of music notation and being able to interpret different rhythms. Most students like to learn songs and within the first six months, the student should have at least two songs memorized.

*** Travel Equipment ***
The student will need to have a drum set.

*** Specialties ***
I like to teach utilizing drum method books and reinforcing lessons with actual drum notation. I feel this is the basis of a solid drum education and helps to make learning songs and more enjoyment from drumming happen faster. I teach Rock, Funk, Jazz, Latin, Hip-Hop/R&B, Top 40, and Techno/EDM. I also have the ability to teach concert band drummers up to the High School level.
...

Reviews

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David December 23, 2015
Drum · In home
I am in my late 40s played the drums when I was a kid ... I always wanted to play and now I am again. Justin is a great teacher he is an amazing drummer and the reason I went with this company.
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George G. July 21, 2015
Percussion · In home
Verified Student
Justin is very enthusiastic and passionate about music and is a pleasure to have as an instructor.
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John M. June 2, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Justin is a tremendous drummer and his experience from student to performer makes him an excellent teacher. He customizes the lessons to what I want to do and learn, and makes it fun in the process. I look forward to my weekly lessons and wish I could go more often.
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Justin B.

Justin B.

Folsom, CA 95630
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_76183_pi_467888_10151035544551561_1771943681_o

Pranshul G.

Roseville, CA

I've been teaching drums for over 5 years and have been playing for over 14! I teach anywhere from drum set to marching percussion. My students have competed in award winning programs. I currently teach at a top ranked high school for music and performing arts! During the lessons, students will learn the proper technique on various forms of drumming and also learn how to read music and compose musical pieces.

About Pranshul

My name is Pranshul and I am a current college student. My major is Neuroscience with a minor in Music. I have been actively involved in music activities in and out of school and have been playing music for over 14 years. I received honors throughout middle and high school and in college. My lessons consist of educating students through doing. I start with the basics and make sure students have a deep understanding of the subject before we move onto advanced topics. This way, the student gets the most out of the lesson and leaves satisfied with their progress!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Evan January 24, 2016
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Very good experience. Seemed to really know his stuff!
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Pranshul G.

Pranshul G.

Roseville, CA 95747
(1)
starting at
$23 / 30-min
Profile_91313_pi_image

Alex H.

Sacramento, CA

I've taken private drum and piano lessons myself, which has given me a great understanding of all musical areas with a strong focus on rhythm. I've played a lot of different kinds of gigs in a lot of different locations and settings, including Spain and New York. I've been teaching since 2012. When I teach, I try to tailor my lessons to each individual student. If the student is willing to work hard to improve, I'm willing to work just as hard to keep the student improving.

About Alex

MUSIC: My first private lessons were on piano at 8 years of age with piano lessons, I learned about he basic fundamentals of music (scales, melodies, harmonies, rhythm, time and key signatures, accidentals, etc.). After discovering that rhythms were the most interesting to me, I decided to start drum lessons and fell in love with it. After taking private lessons and mastering my craft, new doors were opened: wedding gigs, an amazing high school band experience, and even performances in Spain and New York. I started teaching in 2012 and developed the comfort to share what I've learned over the
years. If the student is willing to work hard, I can provide the knowledge and wisdom to help the student improve. TUTORING: I've always been strong in math- and science-type classes. I'm a Mechanical Engineering major at CSUS. I've received high grades in all of my math classes, and I have experience working with people of all ages.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Colsen August 11, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Alex is patient and is able to teach accordingly to a child's level. My son is 8 years old. Alex is very experienced in teaching, he started out with basics, and moved on according to my son's ability to learn. My son learned a lot during his first lesson.
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Alex H.

Alex H.

Sacramento, CA 95831
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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