San Francisco Drum Lessons

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Popular Drum Teachers Near San Francisco

Check out some of our most popular teachers near San Francisco including Emeryville, Alameda, Brisbane, Sausalito and Daly City.

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Beats in the Bay: Drum Lessons in San Francisco

By Jeff W. - San Francisco Drum Teacher

My name is Jeff and I teach drums in the Peninsula, which covers all the cities between San Jose and San Francisco. I’ve been teaching for five years, and playing drums for 17 years. My favorite styles are pop and funk because of the sweet grooves and accents.

San Francisco is a great place to learn drums. Think about the drumming from Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Santana, Metallica, Third-Eye Blind, Green Day, and Rancid; those are just a few of the legends to come out of the Bay Area.

With so many well-qualified teachers in San Francisco, aspiring drummers can feel confident about learning to play a new instrument.

Drum lessons in San Francisco are fun, and aspiring drummers have access to live music of all genres seven days a week. Here are some of the awesome venues you can explore:

Bottom of the Hill

With live shows almost every night, you can check out local, up-and-coming, and well-known artists. The Bottom of the Hill was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as “the best place to hear live music in San Francisco.”

Davies Symphony Hall

This is the perfect spot for drummers who are interested in classical music and percussion. Make sure to reserve your spot in the pit section for the best view of the percussionists at work.

The SFJAZZ Center

With over 300 performances each year, the SFJAZZ Center is the mecca for jazz in the city. The SFJAZZ Center also offers listening parties, live drum/instrumentalist scores, and a discovering jazz class.

Farley’s Coffee Need caffeine fix to get you amped on learning the drums? Check out Farley’s Coffee in Portero Hill!

With its unique history and rich culture, San Francisco is a great place to experience music and learn to play drums. I love seeing students learn and grow as drummers, so if you sign up for drum lessons in San Francisco, maybe I’ll see you soon!

Time to go teach, -Jeff W.

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Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA

About Rob

Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, perfo
rmer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ has directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused.
I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact,
I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers.
I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning.
I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach.
I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.

Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset.
Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.

*** Specialties ***
Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
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Reviews

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Barbara S. October 29, 2013
Drum
Verified Student
I Got Lucky

A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
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KatyV January 11, 2012
Rob Franco

You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
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Rob F.

Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA 94960
(2)
starting at
$60 / 30-min
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Jeff W.

San Mateo, CA

Please see details Below***

Thanks!

About Jeff

Hello Students/Parents:

I have been drumming for 20 years. I tend to work mainly as a freelance drummer on multiple acts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My main Styles tend to include; Pop,Rock,Funk,Reggae and Hip-hop, but I am open to anything. I am funny, friendly, outgoing, great with kids, and have been teaching music for 5 years and counting.

During our first lesson we will discuss plans that will help you reach your goals and make you happy as a drummer. I am open to teach you anything, no matter where your strength or weaknesses may fall.
For example: we will work on a fun so
ng/groove-- then we will work on reading and/or rudiments. I am also very patient and Flexible to those students whom have special needs, or want to go slower.
I teach using a combination of modern, traditional and personal books, and Popular music charts.

* Travel Equipment:
I will bring the following: my laptop for music purposes and songs, and my curriculum.
I expect my student to have the following: A pair of sticks, a practice pad/or small sized drum kit, headphones of any kind, and a music stand. I will plan to use one drum set switching off.

"œWhen the student combines his/her playing with a strong practice, playing, and performance regimen, they are bound to get better and improve to continue making music a concrete hobby in their life."

Thanks!
-Jeff
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Reviews

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Julia March 28, 2016
Drum · In studio
Jeff has been great! I'm an adult student, returning to drumming after at least 15 years. My lessons have been fun, and the instructions have been excellent.
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Matthew B. October 19, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Jeff is awesome! He's super kind and patient, as well as talented at the drums. He's definitely invested in his students' success too.
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Adrien P. February 8, 2014
Drum
Verified Student
Great lessons, great teacher

It's only been 4 lessons but I really appreciate how the lessons are going. Jeff gives good explanations on how to read music and how to execute on the drums.Good pieces of advice too when some parts are hard to play !
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Jeff W.

Jeff W.

San Mateo, CA 94402
(9)
starting at
$45 / 35-min
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John F.

San Francisco, CA

Whether you are a complete beginner or getting more advanced and need some keys to reach the next level, I'm your man! I started playing drumset (and snare drum) when I was 12yrs old (I'm quite a bit older now so I've been doing it for a while! :) and I LOVE teaching drums.
I wanna teach you to read and write drum music, play strong beats and fills, develop natural technique, relaxation and independence. Eventually you will learn to use stylish transitions, interpret song structure, and achieve proficiency in a variety of styles. And most importantly, know how to play it musically.

About John

I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at
Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with multiple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Reviews

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Anna November 16, 2016
Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA

I have been playing drums and percussion for 15 years, I can teach you everything you need to know about rhythm reading, improvising, technique, and more!
Whether you want to play rock, jazz, classical percussion, contemporary percussion, metal, pop, or anything else, I can help you learn the basic skills you need to master these styles!

About Matthew

Hello!

My name is Matthew, and I teach many people of different ages academic topics from arithmetic to algebra 2/trigonometry, science, reading/grammar, as well as all kinds of music and instruments!

I hold a Masters of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Santa Cruz.

Musically, I specialize in drum set and percussion, piano, voice, and guitar instruction (4 and 6 string) woodwinds, brass, and violin family strings. I have been teaching in Walnut Creek at my home studio/office for 10 years, worked with local schools such
as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.

Some basic pedagogical ideas:

I make sure each student learns the necessary techniques, rhythms as well as reading and performing skills that each player must posses on their instrument or voice to properly play the instrument. Alongside this crucial, ever-lasting quest to have a good sound and play the repertoire of the instrument I teach many other aspects of music that most students indulge in as they progress. These including but not limited to ear-training, improvising, composition, theory, music history and appreciation, transcribing, arranging and performing popular music, basic tracking and recording/computer compositions, as well as basic singing and drumming.
Each student has different goals and interests that draw them toward certain aspects of music. My goal is to supplement the basic music training while offering guidance in more complex areas of music that bring excitement and enjoyment to learning. I work with each student to find not only what aspects of music they are interested in but also what styles and groups they enjoy and aspire to play or just enjoying listening or singing along.
Balancing all of this during a 30-60 min lesson and then during your practice time in the week can be tough, so I work with each student to set priorities and goals based on their interest and skill and follow through with them!

Here are a few of my BASIC POLICIES; please read so you can know if we will be a good fit. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask, but I rarely make exceptions!

-I only accept students who take weekly lessons

-I only accept students (usually) who have already started reading

-All students and parents must be on a fairly flexible schedule and reply to phone calls or texts on the day of lessons. With 30+ concurrent students and families, schedules are constantly changing to accommodate each other. If it works for everyone to help another student out by switching, then I will request that of you, but I ALWAYS GUARANTEE YOUR SCHEDULED LESSON TIME.

-I always guarantee your full lesson time. Driving from my home studio and house to house around the East Bay during the after school/work hours does come with traffic delays, so I ask that each student (unless previously noted) keeps 10-15 minutes before and after their lesson free in case of an unexpected delay or cancellation.

- I require AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCED NOTICE FOR RESCHEDULES. If you need to reschedule then I prefer knowing a week in advance. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 72 HOURS I DO NOT GUARANTEE A MAKEUP SPOT.

-I rent beginner instruments so that you can get started while I help you shop for an instrument. This includes weekly checkups, maintenance, changing strings, cleaning, and covers any basic damage done to the instrument (for example, broken bridges, broken bow hair, pegs, tuning parts, replacing strings, minor dents on brass). This does not cover non-reusable parts (strings, reeds, drum heads, cork/slide/valve oil, rosin) as well as damage to the body of the instrument or theft. I charge $45 dollars a month flat for the instrument and service.

If you are at all interested for yourself or your child please don't hesitate to call and ask questions.

Have a great day!
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Reviews

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Sam Maldonado January 11, 2016
Composition · In studio
Verified Student
great time at my first lesson
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Denise S. October 31, 2015
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter took lessons with Matthew for 5 months and we are severely disappointed. We originally switched because he was constantly changing the days/times of our lesson to accommodate his schedule or that of new clients, which is a terrible way to do business. However, after having one lesson with a new teacher, we realized that my daughter never learned the basics of viola playing - how to hold the instrument properly, how tightly the bow should be strung, the names of the parts of the instrument, etc. He also rented us an instrument that didn't tune properly at twice the cost of what local music stores were charging. She also was not properly measured for that instrument, which I learned was standard. Since I am not musically trained, I went on faith that she was being taught properly. After the first lesson with a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, my daughter was in tears over all the things she didn't know. I feel like all those basics should have been covered in the first month of instruction. In addition, his bio states that he has been teaching for 10 years. At his current age, that would mean he started teaching at the age of 13 or 14. I'm very disappointed in our experience with both this instructor and with Take Lessons for not vetting their instructors properly.
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Adriana September 25, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
It was excellent. He has the patience and the knowledge. I do recommend him.
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Matthew F.

Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA 94595
(5)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
Profile_74725_pi_Screen%20Shot%202015-03-23%20at%209.38.43%20PM

Ryan L.

San Leandro, CA

ALL SKILL LEVELS and all ages are welcome.

READING AND SIGHT-READING STUDIES
DRUM SOLO CONCEPTS
IMPROVISING CONCEPTS
HAND & FOOT INDEPENDENCE EXERCISES
RUDIMENTARY EXERCISES AND WARM UPS
LICKS / GROOVES

I customize each students lesson to their individual needs and the styles of drumming they enjoy. Expect to have a lot of fun on your path of drumming!

About Ryan

Ryan's passion for teaching allows him to customize each student's lesson to their individual needs and style. He works with students of all skill levels and all ages. See: Ryanscottlong.Net/lessons for more info on what Ryan covers.

BIO:
Having been described as a musician “with gut busting solos and dynamic versatility, Ryan Scott Long continues to push drumming to new levels. With his forward thinking approach, Ryan may be forming an exciting new style of drumming. Long has toured across the country in bands covering many different genres of music giving him a unique style that can only b
e formed through [his] immense experience under his belt.”*

Ryan’s project "Booker Long Duo" recently cut their second release "Booker Long Duo EP" featuring an explosively intense double drums collaboration with Grammy-winning drummer Thomas Pridgen alongside Mike Sopko on guitar.

His group "BroJazz” will be releasing their debut record May 3, 2016 and will be distributed worldwide by The LA Sound Group (Thundercat, Stanley Clarke).

BroJazz features multi-instrumentalist Ben Wallace-Ailsworth on bass and world class saxophonist Joshua Smith (Birth, Scott Amendola Quartet).

Ryan is proficient in jazz, rock, funk, Latin, hip-hop, and many more styles. Ryan is very tour friendly as he has toured all over the country.
...

Reviews

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Gina April 21, 2016
Drum · In studio
My teenage son has been taking drum lessons from Ryan for almost two years now. Ryan is the BEST instructor. He is patient with my son and very inspiring. My son enjoys taking lessons from Ryan. Not only is my son learning a lot, he is also gaining more self-confidence. I highly recommend Ryan as a drum instructor.
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K April 14, 2016
Drum · In studio
great instructor! Ryan has taught and continues to tech me a lot in an entertaining way. Unlike other instructors I have had he teaches diverse methods, techniques, and styles. Overall a great experience!
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Robert Anthony Morales April 14, 2016
Drum · In home
Ryan uses all his skills to access the best approach to teach student drummers. His insights go way beyond his youth. Said and done look at all the successful drummers he has tutored.
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Ryan L.

Ryan L.

San Leandro, CA 94578
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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