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Drum Lessons in Seattle: Musical Inspiration in the Pacific Northwest

By Trent L. - Seattle Drum Teacher

Hello, thrill seekers! My name is Trent L., and I teach and play drums all over the greater Seattle area, and beyond! Seattle is a great place to be a musician. We have so many resources and opportunities to play around here; you will love taking drum lessons in Seattle.

One of my favorite places is the Donn Bennett Drum Studio (www.bennettdrums.com). First of all, Donn is a great guy and a fantastic drummer. He has built this incredible drum shop, and when you go there, it kind of feels like the pearly gates have blasted open and sucked you right in. Sure, it’s a drum shop with anything a drummer might need or want, but there are a few things that really make this place special.

If you visit the shop, you may even run into a famous drummer! This is where many professional drummers shop. Not to name drop, but I’ve seen Steve Smith, Michael Derosier, Alan White, and Michael Shrieve at the shop. I’m sure there have been many other famous drummers that I didn’t recognize.

Another fun thing about Donn’s Shop is that it’s also a drum museum. There are drums from some of the greatest drummers in history; you won’t believe your eyes! There are kits that were once owned by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr (still a customer to this day), Dave Grohl, Alan White, and Keith Moon. Make sure you check out this one-of-a-kind place; everyone who works there is a drummer and—no matter your skill level—you will always feel right at home.

I mentioned Donn was a great guy, and one of the things that makes him so great is the annual event he puts on for drummers. It’s called Woodstick, and it’s an attempt to set the world record for the most drummers playing the same song at the same time. More than five hundred drummers participate in this awesome event, and it’s always a blast. There are celebrity drummers, clinics, and prizes. All of this fun and wackiness is an added bonus to the real purpose of the event; to raise money for charity.

Looking for even more drum fun in Seattle? There are also two major music festivals every year. The Northwest Folklife Festival is a three-day event on Memorial Day weekend. It’s a fun, unique celebration of the folk, cultural, and ethnic traditions of the Pacific Northwest. This is a hand drummer’s paradise. Drum circles break out everywhere, and you’re encouraged to join in. If you don’t know what you’re doing, someone will help you out.

Another event you don’t want to miss is Bumbershoot, Seattle’s largest music festival, on Labor Day weekend. There are performances from veteran musical acts, as well as young, up-and-coming bands who are trying to build their following.

I am really proud to be a musician from Seattle, not just because of the famous bands that everyone knows, but also for the lesser-known musicians who have come from the area like Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Kenny G., and Allen Stone. Then there are the people who have moved here like Dave Matthews, Steve Miller, and John Popper. As you can see, we live in a great place for aspiring musicians.

Thanks for letting me share a few of the things that make drumming in the greater Seattle area such a rewarding experience.

Best wishes to you, and practice with a purpose.

  • Trent L.

About Phil B.

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I emphasize reading and use of the rudiments. I also teach the Moeller Method and how to apply it to all the rudiments as well as to the drum set.

About Phil
Phil B. has Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance that he earned at Central Washington University in 1991. Soon after graduating from CWU Phil relocated to the Seattle area and has been teaching and performing professionally in this area ever since. As a performer Phil has worked with many different artists known both internationally and locally in a very wide range of styles, such as Stephen Pearcy (voice of the 80's Metal Band Ratt), top local big band The Jazz Police, Popular Las Vegas Entertainer "Zowie Bowie, and the late great blue legend Isaac Scott (voted into the Washington Bl
ue Society Hall of Fame 1991). Recently Phil has been working with some of the most popular dance/show bands in the Northwest, including The Goods, That 80's Show, Galaxy 54, Vanity, and Gold Digger.
As an instructor Phil worked as a clinician and private instructor with Music Works Northwest and the Seattle Drum School. Currently Phil teaches privately in several different studios in the Seattle Puget Sound area.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Complete 5-piece Drum Set

*** Specialties ***
I teach the Moeller Method. This is a system of technique which involves three basic wrist motions. The basics can be taught in one lesson, but the application takes a lifetime. I also teach all popular styles of contemporary drum set, such as rock, jazz, funk, r&b, and many different Latin styles. I work with students on reading both on snare drum and drum set and also get them playing along and transcribing with recordings of whatever style of music is of interest to them.
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Reviews
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Marlena August 2, 2016
· Drum · In home
Great teacher, patient. Anyone looking for a drum teacher should check out Phil . The best.
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Fred K. February 5, 2016
· Drum · In home
I am over 60 and always wanted to learn music, especially the drums. Phil is not only a great teacher, but also has shown remarkable patients for someone like myself with absolutely no music talent whatsoever.
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Vickie P. June 3, 2015
· Drum · In studio
I would give him 10 stars if I could! Awesome! Wonderful! He connected with my son. Very encouraging and taught Joshua a whole lot. He was beyond our expectations!
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Phil B.

Phil B.

Kent, WA 98030
(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Jeremy S.

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Seattle, WA

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I've been a drummer and percussionist for over 20 years. I've studied African rhythms with Ghanan drummers, and have taken many years of tabla lessons at the Ali Akbar College. As a drumset player, I've studied with many of the best teachers alive, and can teach any style from jazz to hip-hop to punk and onward.

About Jeremy
A Berklee College of Music graduate and a professional music instructor for over ten years, I can help you to reach your musical goals. I tailor lessons to suit your needs covering everything from skill development, music theory and musicianship, to expanding your repertoire and composing original work. I play and teach drums, piano, bass and guitar. I am new to Seattle, having just moved from San Francisco where I performed regularly at a wide array of venues such as Great American Music Hall, Freight and Salvage, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bimbos, Bottom of the Hill, Savanna Jazz,
Amnesia, Ashkenaz, Mystic Theater and Cafe Du Nord. I play many styles of music. Jazz, rock, funk, punk, blue-grass... you name it. I can show you how to play what you want to play.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe in a strong musical foundation and that learning to play music should be fun!

*** Specialties ***
Whatever style the student is attempting, I stress proper technique and understanding of theory.
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Reviews
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Tony Wang September 3, 2016
· Piano · In home
Knowledgable and friendly
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jessykca June 16, 2016
· Piano · In studio
hi i would like to know if you can teach me how to play crime of centure from supertramp? can you ?
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Victor April 16, 2016
· Piano · In studio
He is a great teacher and so friendly.
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Jeremy S.

Jeremy S.

Seattle, WA 98122
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Nicholas M.

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Kenmore, WA

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About Nicholas
*** General Bio ***
Hi, my name is Nick and I am born-and-raised in the pacific northwest! Initially from the Olympia, WA area, I relocated to Seattle in the fall of 2002, and have called Seattle home ever since. I received my education from the renown University of Washington School of Music with a Bachelor's in Music Performance (jazz studies). My career in music since moving to Seattle has provided me many extraordinary experiences both as a performer and an educator that I am quite thankful for.

I am most known in the northwest music/percussion community from a recent 7-year stint inst
ructing and coordinating the University of Washington Husky Drumline. During my time with UW, I helped propel the UW drumline from regional to national prominence by consistently elevating the level of performance year-by-year while bolstering multiple social media platforms that led to greater recruiting outreach and subsequent response. I was also able to engage the group in similar publicity endeavors with our corporate sponsors such as Remo Drumheads, Pearl drums, and Vic Firth Drumsticks.

In the summer of 2013, I held the position of Percussion Caption Head for the World Class DCI Corps, The Seattle Cascades. We led the Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps to their highest percussion scoring in 6 years, and in any year since. Last but not least, I have also been involved with both the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline & Sounders Sound Wave spanning 4 seasons total.

Outside of marching percussion, I've spent significant time fine-tuning a wide array of musical genres behind the drumkit including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Big Band, Funk, Blues, R&B, Soul, Rock Opera, and Electronic, and I've even dabbled in Gospel, Folk, Roots, Country, Musical Theater, Classical, Metal, and Punk.

I currently tour with cinematic-electro-pop band HARPS and over the years have been lucky enough to be involved with Allen Stone, Megan Wilde, Headwaves, Tess Henley, Cracker Factory, and Discs of Fury along the way.

In addition, I've built a sizable following of drumming enthusiasts on YouTube gaining world-wide acclaim from a short series of note-for-note transcription performance videos. Perhaps most remarkable was a very accurate replication of a near 5-minute classic Aaron Spears solo from his performance at the 2006 Modern Drummer Festival Weekend of Usher’s hit “Caught Up”. Spears himself lauded the effort via Twitter within hours of the original upload.

I proudly endorse Pearl Drums, Remo Drumheads, and Vic Firth Drumsticks and mallets.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that good teaching revolves around finding the right balance of three things: what the student wants, what the student needs, and what the student can handle.

As your teacher, I will do my very best in making you a more complete and well-rounded musician while helping guide you toward your goals. Whether you're just starting out, or an experienced pro wanting to brush up on a few new skills, I can help you. Over the past 13 years, I have successfully instructed folks from every age range and skill level, both in ensemble settings of various shapes and sizes, and one-on-one. I'd love to have the opportunity to help you, too!

I have a general core curriculum that I like to follow, but also understand when being overly regimented can take the fun out of the experience. I try my best to go at the student's pace while working to expose them to the necessary material that will ultimately allow them to achieve their goals.

My curriculum utilizes recordings, videos, demonstrations, transcriptions, books, play alongs, and the like. I focus a great deal on maintaining great posture with relaxed playing technique, as well as listening, reading, improvisation, and ear training.

Note for those with special needs: I have experience working with kids with the following conditions: Dyslexia, Partial Deafness, and Asperger Syndrome. In all cases, I was able to help each individual overcome these tremendous obstacles and become quite proficient performers within their ensembles. However, I do ask that any parents get in touch prior to booking lessons so that we may have a conversation about the details of each person's respective situation. That way, I believe I can make sure that I am the right person for the job as each situation is different and requires such special consideration.

Also: I do have experience teaching through a translator.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Two drum kits, sound equipment for listening/playalong purposes, metronome, practice pad station (w/mirror setup), video camera, sticks and mallets.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Sticks and mallets, practice pads, metronome, video camera.

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, Rudimental, Drum Corps, R&B, Rock, Funk, Pop
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Reviews
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Carlos September 4, 2016
· Drum · Online
Just had my first lesson, great help so far
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Jarrett L. March 10, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Nicholas is the best instructor for developing great technique, groove, & practice habits. I still use his methods when I'm learning a new skill or maintaining my chops. I always look forward to a lesson with Nicholas because he inspires and challenges you to be the best you can, both inside and outside of the practice room.
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Jarrett L. March 10, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Nicholas is the best instructor for developing great technique, groove, & practice habits. I still use his methods when I'm learning a new skill or maintaining my chops. I always look forward to a lesson with Nicholas because he inspires and challenges you to be the best you can, both inside and outside of the practice room.
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Nicholas M.

Nicholas M.

Kenmore, WA 98028
(14)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Evan W.

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Seattle, WA
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Professional teacher since 2008. Started with a snare drum in fourth grade and never stopped! Alumnus of University of Washington (BM, cum laude, Jazz Studies) + Roosevelt High School. I make sure to teach students what they are most interested in while also providing them with a strong musical foundation they can apply to any path.

About Evan
I love playing drums, and I love teaching others how to play drums. As a recent graduate from the University of Washington's acclaimed jazz program as well as an alumnus of the prestigious Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, I am a professional drummer and teacher with an extensive and unique set of experiences. Since middle school, I have been lucky enough to perform and tour all over the US and Europe, playing everything from house shows to esteemed competitions and festivals. In addition to being a member of several active local projects, I have performed with the Seattle Symphony; UW faculty
members Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Luke Bergman, Ted Poor, and Marc Seales; several Cornish faculty members including Jim Knapp, Jovino Santos Neto, and Wayne Horvitz; and celebrated NYC-based players Wynton Marsalis, Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, and Andrew D'Angelo. Aside from that, I am a co-founder of Table & Chairs, a new Seattle-based record label, as well as a co-founder of the Racer Sessions, a weekly forum and performance outlet for new and improvised music.

I began teaching in 2008, shortly after beginning my studies at the University of Washington. My private students have ranged from total beginners to advanced, each one presenting a unique set of interests and abilities to work with. In addition to teaching my own students, I have much experience as a substitute percussion teacher at Northshore Junior High School (Kingsgate, WA) and Spotlight Studios (Woodinville, WA). I have also presented many clinics and workshops at local schools including Garfield High School, Edmonds-Woodway High School, Ballard High School, Eckstein Middle School, and Holy Names Academy, as well as for Seattle JazzED. For these, the topics covered have ranged from free improvisation to straight-ahead and big band jazz.

*** Lesson Details ***
For beginning players, I like to start with the books "A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum" and "A Fresh Approach to the Drum Set," both by Mark Wessels. These books do a great job of laying down the fundamentals that all drummers should learn at the outset of their education. Beyond that, what I teach depends largely on any specific path(s) the student may wish to pursue, though of course it is totally fine if the student doesn't immediately know what they would like to study beyond the basics. In that case, I would do my best to construct a rough curriculum that I think would work well for the student. The following books are all ones I have worked with and have found to be excellent at improving unique things: "Syncopation" (Ted Reed), "Stick Control" (G.L. Stone), "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary As Taught By Alan Dawson" (John Ramsay), "Patterns" (Gary Chaffee), and "Portraits in Rhythm" (Anthony Cirone).

I prefer lessons to be focused on a curriculum, however customized it may be, as I have found that approach to be the most efficient, especially with younger players. While I believe that it is very important to learn the fundamentals of drumming, I also believe that some of the most rewarding experiences a student can have may be achieved through realizing their own unique creative potential. Thus, I find it great to set the curriculum aside for part of the lesson, either to allow the student some time to show me what else they've been working on, listening to, watching, thinking about, or perhaps to just jam and have fun. I also expect students to make progress on their own between lessons, though I understand fully from my teaching experience that the amount of progress I can expect is different for each student.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Two full drum kits

*** Travel Equipment ***
Sticks, practice pad, books

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, rock, pop, many Latin and African styles, free improvisation
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Reviews
Silhouette-80
Phoenix M. February 1, 2016
· Drum · In home
Evan has knowledge, is friendly and my son has been enjoying his lessons.
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Tino H. January 24, 2016
· Drum · In studio
I gave these lessons to my husband as a gift and he really enjoyed meeting Evan and is looking forward to learning more from him.
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Hunter A. January 20, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Hunter loves his teacher, we are very happy with him. He is good at teaching the fundamentals of music theory, like notation and scales but also keeps it relevant and fun. He asks Hunter what type of music he's into so that it isn't a chore to practice- it is pretty cool that a 10 year old is playing The White Stripes!
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Evan W.

Evan W.

Seattle, WA 98125
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Kyle K.

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Seattle, WA

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I have more than 6 years of experience teaching private and group drum lessons. I have prepared my students for auditions, rock band concerts, recording their own music, and their school symphonic, jazz, and marching bands. I have come up with many small innovations in my teaching experience, like special grid sheets that make it really easy to learn to read notation in a visual-spatial way. I like to incorporate beatboxing and drum machines as tools to make drum practice fun and easy.

About Kyle
I am a drummer and audio designer from Seattle, WA with more than 6 years of experience teaching drum lessons, rock band classes, and early childhood music classes. I have prepared my students for auditions, rock band concerts, recording their own music, and their school symphonic, jazz, and marching bands. I have come up with many small innovations in my teaching experience, like special grid sheets that make it really easy to learn to read notation in a visual-spatial way. It's important to me to make playing music with your bandmates as effortless and as expressive as talking with your frie
nds.

For 9 years I have been playing music professionally with many ensembles including the Charles Street Messengers, Titanium Sporkestra, Federal Way Symphony Orchestra, Freudian Slurp, Spencer Glenn Band, Champagne Honeybee, and Minami and the Cyclophonics. I also produce and perform electronic music with a band called Kaplundafunk, and I do freelance sound design and music for video games.
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Reviews
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Ian H. November 15, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Kyle is an incredibly patient and fun teacher. He breaks down tough concepts very simply in fun and formulaic ways, and I can tell he really cares about his students because he is always so prepared for lessons.
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Kyle K.

Kyle K.

Seattle, WA 98133
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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