The "Fast Track" Drumming Method

When it comes to lessons, I determine the overall aptitude and  interest level of the student and devise the lesson plan accordingly. I  also do my best to keep the student interested by getting him or her on  the "fast track" to playing complete songs on the drum kit. With all the  electronic distractions these days, (the internet, games, cell phones,  etc.), our attention spans have become increasingly shortened. The  old-school approach involves snare drum rudiments for months before even  touching the drum set. I can't imagine putting a student through such  torture! I always get my students playing something on a beautiful  Ludwig or Gretsch kit the first day.  

I use a four-part teaching system which includes the following...

1. Technique
Grip - I discuss the differences between French, German and American  grips and the pros and cons of traditional vs matched grip. And I always  stress the importance of a light, firm grip, so as to avoid tightening  of the hands and forearms. Posture and ergonomic placement of the  components of the drumkit are also discussed. 2. Sight Reading
Knowledge of rudiments, note values, symbols, tempo, dynamics. The two  books I mainly use are Stick Control by George Stone and Basic Drumming  by Joel Rothman, the latter being the most comprehensive. 3. Playing Songs
This is the fun part. I encourage my students to pick some of their  favorite songs and play along. If the student becomes proficient enough  at a certain song that isn't too challenging on guitar, I can play along  with my limited electric guitar skills.  4. Recorded Progress Record
I record a portion of the student's drum set performance with Pro Tools  and email it as an mp3. This provides an immediate, accurate record of  the student's progress.  


I encourage my students to practice  to a metronome. This is very  important! It helps you develop an "internal clock" that will help keep  you and your band from speeding up or slowing down. Many drummers in  popular bands CANNOT PLAY TO A METRONOME and therefore get replaced in  the recording studio by someone who can! Very sad. I try to teach my  students to play in a "musical" context, not just showing off with an  array of dazzling, rarely-used rudiments. Skills and technique are  important, but  they're not much good if you can't apply them in a  musical manner. Listening to your fellow musicians is crucial if you  want to make good music. 

Other Topics Discussed

Drum, cymbal and hardware choices and maintenance
Singing while playing 

Benefits of Drumming

Excellent cardio workout
Improves brain function
Provides much-needed distraction from electronic media
Provides an outlet for stress
Encourages discipline and creativity
Improves multi-limb coordination
Enhances overall musical ability and facilitates skills on other instruments
It's plain fun! Hitting drums with sticks feels really good!

 Referrals are always appreciated and come with discounts. 

So excited to have had Jack Rouben engineering here for a day last week.

Jack got his start at the legendary Sunset Sound studio. There he worked on recordings by legendary artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Gloria Gaynor, The Gap Band, Celine Dion, Kenny Loggins, to name a few. Jack taught me a few things about subtractive EQ, compression and mic placement.  

So cool to hear all the stories and just hang with him. Hopefully he will be back soon!