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.
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.
Drum, cymbal and hardware choices and maintenance
Singing while playing
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!