Learn the Art, Musicality and Technical
Components of Playing the Drum Set

Practice to Make Music

The drum set is an instrument best suited to playing music with others. It is an instrument of communication, collaboration and provides support for other instruments. It is an instrument of tremendous freedom, subtlety, power and fun. With this freedom comes responsibility. Responsibilities such as listening, playing the role of conductor, regulating tempo, controlling dynamics, and setting the general feel of the music, not to mention developing and maintaining the groove. The drummer sets the rhythmic tone, the feel of the song. The drum set is not so much a solo instrument; it is one part of the rhythm section of a group, ensemble, band, or orchestra. Requirements for executing this role successfully begin with two things: a good pair of ears and a big heart.

The goal of any musician is effective music-making. As a musician, as a drummer, one of the reasons I practice is to be able to be better at music-making. As a teacher, I never lose sight of this goal. The goal is not speed, rudiments, expensive gear, or replicating music of the past. The goal is music-making. It’s important to distinguish between the goal and the path. There are many paths that lead to this goal and certainly practicing rudiments and studying the masters are part of that path. Think of practice as mental and making music as from the heart. At any level, whether established professional player or beginner, together we will clarify your own positive path to reach this goal.

There is not a whole lot to know in order to play drums well, but it can take a lot to know it. It is not a linear path. Immersion in music from the beginning is essential while simultaneously learning about technique, rudiments, styles, time, listening, and all the things it takes to play well with others. You needn’t perfect your double strokes before you learn to play a song. Keeping music at the fore in your practice enables you to do just that: play music.

You do need to make a commitment to yourself: 1. Practice. 2. Play music with others. 3. Listen to music as much as possible. 4. Go to shows frequently. If you are hungry, it will be easier for you. If you are hungry I will give you as much as you can consume.

A good teacher has a wealth of experience and possesses a vast inner matrix for teaching. It’s an amalgam of technical knowledge, strategy, experience and practical instinct ready to be put into use to locate and understand where the students are and where they need to go. You just need to play every day.

Why practice/study music?

  • Love of the art form
  • Personal challenge
  • Self-knowledge; go beyond our limitations
  • To play music better
  • To know the past in order to create a better future
  • Love of the process