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Beginners
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I love teaching beginners. I’ve taught children as young as five and adult beginners well into their fifties. It’s rewarding on many levels, but the main reason I enjoy it is that nearly everyone makes rapid progress in those early stages.

In addition to being a lot of fun, drumming is an excellent way to relieve stress, lose weight, reduce hypertension, and improve cardiovascular health. A vigorous one-hour practice session at the drums can burn as many calories as a 20-minute jog on the beach. And since sustained workouts release endorphins, the natural “feel good” polypeptides produced in the brain, drumming can help improve one’s focus, concentration, and self-confidence as well.
  Gretsch
     

Beginners   A word to adult beginners

Regardless of the extent of your musical education (or lack thereof), you can be taught to play a musical instrument. Trying anything new or different can be daunting, but keep in mind that nobody comes into the world fully formed. Actors, dancers, writers, and musicians – not to mention doctors, lawyers, bankers, and architects – all have to be taught to do what
they do.

I start adult students on the drum set at the very first lesson. While it’s important for all students to understand the mechanics involved in executing a stroke – it’s the equivalent of brass and woodwind players learning the correct embouchure - I prefer to introduce those concepts to adults on a need-to-know basis. With younger students I work on fundamentals from the outset since a solid technique is essential for proper development. But generally speaking, adult beginners have hectic schedules with work, kids, and other obligations. Most of you take drum lessons simply for the enjoyment that comes from learning to play along to your favorite songs. Since auditioning for the L.A. Philharmonic is not a priority, I try to keep the heavy lifting to a minimum. I do, however, request that you learn to read music. Don’t panic, though – it’s a myth that reading music is difficult. You will learn most of what you’ll need in the first or second lesson.

     

For beginning students, I focus on:

  Rhythm
  • understanding rhythm, meter, and pulse
  • feeling rhythm in the body
  • counting
  Snare Drum Technique
  • holding the sticks (traditional and matched grip)
  • basic stroke execution and sound production
  • introduction to the drum rudiments
  Music Reading Skills
  • note values, musical symbols and terminology
  • elementary sight reading
  • drum set notation and interpretation
  Drum Set Playing
  • introduction to the drum set
  • basic coordination and independence
  • relaxation and balance
  • time and groove
  • beginning beats and patterns
  • introduction to musical styles
  • fills and solos
  • playing with other musicians
  General Musicianship
  • organizing practice material
  • building healthy practice habits
  • setting goals
  • staying mentally focused
  • maintaining a positive attitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginners Page Testimonial

I believe everyone who studies with me deserves as thorough a musical education as I can give them. Above all, however, my objective is simply to help each student discover the true joy of making music.