Professional Drum Lessons
Beginners
Home Beginners Advanced Rates Materials Practice Room The Path Favorites Testimonials Contact
 
David - Testimonials   "David Hocker is an exquisitely sensitive drummer who plays melodically from the heart while maintaining a strong sense of swing. Playing with Dave is always a pleasure because he listens intently and finds the common ground that allows him to interact and really make the music happen. He is a very creative, selfless, and consummate musician as well as an excellent communicator and teacher… a rare and elegant combination."
     Tom Warrington - Bassist, Educator
     Author, “The Complete Rhythm Section” with
     Steve Houghton
 

"Dave is one of my favorite musicians. He’s a dynamic, reactive drummer with a lilting beat and is a real joy to play with. I love the way he’s able to frame and shape the music, always flowing and never restrictive or cliché driven."
     Bob Sheppard - Saxophonist
     Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Freddie Hubbard
 

"David Hocker is that rare sort of musician who “gets it” on all levels. He always responds to the moment and demonstrates the deepest empathy in every musical situation that I have had the pleasure to be in with him. It also helps that he possesses ridiculous chops, a beautiful sound on the instrument, and a time feel that reflects all the lightness and buoyancy of his personality."
     Larry Koonse - Jazz Guitarist
     Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra
     Faculty, Jazz Studies, California Institute of the Arts

"My daughter Sophie loves her drum lessons with David. Not only is she learning to read music and play her drums, she’s also learning self-confidence and the thrill of meeting a challenge. David knows what she is capable of and doesn't let her settle for anything less. With his extreme patience and his love for teaching, each lesson is a success story for her."
    Lisa Garcia
    South Pasadena

 

"Yeah! Hocker… Sparkling, that dude! His natural wit and instinctive comrade-in-arms vibe flow directly to his drum kit. Great touch, burning time… Sparkling!"
     Putter Smith - Bassist
     Thelonious Monk, Shelly Manne
 

"Dave Hocker plays and listens with an open mind and a sensitive ear. His considerable technique is always at the service of his outstanding musicianship and excellent taste."
     Theo Saunders - Pianist
     Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley

  "I’ve known David Hocker for over fifteen years and have the utmost respect for him both as a musician and as a teacher. We’ve performed and recorded together many times through the years and musically he is of the highest caliber. He is very advanced on a technical level and has the ability to sight read and negotiate very difficult and challenging music. He always treats the music with respect and aspires to the highest standard. As a teacher the same is true. David was often a guest clinician when I was teaching at the University of Southern California. He is very articulate in communicating his ideas to students and has the ability to express those ideas in a language they can comprehend."
     David Scott - Adjunct Lecturer
     Jazz Trumpet and Ensembles
     Western Connecticut State University,
     Danbury, CT
 

"Playing with David before moving to New York City really lit that creative fire and pushed me to search for my own voice."
     Tony Malaby - Saxophonist
     Paul Motian, Charlie Haden
 

"My son Mack began studying with David in middle school. David instilled in him a love of music, the pleasure of performance, and an ability to apply skills to a wide range of musical challenges. He always came away with the feeling of, “I can do that… no problem!” This is what sets David apart as a particularly gifted teacher."
    Meg Jolly
    Pasadena

"From jam sessions at his parents’ house to gigs with the likes of Eddie Harris, I grew up learning how to play music with David. We had lots of listening sessions together and discovered a lot of great music. Jazz, classical, rock, R&B… it didn’t matter. When I hear him play today, I’m really happy to hear how deep his conception of time and rhythm has become and how musical he is."
     David Witham - Pianist
     George Benson, Lee Ritenour
     Musical Director, “Wicked”

"There is only one Dave Hocker. He’s a truly creative musician, possessing a beautiful sound, time feel, and unique drumming style."
    Darek Oles - Bassist
    Brad Mehldau, Peter Erskine Trio
 

"David Hocker is a wonderful drummer and a sensitive, creative musician. I’ve worked with him in many contexts and he always delivers a top notch result. In addition, he is a real intellect and innovator. Everything he does comes from a genuine and sincere creative source. David is one of the finest jazz drummers in LA, or anywhere else for that matter."
    Bill Cunliffe - Pianist
    Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Buddy Rich Big Band

"Dave is a fantastic teacher and drummer. My seven-year-old son and I both took lessons and learned a ton. I recommend that everyone take lessons with Dave, young or old."
   Charlie Siskel
   
South Pasadena


"David Hocker is one of the most talented and creative musicians I know. In the thirty-five years I have known him, he continues to amaze me with his playing and musicianship. His intuitiveness and ability to listen make him one of the most sought after drummers in the Los Angeles area. As a teacher he is the best, exhibiting the same passion, enthusiasm, and perfection that he does when playing music. David possesses the rare combination of being patient while also expecting each student to practice and work hard. His extensive experience both playing and teaching is what sets him apart from other musicians."
     Michael Higgins - Guitarist
     Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie

"Dave Hocker is one of my favorite people to play with. His creative approach to the drums, music and life is a joy to behold, and he has a great way of sharing information and relating to his students."
     Joey Sellers - Director of Jazz Studies
     Saddleback College

  "David Hocker is one of the finest drummers I’ve had the pleasure of playing with. He is truly an artistic musician, original yet maintaining traditional ways of playing and improvising in the jazz idiom. His understanding of both polyrythms and odd meters make him comfortable in the most modern of contexts, yet he can swing with the best of them. David is one of those rare drummers who – while knowing a lot about technique, complex groupings and playing over the bar line – never sacrifices the feel of the music. He makes even the most complex ideas feel like an effortless dance."
     Matt Otto - Saxophonist
     LA Jazz Collective
 

"David always listens and support’s whatever’s going on in the music. Over the years we’ve developed a special rapport such that we’re able to bounce ideas off one another at will. The term “playing in the sandbox” is an apt description of making music with him. David’s musical ability, sensitivity, and patience make him an ideal teacher as well. His ability to communicate with students is unmatched, and he’s not afraid to voice an opinion that will make a student work a little harder. He is not just a drummer, he’s a musician of the highest order. David inspires!"
     Mike Fahn - Valve Trombonist
     Tom Harrell Big Band

"David contributes greatly to the musical success of every group he plays with. I’ll call him without hesitation for any type of high-profile gig with the absolute certainty that he will play his butt off. His curiosity, open-minded view of music, and disciplined approach to practice makes him an ideal model for drummers at any level."
     Harvey Wainapel - Saxophonist
     Ray Charles, Joe Lovano, Airto

“Having been a music educator for 18 years, I had strong opinions about what a teacher should be, and I hit the jackpot with David. After the first few sessions I was convinced that his approach was not only effective, but flexible enough to apply to a variety of personalities and skill levels. David will help you learn what you want to learn, but more importantly will help you learn what you need to learn. He helped me enormously, and I highly recommend working with him.”      
     Akhani Cacao
     Los Angeles


"David Hocker is not only a great drummer but a great musician. He has huge ears (musically speaking) and an infallible sense for finding the right thing to play in all kinds of situations. Aside from that he is a great guy whose integrity and basic goodness are a pleasure to be around."
     Mark Waggoner - Guitarist
     Jack McDuff, Eric Gravatt

"David has influenced my playing with his knowledge, openness, and overall feeling he brings to the music. He has a unique approach and is a great asset to any playing or teaching situation."
     Mary Ann McSweeney - Bassist
     Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman

  "An accomplished performer in his own right, David’s knowledge and enthusiasm for music of all genres enhance his systematic approach to teaching. An excellent communicator, he is able to work with students of all ages and skill levels, challenging them to improve and encouraging them to enjoy music as much as he does."
     Laurie Cameron - Director,
     Department of Theater and Dance
     Pomona College
 

"David Hocker is a master of understated playing and consummate musicianship. He has all the technique in the world and the good sense not to use it."
     Bruce Brown - Pianist, Songwriter
 

"Thank you, Dave, for being the coolest drum teacher a kid could have! You know you’re good when your child still practices diligently even though he’s only got one drum pad and a couch arm. Seriously, thanks for your patience and commitment to Simon – he really loves the time he spends with you and so do we."
     Abigail Desser
     South Pasadena
 

"David Hocker is a very sophisticated and intelligent musician. He swings, he grooves, and he burns... It’s always a pleasure to play together!"
     Riner Scivally - Guitarist
     Adjunct Faculty, Guitar Studies
     PCC, Occidental College