Optional Lesson Topics

These are a few examples of lessons designed for students who may not wish to follow a set curriculum but want to focus on specific area of their playing. Depending on the student’s needs, a whole program could be based around one or more of these topics.

Intro to Drums

The essential lesson for all beginners. Get familiar with the instrument, and start grooving!

Learn to Play a Song (of your choice)

This could be a simple as the Beatles or as complex as Rush or any modern metal.

Playing with more SPEED and POWER

Get the most bang for your buck! A few simple techniques can help you accomplish this.

Double Bass Drumming

Improve your speed, power and precision and learn some cool warm-ups, grooves and fills to help you get there.

Snare Drum Techniques

Rudiments and exercises to develop better stick control. Learn a snare drum solo!

Bass Drum Techniques

Improve your dynamics and control on single kick. Incorporate the bass drum into fills and develop fast doubles.

Playing to a Click

Make the metronome your friend for live and studio playing and improve your time-keeping skills.

Drumming for the Song

Learn to create grooves and fills that always make the music better. Become an arranger in your band!

Studio Prep 101

Getting ready to record? Lets get your drums sounding great and work on your performance.


Free solos vs. groove solos. Rhythm, melody, form, dynamics. Find new ways to express yourself on the drums!

Unlocking your creativity on the drums

Build confidence, lose performance anxiety and let go of your ego to transcend the instrument.

Drum Tuning

Tuning and muffling techniques to best suit your playing style for live and studio applications.

Fun Licks and Tricks

Amaze your friends and have fun while mastering some tricky fills and flashy stick moves.

Topics for Intermediate to Advanced students:

Jazz Drumming Techniques
-analysis of great Jazz Drummers like Elvin Jones and Tony Williams
-chart-reading for large and small ensembles
-advanced co-ordination exercises
-playing extreme tempos with dynamics
-the art of brush playing
-32 bar AABA form and other song forms
-learn to play and solo over forms melodically
-traditional grip stick technique

Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Drumming
-bossa-nova, samba, songo, repenique, cascara etc
-2:3, 3:2 clave grooves
-learn how percussion instruments are combined with the drum kit
-basic hand drumming- bongos, conga, djembe
-mastering “the feel” of this music
-apply these rhythms to jazz and contemporary styles

R&B, Soul and Funk Drumming
-analysis of drummers like Zigaboo Modeliste and Clyde Stubblefield
-learn the role of the drums in this genre and some signature grooves
-learn to play classic songs in each style

Advanced Funk/Fusion Drumming
-analysis of drummers such as Steve Gadd and David Garibaldi
-learn licks and grooves in the style of these masters
-learn a song in this genre

Led Zeppelin Intensive
-in-depth analysis of John Bonham’s sound, feel, grooves and fills
-learn to play your favorite Zep tunes

Prog-rock Intensive
-analysis of Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy and Danny Carey
-focus on odd-meter grooves and fills
-learn to play a song in this genre

The Drummers of Frank Zappa
-analysis of Terry Bozzio and Vinnie Colaiuta
-learn basic and advanced polyrhythms found in Zappa’s music
-study the diverse styles that Zappa exploited
-techniques and exercises for mastering “The Black Page”

The Drummers of Steely Dan
-analysis of Bernard Purdie, Jeff Porcaro and Steve Gadd
-learn the classic grooves on your favorite Steely Dan tunes including “The Purdie Shuffle”

Lifting and Transcribing Drums
-develop your ears to identify rhythms you hear in your favorite music
-learn to break these rhythms down, count and write them
-chart out rock, pop and R&B songs so you can learn them faster
-great prep to become a drum teacher yourself!