What do you look for in clinics and masterclasses?


Junior Member
I'm going to be arranging some clinics and masterclasses in Surrey, and I was wondering what you think makes a good clinic/masterclass? Do you guys generally go to a clinic to see the drummer in action, or are there specific topics you want to learn about (chops, technique, industry knowledge, etc)? And who would you guys want to see?


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have been to a bunch of clinics, no masterclasses, and the thing I like the most is the time the drummers spend talking about their experiences and not so much chops. At the beginning of most they will play to a song or two just to wake every one up, but beyond that, it's very difficult to pick up a lot of technique in a setting like that.
Most have talked about their set up, they are there also to sell, and mention their sponsors. All of them have been very good at answering questions and hanging out afterward to sign autographs. You will find though that a few have done enough clinics that they will tell you what they will do rather than ask you for an agenda. All have been fun and informative. Also I have been to most that are free and a few that charge for entry.


Platinum Member
I enjoy more when drummers/musicians talk about their experiences or thoughts on music/life. I attended a "clinic" (more like an open forum) with Eddie Gomez and just listening to him talk about his time with Bill Evans was incredibly inspiring. I also attended an awesome clinic with Jerry Bergonzi bout improvisation and he actually played drums about 80% of the clinic, never even picked up a horn, that was kinda mindblowing jaja. It is also really nice when musicians talk about the realities/hardships/thruths of being a musician.


Platinum Member
Recently, so many clinics seem to be performances. I prefer a clinic that is also instructional. Here are a few clips from clinics that I found on youtube that I think are both educational and entertaining.

John Riley

Gavin Harrison

Michael Spiro

Johnny Vidacovitch

Thomas Pridgen

Dafnis Prieto

Steve Fidyk

Danny Gottlieb


I think that the problem with most of the youtube clinic clips (not the ones above of course) is that they only show the playing. The actual teaching is usually edited out.



Silver Member
I like hearing about how the clinician handled difficult situations in live performance. It's great
to walk away with ideas that are new to you that you want to work on. Chops or wowing the
audience never matters to me during a clinic or masterclass. I have attended both over decades. I'm getting old though...maybe younger cats want to see chops?


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I was at another last night and although he did play, he broke down everything we wanted, and answered every question and showed examples doing so. The drummer was Marko Djornjevic. Great guy.


Platinum Member
Nice collection of links there, Jeff. Notice that the clinicians don't necessarily deal with real advanced topics. Often they'll talk about pretty basic things half their audience will already know- I remember in a master class with Peter Erskine he had people playing time while singing In A Mellow Tone; Steve Lacy just worked with basic riffs; Randy Brecker explained how to play swing 8th notes; Rufus Reid just talked about playing a 12 bar blues- extremely familiar things to anyone high school level or above. It's a good approach- I like hearing a master explain something simple, and it reinforces the importance of fundamentals. Plus it will just be new information to a lot of people.