Who was your first drum clinician?


Gold Member
Tomorrow I am going to a drum clinic to watch Kenny Aaronoff. It's my first clinic . . . I figured I'd ask: who was the drummer at the first clinic you ever went to?
Kenny Aronoff, February 1990, with about 20 others in the room. He blew our minds with his righteous chops, then proceeded to tell us his story of getting—and keeping—the Mellencamp gig by keeping it simple. You're gonna have a great time!


Junior Member
My first clinic was Kenny Aronoff! Calgary, Canada, 2003 or 4.

He was great. I'd only been drumming about a year by then, and Kenny's clinic made me want to practice and get better. He's a great dude.


Silver Member
Chad Smith at the Drummers Collective in NYC, maybe two years ago.
Not a Clinic in the strict sense of the word, but a very enjoyable evening, some great stories, great answers to question, and of course great playing. A very personable guy.


Senior Member
The late Randy Castillo.

June of 1988.
I saw him around that time too. Maybe earlier on the Ultimate Sin tour. Played a school auditorium for a local drum shop. Got my Starfire head signed by him. I remember being super scared to ask for it. We had to go up to him behind the kit. The message he wrote on the head was like having the bible signed by Jesus. RIP


Joe Morello at a drum shop in Irvington NJ that is no longer there .... the name escapes me at the moment ... but Joe used to teach there

probably '88 - '89 or so.... don't quite remember the year either

Joe mumbled through most of it as if he didn't care to be there.... then played a blazing solo

there were some good conversations with Joe when about 5 or 6 of us stuck around after the clinic


Silver Member
Now that I think about it, I've only been to 2 in-store drum set clinics. The first was Billy Cobham at LaSalle's music in Watertown Square (MA) in 1985. He handed out copies of a hand written solo transcription in 9/8. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Someone asked him about how he dealt with odd time. Basically he said, "it's like 4/4 with everything else tacked on." Now I don't remember if he said that's how he first dealt with them or if it were his general concept at that point. Someone else asked him about the chances of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra getting back together. He said, "About the same chance as the Arabs and Israelis!" He showed some stuff on pad, answered some questions and then did a solo. I was expecting it to be very explosive and it turned out to be a lot more subtle and groove oriented. Quite impressive.

Two years earlier in '83 I did go to Zildjian Day in Boston at the Berkley Performance Center. It had the star studded lineup of Larry Londin, Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Louie Bellson, Steve Gadd & Ralph MacDonald. That was awesome drummer overload and although each of the artists had a Q & A portion (with the exception of Louie), I'd put it in a different category than a store drum clinic.
Well, the clinic went great. It was great to watch Kenny play and talk about... everything under the sun, really. He got on this health and fitness tangent that went on for about a half hour and that was kind of funny to me. For some reason I get the feeling that drumming wasn't as natural for him as it is for some people, and I know he has worked his tail off to get where he has, so yeah. Like many people said, I had a great time and learned a lot. It makes me want to get my crap together and practice more. Be more active as a musician.


Gold Member
My first clinic was Will Calhoun back in about 2006. He had the most amazing sounding kit, and spent most of the time talking about the time he spent in Africa learning indigenous music. I also recall him talking about recording himself playing to a click to see how quickly he can lock in; something I still practice today.

I saw him again last year and ended up buying his Ambient ride he used on that clinic.



Gold Member
Would have been Sandy Genarro from Cyndi Lauper's band in Jackson, MS. I also met Bill Ludwig III, who was just awesome as well. I had a great time that evening and remember a large part of it.