Ever taken a lesson with a famous drummer?

Moon4Sale

Member
So have you ever taken a lesson with a famous drummer? If so, who was it? And what personal exercises, methods, techniques and/or advice did they impart to you? Any and all details would be appreciated;)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
My prelude to taking a lesson with a famous drummer was playing in college jazz band under the direction of a gentleman who played trombone for Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson. After my first week of getting beat up playing with the band exposing my time issues, my reading issues, my interpretation issues, all my playing issues, he kinda' warmed up to me and took me under his wing. The man was a total hard-a$$ and if you weren't studying for your classes, you were practicing your instrument, period.

Fast forward a couple of years later and I took a lesson with Ed Shaugnessy from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Another guy of the same era who I have total respect for. Same thing though - totally broke me down and on three sheets of paper wrote some things I should be working on. This was years ago and I still work on those things. I would've loved to have continued but having just gotten married, all finances went into supporting living on our own. So as I learn new things, I just apply Ed's and my former jazz director's attitude toward improving and grab new stuff by the horns and really learn it. If anything, I learned from both of them that getting to play is a gift. There shouldn't be any reason why you can't do it to the best of your ability.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I studied privately for about 5 years with a drummer who worked and recorded with Maynard Ferguson among many others. He is/was a wonderful player, teacher and person. What an inspiration and resource.

Took about 8-10 lessons at the Drummers Collective with Rod Morgenstein, Kim Plainfield and Mike Clark. These were great as well.

Studied privately at a local University that is considered world class for orchestral and some jazz. Not famous people by any means in the general popular sense but extremely well known within their respective circles.
 

groove1

Silver Member
first post, Hi! In the 1960's I studied with Roy C Knapp senior, a great percussionist. His
students included Baby Dodds, Big Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Shelly Manne, Louie Bellson,
Bobby Rosengarden, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and so on........his teaching office wall was
covered with signed photos of more drummers thanking him for his assistance than I can
remember. He once told me that he learned more from them than they learned from him.
Anyways, after a year of private lessons with him (by audition) he suggested that I consider
playing weekends and having a day job. I took his advice and have had a wonderful life combining the benefits of both worlds. In my 60's, I still am havin' a ball! I was young
so he had a lot of advice to offer me but one important tip was always keep your sticks
up and ready to play again. In other words, on a bounced long roll for example, don't
be lifting the stick you just played with slowly to playing position while the other stick
is hitting, but get it back up right away. While I don't know his criteria for deciding on whether or not he would teach you, at the audition it was expected that you could play the 26 rudiments etc. He had me learn to play rolls with 3 and 4 bounces with each hand. Site reading was part of each lesson. Getting comfortable with mallet instruments was too. Remember, this was the 1960's, when high school band programs rarely had a set of vibes or a xylophone or marimba etc. A lot has changed in 45 years. If you haven't heard
of Roy C Knapp Sr, check him out online.
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
I had the privilege&honour of learning double kick drums with the master of double kick drums MR Virgil Donati(drum god)! :)&latin -jazz&free form improvisation off David Jones! :).
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
first post, Hi! In the 1960's I studied with Roy C Knapp senior, a great percussionist. His
students included Baby Dodds, Big Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Shelly Manne, Louie Bellson,
Bobby Rosengarden, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and so on........his teaching office wall was
covered with signed photos of more drummers thanking him for his assistance than I can
remember. He once told me that he learned more from them than they learned from him.
Anyways, after a year of private lessons with him (by audition) he suggested that I consider
playing weekends and having a day job. I took his advice and have had a wonderful life combining the benefits of both worlds. In my 60's, I still am havin' a ball! I was young
so he had a lot of advice to offer me but one important tip was always keep your sticks
up and ready to play again. In other words, on a bounced long roll for example, don't
be lifting the stick you just played with slowly to playing position while the other stick
is hitting, but get it back up right away. While I don't know his criteria for deciding on whether or not he would teach you, at the audition it was expected that you could play the 26 rudiments etc. He had me learn to play rolls with 3 and 4 bounces with each hand. Site reading was part of each lesson. Getting comfortable with mallet instruments was too. Remember, this was the 1960's, when high school band programs rarely had a set of vibes or a xylophone or marimba etc. A lot has changed in 45 years. If you haven't heard
of Roy C Knapp Sr, check him out online.
Welcome to Drummer World. What a great story, thanks for sharing!
 

Algorithm

Senior Member
I took a lesson with Navene Koperweis of Animals as Leaders when they came here on tour. I found out he was giving lessons via their Facebook page.

He signed my CD and taught me how to sustain precise control and stay relaxed at higher speeds. He also taught me some of his favorite blast beats that he uses. I was happy just to be there, it was a memorable experience.
 

DanJacobs

Member
I booked a 2 hour lesson with a named drummer a few years ago. Had a long drive to London and got a £60 ticket for entering the congestion charge zone - got the the venue 30mins late and didn't even touch the drum kit.
The guy sat at the drums and i just watched him play a few linear patterns - THEN he finished the lesson 15 mins early so he could go and have a cigarette!

I didn't learn a single thing and realised i had all the knowledge in my head, i just needed to spend more time practicing to better myself.
 
D

drumfreak1987

Guest
i visited my grandpa in new orleans all the time. about 5 years ago, for shits and giggles, i contacted stanton moore on his myspace to see if he was available for a lesson. he responded and we scheduled a date. i got to the drum shop an hour early talked to the salesman, sat down in the back with my pad and did some rudiments for the majority of the time. then the door opens and i hear the salesman say, "yo stan, how are ya, kid?", i looked around the corner and there he was chatting. he says, "i gotta give a lesson, this kid visiting from texas wants to hook up." the sales man says, "yeah nice kid, he's by the practice rooms, getting warmed up. he's got a good posture, and a solid handshake, so he's probably pretty talented. he's also nervous as shit-haha!" stanton says, "cool, easier dealing nervous than arrogant." i walk up to them and say, "mr. m-m-moore, i'm matt from h-h-houston, what a pleasure, you're my biggest influence!" he says "well thanks for using my funky second line licks out there in texas, keeping the sound alive." i almost passed out. we chat a little and make some jokes, then got down to it. he showed me some of his stickings, how to move them around the kit, jazzy ride cymbal patterns with ghost strikes on the snare. he said, "good, kiddo, real good" i felt ten feet tall! after the lesson, we jammed in the main part of the store with the owner of the shop. it was epic!!!
 
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dmacc_2

Well-known member
i visited my grandpa in new orleans all the time. about 5 years ago, for shits and giggles, i contacted stanton moore on his myspace to see if he was available for a lesson. he responded and we scheduled a date. i got to the drum shop an hour early talked to the salesman, sat down in the back with my pad and did some rudiments for the majority of the time. then the door opens and i hear the salesman say, "yo stan, how are ya, kid?", i looked around the corner and there he was chatting. he says, "i gotta give a lesson, this kid visiting from texas wants to hook up." the sales man says, "yeah nice kid, he's by the practice rooms, getting warmed up. he's got a good posture, and a solid handshake, so he's probably pretty talented. he's also nervous as shit-haha!" stanton says, "cool, easier dealing nervous than arrogant." i walk up to them and say, "mr. m-m-moore, i'm matt from h-h-houston, what a pleasure, you're my biggest influence!" he says "well thanks for using my funky second line licks out there in texas, keeping the sound alive." i almost passed out. we chat a little and make some jokes, then get down to it. he showed me some of his stockings, how to move them around the kit, jazzy ride cymbal patterns with ghost strikes on the snare. he said, "good, kiddo, real good" i felt ten feet tall! after the lesson, we jammed in the main part of the store with the owner of the shop. it was epic!!!
Fabulous story and heartwarming to read....
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
Some great stories here. Groove 1, if you are still lurking, when you were told to get a day job, was that hard to take? I am guessing it was like a reality check, which 90% of us probably could of used in our younger years. I was a stubborn one, not much natural talent but a whole lot of drive. I used to live drums 24/7, to the point of unhealthy obsession maybe. There was a local guy, Mark Rogers, who practiced 1/2 hour a day (to my 8 hrs) and to me, could do anything great, true natural, he sure pissed me off, lol.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
I took lessons over a year or so with Peter Erskine back around 1979 when he moved out to Encino in So Cal. Can't remember much except he totally tore apart my technique during the first lesson. In a nice way, that is He was a super nice guy. I was just full of bad habits, being mostly self-taught as to technique.

I stopped going because I realized I wasn't serious about jazz. I was always a rock kinda guy.
 

joshthedrumkid97

Senior Member
Ive been to a George Kollias (Nile) clinic where he gave advice about drumming.
I'm also going to start lessons with an awesome metal drummer Dave Haley (Psychroptic), he's also a great funk drummer
 

JRannefeld

Member
I recently started studying with Ernie Durawa here in Austin. Ernie studied with Roy C. Knapp in Chicago in the 70's. I'm a self-taught drummer with decent technique (books, DVDs, etc.) and have been playing 30 yrs. Have always wanted to find a teacher and finally made the call...

We're just getting started, but right off the bat he had me play singles and doubles with right hand lead and right foot playing quarter notes, then switched to left hand lead with left foot playing quarter notes. His comment to me, "you're a one-handed drummer..." So, basically working on my weak hand at home doing doubles and singles and I'm working some out of Master Studies. The last few lessons, I had him help me with a few things that were troubling me on specific songs that I was learning for a couple of bands I'm in.

I'm interested in working on some jazz independence so I believe we're going to start working through some books like Art of Bop Drumming/Advanced Techniques etc..

Here's Ernie's website/bio: http://www.erniedurawadrums.com/bio.htm
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I went to a Boxing Day party in '83 or '84 with my uncle over at Bill Ward's house. I was just a young teenager. He invited me and my sister to a room where he kept all his drum gear and some gold records, etc. He showed us his drum gear and I got to ask him a few questions about his gear and playing drums. I couldn't tell you exactly what he said to me, but it was quite an inspiration. He gave me a signed drum head that said "Best Wishes" and his signature. We had to leave early (I was with my parents too) so I didn't get to meet Ozzy. I was a huge Ozzy fan at the time. So a few days later I was practicing my drums and I broke the snare drum head. So, like an idiot I put on the one he signed for me. It was going to be used just that one time only, but I broke that one too after the second whack. It was truly depressing for me and I still kick myself in the a$$ when I remember what an idiot I was for using that head. He mentioned that he breaks them a lot and always has a spare snare drum ready to go, but I had no idea that they could break so easily. I couldn't tell you what brand it was. I use coated Ambassadors myself and beat the hell out of those things. Anyway, fast forward to this year. He was at my uncle's funeral and I thought about talking to him to see if he would sign my snare drum, but I knew it would be in bad taste so I left him alone and didn't bother him. It was great to see him there though. He is a great guy.
 

Nuka

Senior Member
Not a lesson but a workshop sure.

Gavin Harrison, Danny Cummings and Steve White.

I've also hung out with a fair few drummers...

Mike Pedicone (The Bled, MCR), Tuomas Lehtonen (Turisas), Frost (Satyricon), pretty much all of Lacuna Coil, andy Fox (Limehouse Lizzy) and loads more.

I know others will have hung out with other nammed drummers, I just thought I'd mention who I have is all :p

Not sure I could ever actually do a lesson with someone famous though... I wouldn't know who to have one with! xD

Sawka (Pendulum) would be pretty cool. As would Skaroupka (C.O.F).
 
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