I’m the Editor and creator of DrumSector.com where I document lessons and write on all-things drumming related.
Quality members of the drumming world provide regular articles and unique perspective on drum-related topics. I’ve benefitted by taking lessons from some of these drummers.
I also make gear recommendations based on my personal experience as a rock and jazz drummer.
How I Started Drumming
Before drumming, I was a guitar player and songwriter. I started playing the acoustic guitar at about age 19, and I loved it.
I seemed to have a natural inclination towards songwriting. A friend taught me a few basic major chords, and I start practicing my hand placement for those chords over and over.
Eventually, my fingers got used to playing those few chords. I realized I could write tons of songs just with a few chords!
I tried lead guitar a few times by learning the blues scale, but it was never a natural fit for me. I enjoyed humming along to a chord pattern and then eventually writing some lyrics that seemed to fit the vocal melody I was humming.
Years went by, and I played open mics and jammed with others on the guitar. An excellent guitar player, who was a friend, said one day, “you’re a drummer.” I don’t know how he knew that, but I trusted him because he was such a naturally gifted guitar player.
About a year later, I decided to order a cheap drum set, and it was delivered to my apartment. Luckily, soon after that, a friend musician said she knew a great drum teacher who had extra space in his studio. I called him because I needed to find a practice space.
I start paying 100.00 per month for rent, and I had a practice space I could access anytime inside a warehouse full of other practice spaces. It was perfect.
I immediately started taking lessons from my first teacher, who was a jazz drummer. He taught me the basics of reading drum notation with books like Syncopation, and Basic Drumming.
I didn’t go to music school, so learning from a well-schooled teacher was critical.
I was motivated and practiced consistently. I started searching for musicians to jam with and found them quickly in the East Bay of the San Francisco area.
A year later, I was playing some small gigs and writing original tunes with another guitar player-singer.
I knew drumming was for me because I liked to practice, and most of the drum theory I was learning made a lot of sense to me. There was something about anchoring a song or a band on the drums that I loved.
There is nothing like feeling you are 100% in the pocket as a drummer. Also, I love accenting and communicating with other musicians through my drumming. This is especially true in jazz, where you become accustomed to trading sections, soloing, and listening to others play their parts.
I started as a rock drummer, and now I primarily play jazz as an adult student. I’ve had several amazing teachers to help me along the way, and I still study with some of them.
You can always contact me with any questions or suggestions at Admin(AT)DrumSector.com.
Contributing Writers at Drum Sector:
John Dalton is a Boston based drummer, composer, bandleader, and educator. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He performs regularly as both a leader and a sideman. His modular ensemble “Spheres of Influence” has recently released their debut album, Indigo Skyline. You can find out more about him here : https://johndaltonspheresofinfluence.com
Otto Huber is a San Francisco Bay Area based drummer and educator. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from Northern Illinois University in 1993. He performs regularly with various Jazz ensembles and his own group The Midnight Blue Organ Trio. You can learn more about Otto here: https://ottohuber.com
Dave Fox is a drummer and educator located in the Boston area. He is Percussion and Jazz Department Head at Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton, MA and teaches percussion at MJ’s Music School in Waltham, MA. He performs nationally and abroad with three-time Grammy Award winner Tom Hambridge and his band The Rattlesnakes. He is a current member of The Stan Strickland/Josh Rosen Quaret, Boston Rock Legends The Stompers and The Gravel Project. When not performing as a sideman, he leads his own jazz group featuring Ken Clark on Hammond B-3 Organ, Bill Jones on Sax and Phil Grenadier on trumpet. He is an endorser of Vic Firth Drumsticks. You can find more about him here: www.davefoxdrums.com
Dylan Jack is a percussionist, composer and educator participating in multiple genres within the Boston music scene. As a performer, Jack divides his time between performing with some of the city’s top improvisers and leading his own quartet which has released two recordings of his own original compositions. As an educator, Jack teaches privately and is also an affiliated faculty member at Emerson College where he teaches The History of Jazz. www.DylanJackMusic.com
Steven Benedetto is a Boston based drummer, author, workshop facilitator/speaker and educator. He is a life long student of ‘all things drums’ performing regularly as a freelance artist within New England and beyond. In 2014, Steve created Respectful Beats to serve the elderly population with interactive drumming performances and has recently designed several online courses and ebooks to promote health and well-being for any aspiring drummer. You can find out more about Steve and his work here: https://www.respectfulbeats.com/meettheteam.