Rock Drumming System with Jared Falk

After watching the Rock Drumming System (affiliate link) and working out of the workbooks, I was a bit disappointed. It’s not a bad professional drum course, but it pales in comparison to Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link). Ironically, the same company produces both courses.

The course came out many years ago, when video drum lessons were new. In fact, it was the pioneer of DVD drum courses.  It was an excellent course during it’s time. As video drum lessons have evolved and standards became higher, this course has become somewhat obsolete.

At the same time, there are some great things to learn from this course. In my opinion, it’s great for people who just want to focus on rock. The course contains lots of patterns, fills, and tips that any drummer would find useful.

As a drum teacher, I believe in the importance of a solid drumming foundation. If I were starting drums all over again, I’d use a more complete professional drum course, such as Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link) or Learn and Master Drums with Dan Sherrill (affiliate link). Because they go deeper in the the subject of drumming as a whole, I feel that you will get more out of them.

Once you have a solid foundation, this drum course will be great supplement to help you focus on rock. I personally believe that becoming a great rock drummer doesn’t necessarily require a drum teacher (affiliate link). There are so many rock drum books and videos out there that are full of some great information. One of my favorite books is Rockin’ Bass Drum (affiliate link) by Charles Perry. This book taught me a lot (and still does).

If you’re set on this course, I’d say get it, but if you really want a great course that covers a variety of rock styles, check out Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link).

Review of Mike Michalkow’s Drumming System, Part 4

As a drum teacher, I use the Drumming System (affiliate link) in conjunction with my lessons, but only with certain students. As I’ve said before, it’s not the right tool for everyone. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad investment. In fact, I believe it was one of the best investments I have made in a drumming educational product.

As a drum teacher, I attempt to cover every aspect of playing the drums in great detail. I also customize the lessons for each student based on their goals and learning style. Regardless, most drum students benefit from supplementary learning material. The beauty of supplementary learning material is that a student might hear or see something I taught them, taught in a different way, and then they master it.  Therefore, with some students, I use the Drumming System (affiliate link) as a supplement to the lessons I teach them.

If I have a student who is very serious about taking their drumming to the highest level possible, I strongly recommend that they purchase it and work with it.  Students who are looking to major in music in college, play drums professionally, and/or teach drums have really benefited from this course. Since the majority of my drum students tend to be hobbyists, I only suggest it if it seemed like a good fit for them. Truthfully, this course is hardcore. If you are currently taking drum lessons, this might a great supplement for you.

On a side note, I gained a great respect for Mike Michalkow as a drummer and a teacher through watching the DVD’s and working out of the books. His approach to teaching drums has given me some fresh ideas for my students.  I was so impressed with him that I’ve actually ordered all of his other courses.

Learn more about Mike Michalkow’s Drumming System (affiliate link).

Professional Grunge Drumming

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has some great grunge drumming lessons. In fact, I’ve never actually knew of lessons being taught on this style of music until I saw this.

Grunge rock began in late 1980’s and was very popular through the early to mid 1990’s. Bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam popularized this music.

It became known as the “Seattle sound”: Sloshy, heavy, grungy 1 bar and 2 bar patterns.

Pearl Jam

One memory of grunge music that I will never forget is the first time I saw the video for the song, “Alive”, by Pearl Jam. I was in awe of the drummer, David Abbruzzese. His sound was very powerful and incredibly clear. He also played with great fluidity. I still work to emulate his fluidity around the drum kit today.

Check out the video:

Nirvana

I was in middle school during the birth of grunge music and was heavily influenced by it. Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York album was a CD that I regularly played. (Remember CD’s?) Nirvana’s bestselling hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” had a huge impact on my generation. I truly believe that this video captures the essence of grunge.

Check out the video:

Improving Your Skills

The Drumming System (affiliate link) has grunge drumming beats for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.

  1. The beginner beats sometimes have no cymbals in them. This was very popular in the music.
  2. Intermediate beats are a bit more challenging with addition sixteenth notes on the snare and bass drum, plus fills at the end of the beat. Again this was very popular with grunge drumming. Most importantly, they need to be played with a “sloshy” sound.
  3. Advanced beats are so recognizable. They add broken up hi hat patterns, open hi hat patterns,  and sixteenth note triplets on the hi hat.

The actual beats in the style aren’t that technically difficult. The important thing is to develop that feel of this music.

The Best Age to Start Drum Lessons

Best Age to Start Drum Lessons

From time to time, I get calls and emails from people around the country asking about the best age to start drum lessons. There is no right answer to this, but here are some general guidelines that might help you make the right decision for you and your child:

  1. For most children, the best age to start drum lessons is 8 years old. By this age, they are used to the routine of school and doing homework (hopefully). They are also developing a better sense of mind-body awareness by this age.
  2. For children younger than 8 years old, I highly recommend group music classes, such as Kindermusik, where they can interact with other kids. Even if you put your child in an excellent music class, they still might be eager to take private drum lessons.
  3. There are some children, younger than 8 years old, that can handle the focus of private lessons. If you think your child is capable, I would suggest finding a drum teacher in your area and trying it out. Click here to find a drum teacher near you (affiliate link).
  4. To test the waters before investing in private drum lessons, try a professional drum course that shows you
    how to play drums. The The Drumming System (affiliate link) and Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) are two incredible video drum courses.
  5. Another option is to buy a small, cheap drum set, and let your child just bang away. This can include having them play along to their favorite songs. Although they won’t be learning any formal skills, they will be exploring their own creativity and learn how to be proactive. Many great drummers have started this way.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

A word of caution: If your child starts taking private drum lessons and is truly unable to stay focused and keep up with practicing, it might turn them off from music completely. Therefore it’s important to be very sensitive to how they respond to lessons, if you decide to go that route.