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).

Review of Mike Michalkow’s Drumming System, Part 2

I get many emails from people asking me if the Drumming System (affiliate link) would be a good product for someone who is new to the drums. I truly believe that it depends on the person learning.

Knowing what I know now, as a professional drummer and a drum teacher, I had to think about whether or I not this course would lay a strong foundation for me if I were starting drums all over again.

For someone like myself, this would be the perfect course to learn drums with. It would be great for me because I am a self-starter and self-disciplined. I stick with things until I get them.

In reality, not everyone is like this. Therefore, starting out with a course like this could be overwhelming to a beginner. It might even turn them off of playing drums because it’s an incredible amount of material.

If you’re not self-disciplined, I would suggest NOT buying it. It doesn’t mean that I think it is a bad product. Again, it’s meant for someone who is self-disciplined.

Fortunately, the Drumming System (affiliate link) comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. Most people know whether or not this program is right for them within the first 30 days. Regardless, that guarantee takes away all the risk from you.

The material in the Drumming System (affiliate link) will give a beginner a very well-rounded and solid foundation in drumming. For most people, the pace that Mike Michalkow teaches at is be perfect for learning drums. He discusses the most complex techniques so calmly. thoroughly, and in great detail.

As I remember my early days of learning how to drum, I really struggled with fills. Mike Micahlkow has a very smooth step by step approach to fills. His approach would have helped me so much if I were starting drums all over.

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

Review of Mike Michalkow’s Drumming System, Part 1

After days of viewing the Drumming System (affiliate link) videos, analyzing what Mike Michalkow was teaching, and trying most of the exercises, I had a lot to say about it. Overall, it’s extremely thorough drum course. The drum course is incredibly detailed. My biggest complaints were that it’s not widely available at local musical stores and it’s not meant for certain types of learners.

No course, class, school, or teacher can cover everything. Regardless, this really covers the fundamentals of playing the drums in great detail. Mike Michalkow is a phenomenal teacher and the way he goes about teaching keeps you engaged. He teaches in a way that creates a relaxed and fun learning atmosphere. If you’ve played drums for any length of time, you know the importance of playing the drums in a relaxed manner. Mike Michalkow naturally helps facilitate this.

Although I didn’t think that any one DVD or subject was better than another, the DVD on drum fills really stands out in my mind. It was really organized. One of things that really impressed me about the drum fills DVD was the fact that you get 150 fills and it covers every skill level.

When it comes to grooves, he goes into very in-depth explanations of how to execute each one. This is extremely important for any student. Being able to play the notes of a beat is one thing, but being able to execute the feel correctly is something else. The rock drumming DVD’s were really well done because they went into the specifics of each style of rock. Learning basic rock beats are great, but it I haven’t found a drumming course that covers folk, alternative, grunge, punk, etc.

For many people, this a perfect course. Although it seems to be advertised as a course for beginners, there is a ton of material for drummers at every skill level. For the price, you can’t beat it.

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

Professional Folk Drumming

Please excuse my ignorance, but until I purchased the Drumming System (affiliate link), I never regarded folk drumming as anything more than rock beats. I learned a lot when I went through the section on this style of music. Fortunately, this has helped me as a professional drummer. I play drums for a variety of folk singer/songwriters, such as Pete Mroz, Brian Franke, and Andrea Nardello. Andrea’s latest album, My Aeroplane, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the American Roots – Adult Contemporary Folk category.

Folk music began in the 1950’s and became really prevalent in the 1960’s. Artists such as John Denver, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan really popularized folk music. Groups such as Simon and Garfunkel along with Peter, Paul, and Mary also helped set folk music in motion.

Folk drumming isn’t very technical. The beats serve their purpose for the music with very simple grooves. One feature that you will notice in classic folk music is a tambourine. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, singers would play a tambourine as they sang. Singers who have the ability to sing and keep time with a tambourine possess a very unique quality.  As a drummer you have the option of using a mounted tambourine in folk music.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) shows you how to play essential folk beats. Most of the beats are your basic rock beats with a mounted tambourine played in place of the snare drum. Even though the beats and fills that you play can be similar to rock, it is your feel that is gonna make it sound like folk music.  The best way to develop a good folk drumming feel is to play along to folk music

Several years ago, I saw Patty Griffin live in New York City. The show actually started with her drummer laying down the groove. Had I not known it was folk music, the groove he played would have felt like the beginning of a funk tune. One of the amazing things about playing drums is that so many of our beats can be used in so many different styles. I remember talking with Andrea Nardello before we were about to perform. She said that “folk” is a term that’s an umbrella for a variety of musical styles.

When people hear the term, “folk music”, it can have a certain connotation (acoustic guitar, mellow, slow). Lately the music industry has been using the term “Americana” to describe and market contemporary folk music. Regardless of what you call it, having a folk drumming vocabulary is essential to mastering this style. Be sure to check out the Drumming System (affiliate link).

Your Drum Practice Schedule and Routine

Here’s a copy of an email I sent to my private drum students several years ago. I had come to the painful realization that even though I knew how to play drums, I needed to get more structure and discipline in polishing my drum skills. I knew that once I got better at disciplined practice, so would my students. The Practice Routine Generator mentioned below, is part of Mike Michalkow’s Complete Drumming System (affiliate link).

Hey {student first name},

I’d d like to take this opportunity to apologize to you because I really didn’t practice drums much this week. I recently moved my drums into the kitchen so I could have a rewards system for myself…FOOD! Despite all the cooking I did this past week, I intentionally ignored the drum practice schedule and a drum book that was open to a page I was working on.

Aside from practice, I’ve been slacking with going to the gym as well. I’d like to say it is because I have been busy. The truth is I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I’m embarrassed because the gym is a 5 minute walk from my home.

So I’d like to make a promise to you: I will practice drums every time I go into the kitchen and I will go to the gym every day unless I am deathly ill.

It made me feel good to make that promise to you. I’ve learned through the years that when you make a promise to someone else, it really forces you to stay with it. When you follow through, you feel good about yourself.

Lately, I’ve come to the realization that I needed to better organize my drum practice schedule and routine. To help me get organized, I began using the practice routine generator and I love it.

Drum Practice Routine Generator

Just enter your name and email below.

First Name:
Your Email:
Your Skill Level:

[Read more…]

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.