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 Classic Rock Drumming

Hats off to the Drumming System (affiliate link). Their is an entire DVD dedicated to classic rock drumming! This style of music is an interesting subject because when it was invented, it wasn’t classic, it was new. What we consider classic rock is really older rock. You can listen to radio stations and hear bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC, the Eagles, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, The Doors, and The Beatles. The list goes on and on.

As a drum teacher, I’ve had much success turning people on to this style of music who weren’t into it at first. The reality that my students eventually come to realize is that you need to understand older rock to understand contemporary rock. When a student of mine reaches a certain level in their playing, we begin working out of the Led Zeppelin Mothership – Drum Transcriptions Book (affiliate link).

As we get into John Bonham’s mind and learn songs note for note, I’ve witnessed some of the most dramatic progress in students. After finishing the Led Zeppelin Mothership – Drum Transcriptions Book (affiliate link), I never ever get a question from a student about any of the rock drummers of today. Interesting coincidence.

Call me biased, but I truly believe that John Bonham’s drumming style and sound is not only the foundation for much of today’s rock drumming, but today’s drumming as a whole, including hip hop.

The Drumming System (affiliate link) contains a variety of classic drum beats for a variety of levels.

  1. Beginner classic rock beats. Some of the greatest beats were really simple, but fit the music well.
  2. Intermediate classic rock beats. A lot of the beats are two bar patterns. The second bar is drastically different than the first bar. This was common with many classic rock bands.
  3. Advanced classic rock beats. These are beats taken from some famous classic rock songs. It’s fun to guess which beat goes with what song.

As with every style in drumming, listening is the most important aspect of learning it. In fact, I would suggest putting more time into listening with focused intention than practicing the rock beats of the past.

You rock!