Improving your 

ability to play drums



One can be over enthusiastic when offered a gig, especially young musicians entering the professional ranks. Without thorough vetting of the employer’s offer, the fee you agree upon can easily fall short after the expenses of the job are subtracted.

I wrote this following a discussion with a student who has been studying with me since the age of twelve. He is twenty two now and venturing into the professional ranks. He is becoming “in… Continue reading

It may seem an over simplification and sort of “touchy feely” when some use the words “kindness” and “gratitude” as it applies to their career.

Granted, there is a certain amount of focused intention, confidence and even boldness to move one’s career forward. When feelings of jealousy, resentment, undue self-importance color one’s attitude, even though these feelings/attitudes may not be voiced verbally, the results can be detrimental. 

As an art form, music universally causes the… Continue reading

The Jamie Faunt “Rhythm Course and Groove Course”

I met Jamie in the fall of 1987 after I had moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles. He had an office for “The Faunt School of Creative Music” located at Mad Hatter Studios where he held weekly meetings with his staff and conducted general school business. It was at Mad Hatter Studios where Jamie and I first met. Chick Corea owned Mad Hatter Studios. Jamie and… Continue reading

Announcing the release of “Moments” by Karla Kelly. Karla and I worked long on this project to bring it to you.

We hope you enjoy it.

Hard Copy CD: For a hard copy CD with the liner notes and cool graphic’s packaging:

For Digital Downloads:


In the iTunes Store you can leave a review.

Google Play:

For Streaming:

Spotify: Sign up here for free:


It is difficult for me not to be nostalgic about The Beatles and Ringo Starr. I grew up listening to the band and learned my early drumming skills cheerfully playing along to their recordings. Since Ringo came on the drumming scene with a very loud rim shot in 1963, I have had many conversations with fellow drummers about Ringo’s skills or lack of such.

To those who have mocked Ringo my retort has been, “how… Continue reading

I just finished a lesson with student and felt compelled to write about something I see and hear time and time again with drummers of all levels who have not learned how to “Play the Song”. In other words, be an accompanist.

Interestingly, most drum instruction does not take this up and that is unfortunate. Stress is given to rudiments, stick control, finger control, styles, licks, etc. The focus is mainly on technique and some aspects of rhythm but not the whole picture.

Examples of some drummers who know how to “Play the Song” are: Continue reading
The physical and mental problems associated with drug use are well enough documented. My purpose here is to zero in on what it does to a drummer’s abilities. What I am about to tell you, I know from personal experience and observations of students and fellow drummers for over 40 years. When I say “drugs” I am also including alcohol as a drug.

Part of the rhythmic skill of a drummer is mental “time sense” and it is the most important natural ability a drummer has. Time sense is the drummer's ability to perceive the even space between beats continuously and where the center of the beat is. Under the influence of drugs that ability is damaged. Natural steady time becomes uneven. Residual effects of drug use continue to effect the time sense. Continue reading
Have you ever heard the saying "you either have it or you don't" or "you are born with it or you are not"? What is it?

For some, it is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words, only felt. I have thought about this for many years and I often wondered what it was.

I remember falling asleep during my early childhood years listening to the washing machine in the kitchen from my bedroom. Little did my mother know how much her doing laundry at my bedtime would later affect my life. Continue reading
There has been a lot of debate that I have heard over the years as to what is “Proper Drum Technique”. There are many variations of grips combined with various finger and arm techniques. I have seen drummers switch techniques several times within a song in order to execute various dynamic changes and tempo changes. I have done the same. Continue reading
Drumming has been with us since man developed primitive societies. It served as a means of communication over distances as well as the foundation for more formalized expressions of sound which developed into musical forms that have sustained cultures up to the present time. Drumming originally started with just the hands creating rhythm with or without sticks.

This was true all the way up to the early part of the 20th century until "trap sets" began to appear. Drummers began adding bass drums with pedals and that got the feet involved. Continue reading
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Copyright © 2012 TOM MENDOLA