Bettencourt Drumming

Cupertino, CA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

I am available for lessons at my home studio in Santa Cruz, at your place, or at Play Music Studios in Cupertino. Lessons are $35per half hour, $50 for 45 minutes, or $60.00 per hour. I have 44 years of drumming experience, most as a professional. I love playing, but my passion is teaching others which I have been doing for the past 25 years. I am great with kids, and I have taught many adults. I have numerous students who developed into pro drummers. My first 6 years drumming, I studied with a member of the San Francisco Symphony who was also the house drummer at Bimbos in SF. Under his tutelage I developed a mastery of classical drums while also gaining an understanding of the modern approach to the drum set. I have had the honor to play with some top-notch musicians over the years. My teaching method includes: - Reading all levels in both snare drum and full drum set - Focused snare drum and sticking technique - Focused drum set and “feet techniques” - How to “groove” - Dynamics - Fills, posture and relaxation techniques for greater speed and endurance One hour lessons include learning to “groove” with a bass player (via accompaniment on the Chapman stick). This is basically a bass and guitar on one neck. All levels are welcome and all styles are covered - rock, jazz, funk, swing, reggae, fusion, ska and more -- just ask! Professional experience includes drumming with The Square Roots, The Road Hogs, The Room Shakers, The Gravity, and many others.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

There has to be a future of great drummers! Without teachers, there aren't students! I love helping to create future great drummers!
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Location

Cupertino, CA 95015

Background check

Complete

Years in business

27

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

34

Reviews

26 Reviews
  • Wei H. Sep 22, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
  • Vincent O. Sep 21, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil was excellent at helping me pace my lesson and pick up techniques without a hitch. Would definitely come back to do it again!
  • Will S. Sep 7, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    He was well prepared for the first lesson and incredibly engaged from the beginning. I am looking forward to my next lessons.
  • Hana O. Sep 1, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review Updated
  • Verified Review
    Neil was terrific with our seven-year-old son. It was my son's very first drum lesson and Neil had a great, quiet energy that kept my son engaged for the full hour! My son is definitely even more enthusiastic about the drums after his lessons with Neil. I was worried that formal lessons at this age would dampen his enthusiasm, but Neil clearly has experience with students this age. My son has been practicing every day without being told and seems to have gained confidence and has an outlet for his crazy energy!
  • Natasha S. Aug 26, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil is a wonderful teacher who brings excitement to the lessons. His encouragement and patience really create a great learning environment.
  • Anuj D. Jul 28, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil has been a great teacher - 1 week in, and I'm hooked!
  • Steve H. Jun 15, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil has been awesome and I have learned so much since I started taking drum lessons with Neil about a year ago. I had been a recreational drummer for many years but was lacking guidance to take my drumming to the next level. Neil has a great program that focuses on reading music, playing rudiments and learning various drum beats for rock, funk and more. Neil also play bass, which has been a great accompaniment for practice sessions. In addition, Neil has given me great insights into practicing better with my band, tips for playing live and how to become a better musician in general. Very highly recommended!!
  • Matthew G. May 5, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil is clearly a skilled and knowledgable drummer across a range of styles. He'll improve the playing of any drummer.
  • Dave S. May 4, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Neil tailors his approach and material to his student. He is also patient -- but without lowering his expectations or allowing the student to lower theirs. And his obvious enthusiasm for the art of drumming comes across in every session.
  • Mala S. Mar 12, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Great teacher!!
    Great teacher!!
  • Samantha C. Mar 10, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    First Lesson
    Great first lesson! Felt very relaxed and shared a few good laughs with Neil. Definitely recommend this drummer for lessons
  • Vineet K. Mar 6, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Amazing teacher
    Drumming. Amazing teacher with great connection with students! Very strongly recommend.
  • Daniel Y. Mar 2, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Devoted and skillful teacher with warm heart !
    The teacher even spent his own time and money to get large print music sheets for my son because of his special need. Technically , The teacher is very competent too!
  • Elisa G. Mar 1, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Drum lessons
    Neil is very patient with my son and makes sure he has a great time while learning. He is a great music teacher and I recommend him for anyone wanting to learn to play!
  • Candy M. Feb 1, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Just keep doing it!
    Neil is so encouraging and enthusiastic. I have a lot of fun at my lessons and he always pushes me. When I think I can't do something Neil says, "Just keep doing it! You're creating neural pathways" and that's always a good reminder for me to be patient with myself. Drumming is something I always dreamed of doing and his support and patience is helping me meet this goal!
  • Yoni D. Jan 24, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Teacher no 1
    Neil is the best teacher ever! Smart, sharp, and full of patients. Highly recommended!
  • Taryn D. Jan 16, 2017
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Thank you!!!
    My son is really enjoying working with Neil! Neil gives us great feedback after each session. He is very patient with my son and also very encouraging.
  • Kuan-Cheng L. Dec 6, 2016
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Best teacher ever
    Neil is really an awesome and patient teacher. I am really lucky to have him as my instructor!
  • Amanda N. Aug 9, 2016
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
  • Sapna G. Jul 1, 2016
    Drum Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    just awesome....
  • Robin A. Jun 18, 2016
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    I've had two lessons so far with Neil, and he impresses me as an authentically positive and patient man and teacher. As an 'over 50' person and just learning snare (and later the set), I've been happy his method of teaching matches my learning style. He listens to what I feel I need to learn my best (and stay motivated through the times I'm not feeling confident), and he adjusts whatever he had planned to meet my needs. I think I've also improved in just a couple of weeks, as a result. Yay! I look forward to many more lessons with Neil, and to much more growth as a budding embryo drummer!
  • Leo L. Apr 6, 2016
    Drum Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
  • Rob W. Feb 19, 2016
    I have known Neil Bettencourt for a lifetime. I first took notice of his outstanding musical skills when I was at a school orientation program. Neil was in the back, on the drum riser and playing his kit with passion and confidence. I knew I was listening to a world class player. Neil's technical skills are stellar. He taught me the fundamentals, making them easy to understand--but he gave me great insight on complex rhythmic structures, dynamics, feel, groove, and most importantly playing well in a band environment. We spent many, many hours studying and appreciating great musicians and learning ourselves how their approaches to playing uplift the texture, tension and excitement of the works being played. I cherish those lessons as well as the opportunities to record with him over the years. I have looked up to him since that day many years ago, and I still look up to him today. Neil will no doubt guide you toward a better understanding of drumming and music--one to last you a lifetime.
  • Kyla H. Feb 17, 2016
    Neil is an amazing drummer and teacher! He started me off in high school on a practice pad (and anything else I could get my sticks on), he helped my buy a killer kit, and got me thoroughly addicted to drumming of all flavors. Even as a teenager just starting out, Neil always treated me like a completely capable equal. He is totally laid back but somehow always manages to get you so excited about drumming and eager to learn more. He is also highly encouraging, and keeps you on point, challenging you to constantly improve. Of course he taught me the basics, but interspersed that with so many new styles and techniques at the perfectly tailored pace to make me never lose interest. He taught me how to sight read and work through complex pieces, how to improvise like a boss, how to play with other musicians, and rock all sorts of crazy time signatures. Learning how to play so many different styles of drums also gave me a beautiful window into whole worlds of new music that I have carried with me far beyond my kit. I am so grateful for the skills he taught, but also for my ever-developing love and understanding of music that only a great teacher can plant.
  • James J. Feb 11, 2016
    I’m not a drummer, but have played in many bands with Neil and he is simply the best drummers I’ve ever played with. He is an expert with dynamics, holding a solid tempo, poly-rhythms, odd time signatures and is fluent in all styles of music. With his finely tuned and trained ear creative jam sessions flow beautifully with this very intuitive musician. He’s patient, well spoken and loves to teach. Neil’s passion for excellence in music and love for performing at his best is infections and inspiring. Playing with Neil has helped me become a better bass player and improved all-around musician as well.
  • Lisa J. Feb 8, 2016
    Neil's breadth and years of experience make him an exceptional teacher. He has experience with adults and kids and works well with both. He is well-versed in many styles of music; classical, rock, funk, Afro-Cuban, and more. His best trait as a teacher, in my opinion, is that he is able to explain/demonstrate things in multiple ways and doesn't give up until you "get it". A bonus is that he plays bass, so you have opportunities to apply and practice what you've learned in a genuine, playing situation.

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Yes, $60 per hour, $50 for 45 minutes, and $35 for 30 minutes.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Work out scheduling, and what level the student is at so I can provide proper materials.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
6 years studying with the drummer percussionist with the San Francisco symphony.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Years of playing made me comfortable as a teacher. I'm patient, and that fits with being a solid teacher. My friends and family were asking me to teach them, and it became my profession.
What types of customers have you worked with?
All ages, from beginners to the most advanced players.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Every student is different, find a versatile teacher such as myself that can adapt to every students learning needs.