Happy Drumming Percussion Instruction
It’s free with no obligation to hire
Hired 30 times
23 years in business
Photos and Videos
Interested musical styles
Gary was easy to engage and work with and just in our two lessons gave me some important tips that I've already incorporated into my drumming. I would keep up lessons but had have to put them on hold for a while due to some unexpected life events.Jan 10, 2020VerifiedHappy Drumming Percussion Instruction's reply
Thanks, Jason! Keep on rockin’. Whenever you want to get back into lessons, let me know and I’ll make room for you.
Gary set up and tuned the drums and gave my son a lesson. It was very worthwhile. The drums sound much better now, and my son is excited to practice what he learned. Thanks, Gary!Jan 9, 2020VerifiedHappy Drumming Percussion Instruction's reply
Thanks, Angie! It was a pleasure to work with you and meet your family. Your son picked right up on what I was teaching him and could play several rock drum grooves immediately. He has all the makings of a future stellar drummer!
Gary has given me lessons since I first started drumming when I was twelve years old- he is a fantastic musician and has been a great friend to me over the years. Lessons are always fun, Gary has been a big part of making me love drums. Today, I've graduated high school, and am recording an album with my band, Flies with Buffalo, mostly thanks to my years of lessons.Jun 28, 2011Happy Drumming Percussion Instruction's reply
Bryce is one of those students who absorbed everything I could teach him and was soon ready for something bigger. He just kept getting better and better, and he makes me so proud! Way to go, Bryce, you’re the real deal!
Gary is a wonderful drum teacher and just a great guy! Very laid back and patient! We always have a great time during lessons, laugh alot, and learn alot without even realizing it. Gary has a great sense of humor too, which is always a big plus! He has been the perfect teacher for my daughter since she is very shy, and refused to play in front of anyone BUT Gary! Now she'll play while others listen from another room (making progress here!). And thanks to Gary, she plays exceptionally well! If you are looking for a drum teacher....stop here! You've found THE one! Thanks for being you, Gary! You're the best!Jul 1, 2011Happy Drumming Percussion Instruction's reply
Amy, you rock! And so does your daughter!
Gary is a drum teacher who deeply cares about his students beyond just their drumming. He has a wide variety of music, using many of the classic rock bands to teach the concepts. He encourages his students to meet their goals at the rate comfortable to each individual. Our son has taken lessons for 2 1/2 years from Gary.Jul 5, 2011Happy Drumming Percussion Instruction's reply
Thanks, Meridith. Your son was so talented and eager to learn, I couldn’t help but enjoy every minute of lessons with him!
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?It's not complicated. I charge by the month, not by the hour. The majority of my students do four half-hour lessons per month at $80. That breaks down to $20 per half-hour lesson. For one-hour lessons, or for two people in the same family each doing a half-hour lesson, I charge $140 per month, which comes out to $35per lesson. For setting up a drum set, tuning it, and teaching one half-hour lesson (at someone's home), I charge $75 (tuning & setup only: $60). Also, my scheduling system confuses some people, but it's not that complicated either. I teach 4 lessons per month, but some months will have 5 Mondays or Thursdays or whatever. I may or may not teach on the “5th days,” depending on student interest or need. For example, if your lesson is on Mondays and there are 5 Mondays in a particular month, we'll do lessons on the first through the fourth Mondays, and either skip the 5th Monday, use it for makeups, or do an extra lesson at the regular rate.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?I listen to a lot of music in many styles, constantly looking for new songs and rhythmic variations to teach my students. My job as a drum/percussion instructor is twofold: to keep up my own skills, and to transfer those skills to my students. I take both parts quite seriously. Beyond that, what follows is the detailed format for my teaching (but please be aware that I try hard to teach each student as an individual, so there is never a one-size-fits-all approach). Stage 1: Reading music, using a metronome, playing simple snare patterns, with an emphasis on stick control, counting rhythm. Stage 2: More complex music reading, snare patterns and dynamics, including basic accent patterns, basic rudiments, foot-pedal bass drum; more advanced stick control exercises. Stage 3: Syncopation, ties, quarter/eighth/sixteenth note patterns, more complex accent patterns (snare/bass) and rudimental studies. Stage 4: Snare/bass/tom combination beats, simple rock beats on snare/bass/cymbal or closed hi-hat, playing along with recordings. Stage 5: more complex rock beats, adding the foot hi-hat and crash cymbal, more complex syncopation, half-time feel, tom fills, 6/8 time, odd meter rhythms, playing along with simple recordings, jamming with me (drum set/hand percussion or guitar). Stage 6: simple ad-libs, increasingly complex entire songs with main beats, combination beats, fills and crashes, dynamics, hi-hat splashes, playing along with recordings, more advanced odd meter rhythms, jamming with me (drum set/hand percussion or guitar). Stage 7: Jazz beats, Latin rhythms, more advanced odd meter rhythms, more complex ad-libs, playing along with more complex recordings, jamming with me (drum set/hand percussion or guitar). Also: Depending on the student’s interest, I will begin teaching hand percussion at some point (djembe, congas, bongos, percussion toys)—various hand drum sounds and how to make them and combine them for simple rhythmic patterns, gradually becoming more complex; also, playing along with recordings, jamming with me (hand percussion or drum set or guitar), playing at drum circles.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?MUSIC EDUCATION: Age 10-12—school band, snare drum, reading music, rudiment studies, percussion instruments Age 12-14—junior high school band, snare lessons with percussionist Bill Roberts (Denver Symphony); also started learning drum set, playing along with recordings, played with first rock band Age 15-18—high school band, first serious garage rock bands, becoming advanced at rock drum set, wrote first song Age 20-21—studied music at college (Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado)—piano Age 22-23—began playing drums in church bands (gospel, country, soft rock, pop) Age 24—studied jazz and Latin drumming styles Age 25-present—various bands (see below) Age 30—began learning guitar BANDS: Steve Scheller Trio (jazz), 2011-14—drums, percussion Cathedral Jones (classic rock, blues), 2010-13—drums, percussion Night Shift (country, country-rock, classic rock), 2004-09—drums Midnight Dawn (country and classic rock), 2002-03—drums Mighty Quinn (alt-country, folk-rock, country-rock), 2001-03—drums, percussion Kenny Penny Trio (country, jazz, classic rock), 1999-2000—drums, percussion Manitou Springs drum circles, 1997-present—djembe, congas, all types of percussion Colorado Springs area church worship bands, 1991-present—drums/percussion, guitar Denver church bands (country-rock, pop, jazz, rock, gospel), late 1970s-80s—drums, guitar Denver church orchestra, late 1970’s-80s—drums, percussion, marimba, vibraphone MUSICALS I’ve played drums and percussion for: Footloose (Attitudes Academy Charter School) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Attitudes) Lion King (Attitudes) Godspell (St. Mary’s High School) Sister Act (First Company, First United Methodist Church, Colorado Springs) Once On This Island (Carolyn Ford theater group, also Attitudes) Clue (Carolyn Ford theater group) TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Drums and hand percussion lessons: Graner Music, Colorado Springs, 1999-2007 1999-2000: average 20 students per week 2001-07: average 50 students per week Attitudes Academy Charter School, Colorado Springs 2001-05 - group percussion lessons, 25 students Pitt’s Drum Shop, Colorado Springs, 2007-8 - Average 35 students per week Colorado Music Studios, Colorado Springs, 2008-11 - Average 20 students per week Teaching from my home, Colorado Springs, 2012-present - Average 10 students per week Looking to expand to 25 or more students per week SKILLS: Snare drum, drum set, congas, djembe, bongos, and various types of hand percussion instruments, from cowbell, tambourine and triangle to spoons, washboard, rainstick, kokoriko, shekere, vibraslap, and many others. STYLES: Rock, jazz, blues, country, fusion, rudimental drumming, progressive (odd-meter rhythms) and drum circle styles.