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The Tune Up

Tips that will lead to better musicianship


Drummers are often asked to play in different styles. Some we are familiar with. Some we're not. Reggae, jazz, blues, punk, ska, death metal-the list can go on. Sooner or later, we're going to be asked to incorporate those styles into our playing. What do we do when we're asked to step out of our stylistic comfort zone? Here  are four tips that will help you feel more confident.

* Listen To The Music*
Listen to the music in the style that challenges you. Books and videos can only go so far. What are the elements inside the music that inspire the drummer to play what he or she plays? Listening helps you pick out the grooves and familar sounds that define that special style. 
    * Define The Music *
 Define the attitude of the music you're trying to learn. Is it heavy? Is it soulful? Is it bouncy? Come up with adjectives that describe how the music is making you feel. Your body will follow the direction that your adjectives are pointing to.
Pay special attention to the dynamics. How loud is the snare? Is the bass drum a predominant sound in the music? What about the cymbals? Do they sound like they punctuate a phrase, or flow along with the song? Different styles of music ask us to make certain sounds louder than others. Blending the volume of different parts of the kit helps us capture the unique sound and feel of the music we're studying.  
* Blend The Music *
Work on the balance and feel of the main grooves first, and then go for the fills and licks. You will be establishing a firm foundation that will give you the comfort necessary to create authentic special effects that sound convincing to you and to your audience.
There's an order here. Listen To The Music. Define The Music. Blend The Music. Organize how you work on the music. Invest some time into this approach. You'll feel better about learning new styles, and you'll be one step closer to sounding great in new territory.
Or contact me:

Julianne Stewart
Vice President















Have you ever had an epiphany? It's one of those Aha! moments in your life where all your values, thoughts and actions fall into place. On December 20, 2012 at about 4:00 am, I had one of those moments.


December had been a time of deep reflection for me. I had been pondering about what Experience Drums was really about. What were we really doing on the site? Where were we headed? What do we ultimately want to achieve?


And at about 4:45am, the answer finally arrived.


Experience Drums was, and is about creating community.


Sure, we want to help drummers become the best that they can be. We do want to create programs in schools that help students grow as musicians. And yes, we want to help bring people into the shops of music retailers. But the real reason we want to do all those things, is to bring people together. We are about setting up programs that create community.


We want to teach people to support each other with their gifts. We want to teach people to respect each other. We want to teach people to give to each other. And we want to do all that using music as the medium.


Schools, colleges, community centers, education seiminars, places of worship, music retailers, group lesson programs. That's where we will be. That's where we'll do the work that Experience Drums was meant to do.


Oh, dont worry. The site will keep doing what it's doing; continuing to teach drummers how to unlock their potential, develop their unique voice and learn life lessons through studying their instrument. The community starts here.


But the community that I'm truly dreaming about is going to go beyond the computer screen. It's going to come to your town, up close and personal! We're looking forward to building on December's epiphany and creating those programs all through this new year and for many years to come.


Happy 2013 to everyone, and may you all enjoy the rush of your own epiphanies in this upcoming year.



Evan's sig

Evan Pollack



Daniel Glass
Holy Cow! Daniel Glass' DVD, The Century Project - 100 Years of American Music From Behind the Drums, has been taking the world by storm. Daniel's up for DVD of the Year in this year's Drummie's Awards, sponsored by DRUM! Magazine. In addition, Modern Drummer is featuring Daniel in their January 2013 issue. How could we possibly take his interview down now! We'll keep the promotion going for Daniel's great work for another two weeks. Check out Daniel's website:


For the second half of January, we will be featuring our good friend, Steve Fagiano, whose personal story speaks of mentorship and the power of investing in people. We hope that his interview brings him good luck, as he applies to perform at PASIC 2013!


Check out Steve's website: 


 Triangle B

The month of January is usually the start of all good things to come, so here's what Evan and the Experience Drum team will be starting!


*We'll be working hard to plan out our Meet and Greet East Coast Promotional Tour. (stickers, tee-shirts, promotional literature)  Evan and Julianne are going to have to buy more luggage!


*We'll be putting together our new Teacher's Resource Page that will provide private drum teachers with the resources they need to help grow their business and to make a powerful difference in the lives of their students.


*We'll be posting more You Tube clips that demonstrate natural motion on the drumset.


*We'll be uploading many more articles with audio files, so that you can read and hear what's going on.


*We'll be crunching some numbers and getting ready to advertise in Drumhead Magazine. (Wow! A big and important step for us.)


Keep your eyes posted every week to see something new on the site!




*Saturday, January 19th* - Evan will be the judge of Drumfest for the Percussive Arts Society's Annual Drumfest Competition, hosted by the Virginia/DC Chapter. This competition focuses on young players performing with play-a-long tracks, followed by a three minute contestant-composed drum solo. Drumfest will also feature two separate clinics by two of the finest clinicians in the DC area, Marty Knepp and Greg Twombley! To find out more about the Drumfest competition, please go to:


*Sunday, January 20th*- Blue Groove Soundz (5852 North Washington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22205) (Tel No: 703-270-9075 )  Time: TO BE ANNOUNCED



Evan will be putting on a free How to Listen to a Record Clinic. Vinyl is coming back! And Experience Drums wants to show people how to listen and play along with the music - no matter what medium is being used. Plenty of listening, playing and records to go around!




Check back at for schedule changes and updates!