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ear The Tune Up
Tips that will lead to better musicianship

Picture this. You've been taking music lessons for about a year and things have been going swimmingly. You've been practicing your technique, studying different styles and mastering your favorite songs. In the basement, by yourself, you're on your way to becoming a rock star!


One day, in between practices, you receive your "first call" to jam with some friends in the neighborhood. 

Initially you feel ecstatic! But within three minutes, thoughts start to flood your mind. What songs will I be playing? What do I bring to the session? What if mess I up in front of others? These types of questions can make anyone think twice about saying yes to this opportunity. Wanna feel less stress at the first jam? Here are four suggestions that will help you do just that.


*FEEL FREE TO DO SOME RESEARCH - This is the first time that you will be getting together with other musicians. You might have some questions. So, ask 'em! Two common concerns usually pertain to what songs will be covered and who else will be at the jam session. By asking for clarification, you'll begin to develop a mental picture of what it's like to collaborate with others.


*GET TO KNOW THE GANG - Jamming is about musical and personal relationships. When you first show up, put your gear down and say hi! If you recognize some folks, clap them on the back. If you see some new people, shake hands and try to get to know them. Jamming is communal. You've been invited to be part of a community. Take the initiative to become a part of it.


*MISTAKES ARE NO BIG DEAL - Jam sessions tend to be finger painting classes for musicians. In other words, you can make mistakes.  Some of the greatest bonding moments occur when a musician forgets the lyrics, plays a bum note or blows an ending. Everybody tends to laugh. Everybody lets their guard down. Everybody shares a train wreck story. Before you know it, you'll be playing that song again. Only this time, the specter of fear will be gone and you'll be able to be your true musical self, mistakes and all.


*LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES AND EARS - If you are new to the jamming scene, look around and get a sense of the roles people are naturally falling into. One person might be calling out the tunes. One person might be improvising riffs throughout the songs. One person might be laying back and simply playing rhythm. Take a look and take a listen to this situation. If you do, you can find your place to make your contribution. Don't worry. Let this first session be a learning experience. You'll be able to expand your role in future get-togethers.


The first-time jam is a special experience. It will teach you how to work with others and it will teach you how to find your voice. Try these ideas and notice how the phone 

rings with more invitations to jam. 




You can try to label Eddie Everett's drumming style but you just can't. He's got soul, roots, boogie, rock and swing all cooking inside him. When you catch him with The Gas House Gorillas, one of the nation's top touring retro bands, you'll hear all of Eddie's influences pass though your ears like the trains in Grand Central Station! Amidst his crazy touring schedule, Eddie Everett shared his personal story with Experience Drums. We know you'll learn a lot about Eddie. We also think his story will help you learn a lot about yourself.


Read on folks. Read on! 

To learn more about Eddie Everett, check him out on Facebook here.

To learn more about The Gas House Gorillas, please check them out on Facebook here.






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Julianne Stewart
Producer Community Saints Radio
Evan on Drums

Here's a question for you.  What do we at Experience Drums do when we're not putting on Experience Drums programs? Here's the answer! We write proposals so that we can continue to put on Experience Drums programs. Recently, I had one of our proposals turn into an interesting story. It led me to an incredible paradigm shift.  May I share it with you?


After-school programs are really popular in my neck of the woods. They focus on all kinds of activities such as fencing, dancing, guitar lessons, drama, percussion; you get the idea, enrichment stuff.


It occurred to me that I should throw my hat into the ring on behalf of Experience Drums. So I shot an email off to the PTA representative of a local school. I proposed a music club that would teach band kids the strategies of practice, the payoff of teamwork and the awareness of achievement.  


I received a very friendly and personal email back from my new PTA pal, welcoming me into the world of after- school programs.  It looked like we were off to a good start. "Let me take it to the others in the committee," she wrote and off we went into the next phase of the process. I was expecting the next email to contain a green light. Surprise! That's not what I received in my inbox.


My PTA rep remained friendly. However, she and the committee wanted to clarify a couple of things. "How would this enrich the lives of our students?" "What would make your program different from what our band participants are already getting in class?" "Would you consider changing the name of your program? "Good questions indeed! I thanked the PTA contact, and back I went to cobble together some answers."


This began a series of emails. I clarified. She questioned. I changed themes. She had further suggestions. I wrote short notes to her. She wrote long ones back to me. On and on it went.To say this wasn't frustrating would be a lie. This process was really battering my ego. Why was this situation going nowhere? Why was I hearing the word no?


And then it hit me. In all my emails with my PTA rep, I never once read the word "no." As I re-read our exchanges, I could see that she was never denying my acceptance to the after-school program. What she was doing was quite astounding. She was taking the time to help me sell it to the school! 


How could I have missed that? Pride, that's how. I thought that I should have just been handed this program. This realization was quite an eye opener for me. Wow! I guess every once in a while, probably more than I'd like to admit, I'm just as susceptible to a case of vanity as the next guy. I'm glad I caught this.


What I did next was a joy to do. I stopped. I opened my Apple and I wrote one more email. This one simply stated what I wanted to do with the kids and why I wanted to do it. I also wrote a sincere thanks to my PTA rep for her willingness to work with me. Will we get the program? I'm not sure. I'm not even sure that getting the go ahead is the point of this story. What I am sure about is this. Humility can help you see things a lot clearer, once you stop looking at your own reflection in the mirror.



 Evan's sig
Evan Pollack





Meet Rob the Drummer!


For over thirty years Rob Gottfried has been performing his Anti-Bullying, Anti -Substance Abuse and Self-Esteem programs all over the world. What drives him to do this? What makes him care? And how has Rob become a catalyst for change in the lives of thousands of kids? Find out, as Experience Drums brings to you the big and bold presence of Rob Gottfried, this month's Community Saint.


To learn more about Rob the Drummer, please visit his site at


  JUNE 2015

Evan of Experience Drums was thrilled to be the Artist-In-Residence for Glebe Elementary School's Smart Program.  For five weeks, Evan Pollack met with over one hundred first graders in this bustling Virginia school, relating musical sound with the color wheel!  Guitar, percussion and lots of laughs were used to help create the soundtrack!


Did Experience Drums learn anything from this program? "I learned so much working with these fantastic first graders," said Evan. "First, I learned that if you mix yellow and blue, you're gonna get the color green. But more importantly, I learned how smart and loving kids can be!"  


Experience Drums is looking forward to working with more schools in the fall. So stay tuned. We'll keep you posted!


( Special thanks to Jesse Pollack for photography)


Drummers and music enthusiasts!  Did you know that Evan Pollack of Experience Drums is a columnist for Drumhead magazine? Check out "Lessons on Lessons, " the column that features Evan's ideas on the art of giving and the art of taking lessons. If you're a teacher or a student, this column is written with you in mind. 


To learn more about the national publication Drumhead, visit