Get a command of the fundamental techniques of drumming with weekly 90-minute practice pad classes led by Todd Bishop. At $20 per class, this is the most economical way to study with me.
Summer special: June-Aug. 2009 - HELD OVER THROUGH END OF 2009!
All of my weekly private students (30 minutes or 1 hour) are invited to attend any of my Pad Out! practice pad sessions free of charge! Call (503)380-9259 or email now to sign up!
Pad class FAQ
Why take a group snare drum class?
Through my experience in drum corps I learned that there are a lot of benefits to drilling exercises in a group setting:
- Learning good technique is easier when you can watch and hear an experienced pro doing the same exercises as you.
- Playing with a group forces you to execute more carefully- it's easy to tell when one player is a little bit sloppy!
- Even one hard session per week can make a huge difference in your playing.
- Let's be honest, practice pad work can be a little... dull. Without the encouragement of a weekly class it can be easy just to practice the fun stuff, and not work on the things that will really improve your playing.
Can I do the pad groups instead of lessons?
Yes, of course- though the groups are not meant to be a substitute for private lessons! If you are just starting out as a drummer, though, it would be good to take at least a month or so of private lessons so you can become familiar with the basics.
What happens at the classes?
A group of drummers gathers at my studio and plays snare drum exercises under my guidance. I'll explain each exercise, and we will play them (with an amplified click track) at a variety of tempos. We dedicate as much time as possible to playing, though I will sometimes take a few minutes to help an individual with a particular problem, or explain a new concept.
When do the classes meet?
Sunday 6:00-7:30 - fundamentals
Monday 6:00-7:30 - hard core
Tuesday 6:30-8:00 - intermediate
What is the minimum recommended age?
Most of the pad group members are adults, but students as young as middle school age could benefit from participation. Younger students are usually better off studying privately at first.
What are your policies for payment?
Once you've come to the group a few times and decided to continue, I ask that you pay for all the classes in the month at the beginning of the month- check your calendar to see if there are 4 or 5 meetings that month. See my policies page for more info.
Do I need to audition?
No auditions for the Sunday and Tuesday groups, but it's not a bad idea to meet with you beforehand so I can determine which one would be best for you. Admission to the advanced group is by recommendation or informal audition.
What type of exercises will we play?
The beginning and intermediate classes are focused on developing excellent fundamentals: strong doubles, long and short open rolls, paradiddle variations, 16th note timing, accents, and single-stroke rolls. The advanced class covers more difficult variations on the same ideas, flam rudiments, other advanced rudiments, with an emphasis on speed, endurance, and more challenging timing/rhythms. For more, visit my downloads page.
Will we learn the Moeller technique?
We do learn the basic Moeller strokes, and my method is informed by that and other techniques. But the things we play will help you whatever your basic approach.
What do I need to bring to class?
Just your practice pad, stand, and snare drum sticks. I recommend an 8" or 10" Remo practice pad and Vic Firth SD-1 General snare drum sticks. If you don't have a practice pad stand, you may be able to use one of mine, just be sure to let me know in advance.
I have no sticks, no pad, nothing! Where can I get them?
You can order them online through my Amazon.com affiliate store.
What about books? Do I need them?
No, you can get most of the exercises from my downloads page, or they will be taught verbally during class. But it wouldn't hurt to own the following books:
- Savage Rudimental Workshop by Matt Savage.
- Syncopation by Ted Reed.
- Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone
- Master Studies 1 & 2 by Joe Morello
- Basic Drumming by Joel Rothman.
How much individual attention will I get?
I'll give pointers to players who can use them, but most of the class will be devoted to explaining and drilling the exercises. If you'd like more personalized instruction, I do teach individual private lessons as well.
What if it's way too hard for me?
As I get acquainted with students I group them with others with similar goals and skill level. But each class will be tailored to the abilities of that week's attendees, and each week's exercises will cover a range of difficulty. As a brand new student you may find the group doing a few things that are beyond you (especially in the first few weeks), but I'll see to it you aren't left completely in the dust!
What if the stuff you do is way too easy? Will I be bored?
Nothing in music is so easy that you don't have to pay attention while you do it, and even top players work on fundamentals, so if you're bored you're not doing it correctly! Still, I try to keep things moving even (especially?) when we're working on basic stuff. For pure chops and endurance work, try the advanced class.
Hey, who are you?
See my bio!