Over the years, I have been asked how I came up with the idea of having this high-tech drum teaching studio — microphones on the drums, video cameras, flat screen monitors and professional drum sets. Here is a brief synopsis of what occurred, causing me to create Gregory Tech Drum Center:
Students were showing up to drum lessons with their mp3 players, and we were able to listen to tunes through a sound system. While playing along, it got very loud and not productive. I saw a need for something more high-tech.
Wearing headphones and positioning microphones around professional drum kits not only allows students to clearly hear their own drumming better (and drummers whom they are trying to emulate), it also allows them to truly relax. They no longer hit harder than necessary, can hear themselves (and me) clearly, as well as hearing tracks with which they are playing. This may be a youtube video, a click track, or a track where they are playing with a band and providing the drumming.
The video cameras allow them to see their motions while playing — projected on flat screen monitors. Any camera can be projected to any screen, and any screen can show up to four cameras simultaneously. Many times, I set up the split screen with two on the left of the student and two on the right of me. This can benefit anyone — almost immediately. E.g., students can see that their right hand/arm is doing something different than mine. They may not be able to change it immediately, but they can see it right away. This is quite illuminating, and always worth it.
The ability to surf the web allows for finding live versions of most songs, giving the ability to better understand how to replicate the sounds being heard. Instructional drum DVDs can be studied so that we can learn from the best.
Students walk out of every lesson with a DVD — of that lesson. It’s too much fun!