Private Drum Lessons

How to sign up

Phatman Studios

Phatman Studios

You can request a lesson time by sending an e-mail to or the Professional Drum School in Hutchinson.

Lessons scheduled directly with John will be conducted in my personal rehearsal space, Phatman Studios.

Teaching Philosophies

IMG_1430In terms of technique, I am fairly permissive in my playing and teaching. The only technical device that I insist my students employ is efficiency. Get the most out of your instrument while exerting the minimal amount of effort. That concept drives how I set my drums and cymbals, what sticks I use, and how I sit behind the drums.

Secondly, I believe that all good drummers will be versatile, learning numerous techniques and styles of music. While drummers can certainly focus on one specific way of playing,it seems obvious to me that the more versatile your are, the more opportunity to play you will have. Further, you never know when a speed-metal technique may help you with a solo in a big jazz ensemble. Or when the independence built into jazz playing will help you with a hip-hop groove.

That’s as far as I go on technique. I can show students different ideas of how to develop a certain skill. But if they experiment and find another way that works for them, that’s fine too. This is a very physical instrument, and the way you play it is greatly dependent on your body and your natural physical skills. Good students will develop their own techniques on top of the basics that I can teach them. To prove my point, take a look at Dave WecklKeith CarlockSteve Gadd, and Carter Beauford play. They all use vastly different techniques, but are all monsters on the drums.

What to bring to lessons

IMG_1253Each student will need the following when he/she arrives at the studio:

  • Sticks
  • Spiral-bound notebook
  • Any previously supplied books/handouts
  • A positive attitude
  • New students should also bring a completed Student Information Sheet to their first lesson.


Rates for lessons taught in the Phatman Drums Studio are as follows.  Rates at the Professional Drum School are set by the school.

$20 per half hour lesson

$40 per one-hour lesson

All fees are due at the beginning of the lesson. Cash and check are accepted. Please note that cash payments will be required following the first returned check.

All lessons not cancelled with 24 hours notice will be charged 50% of the regularly scheduled lessons fee.

Student Equipment

Each student is STRONGLY encouraged to own the following equipment as a minimum for practicing at home:

  • 1 pair of drums sticks (size 5A are good starters if you don’t have some already)
  • 1 practice pad
  • 1 metronome
  • 1 spiral-bound notebook

Eventually, as the student progresses, actual drums will need to be purchased for continued development. This investment will usually run from $500 to $1,000 for a student level drumkit.

Practice Expectations

I am sympathetic to the demands on my students’ lives – adults and kids alike. However, nothing gets better without investing some time. For that reason, I expect each student to practice three to four times a week for a minimum of half an hour each session. That being said, the more you practice that better you’ll get.

Parental Role

Parents are a vital part of the learning experience. Your support and encouragement, especially during the early stages, is vital to your student’s success. Please be actively engaged in your student’s learning before and after the lessons begin. Parents are welcome to attend the lessons with the students.