"Whether it's his playing, his instruction or his personality, Ed is the consummate professional. His playing? Solid. His attitude? Positive. From Tony Williams to Vinnie Colaiuta, Mitch Mitchell to John Bonham, he's well versed in many styles of music and the drummers that go with them."
-Keith Olsen (multi-platinum record producer)
"Ed, I forgot to say how much I appreciate the way you back up my bass solos, making them sound better than they are".
-John Beal (Bass player extraordinaire, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, The Who, to name a few)
Over the course of my forty-year career traveling the globe to teach, perform, and conduct clinics, I have interacted with some of the finest drummers and drum instructors in the world. The following list contains many of those names organized by country/continent. If you are looking for top-notch drum instructors start researching the drummers I've listed.
-Dom Famularo,( World Clinician, Drum Ambassador to the World)
Ed Bettinelli has been a stylized performing and recording artist for the past 40 years. Ed's focus over the years has been on original music, with two projects signed to major record deals on Geffen and RCA records. Both bands involved Ed assuming most of the day to day business responsibilities along with writing and arranging contributions. Playing to coliseum capacity crowds before such acts as PAT BENATAR, BON JOVI, ASIA, AVERAGE WHITE BAND, SPLIT ENZE, THE TUBES, JACK BRUCE, and many others has well defined Ed's experiences as a dynamic performer.
As a teacher, it is my responsibility to expose my students to as much rhythmic information as possible via books, listening analysis, videos, etc. I must bring a mindset to the student's attention, enabling them to translate this information through their kit. Creating an orchestrated and musical drum part that supports a song is essential and makes the understanding of this information complete. The inability to do this makes all your rhythmic knowledge meaningless!
Each time I give a lesson I feel as though I am taking one. There is a constant learning process in finding ways to break down the walls my students reach. A drum set takes up a small amount of space. Being in control of that space makes it boundless! I believe a player should never play alone. The player should always bring a point of reference with them to their kit. A radio should always be on in their head -be it a song, bassline, melody, streaming 16th or triplets, etc. This will help the student define placement and create a seamless style in his/her playing.
Stimulation = Motivation! The Art of Drumming goes beyond four walls and a drum set. The room is outfitted with a fully mirrored practice pad station. This allows the student to see form and posture to help better understand the ergonomics of playing the instrument. The 10’ x 14’ stage is equipped with two drum sets that face student to teacher. Isolation headsets (with talkback) are provided enabling me to instruct without the need for students to stop playing. My ability to play the bass guitar enables me to implement bass lines and loops into my teaching, creating a rhythm section environment. In addition, pro tools, internet access for listening and video analysis of some of today's and yesterday's music masters, and video lesson recording and analysis rounds out my unique and stimulating learning/teaching format.
"It's not about playing perfect time, it's about playing around time perfectly!"
"It's time to stop counting and start listening to the melodies and rhythms within the song. Every rhythmic note, every melodic note is telling you exactly where you are in that song.? Numbers are square, I say stop counting, and start listening!"
Teaching has been a passion of Ed's for the past 40 years. Ed's students include aspiring 10 year olds to drummers who are platinum artists, some known in the music community as "rock star status drummers". Teaching such a broad range of students calls on Ed's ability to size up a student and personalize a program for each student. Ed stresses the awareness of timing in relationship to beats and the space between them. Once you become comfortable with where these beats are, you can then take full advantage of the space between the notes. It's the space between the notes that enables the player to manipulate, create and control how note's feel to us as listeners! Song structure and musical sensibility (thinking like a musician) is also a big part of Ed's teaching. Ed's ability to play bass guitar brings a unique dimension to his teaching. The lesson at times transforms into a rhythm section setting.
Take it off the page, and bring it onto the stage! Translation is important, the ability to comprehend your musical thought, or someones else's, and then express it through your instrument (the messenger) is of utmost of importance. Some of the things Ed covers in his teaching is to help the student understand and reach this goal.
Ed's Three-Stage Approach
STAGE ONE. The student and Ed create his/her own composition. Writing drum and bass parts that best support each other. Song structures and tempo, along with the different ways to count through the sections of their composition is studied. The song is then charted out and rehearsed.
STAGE TWO. The student is asked to play the song form with the drum chart that the student and teacher wrote out along with the student's song memory. The student's focus is to create and maintain the feel.
STAGE THREE. The student takes what was learned in Stages One and Two and plays to a click track. The purpose of stage three is to prepare the student for any recording he or she might be called upon to do. The ability to play along to a click track is important and this is a pure lesson in achieving that goal.
Other Topics Covered:
Hand and Feet Coordination
Double Bass Drum Technique
Grip & Stroke Technique
Reading and Writing Drum Parts
Listening and Video Analysis