"...a drumming framework that distills everything down to five foundational categories"

The 5 Pillars of Drumming™

The Framework for a Well-Rounded Drummer

What are The 5 Pillars of Drumming?

If you’ve never played before or are just getting started, then you need to develop a plan that covers all the required skills a good drummer needs. The best way that I know to do that is to use a model, method, or framework. Over my many years of studying, practicing, and teaching, I’ve come up with a model that works.

The 5 Pillars of Drumming has been road tested on me and on hundreds of beginner students. This framework will set you up so that you always know what to do next. It will guide you from the very beginning of your drumming journey to whatever level you wish to achieve.

The 5 Pillars of Drumming is the exact framework I’ve personally used to become a well-rounded professional drummer. Even now, I rely on The 5 Pillars to help me evaluate what I should be practicing as I continue to study and try to get better.


The Philosophy Behind the Method 

The thinking behind this method is based on observing great drummers throughout history. What skills do most of them have in common? Almost all great drummers are highly developed in each of the five foundational elements described below. There are additional elements like creativity and musicality that all great drummers have, but those are difficult to teach. I believe they come naturally with the curiosity that musicians have (creativity) and the maturity that most eventually develop (musicality). The model is also based on me using this method on myself and teaching it to others to see if it works—and it does.


The 5 Pillars of Drumming™

is a framework that distills everything in drumming down to five foundational categories. Having everything “summarized” in this way is so helpful when you need to take a step back and look at what you’re doing with your drumming and how you’re spending your valuable practice time. It gives you a concrete way to map out your progress. It helps you sift through all the online noise and the relentless flow of videos that social media pumps out and recommends you watch. Let’s dig into the details. The framework consists of the following 5 foundational elements:


Having the knowledge to read and write rhythmic notation (the language of drumming) is immensely powerful.


This is simply the physicality of how we express ourselves on the drum set. The more you develop your facility and technique, the more ability to “speak” you will have.


Independence is the skill that allows you to play grooves/beats with freedom.


This is the often misunderstood skill of making your beats (and everything else) feel good.


Any pattern that is specific and internalized so it can be repeated could be called “vocabulary.” The most common kind of vocabulary a fill.

As a beginner, it will be important to work on each of these core elements simultaneously. That’s because each one is crucial on its own, yet also an intrinsic component of the whole. These elements work together synergistically. It’s difficult to imagine a great drummer who is missing any of these abilities. Feel free to click on the “Learn More” buttons for more information on each Pillar.

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