BANG! The Drum School started in a basement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2009.

bang billboard from williamsburg brooklyn-only

Our History

The Beginning: a basement Brooklyn in 2009.

Mark Feldman, BANG’s founder, left his corporate job as a marketing executive for Columbia Records in 2006 and immediately rented a drum studio where he could practice as much as he wanted. He had already spent a decade playing drums professionally, but after his time in the corporate world, Mark wanted to dig into his practicing again and get stage-ready quickly.

That brought him to Williamsburg, which at the time, was not the built-up hipster capital that it is today.

In fact, Mark’s practice space was located in the basement of a motorcycle garage called The Shop.

Mark realized that helping beginners learn to play the drums was an important way to spread the joy of drumming so he began to teach private students. That started to go well, so he decided there should a name for the teaching studio. BANG! The Drum School had a nice ring to it and the web address was available. And so it began.

In 2009, the website and blog were launched, a huge billboard was painted on the side of a building in Williamsburg (see above photo with the original BANG logo–red on yellow–painted on the side of a building), and BANG! The Drum School was born.

Mark began to hire teachers as business grew. By 2012, it was time to find a bigger place.

Relocating to Manhattan

Relocating to Manhattan, BANG! The Drum School set anchor in the famed Music Building on 8th Avenue, just outside of Times Square. The Music Building has been home to Madonna, Billy Idol, The Fleshtones, Patti Smith, Television, The dbs, The New York Dolls and many others.

Funds were needed for the expansion and so Mark pulled “Chromey”–Neil Peart’s first drum set with Rush–out of storage, and sold it.

That famed kit was won by Feldman in Modern Drummer’s very first drum solo contest judged by Peart and stored until 2012.

Neil Peart behind "Chromey" which he later gave to Mark Feldman

Chromey Is Sold for $25K

The drums sold for $25K, and BANG! The Drum School was in business. The capital allowed the renovations of the NYC studio to be made and it also provided a much needed advertising fund.

For the next eight years, the school continued to grow, with an average of five teachers on staff at all times. There were hundreds of satisfied customers but Mark knew that in its traditional in-person form, the continued growth of BANG! The Drum School would be difficult.

If the in-person format were to continue, growth would require opening BANG! The Drum School locations in many other cities. That seemed like a very difficult and capital intensive road.

But the online world was growing like crazy–that was the direction that made sense. So, Mark began working on a video course that would become the next phase of the teaching studio’s growth.

So, while his teaching staff was helping 50 students or so each week, Mark was writing the video course that would allow teaching to happen virtually.

And then something happened that forced things to move a bit more quickly. In March 2020, the pandemic made the demand for in-person lessons crumble to zero.

But there was still rent and payroll and other expenses that needed to be paid.

An Event Changed Everything Instantly

So, not long after COVID hit, the in-person business was shut and the online version of BANG! The Drum School blasted ahead at a faster pace.

Today, the online version of BANG! The Drum School is a reality.

Hundreds of beginners from around the world are studying with BANG via online video courses. The focus, as it has traditionally been at BANG, is on beginners because that is the group that has not been given its due by the drum education community at large.

At BANG! The Drum School, we’re happy to be the ones to fill that void and provide this to beginners.

If you want to find out more about our most popular course, Pro Sounding Drum Fills for Beginners,  click the button below. 

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