Mark Feldman, Founder

mark-feldman-playing-in-a-concert-bang

Table of Contents

Mark Feldman here. Here’s a little about me.

Some of you don’t care about the details; you just want the bullet points (and I get it, you’re busy and there is nothing wrong with that). 

This section is for the bullet-point people. 

To dig deeper, just keep reading down the page.

I’m guessing that many you are not completely comfortable talking about yourselves. Me too. But I’ll have to get over it, right?

After all, if I want to convince you to work with me or any of my teachers–which, of course, I do–I’ll need to establish some credibility with you. In order to avoid a whole lot of sentences that begin with “I,” as in “I did this” and “I did that,” below I’ll provide some bullet points; resume style, to give you some highlights:

  • Playing professionally based in NYC since at the age of 13, have played with Alison Krauss, Marshall Crenshaw, Will Lee and others (see below for more artists)
  • Founded BANG! The Drum School in New York City in 2009.
  • Developed beginner’s teaching system called The 5 Pillars of Drumming™ in 2009.
  • Wikipedia page can be found HERE 
  • One of the winners of Modern Drummer Magazine’s very first drum solo contest–judged by none other than Neil Peart.
  • Been teaching drums (with a focus on beginners) since 2009.

 

Other Things to Know

  • Grew up in NYC and lived there for most of my life; now live in Boston.
  • Graduated from Cornell University (Bachelor of Arts) and Columbia Business School (MBA).
  • Spent 12 years at Sony Music divisions Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, where at one point I was the head of Marketing at Columbia’s Jazz Label and a VP of marketing at Columbia Records.
  • Studio Drummer – record drum tracks via self-owned recording studio since 2020.
 

Who Have I Played with?

Along the way–as a professional drummer–I’ve been fortunate enough to make music with a number of extraordinary artists and bands.

Here are the more well-known of them:

  • Will Lee, legendary session bassist and member of David Letterman’s band; 
  • Alison Kruass 
  • Oz Noy (famed fusion guitarist)
  • Marshall Crenshaw (Warner Brothers recording artist & played John Lennon in Beatlemania), 
  • GE Smith (Roger Waters’ guitarist and former band leader of Saturday Night Live)
  • Curtis Stigers
  • Joel Hoekstra (guitarist for Whitesnake)
  • Andy York (guitarist for John Mellencamp)
  • Tony Shanahan (bassist for Patti Smith)
  • The Drifters
  • The Marvelettes
  • Big Brother and The Holding Company 
  • Emily Remler (famed jazz guitarist)
  • and many others…

There are dozens of other artists that you are less likely to have heard of. 

Some of them were signed to major labels like A&M Records and Arista.

Among these, three are near and dear to my heart:

Mark Feldman’s LEVEL5

This is my band. We put out a 3-song EP in 2019 called The Sybil EP.  A modern take on fusion-funk, the EP got lots of great reviews and included Will Lee on bass, Oz Noy on guitar and Adam Klipple on keyboards. You can find us on Spotify, and if you search Google, you’ll find some reviews and other info. It’s a killing record and my first effort as a producer too.

MANCIE

This is my wife’s band. She (Andrea Fischman, now Andrea Feldman) started it as a teen in Boston (the band was on the cover of the Boston Globe while she was still in high school). Reminiscent of Courtney Love’s Hole, Nirvana, and other hard rocking bands, MANCIE played a lot in NYC and put out a bunch of records. Also on Spotify. I’ve been bugging Andrea about MANCIE playing again soon….we’ll see.

Hearts and Minds

This band represents my rock and roll dream story. Man, we were close. My mates, Bruce Henderson, Andy York, and Tony Shanahan were in a great rock band called Hearts and Minds. It was essentially Bruce’s band and we played all over NYC for a few years in the late 80’s. At some point during this time, Jeff Osborne (not the singer) saw us and became our manager. Jeff knew some record company people, two of whom–Steve Ralbovsky and Patrick Clifford–signed us to A&M Records. There are many, many stories about this band, but the unfortunate outcome was that Hearts and Minds was dropped by the label after only about year. A great record was released, however

Have You Taken Drum Lessons?

Because I am an educator, you might imagine that I’m not a stranger to taking lessons myself. 

You’d be right.

I’ve studied with some amazing drummers.

  • John Riley (John Scofield, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Joe Lovano)
  • Hank Jaramillo (A Chorus Line)
  • Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live)
  • Dave DiCenso (Bad Brains, Josh Groban, Duran Duran)
  • Charlie Davidman (Street Punk)
  • Rick Considine (ex-Berklee School of Music and Drummer’s Collective instructor)

 

Why Do You Focus on Beginner Drummers?

I have long thought that beginners are not given the attention they deserve.

When I was about to open BANG as an in-person teaching business in 2009, I took a look around at what was going on in the drum education world.

There wasn’t really a focus on beginners anywhere. 

I thought I should do something about that. 

Plus, I remember being a beginner myself. I yearned for the right information, but I had no idea where to find it. 

Now, it’s even more complicated to filter through all the information out there. There is so much coming at you everyday. Videos are everywhere. There are many drummers claiming to be able to teach you to play. 

I started a facebook group a while ago. It’s The Beginner Drummers Forum.

You know what I often hear from people who want to join that group?

“I want to learn the drums but I have no idea where to start.”

Almost everyday I hear this.

So, it was an easy decision for me to decide to help. 

Beginner drummers need people to help them, and nobody was filling that need.

And that’s how we became… 

The Beginner Drummer Experts

Why Do we Only Teach Online?

We used to teach in-person. In fact, pretty quickly after we opened, BANG! The Drum School became the premier place for beginners to study drums in-person in New York City. 

This original version of the business had two teaching studios and about 5 teachers.

When we reached the capacity of what we could do in that physical space, I started to think about how we could grow.

One option was to open more physical locations of BANG! The Drum School in other towns and cities.

But when I thought through the process of doing that, I realized how incredibly hard that would be. It would have been a serious grind. Not to mention, the expense of having a lot of locations didn’t seem reasonable. It did not sound like fun.

But I did want to grow. The way that made the most sense to me was to do what we’re doing now–teach online using the internet and the amazing technology that’s available to us.  So, we offer online video courses, books, and a limited amount of live ZOOM coaching.

 

The Joy of Drumming–that’s why this matters to me.

I really want to help as many people learn to play the drums as I can and the in-person method of teaching puts a severe limitation on the numbers.

To me, more students means more happiness for more people.

The more people I can help to become drummers and experience the joy of drumming, the happier I will be.

From what my students have been telling me, drumming really does make them happy.

That means that what I’m doing is really helping people. And that makes me feel good.

That’s the real reason behind all of this. 

The more people I can help to experience the joy of drumming, the more good I’ll be doing.

Free E-Book Gives You 5 Must-Know Drum Licks.

Enter your information below to receive your free digital copy of 5 Killer Drum Licks now.

You’ll also be added to our email list which is highly regarded as the most entertaining and helpful email list in the drumming community.