“I have been trying to teach myself drums on and off for four years, and was about to really give up when I finally gave in and registered for the group class here. In the first session I already understood more than I did during the previous four years.
Phil, the instructor, was patient and encouraging, and was able to adjust his teaching methods to each student’s individual learning style, abilities and interest. At the end of the four weeks I RUSHED to register for private lessons here, which come in at $50/lesson when purchased in packs of 6.
Basically the best bargain in Williamsburg. If you are interested in learning to play for fun or for serious, this is a great option.” -Tom Leger, FIVE STARS on YELP
“Thank you Mark and BANG! The Drum School. The introductory lessons were just fantastic for my 13 year old son who is a beginner. The patience and encouragement really helped my son get even more clear about his passion for drumming. Thanks, Mark. Our family will remember you for a long time to come.” -Shefali Salwan
“Hey Mark, I wanted to thank you for the great lessons, feedback and your encouragement. I was only able to take a few before moving (last year) but they had a huge inpact on my playing and really gave me a solid foundation to work from. All the best, Dave” -David Osterbeck on FACEBOOK
“Which is more important, to be a great drummer or to be a great teacher? I can’t decide because Mark is both! We had so much fun in the group class that I hardly realized how serious he is about making sure we learned, until I looked at my pile of support material he gave to practice and continue learning with. I shall return!” -Emily Tenzer Santoro, FIVE STARS on YELP
“Fantastic. After daydreaming about playing the drums since I was a kid, I finally got my start at BANG! Mark and Phil greeted me with a warm welcome and provided a true sense of encouragement (not the kind that reminds you of a soccer mom, maybe even your own mom, yelling something from the sidelines like “keep your spirits up!” which ultimately does more damage than it does good). I participated in the Absolute Beginners Class, Level One and cannot recommend it enough. The group lessons are a bit cheaper and a ton of fun. With six students, including myself–Phil demonstrated great patience, as we all required different levels/styles of teaching. I was worried that two hour long classes divided by six people would leave me feeling neglected, but this was not the case at all! We got a great sense of the basics and time behind the drum kit during each session.
The tone of the class was perfect. Phil offered a wealth of knowledge and skills, and a sense of humor while maintaining a relaxed, successful, and enjoyable environment. Each week I arrived feeling (the good kind of) nervous and excited and each week I left feeling even more motivated and enthused about drums! I feel confident in my ability to continue drumming and look forward to taking private lessons at BANG!
Overall, definitely worth it!” -Shayna Engel, FIVE STARS on YELP
“Hi Mark — Thanks again for the lesson. You really helped me a lot. Unlocking the secret of the ride beat is so key and I definitely made progress. I had fun too.” -Sharon Fischman
“SO MUCH FUN!!! I have dreamed of learning to play the drums since I was 9. I was always too chicken and thought I’d feel foolish trying as I’ve never been good at playing any instruments. My husband gave me the one-month beginner’s course for Christmas and it was hands down the best gift ever!! Phil was our teacher and he was great — even though we all picked it up at different paces (unsurprisingly, I was the worst!!), he kept it fun for all of us, all the time. Highly recommended.”
-Isabelle Wallace, FIVE STARS on YELP
“I’m really enjoying working with Phil. He’s a great teacher and he has the patience of a saint. I am truly enjoying the experience!” -Ashlee Thomas
“I’ve played drums on and off for several years and was interested in learning more about the art of jazz drumming. I knew I would need instruction, but the question was who? I did a google search of drum schools and right there on the first page were the words “BANG The Drum School.” Intrigued by the name, I made an inquiry via their website and set up an initial lesson to see where I stood. That was the first of the year and I haven’t looked back. Mark is an accomplished rock drummer whose love for jazz put him on a path to study with one of the best jazz instructors (John Riley) out there. He’s a patient and non-judgemental teacher who will take you through each lesson until you fully understand it. No attitude or ego here. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player who wants to work on some trouble areas, I encourage you to check out BANG The Drum School….you won’t be disappointed. ” -Bob Sessa, on ANGIE’S LIST, Overall Rating = A
“Coming to New York for the fourth time, I wanted to do something different on my vacation. So I decided to take some private drum lessons at BANG! The Drum School
and it turned out to be great fun. Since I have been playing drums at the “hobby” level in a couple of Swedish bands for some years now, I wanted Mark to take a fresh look at my drumming. We started out slowly. By gradually asking me to try and play more advanced stuff, Mark soon had figured out my weaknesses. Once this was done Mark quickly came up with a handful of useful exercises for me to work on, all of them pushing me beyond my limits. He has given me the tools that allow me to analyze my drumming on my own and figure out what to do to get better. And that feels great. Mark is easy to work with. He is full of ideas, based on his own experiences, but at the same time he is very down to earth. And he listens – that is very important! You work together and have fun at the same time. This experience gave me such a boost…now I want to practice all the new things Mark has taught me. And I will definitely go back to BANG! The Drum School for more lessons the next time I am in New York.” - Mats Persson, Malmö, Sweden
“I’m not great at writing reviews but here it is. I just finished the beginners class and I really can’t recommend it enough. The class is small (6 people) so you can still get personal attention (from a highly qualified drummer and great teacher, at that) while still being very affordable. The class will focus a lot on fundamentals but you’ll also get to spend a lot of time behind a drum kit, so it won’t ever get boring. The class itself is friendly and low key. I not only left with having fixed a lot of issues with my left hand, but I also knew where to go from there to continue learning on my own. So yea, all in all, I had a great experience and I’ll be taking private lessons with Mark in the future. Rock on!” -James Quacinella, FIVE STARS on YELP
“Just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you for sharing these exercises with us. I finally played the Ladder Part 1 all the way through last night with single stroke rolls, wow I CAN do it!!! This has and is helping me improve on my weakest link in my skill set. Thank you. If I were in the Brooklyn area I’d sign up with you for sure, I spent some time on your site and appreciate your approach to instruction. Wish you were local.” -Shawn, on cymbalholic.com
“I’ve been wanting to learn to play the drums forever but kept putting it off. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the absolute beginner’s class, and am so happy I did. Mark is a really great teacher, he teaches to your level of experience and offers a lot of tools to help you understand the lessons. He also cultivates a really friendly environment in the classroom, which helped as I was a first-time drummer. I highly recommend the class, I know I’m definitely continuing!”
-Joe Tannenbaum, FIVE STARS on YELP
“The beginners drum class was a really fun environment to start learning in. I’d never played drums before and was surprised by how much i learned in just 4 weeks. Phil is a great teacher and the group setting takes the pressure and frustration out of learning something for the first time. Absolutely recommend doing this if you wanna start learning to play the drums.”
-Jarrah Gurrie, FIVE STARS on YELP
“BANG is awesome!
Just to give you a little about me so you can relate. I am a 19 year old college student who has wanted to take drum lessons since I was 12. Only obstacle which still exists is where to put my set because I have the funds, just no space.
I finished the group class at the end of January and it was incredible. I have never read music before and always wanted to start drumming but never found a place where I was really comfortable. Mark Feldman and Phil St. James are the two coolest guys to start your drumming off with the right foot. They are so patient and are certainly humble about their playing ability. These guys just want you to enjoy the drums as much as they do!
I highly recommend the group class for one important reason. If you are just starting out with the drums they give everything you need while you practice during the four weeks of the class. Then, even now, a month later I’m reading music and able to practice with no other type of lessons. Granted, the stuff I’m reading is rather difficult, but due to their handouts and advice, at least I understand what I am doing. And for me, that was the ultimate goal, I wanted to be able to understand the drums and all that was necessary after that was practice! These guys definitely leave you wanting more and also give you enough material to pursue your dream!!!
GO BANG or GO HOME!”
-Stephen Socci, FIVE STARS on YELP
“I’ve wanted to take drum lessons for a long time, and I finally decided to start with the beginner’s class at Bang! I’m really glad I did. The environment is welcoming and comfortable, and Mark himself is friendly, patient, and encouraging. I think the group format is really helpful and is definitely more affordable than private lessons. The location is great, too – right near the Bedford stop on the L, and just down the street from Fette Sau and the Knitting Factory. I would strongly recommend Bang! to anyone interested in learning to play the drums.” - Emma Story, FIVE STARS on YELP
“This is actually the first Yelp review I’ve written. To be honest, I usually don’t because I like to keep my favorite hidden restaurants to myself. I’m also very lazy.
I’ve broken away from all of that though to review Bang!. Aside from the flutophone when I was ten, I have absolutely no background with musical instruments. I have no idea how to read music. Or “had” no idea / experience. Mark was fantastic though. There were only four people in the class so I felt that each of us received hands on attention. There were definitely people in the class with more experience and talent than me and I noticed Mark adjusting things slightly for them so that everyone was getting something from the class.
Granted $250 is not cheap but it’s worth it. You won’t find instruction for cheaper than this and it gives you a great chance to see if you want to pursue drums.
I really can’t recommend this class enough.” -Tessa Jagger, FIVE STARS on YELP
“I was a student in the beginner’s drum class at Bang the Drum School in Williamsburg. I loved this class, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning to play the drums. Mark is a great teacher: attentive, patient, engaging…and has a knack for explaining drum concepts in ways that make sense. And the group dynamic is really helpful in my opinion: there is a sense of camaraderie that makes learning a lot more fun, and the opportunity to play for your classmates is really valuable. Mark presents a lot of material, but it seems just about perfect: enough to give a strong foundation without being overwhelming. I learned a lot more than I thought I would, and had a great time in the process!”
-David Boyd, FIVE STARS on YELP
“I’ve been taking private lessons for 8 sessions and have spaced them out over the course of a few months. It’s a fairly low cost pursuit to enter (pad, sticks, book) and that will be enough to become proficient with grip and hand speed/coordination. I’ve had some difficulty with playing quarter/triplets in the same measure and Mark has recorded exercises for me to work on between sessions. I have so much fun and look forward to class! Maybe someday I’ll be in a garage band.”
-Thomas Sheehan, FIVE STARS on YELP
“I’ve taken some drum lessons in the past which never felt very focused and wanted to find a comprehensive beginners class. I’m so glad I found Bang! Mark’s group class is exactly what I was looking for. The beginners class is a really good way to learn the fundamentals in a fun and supportive environment. Mark is a great teacher. He is encouraging, easy going and has a great sense of humor. I really appreciated the way the course was structured. I finally feel like I have a good foundation and a lot of material to keep me going. I can’t recommend it enough!”
-Rachel Priebe, FIVE STARS on YELP
“Mark, you’re the best! You are a fantastic teacher with a huge amount of patience and a great temperment for beginners. I can’t wait until I move beyond “beginner” status and really take advantage of everything you bring to the table. I’ll work hard to get there in the meantime. Thanks again!” -John Doan
“Hey Mark, thanks for being such a great teacher!”
-Nancy Lauro Kahn, mom of BANG student, Lucy
“Studying at BANG! made me glad that after months of deliberation, I finally decided to start taking drum lessons. We studied in a comfortable and relaxed environment, and Mark was always willing to work with my hectic schedule. He really personalized the lessons and motivated me to work toward my goal of improving my technique as well as being able to play along with my favorite rock songs. Great experience all around!” -Amanda Davis
“BANG! is the perfect place for us! Mark is such a wonderful teacher. Talented and enthusiastic, he always finds new and creative ways to teach the most challenging material. At the same time he is patient and funny. My son is looking forward every week to learn something new. Only after a few weeks he is already playing very difficult beats. Mark really understands how to help him rise to his full potential.” -Claudine Anrather, mother of BANG student Attila
“If you’re looking for a non-pressure and fun place to learn how to play the drums, then BANG is the school for you. I’ve been studying there for a while now, and at BANG, learning the art of drumming is fun. The BANG teaching staff work along side you one on one and no matter what type of music you’re into, the folks at BANG can take you where you want to go. I’m 59 years old and I’ve never had so much fun!” -Glenn Stollak
“The folks at Bang have been incredibly helpful in breaking down basic, often overlooked concepts that have taken my drumming to new heights. I have also learned intricate fills, ideas and cool drum culture that I am extremely excited about integrating into my playing. This is a very welcoming program that provides excellent instruction and community for drummers of all experience and musical taste.” -Phillip Eichorn
“Mark is a fantastic drum teacher. Five months ago, he was teaching me how to properly hold a drum stick. Now, Mark has successfully explained and taught me some of the most complex and difficult drum music ever–RUSH’s “The Trees,” which I played with a band at my wedding. My family, friends, and co-workers who have recently seen me play are completely stunned. Mark is a great listener who quickly and effectively tailors his approach to the strengths and weaknesses of each person he teaches. I plan to be a client for as long as I am drumming.” -Jeff Lesser
“Mark brings an understanding to his lessons that will help drummers of any skill level achieve a style and skill set that will elevate them to their full potential. His patience, and understanding of every genre make his lessons fun and low stress, and easy to understand. My time with BANG has been one of my best creative learning experiences. I highly recommend it to all drummers.”
“I am so happy I found BANG! the drum school. My lessons are taught by a patient teacher who definitely knows his stuff, and knows how to teach even the most rhythmically-challenged! Every week we cover new ground, and I’m genuinely shocked at how quickly I’m progressing.”