Here’s the deal. I have always wondered what really happens in advertising. I mean, we have all heard stories that some celebrities or spokespersons only endorse a product because they are paid to do so. I don’t think that is always true but in some instances the evidence has suggested that in fact it may be true. Having said that, bring in Drumeo, which is arguably one of the best online drum schools out there. About 18 months ago we ran a piece in which we reviewed Drumeo including their product and their staff. You can read that former article here. The review was glowing as it should have been however, many of you have probably already met founder Jared Falk or his partner Dave Atkinson at places like NAMM or ran across one of their videos on YouTube therefore, you might have seen their work for yourselves apart from our review.
In any event, when I originally reviewed the Drumeo site I have to be honest and say that everything (about Drumeo) was new to me so it was fresh and exciting. It’s fair to say, therefore, that I was in a “honeymoon” period of sorts when I reviewed the Drumeo product. Obviously, time has passed since then and months have gone by so Drumeo–at least to me now–is nothing as new.
However that is not my point here. Instead, I wanted to question if after all this time I have found as much value in Drumeo as I originally did. That might explain why I would bother writing a quasi review so long after my initial thoughts were given. After all, if you are assigned to review a product who says I will get back to you with my “real” review after I have used the product for two years? However, I guess that is what I am doing here, to some extent.
Thus, I think time here has turned out to be the ultimate litmus test for Drumeo, at least in my eyes. In other words, I do think there are some products that I have reviewed that I was initially enamored with however, if I went back and reviewed them again two years later I might not have been that thrilled with them as I initially was and that is not meant to disparage the product at all. My change in heart could have happened for various reasons not related to the product including a change in taste or style, or, no longer needing the product like I did before. Therefore, the ultimate question–as it relates to my thoughts on Drumeo today–is did the passing of time change my opinion about what I wrote two years ago?
I will answer that question this way. I think what inspired me to pen this particular blog was my recent conquering of the drum parts to 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon. We are all familiar with Steve Gadd’s work on that tune and I don’t think that many would argue that mirroring Gadd on anything is an accomplishment. I will readily admit, as it relates to that tune, that I never thought that I would either be able to play that groove authentically or that I would want to spend enough time to learn it. However, in recently perusing the Drumeo site I came across a lesson on 50 Ways by Mike Michalkow (a very talented player and teacher himself) and I felt that Mike’s explanation of the tune made playing it plausible, and no longer impossible. Add a lot of practice and more study of Michalkow’s lesson and I got it.
Considering that not that many bands perform that song (and mine certainly does not) I decided to incorporate the groove or beat of 50 Ways into my warmup regiment before every gig. After all, after spending all the time to learn this groove I did not want to forget it over time. In doing that I was surprised to learn how many people would approach me and ask me about what I was playing and for those who knew what it was the question always seemed to start with “how. . . .?”
I think this discourse reminded me of the continued value of Drumeo and its usefulness to me as a working drummer. It also made me feel good about my original writeup which is what led me to pen this update, if you will. Thus, the answer to the ultimate question is a resounding “no”; nothing has changed my opinion of Drumeo even after two years of use. It was excellent then and it is excellent now. In fact, if anything the value of Drumeo has gone up in my mind.
And here is the good news. Mike Michalkow’s 50 Ways lesson is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” among the plethora of valuable and useful material that Drumeo has to offer its members. Indeed, there are simply too many great Drumeo instructors to mention in their entirety but nevertheless, I will name drop a few here before I go.
I was enthralled with Reuben Spyker who finally explained how those hi-hat tricks are played. I still continue to enjoy virtually anything Aaron Edgar does as he is not only a fantastic drummer but he is also a natural teacher. Jared Falk and Dave Atkinson need no explanation and they are on my must watch list as a drummer. Finally, I doubt I will ever use an Indian based rhythm pattern but I thoroughly was impressed with the work and playing of Sarah Thawer. I could continue but you get the point.
I will sum up my thoughts by saying this; the honeymoon period between me and Drumeo has been over with for a long time however, despite that I find more value and quality in the Drumeo product now than I did when I first wrote about Drumeo. That measuring stick tells me that I got it right when I originally reviewed and highly recommended Drumeo and boy do I love confirming that I got something right the first time, even if it is two years later.