Barry Keane: Teaching Drums the Way I Wanted to Be Taught


SKF NOTE: Barry Keane is among the most successful drummers I know, with a long career as a studio drummer, and a touring gig with one of the world’s great songwriters, Gordon Lightfoot, that has lasted, so far, over 40 years.

Relistening to my first conversation/interview with Barry around 1981, I was struck by the way he taught drums to students, and the wisdom in Barry’s teaching method. In a nutshell, Barry’s teaching niche was guiding kids who wanted to know how to play basic drums — they way Dave Clark, Ringo Starr, or Charlie Watts were playing much of the time on their respective records.

Help a kid like that learn what interests him. Some may go on to more advanced drum studying. Some may not. But there’s room for the kids who just wants to start playing backbeats on 2 and 4, without first having to master the 13 essential drum rudiments.

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