David Capuzelo | Professional Drum Teacher
Hello, and welcome to my site. Drumming is a huge part of my life. I have a lot to say about it, and hope that you'll join me in sharing the enjoyment that drums have brought to me.
One of my earliest memories from when I was a little boy is holding my grandmother’s hand as we walked. I would pick up the rhythm of her footsteps, and try to time my footsteps to play some pattern against hers. One of my favorite patterns was 3 of my steps to 1 of hers (a primitive triplet) I also tried one step right after hers, and then again right before her next step (upbeat 16th notes!). Of course, I had no idea I was exploring rhythm and meter at that time, but it did have an influence on my drum set development.
I’ve been teaching drums professionally since 1998. I’m blessed to be able to make a living from it, and love passing my knowledge on to those who want to learn. Teaching is a big responsibility. Remember that a great player doesn't necessarily make a great teacher; they require 2 different sets of skills.
Internet Drum Lesson Pioneer
OK, maybe “pioneer” is a bit of a stretch, but I did I have one of the 1st web sites with instructional videos on it, in 2002. I had videos of myself playing along with songs, and playing exercises out of various drum books. The video and audio quality were bad, but it was received well, and I eventually had dozens of clips that people could click on and download for free.
Then, in the very early days of Youtube, I uploaded a video on playing the Mozambique on the drum set, like Steve Gadd did in “Late in the Evening”. It was a hit. In a month, it accumulated over 17,000 views. Today, there are people who get 17,000 views in a day, but back then it was a big deal. I started getting emails from drummers around the world, and even scored my 1st endorsement. It was lots of fun and set the stage for a very busy teaching schedule.
When not teaching, I am currently working on creating new videos to share that can help and inspire drummers around the world. Check back soon as the website evolves and more exciting content is added.
I’ve been fortunate to study extensively with some of the best teachers on earth, and I regularly refer to their material to help my students.
The Great One; truly a drumming legend, and undeniably one of the most influential and most important drum teachers who ever lived. Gary did the impossible; he developed a system that teaches how to be creative on the drums. Brilliant! He taught Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Smith, and J.R. Robinson, amongst hundreds of other top name players. He changed drumming forever, and his methods are taught in every percussion school in the world. I drove from The Bronx to Boston, which was exactly 200 miles each way, for a 4 hour lesson with Gary, 1 time per month, for 2 years.
Tommy Igoe is a very rare person in that he’s an incredible player and also and incredible teacher. He’s one of the best and most sought-out teachers today. His series of “Groove Essentials” and “Great Hands for a Lifetime” have become the most popular instructional material of the past 10 years. Tommy has toured the world with the biggest names in music, and his Birdland Big Band has become a “must see” for any drummer when in New York.
There is good reason he's known around the world as "Drumming's Global Ambassador." I saw him in all the drum magazines, read his books, and knew I had to meet him. Studying with him is more than a just a lesson, its comic relief. You can't help but laugh when you're around Dom. His personality is magnetic, his laughter is contagious, and his outlook on life is absolutely inspiring. My first lesson with him was a 3 hour block. We swapped stories about our Italian background, made fun of each other and other drummers, and at the end my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. It wasn’t until the following morning when I sat down to play that I realized how much I had actually learned from him the night before!
Dom helped me with my first web site in 2002, and shared ideas with me on how to get my videos out there to as many people as possible. This was before Youtube, and it really helped me build an early following on the Internet.
One day when I was a student at Lehman College, I walked by an office in the music department and saw a poster of a drummer on the wall. I went in, introduced myself to the guy at the desk and we sat and spoke for a long time. He obviously knew a lot more than I did and offered me lessons, saying that we could focus on the things he learned from his 2 teachers, Gary Chaffee and Gary Chester. Once I realized he was the same Tony Cruz who is featured in the original printing of Gary Chester's book "The New Breed", I was both nervous and excited to learn from him. Looking back, it’s now clear that a random meeting turned into a life changing event. Not only have we remained great friends, but Tony introduced me to advanced concepts and helped prepare me for my studies with Gary Chaffee.
Pete studied with Lenny Tristano and Ed Soph. He’s an Elvin Jones fanatic, and for 40 years has performed around the country and taught thousands of drummers. He is a jazz master, amazing brush player (a lost art) and he's also a true music historian.