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Steve's Drum Page

Modern Drummer Magazine Paul Wertico North Texas Percussion
"21 Productive Ideas for the Private Teacher" (Modern Drummer article)
"Lessons in Listening," Parts 1 & 2, & out-takes (Modern Drummer article)
"Your Left Foot" (Modern Drummer article, with sound samples)
"The Sound of Two Hands Talking - Lessons with Paul Wertico" (article that has been accepted for publication in Modern Drummer)
100 Influential Drummers list "DrumWeb - Links to Drummers"
My drum setup e-mail me


I started drumming in 1979, as a 5th grader at Chapman Elementary School in Cheshire, CT.

In high school, I studied with Ed Hodgson in Cheshire, then with
Ed Soph in Middlebury (he's now teaching with the University of North Texas Percussion Department). I was also fortunate enough to take lessons with the great Ed Blackwell. While in high school, I performed in a number of local bands, primarily in conjunction with Paul Horton. I was also in marching band, concert band, and stage band for all 4 years of high school, then I got accepted to North Texas State University (it's now called the University of North Texas) as a Music Education major.

While still in high school, I had an article published in Modern Drummer Magazine (August 1989) entitled "21 Productive Ideas for the Private Teacher."

At North Texas, I studied with Ron Fink, Randy Drake, and Henry Okstel. I played a lot of drums. I composed and performed a piece for 15 percussionists ("El Gato") at a departmental recital, and I composed and performed a three movement percussion duet ("Mondays") at a weekly recital. I earned a spot in the "Reading Band", which is part of North Texas' famous Lab Band system.

I was a member of the North Texas State Drumline, which won the prestigous national Percussive Arts Society (PAS) annual competition (North Texas had won this competition 9 years running, and continued that trend for many more years). In addition to the drumline, I performed as a member of a variety of percussion ensembles in the percussion department, often in front of audiences numbering into the thousands. I was given the opportunity to attend dozens of percussion clinics by the world's most influential drummers, including Steve Gadd, Danny Gottlieb, Elvin Jones, Jim Chapin, and Kenwood Denard, to name a few.

Halfway through college, I switched my major to Psychology, but I continued to play and perform. Since college, I've composed & recorded the score for a student film ("One of Those Days," by Seth Greenspan), continued to teach, and have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to perform on the CD "Separate Skies" as the drummer, percussionist, and transcriptionist for the Paul Horton Group (released by Fermata Publishing). If you'd like to hear a few of the tracks from this CD, they're accessible here.

A while back, Modern Drummer published another of my articles, this one in two parts (December 1997 and January 1998), entitled "Lessons in Listening."

In 1999, they published a third - an instructional article on hi-hat technique for beginners. It was called "Your Left Foot," and can be found in the April 1999 issue.

In November of 1997, I spent a day studying with Paul Wertico, then the drummer for the Pat Metheny Group, which led to an upcoming Modern Drummer article entitled "The Sound of Two Hands Talking" (publication date not yet determined).

During medical school in Burlington, Vermont, I was fortunate to study with Gabe Jarrett, who is easily the best drummer in the state of Vermont. I continue to grab a lesson with him whenever I can. I also studied hand percussion (cunga, bongo) with Stuart Paton. I'd highly recommend either teacher to anyone in Vermont hoping to improve their skills. Also during medical school, I played in a variety of local bands, including High Fiber, Uncle Jim and the Triplets, Fatty Acid, The Anisman-Bernstein Ensemble, and Mood Circus. Set lists (and some mp3 files) are available here. I also regularly substituted for the Dave Keller Blues Band, as well as occasionally with The Chameleons.

Currently, I'm an internist at Holyoke Medical Center in Holyoke, MA, but I still play with a variety of bands. I'm most active with The Blenders, although I have also done extensive recording with Mike Canarie as part of The McCormack Brothers, and have played many times with Code Blue. Again, set lists (and some mp3 files) are available here. I remain a member of the Percussive Arts Society. I've also recently begun to learn bass guitar, which adds yet another dimension to understanding the rhythm section.

If you're in the Springfield, MA area and are interested in lessons, please send your e-mail to me at I've been teaching for many years, and enjoy teaching anyone from beginners to advanced students. See the articles"21 Productive Ideas for the Private Teacher" and "Lessons in Listening" for some information about my teaching philosophy.

I've included my list of 100 of the most important drummers (and examples of their playing) for those who might be interested, and I've also included the layout of my current setup. This setup represents the drumset I currently use to teach, if you choose to have lessons in my studio. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have!

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