Lessons are tailored to the student’s
needs and desires. Typical curriculum includes rudiments,
reading, beats, fills, songs, technique and tuning.
Lessons are conducted in a private
teaching studio, outfitted with pro-level equipment: two full drum
kits, lots of cymbals, double bass pedals, even cowbells and other percussion. We play wide open, no muffling, no pads - so we're able to address all the nuances of tuning, playing technique, dynamics and sound.
At The Drummer's Den we can slow recordings down, without affecting the pitch, to a tempo that allows students to play along with songs. Then as students practice and improve, we can gradually increase the tempo, until the student is able to play up to speed. If you're not taking lessons at The Drummer's Den, then you're not getting the most effective and efficient learning experience.
Lessons are conducted by the owner of The Drummer's Den, Bryan Hawkesworth, whose grandfather, Norman, was a Vaudevillian dancer. Norman danced on Broadway, and in theaters coast to coast, for 16 years. He later became Dean of the Dance Department at Staley College and then established the Norristown Dance Center, with a staff of 18 dancers. Entertaining and educating runs in Bryan's blood.
At the age of 8, Bryan received his first set of real drums, a blue sparkle Ludwig kit, with Zildjian cymbals. He still has the snare. It was the kit that his father had while in college, playing gigs to make extra cash. Bryan took snare drum lessons at his school in Exeter, NH. At the age of 16, he bought himself a wine red Pearl Export kit at Daddy's Junky Music, a chain of music stores in New England. Bryan took lessons from a popular local drummer in New Hampshire, Al Silva, and played parties in bands with his friends.
Bryan moved to Arizona, attended college, then worked for "Day & Zimmerman, Microelectronics", an engineering firm located in Phoenix. Bryan spent most of his six year semiconductor industry career as a designer, working onsite at Intel and Motorola fabrication plants around the Valley of the Sun, as well as in Austin, TX, and at an AT&T (Lucent) plant in Orlando, FL. He never lost his love for drums and drumming. His work and travels introduced him to all walks of life, and all walks seemed to share a love of music. Bryan continued to take lessons, studying with Dave Raheb, a local valley drummer, owner of Dave's Drum Shop, and Berklee School of Music (summa cum laude) graduate.
The Drummer's Den opened for business in April of 1999. The Drummer's Den started with two small teaching studios. Bryan ran the retail business and hired various well-known local talents to teach the students. Steve Hargrave (Azz Izz), Nicholas Rizzo (Instant Classics), David Small (F5) and Richard Bradley Polmans (Perfect Dilemma) have all taught lessons at The Drummer's Den. Bryan continued to hone his craft by studying with all of the teachers he's had on staff, as well as sharing tips and tricks with the multitude of drummers that have come through the door throughout the years.
Although Bryan enjoyed helping customers find the drums and drum equipment that they really wanted and needed, he soon realized that he preferred being in the studio teaching the lessons. The wall between the two small studios came down, making one larger studio where Bryan now teaches. The studio is outfitted with two Pearl drum kits, pro-level cymbals, double bass pedals, cowbells, etc. Bryan also plays guitar and bass, giving students the experience of playing along with a live musician rather than just playing to pre-recorded music. Playing live gives the students a better understanding of what they're learning in their lessons and what the role of a drummer is in a band situation.
Bryan has been the drummer in a variety of bands including HR Violations (power trio), Crazy Finger (a six-piece band that covers Grateful Dead, and any band that the Dead themselves covered), Guilty as Sin (a five piece, female fronted, classic rock band), Bill Dutcher & the Other Brothers (power trio headed by local guitar hero Bill Dutcher), Sydney Collins & Bryan Hawkesworth (a duo performing unique versions of originals and covers incorporating vocals, acoustic guitar, and cajon).
Click the link to see a Sydney Collins & Bryan Hawkesworth promotional video SC&BH video link Bryan has played drums, cajon and guitar on various stages locally, in venues like Wrigley Mansion, Rhythm & Wine, Culinary Dropout Scottsdale and Culinary Droupout The Yard, Snowbowl Ski Resort, The TPC Grill, Pinnacle Peak Country Club, The Compound, The Big Fish, The Clubhouse, Martini Ranch, The Sail Inn; out of state, the Key Club on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, the Coronado Yacht Club, the Celebrity Cruise line; and even internationally, in Thailand and Cambodia.
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In-home lessons are also available.
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