What is Thedrummersalmanac.com? This site is a community on the Internet where drummers of all ages and levels can join in to develop their playing and attain that next level of skill on the drums! We do this by offering not just lessons, but extensive, detailed practice sessions based on those lessons. In other words it’s like one-on-one, personal training on the drums where instead of stopping at the “how to,” we take you through the entire cycle of practice… start to finish! This creates an atmosphere of unbelievable focus which has created astonishing results for our members.
“Initially I wanted to create a website with the sole purpose of providing all of my private students with an online resource to help them practice. These students were already receiving my lessons in private session, but I found that many of them didn’t have the ability to practice correctly on their own. They’d come in week after week with excuse after excuse of why they couldn’t practice. Some of it was laziness, some was lack of motivation, and a lot of it was just not being able to remember how to practice with the ability to stick to the assigned regiments.
What ever the reason, I found that 100% of students practiced perfectly when I was there to go through it with them. The challenge was, this would waste a lot of valuable lesson time. So, that begged the question; ‘How can I practice with all of my students every day and on their schedule?’ Thus, The drummersalmanac.com website was born.
After a while, as new students began joining the site we had another challenge to overcome. Since not every student was privy to my unique form of instruction, some students were reported having trouble keeping up with the practice schedule at even the beginner tempos. To answer this challenge I began drawing from my established off-line private lesson curriculum, reorganizing it into a series of online videos to help bridge the gap. Thus our drum lesson vault was born. Since 2011, we continue to add features and most of all listen to our member‘s suggestions on how to improve the educational process to this day.
This latest incarnation of the site has been a challenge to create, but has been worth the efforts! I hope you all enjoy it and continue to practice with purpose!!! ” ~Jay
One by one the music teacher asked each kid to make a sound out of their respective instrument’s mouth piece. If you couldn’t make a sound, then the teacher would go ahead and assign an instrument for you. I watched in horror as my friend who chose clarinet, got stuck with the tuba because he couldn’t produce a sound out of the mouth piece!
Out of fear that the same thing would happen to me, I changed my choice to drums to avoid having to blow into anything and getting stuck with the tuba…
That was me at 8 years old, and as you can see I began studying drums quite by accident. My first instrument choice was actually clarinet. I never got into the clarinet, but quickly grew to love the drums. I started private lessons at the age of 11. That first year, I practiced on a mishmash drum set, made of a beat up set of bongos, some old pots and pans, and my biggest score… an old beat-up snare drum that I found in my buddy’s attic. Eventually, my folks broke down and got me a real kit.
I continued to study drums throughout high school and eventually rose through the ranks to become the top drummer there. I than attended College at “The Conservatory Of Music @ SUNY Purchase.” Where it soon became clear that I was back at the bottom of the heap. It was there that…
I Got Blindsided By The ‘Harsh Reality Of The Music World’
…And It Nearly Ended My Career Before It Began.
At my audition for college the department was only accepting three new freshmen since there was a cap on the jazz program (75 students at the time)… and they already had plenty of drummers… or so I was told.
I was at the drums waiting for my big chance to impress the professors. They were all looking at me with that dismal glare as if saying… ‘Hurry up kid, do something, ‘cause we have a lot more students to go through and we’re not even looking for drummers this year.’
Feeling like I was about to blow the audition, I knew I had to do something drastic. So toward the end of a standard blues progression I closed my eyes, grit my teeth and through down the fastest, craziest fill I could possibly do. The solo was furiously out of control and I was totally lost in the count. However, Somehow… by the grace of God himself, I crashed the cymbal and came in on the correct beat!
I opened my eyes, as the dust settled to the shocked look of three stunned professors! They didn’t know that I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. They were just blown away, thinking I was this drumming prodigy and immediately accepted me into the program. I was one of three new students, and the only drummer for that year out of over 100 applicants, accepted…
… Sounds Great, Right? A Real Cinderella Story!
However once the school year started, the truth was revealed. The teachers quickly realized that I was a fake who had a miracle audition, not the prodigy they were hoping for. I couldn’t duplicate that miracle again.
They weren’t allowed to kick me out of the program, so instead they tried to get me to quit by really giving me hell in all of my classes for 2 years. It was from sheer white-knuckled panic that by my junior year I had outworked my entire class to survive and prosper as a top player in my school and later as a professional drummer. I reached all my goals and blew past all my ceilings because I didn’t have a choice. I was forced to find the answers… and I did!
I went on to become the head instructor at The ‘Ratamacue Percussion Learning Center’ in East Northport, NY for 3 years and then later opened the J-Sonic Music Studio in Amityville, New York. I now lives in Atlanta, GA and works from my studio there.
I keep a busy schedule teaching online, performing and recording with various artists as well as creating new content for the thedrummersalmanac.com … My interactive website to help drummers practice more effectively.
From 1995-2003: I played drums in the NY based rock band Halfmanwonder, touring and opened for major acts like The Dave Matthews Band, SR71, The Smithereens, David Crosby, Spearhead, Sugar Ray, and Derek Trucks until our interminable hiatus in 2003.
From 2007-2014: I was the drummer for the jam/fusion band Scogeojam a tribute to Chick Corea.
From 2010-2014: I was also the music director for Nocturne Orchestras, performing at corporate events all over the world for companies like Volkswagen, Emagine It, Moody’s Investors Service and Hard Rock Casinos.
Currently: I put most of my efforts into bettering Thedrummersalmanac.com, to help a broader range of aspiring drummers all over the world organize and develop their drumming skills.
“With all of the years of studying, playing and teaching countless students… I am so excited to share my honed teaching system with drummers all over the world. My goal is to help students learn and develop the right way so they don’t have to go through the same trials that I went through as a young player in my career.” ~Jay
Interested in private lessons with jay fenichel:
For more information on taking one-on-one lessons with Jay Fenichel in person at his studio or in person over the internet visit studythedrums.com or click below: