Category Archives: Stories Stories and Images

Why do we charge for the trial lesson?

In our experience of teaching drums since 1994 we learned that students that pay for their trial lesson tend to stay long term. On the other hand, most people that come for a free trial prefer to ignore our follow up text message or phone call.
They are doing nothing wrong, it just doesn’t work for us.

Our time preparing for lessons (book material, studio, gear and premisses), the decades of teaching experience, and of course the lesson time, are valuable to us, and will be to you too.

So far so good. Giving free trial lessons never bothered us. The real issue is that many people don’t turn up to their trial lesson, and we rarely find out why.

The day we can ask plumbers or hairdressers a free trial we will rethink this matter.

We still offer free trial lessons on some days during school holiday periods, so if that’s your thing, visit our website and keep an eye on the home page where we place the free trial button for a couple of days.

Snare drum tuning – you haven’t heard of this tip

Have you noticed the number of people that disliked the videos that you loved or found very helpful on Youtube?

And what does that have to do with snare drum tuning?SnareMono

Simple: drums are different, therefore parts of the tuning instructions won’t work for every one of them. Some are old or poor quality, others are new, top quality and expensive drums.

This very important detail has everything to do with my new discovery while tuning my snare drum last week.

For the last 3 years I’ve been unhappy with the sound of my snare drum, and even thinking about getting a new one, despite it being a PDP only about 4 years old  – not really old, decent brand and model. It wasn’t looking – or should I say “sounding” – good for my drum school in Sydney. A few students even mentioned the sound of the snare drum being ‘weird’.

When I decided to start my sceptical tuning process from scratch one more time, I realised the screws didn’t come off so smoothly as I thought they should.

The screws were not rusty, but before starting the tuning process I took all screws out completely only to put a little bit of DW-40 on the screws and also inside the lugs.

I was amazed by how the screws went into the lugs so smoothly. It felt like I had just exchanged my average snare drum for one of those very expensive ones.

The tuning experience was extremely different to the previous ones, when before, even with a new quality skin I couldn’t end up with the satisfactory crisp sound I wanted.

The answer to me was:
DW-40 on screws and lugs;
– tuning as everyone normally does;
and the result was that beautiful and awesome crisp sound!






Get ready to play many songs, not only a couple

Today I found this very interesting comment in a blog:

“I used to take guitar lessons with this guy whose style of teaching was letting the student take in a popular song and he’d teach you it. I remember taking Message In A Bottle by The Police to him and we worked on that for a little too long. Looking back, I just was not ready for that yet. What I really needed are those spider exercises first. I didn’t learn about those until long after I quit lessons with this teacher. The funny thing is he’d tell me about stories of other students working on songs with him for months. So he knew it was a problem. But maybe their point of view is that this is what the student wants? How can that work if they get frustrated like me and quit like I eventually did?”

I’ve had a number of students that came to learn drums from me saying – therefore thinking – they were in an intermediate level.

Despite being able to play about half a dozen of songs, that was all they could do after 3 to 5 years of training.

With the teaching method I use, based on exercises involving beats, fills, stick control and rudiments, in a matter of 2 to 3 months the same students were ready to play many simple songs. Within 6 to 12 months – depending on the student, of course – their list of songs increased fast.

Pegada Drum Method is not only about passing my knowledge. It’s also about preparing the students to recognise and understand what the drummers did in the songs they chose to learn, and play many songs without having to work on each one separately during the lessons.

Not every one of the new “intermediate” students was happy to restart from a book called Fundamentals. Well, if they have heard about (the 40 essential) rudiments but don’t remember what a Paradiddle is, and can’t apply basic variations of single strokes to create fills, they give me no option: beginners they are.

There’s no need for frustration, though. They perform better and learn faster than the average beginners, and after learning and practising basic stuff that they missed they feel much more confident because they won’t run the risk of not being able to play simple grooves and fills for lack of knowledge and practice.


“If Pegada Drum Method was available in music shops it’d be by far my favourite option to teach drums”.


Drumming and teaching in Sydney

Claudio Reis Drums

In mid 2004 I moved to Sydney and started gigging and teaching in 2005.

As most immigrants, I first got involved with people from my original country, joining the following bands:
Marrinho Martin – Forro singer,
Oz Brasil (from Marickville),
Ze Pretinha (from Manly),
Os Alquimistas (from Bondi),
Brazilian Latin Groove,
Viva Brasil show;
and later the Australian Pop/Rock band Partysonic.

Forro is the name of a Brazilian rhythm and dance. With Marrinho Martin I had the chance to play in RSLs in Sydney, in the Brazilian 5th Ritmo Festival in the Olympic Park, and local parties in Bondi Junction.

Marrinho, RSL gig      Claudio Reis with Marrinho Martin in the 5th Ritmo Brazilian Festival, Olympic Park

The atmosphere was amazing. Ze Pretinha band used to play only Brazilian Pop/Rock. Two Australian couples invited us to play in their wedding functions after watching our gigs in a pub in Manly Beach. Unfortunately, half of the band is now back in the Samba land.

Ze Pretinha, gig in Mosman      Ze Pretinha band at a Corso gig

Viva Brasil - Factory Theatre, Claudio Reis, drummer
Oz Brazil played in the 6th Ritmo Brazilian Festival in Darling Harbour, and Alquimistas a few gigs in the Eastern Suburbs.

With Brazilian Latin Groove I played lots of private functions, and with them was the connection that took me to be part of Viva Brasil show. That pict was taken in the Factory Theatre.

By 2006 things got even better. The number of students was always growing, and I was invited to join the Pop/Rock band Partysonic, an authentic aussie band that played only private corporate functions in Sydney.

Things were going really well with students, bands and friends, but I left Australia in the end of 2009 for 3 years. While awaiting for my resident visa back in Sao Paulo, I joined a few bands before returning to Australia in 2012, including Leandro Costa, Alphandega, Mr. Bug, Botoes Anti-Atomicos, Duo TrioHypersonic and Elvisback.

Fifteen years welcoming new styles

Heavy Metal will always have a place in my heart and I keep practising some of the Metal songs I love, but after the end of Twilight in 1997, I spent the following years aggregating new styles of drumming, joining bands that didn’t have much to do with rock, and therefore, learning a lot.

2003 Non Stop - Claudio and PicaPau Non Stop Party Band

My first steps towards the huge variety of beats were with bands that played Pop, Rock, Reggae and Brazilian rhythms, and later Funk, Soul, and Disco, still in late 90’s. What would you expect from a band called Non Stop Party Band? That is it: people dancing all night long and that was pretty exciting.

2011 Botoes-AntiAtomicos

Outside the heavy/rock scene I had the pleasure of playing in crowded night clubs, in different cities, and interesting events, as for example being the main band on the stage of a beach event in summer for two consecutive years.

Still with Rock in my veins and some spare time, I joined tribute bands like Skid Row, Alanis Morissette, Dream Theater and Elvis Presley.

2010 - Alphandega

Unplugged versions of rock music was another challenge, when for the first time I played live using Rods – specific drum sticks that help the drums sound lighter.

Some of the bands I drummed for in this period are:
Non Stop Party Band
Skid Row Tribute
Alanis Morissette Tribute
Dream Theater Tribute

In mid 2004 I moved to Sydney, Australia. Details in the next post.



After some years influenced by Gene Hoglan, Dave Lombardo, Ventor and other Thrash Metal drummers, Mike Portnoy’s work helped change my style of playing drums. The soundproof was still made of egg cartons though.

1995 Claudio Reis

In 1994 I was invited by an awesome guitar player and composer to start a melodic Heavy Metal band with other musicians that had more experience than me in the music scenery of São Paulo.

Things started improving along the years; and for the ears. My third drum kit had two bass drums, rototons, bongos and finally imported renowned brand cymbals.

Primor Drums

Twilight‘s first demo tape, Dawn, was an explosion among friends, quickly spreading and attracting new fans. We had full house at Black Jack Rock Bar a few times for about two years, mainly playing originals but also covering bands like Halloween, Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray, and Dream Theater. Our songs Prayer, Rage and Sunlight were well known among rockers in São Paulo.

1994 Twilight (FAAP)199 Tomas and Luigi, with Twilight (Black Jack)

For the first time I saw strangers singing the lyrics of my own band’s original songs. Despite some grammar mistakes in our lyrics – English is not our mother tongue, that was amazing. We had one song playing in a Metal radio program, one page in a local newspaper, and lots of people buying Dawn.

1995 Twilight

Other 7 great songs were recorded in the new demo tape Watching the Sky, turning Twilight’s gigs into big events for local Heavy Metal fans.
The lack of labels interested in Brazilian Heavy Metal at that time, and the poor production quality of the second demo tape were the reasons why Twilight’s future plans in the music industry faded away.

1995 Claudio Reis and Twilight (Black Jack)

Twilight shared stage with other known bands like Skyscraper and Henceforth, but the Brazilian Metal market left not only us, but many other awesome bands behind.

I ended up joining Pop/Rock bands, which was great fun, but that didn’t stop me from leaving my last mark in the Heavy Metal scene, being invited to drum for the Skyscraper album T.V.lization in 1997/1998, sold mainly in Japan, Italy, France and Brazil, since the original drummer had left the band right before the recordings started.

Tomas Kenedi – vocals
André ‘Bilóide’ Linhares – guitar and vocals
Rodolfo Elsas / Luige Pilósio – guitar
Felipe Guerra – bass
Sandra Reis / Leo Loebemberg – keyboards
Claudio ‘Head’ Reis – drums


Kamada-K and Chonps!

Back in early 1990’s I was the only guy with a long hair and the only one who put together the only band of all high school students in our school, Magister. I had already been playing drums for almost 3 years and our first gig was in the school. Five gigs in one week, what a success for those young boys.

1990 Kamada-k Colégio Magister

Later, with basically the same team, we had a Pop and a Heavy Metal band, Kamada-K and Chonps. I was the guitar player in the Heavy Metal one, but moved back to drums when an amazing guitar player, trained in NY city, decided to join the band.

1992 Chonps ao vivo 1990 Chonps - ensaio (Andre, Claudio, Shwy)

At that time no one used to record videos, there was no Internet, and video cameras were expensive. But our demo tapes, Limits of Sanity and Don’t Feed The Monster, were good enough to spread our music and get us some gigs in São Paulo and some other towns.

1992 Chonps - logo 1991 Chonps (Andre e Claudio) - Black Jack Rock Bar

We shared stage with KorzusVírus 27, Wardeath, Grunks, and went together watch many concerts including Rock in Rio 1991.

.1992 Chonps1992 Chonps - artwork

Chonps! soon turned into a Thrash Metal band. We recorded original songs and played many gigs – specially in the famous but already demolished Black Jack Rock Bar – having in the song list bands like Metallica, Napalm Death and Kreator.

In 1994 Chonps! participated in the V.O. Fest Rock of São Paulo. I was the only drummer having to organise more space in the stage to fit a second bass drum. After our noisy performance, organisers mentioned that I was unanimously voted the best drummer in the festival.

I had already started Uni where my friendship with another guitar player and composer became deeper and somehow he helped me start changing my style when he introduced me to Dream Theater. It was time for me to start playing a bit slower and improve my technique. But I’m leaving that for the next post, where I’ll talk about my former melodic Heavy Metal band, Twilight.

Cristian ‘Sarron’ – vocals
Eber Vale – vocals
Jefferson Garcia – guitar
André ‘KaraFina’ – guitar
Ricardo ‘Shwy’ – bass
Claudio ‘Head’ Reis – drums

Cristian ‘Sarron’ – vocals
Ricardo ‘Shwy’ – bass
André ‘KaraFina’ – guitar and vocals
Alex Bureta – guitar
Claudio ‘Head’ Reis – drums