The 180 Drums Podcast

Hang with the best drummers in the music industry. Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Paramore, Carrie Underwood, TLC, NKOTB, Christina Aguilera, Thousand Foot Krutch, Lecrae, TobyMac and Jason Aldean are just some of the artists who have lent us their drummers. Wisdom, laughs and heartfelt moments are what you should expect to hear. The in's and out's of being a touring Drummer are the fundamentals of this podcast. Getting gigging with 180 Drums.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 21, 2016

Carter McLean is one remarkable guy. Forget the fact that Carter is an exceptional drummer for one second to consider how he has been able to juggle professionally photography, competitive Rock climbing, and Skiing during different phases of his life's journey. Today Carter plays drums full-time, working with an array of exceptional artists while also holding down drums for NYC's Lion King on Broadway. Carter McLean shares not only how he started, but the philosophy behind developing skills and being led by your inspiration. Our team at 180 is impressed by not only Carter's resume, but his down-to-earth attitude and desire to help others learn while following what fuels him at whatever stage of life he's at.

Dec 13, 2016

In this Episode Caleb Crosby, drummer & member of Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown gives us the scoop on his experience touring Europe opening for ACDC, being a member of a full-time rock and roll band, meeting Tyler Bryant, and why he and the Shakedown avoid using a click/metronome for their live performances. It's an action-packed episode with some amazing stories, including how the rhythm section of the Shakedown got called to play for Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave) in-front of one of the biggest crowds of their career.

Dec 7, 2016

Randy Cooke is a Canadian born-LA based session drummer who’s backed up Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Kelly Clarkson, Smashmouth, Hilary Duff, and more. In this episode, Randy Cooke is sharing on the non-monetary details he considers before taking a gig, how important it is to navigate different personalities as a session drummer and how he handles nervousness. "I always want people to know that it’s not a financially motivating decision." - Randy Cooke

Dec 2, 2016

Mike Dawson is managing editor for Modern Drummer, the world’s most widely read magazine for drummers, and he serves as book editor for Modern Drummer Publications, with most recent releases including FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids by modern country great Rich Redmond and co-author Michael Aubrecht, Stick Technique by rudimental drumming specialist Bill Bachman, and Exercises in African-American Funk by University of Miami professor Steve Rucker and top touring drummer Jonathan Joseph (Jeff Beck, Joss Stone, Richard Bona). In the pages of MD, Dawson has authored dozens of artist features, educational columns, event reports, and product reviews.

An active performer, teacher, and session drummer in the New York City area, Dawson has a bachelor’s degree in music education from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s Senior Lecturer in music journalism at the University of the Arts. Mike also produces drum tracks for artists all around the world out of his home studio in New Jersey.

Nov 24, 2016
Greg Clark Jr had played with everyone from Cody Simpson to Snarky Puppy to Leann Rimes. On this episode he discusses the art of cultivating your own sound and wisdom for being in the music industry. He shares his experiences from playing at the white house for Obama to being asked to sit behind Dennis Chambers kit, mid gig.
Born and Raised in Washington DC, Greg started playing drums in church around 3 or 4 years old as a left handed drummer who was forced into learning to play right handed. Then an opportunity arose to switch over to setting up the kit left handed and he’s never looked back. "I love that drums are a never ending challenge” are words echoed by Greg in so many ways throughout this podcast.
While young in his career Greg was on his first big travel date in Aruba and had his eyes opened by the uniqueness of Mary J Blige drummer Rex Hardy Jr's playing. This furthered Greg’s desire to begin cultivating his own sound and sharing how others could do the same.
How to go about cultivating your own sound
- find musicians older or more experienced than you
     - taught greg respect and how to listen to other musicians
     - our main job is to keep the time, while paying attention to others
- find your favourite musicians, then discover their influences
- Don’t listen to the same 3 or 4 drummers
- avoid only watching drummers on YouTube
- Listen to pianists, bassists and vocalists
- Go to clubs and sit in on open mic's
- Soak in different environments
- “Everybody hears that certain musician, or record, and it turns the light-switch on for them"
- You never know when ‘this record will be the record that changed my life.'
- patiently take time to figure out the things you’re trying to hear on the drums
- Finding your own sound is about looking past what’s just on YouTube
Episode highlights from Greg Clark Jr:
"Listening to busta Rhymes’s rhythm helped shape the way I play"
"With experience comes experience, not necessarily age."
"Sooner or later you hear that one record and think… I understand now."
“A lot of musicians feel like they’re ready for something… but they’re not ready."
"You can either do two things - you can be upset about it, or you can pull out your pen and pad and start taking notes."
“Dennis (Chambers) has been in the game a really long time, but he’s still aware of everything that is current."
"Dennis Chambers will tell you he’s not going to come to your show and not to put him on the guest list, just so he can buy a ticket to your show and come support… That’s the type of person he is."
"Will Kennedy is another guy I’ve watched forever. Will has some of the, consistently, best sounding drums in the business. He can make an odd time sound like a super easy, even time groove."
"It turned out, I was fortunate enough for things to happen. I’m blessed, I must say."
"When you can accurately hit a drum, or tune a drum, it gives the engineer less work to do. They respect you more because they know they can call you and you’ll sound solid, providing great tone. You save them time and money and they’ll keep you in their favourite 5"
People Mentioned:
- Dennis Chambers
- Vinnie Colaiuta
- Carlos Vega
- Louie Bellson
- Steve Gadd
- Jay Williams
- Aaron Spears
- Steve Johnson
- Jamal Moore
- Greg Granger
- Calvin Rogers
- Brian Frasier Moore
- Robert Sput Searight ||
- Gergo Borlai
- Justin Brown
- chris colemans
- Thomas Pridgen
- Ronald Brunner Jr
- Chris Leech - Piano Player who does Tracks
- Dave Weckl
- Chick Corea Elektric Band
- Carlos Vega
- Corey Henry
- Leann Rimes
- Mary J Blige
- Rex Hardy Jr
Greg Clark Jr also shares:
- Stories on Calvin Rogers and Robert Sput Searight
- How he was asked to fill in for Snarky Puppy
- How Dennis Chambers took Greg under his wing
- How Will Kennedy also took Greg under his wing
Drummers Dennis has mentioned frequently
     - Gergo Borlai
     - Justin Brown
     - Chris Coleman
     - Thomas Pridgen
     - Ronald Bruner Jr
Greg Clark Jr on Mom:
About 3 years ago I realized just how good she was, transcribing a challenging piece she was site reading on the fly.
She’s one of my biggest influences.
Greg Clark Jr on drum tuning:
- Calvin Rogers, Dave Weckl and Will Kennedy’s drum tuning
- drum tuning is an unusual thing because of the variables
- they take a lot of time tuning their drums
- there’s a different spectrum of drum sounds
- Use dampening for specific reasons, but start with open sounding drums
- There’s a place, and a balance to figure out, for all tunings
- What does the venue acoustically call for?
- Taking the drum heads completely off and starting from scratch
- measuring up your drum sounds to records
- ask people for help “my tuning sucks, can you help me?"
- Everybody who’s tuning I enjoy, I’ve sat down and asked them to help me, or snuck in to watch them tune
- Every drum is different, the trick is figuring out how to get your sound out of the drum
- No matter what happens, people should be saying those drums sounded good because you got your point across and sounded like yourself. That’s the key.
- Stand on your kick drum head to stretch the head out
- When you put the heads on the rack tom, tune everything super tight to play it in.
- Floor toms, semi tighter on the bottom than the top head.
- Understand how to play on a bebop drum set and get your sound out of it just the same.
- Snare drum, clockwise tuning always. Super tight bottom head. Coated 2 ply batter.
- Clear heads, single ply on bottom, two ply on tops of toms
What are you listening to while playing with a band?
It all depends on who I’m playing with, what artist is singing, who’s in the band. Some people have bad time and you have to be aware of that. For the most part I’m listening to the bass so the music is locked and doesn’t fall apart.
No matter what happens, if anything goes wrong on the foundation, the drummer gets the blame. It’s mainly the bass player I’m listening to, but I’ll ask for a mix of a little of everyone in my monitor.
What’s one of the best ways to improve feel and time:
Sense of time is easy: I got a metronome or MPC track and turn the track super low in volume and practice playing to it.
You have to train your ear and body to hear the pulse and feel the click.
When you get comfortable with what you’re playing to, turn it down really really low and try to chop over it.
It’s an easy answer, but not an easy process.
Everyone in the band will be looking to you for comfort (with timing) and if you’re not comfortable they won’t be either.
If you’re not comfortable playing off time, simply set up a click to practice to.
The click ain’t gonna lie, the click will keep you honest.
What drummers / artists do you recommend listening to for Feel?
Listen to records and feel. Steve Gadd is the king of feel.
Dennis chambers, Will Kennedy, Gary Novak, Carlos Vega with James Taylor… Listen to all these guys.
You can’t teach feel behind the drum-set, you really have to figure that out on your own.
"Make the music feel good, and the people on the dance floor dance."
"Feel is not a black thing, feel is a human thing. One of my favourite drummers on a couple of Miles Davis’ wife record Betty Davis is Greg Errico, a white drummer/ When you hear him play (Greg Errico) you will think this is a 50 year old black dude who knows how to make soul food."
"Yogi Horton on I’m coming out, that stuff feels great."
- Carlos Vega
- Steve Gadd
- Dennis Chambers
- Will Kennedy
- Gary Novak
- Any motown records
- James Brown
Greg on Antonio Sanchez, "I don’t think drummers understand how big a deal it is that a drummer was asked to score the movie bird land."
"Feel is not a thing you figure out in 6 months… it is everything you build on and evolve from. You have to stay current and relevant to what feels good and how people dance."
Parting Advice:
"We LEARN so that we can TEACH."
"Keep practicing, keep staying current, past to present."
"Go out and support artists play because they will be the ones coming to see you play
“If Jeff Tain Watts is in town, I’m going to go catch the gig."
"Billy Cobham's Spectrum band… Billy was killing it at 70 years old. There’s nothing like seeing people play in person."
"Stay current, go see people play, buy records, practice tuning, being very aware, work on feel pulse."
"Go see Corey Henry playing an organ show."
“Hear a show not driven by the drums but the artist"
"Go watch Chick Corea Elektric Band play."
“Weather report, stanley clark… they shifted music to what it is today."
"If you want to grow, don’t be afraid to ask drummers to help."
Nov 16, 2016

Sarah Hagan is the director of Artist Relations worldwide with Zildjian. This means Sarah is in touch with many of your favorite drummers. It also means she has years of experience under her belt. Working with people around the world, understanding commonalities between drummers and, almost without fail, wearing a black shirt and blue jeans every day of the week are skills Sarah has adopted. Just kidding on the last point... but in all serious-ness Sarah has an amazing ability to develop, build and maintain relationships on the daily with more people than most talk to within an entire month. Get ready for a podcast that is going to provide you some serious insight on what it means to be a drummer in this day and age.

Nov 9, 2016

Mike Sleath is one of Canada’s most in-demand drummers. After getting turned down for music college three years in a row Mike shares the path he took, landing him his current gig with Shawn Mendes. We’re going talk about the most important parts of his job on AND off the kit and some of his most important lessons he’s learned along the way.

Why Listen? Learn:

  • The importance on onomatopoeia in drumming
  • Why it’s extremely important to understand how to run backing tracks
  • One of Mike’s biggest lessons he’s learned from being on stage
  • What to do if music college doesn’t let you in three years in a row
  • How to transform your drum sounds on the fly
  • Working with a Musical Director on stage  /  Instagram  /  Twitter  /  YouTube


Oct 7, 2016

In this episode of we have Kris Mazzarisi of @BigFatSnareDrum and Trey Smith, Front of House extraordinaire for Matt Kearney & Sara Bareilles, discussing how to create an amazing live drum sound. From tuning, mic positioning, mic selection, EQ'ing and Gate-ing, Kris and Trey cover it all. This unique and valuable insight is difficult to find anywhere else. Lastly, this entire episode was recorded at the White House... Yes, the white house. Enjoy!

Sep 28, 2016

Ever wondered how you can use tools like YouTube and Instagram to spread the word about your drumming and create a career? Josh Manuel did at a young age and began exploring every area of the net in search for different ways to share his talent. Eventually landing a touring gig with Issues, Josh shares his experiences and insights into the world of Social Media as it was when he got his start, and as it is today. 

Sep 21, 2016

Ever wondered what it takes to make a living playing drums? Have you had your first audition for a band? Are you thinking about studying to get a college level education within the music industry? Wondering if playing music without an education was the right decision? Today with Tim Buell, we're answering your questions. We're focusing on the heart of the matter, discussing his experiences doing all of the above. Tim shares phenomenal insight into his studies and current strategy. He shares tips and tricks on how drummers can expand their playing. As well as how drummers can use all their senses to improve their skills. Hold on tight, this is a good one.

Aug 4, 2016

Preconceptions, ego and fear are a few topics who's prevalence should lead to greater self inspection. As drummers it's important we realize not only how to improve, but how to refrain from creating self-made pitfalls. Preconceptions are the perspectives that form in our mind while ego is the response to our preconceptions with a focus on me. Lastly, fear is that driver that motivates preconceptions and ego to protect oneself, often at the expense of others... and almost always at the expense of ones self in due time.

Preconceptions, Egos and Fear

What we're saying in this post is, self-awareness in life isn't always as important as self-forgetfulness. Creating models that matter while adding value to those around you, is what matters most.

This podcast features Wayne Blanchard, and let me tell you, he is one incredibly wise man. Not only is Wayne a studied drummer in his own right, but Wayne also has worked with everyone from Neil Peart to Dave Weckl. In his time working for Sabian, Wayne helped the company rebrand aspects of it's business and change it's approach to marketing. This podcast is one of my personal favorite's. Wayne's insights are not only brilliant, but also are that of his experiences and the environment that assisted in his wonderfully creative approach to thinking.

Growing up in Germany, England and Scotland, now living on the east coast of Canada, Wayne Blanchard lives a life that embodies personality, creativity and humility. Playing in clubs by age 13, Wayne grew up drumming and playing bass, drawing inspiration from Beat-Club and listening to Radio Luxembourg. It wasn't until hearing Cream and Hendrix that Wayne found himself transmogrified as a musician. The influence of Average White Band and Jeff Beck also made an impact as Wayne transitioned from a life in Post War Germany, to one in England and Scotland.

Why Listen?

Wayne shares why:

  • Phil Collins and Mike Portnoy are the ultimate endorsers
  • Distinction matters (don't be neapolitan ice cream!)
  • Everyone liking you is a distraction from what matters
  • Innovation is important


  • Most people prefer to be informed enough to make up their own mind.
  • Accept that you're not right all the time. The one time you're wrong can wreck everything.
  • Just because people like things doesn't mean it's good for you.
  • Brand is like a magnet.
  • It's what you are, not what you do.
  • Don't sell, create value.



Aug 4, 2016

Value, how do you add it? Are you wondering how you can add value to the massive wall of content being uploaded to Instagram every day? Confused about where to begin, how to make a name for yourself or whether you have value to add in the first place? 

Often times we overestimate what we can achieve in the short term, get discouraged and give up, before our idea is ever realized. The problem is we've underestimated what we can achieve in the long term. If we could keep our ideas going for days, weeks, months, or most importantly, for years, believing it would one day pan out - we would likely achieve far more than we ever thought possible. Enter, Tristan Kelley.

With well over 50,000 followers and 1,000 posts, Tristan Kelley has successfully posted an Instagram "new beat a day" for the last several years. 700 days to be exact. Are you kidding me? Years, folks! Talk about consistency and dedication to the vision. Drummers have begun to find the value in his creativity, and it didn't happen over night. His beats have gotten better, his video and audio has improved and his numbers continue to spike as drummers flock to check out his latest beat, every single day. He's even scored the attention of some of the heaviest companies on the scene as of lately.

Here's his instagram account: @TristanKelley

I highly recommend you follow him!

Aug 4, 2016

Creating a career drumming isn't easy. Creating a versatile drumming career is wiser, yet harder still. Creating a life that is driving with clarity, using your highest level of capability, and is executed with confidence is astronomically harder to achieve... Unless you put in the work, then something strange happens. Things begin to fall into place.

  • Decades of experience as a drummer, author, speaker, coffee consumer, and full time human being
  • First experience behind a drumset at 5 years old
  • Experience starting with cello and moving to drums at 9 years old
  • Moment watching The Beatles and Ringo Starr on Ed Sullivan
  • Battle against Cancer
  • Favorite books
  • Moment of realization having played drums in front of over a billion people (1,000,000,000 - incase you don't realize how big that number is)
  • Experience writing his book "3 Steps to Top Performance - Conquering Life's Stage Freight"
  • Experience doing clinics since 1991
  • Failed audition for Bad English taught him more in a moment than many successes in his career. "It was the best worst day of my life."
Aug 4, 2016

Nashville. Why do drummers move there? How about Los Angeles and New York City? Nashville is our topic today and in this podcast interview with Joshua Sales, we're diving into a number of different subjects about how working drummers can get paid to do what they love, play the dang drums. We start off discussing Josh's experience growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana and how a sudden move to London, England, had him leaving his dreams of becoming a professional MLB pitcher behind. This is when the drums took the spotlight. Front and centre, baby.

Why Listen to this Podcast? You will learn:

  • Whether or not you should move to Nashville for a drumming career
  • The most important skills to start gigging in a new city
  • The most important qualities to possess as a drummer
  • Books, drummers and quotes to jot down
  • What it is other musicians are look
Aug 3, 2016

Ever wondered how you can create a career drumming and begin to make money with multiple streams of income? Jumping into this podcast is immediately going to reveal a number of different ways you can begin to establish a career as a drummer and earn some cash while you play... so your bank account isn't empty while you're out drumming! It might just surprise you how many different ways you can make money playing the drums, and while developing a career as a drummer is a challenging, it's not an unrealistic goal. We are excited to hear how this podcast helps you on your journey to becoming the best drummer you can be and creating a career that sustains you for the years ahead!

Why listen to this episode? You will learn about Chris':

  • Todays music industry
  • Experience in Cover Bands
  • Experience teaching drums
  • Move to Los Angeles to Pursue a Career
  • Tips on Getting gigs
  • Tips on preparing for gigs and auditions
  • Different ways to make money playing drums
  • How to view drumming as a business



Jul 28, 2016

DISCLAIMER: Harry spoke with the Jewish Defense League before writing on, and covering, this story. This post is not in support of any racist or anti-semitic behaviour, actions or visuals. This article is written to take a further look at the early 1900's history, prior to World War II, as well as some of the definitive moments in drum collection history.

This blog post is going to be not only extremely interesting, but also quite controversial and historical in nature. This podcast and blog is highlighting William S. Hart, a famous movie star of the early 1900's who made a purchase from Ludwig & Ludwig for his son, that today is highly valued and, even more so, misunderstood. Harry J. Cangany, a drum historian of sorts, and avid writer for many news mediums, including Modern Drummer, Drum! Magazine, Not So Modern Drummer and many more, joined us to discuss and shed light on this controversial piece of drum history.

Harry also spends time highlighting the recent sale of a $2 million Ringo Starr drumhead used upon his early arrival to the United States, both appearing on the Ed Sullivan show (with none other than The Beatles) and used on his personal Ludwig drumset. Harry also discusses sitting down with his hometown Billionaire who made the purchase of the drumhead, and continued on to purchase Ringo Starr's first personal Ludwig drumset in the United States. This is an exciting podcast full of surprises and fascinating bits of history that are sure to leave you learning something new. Without further adieu... Harry J. Cangany on the 180 Drums Podcast...


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"I want to take drum lessons!" – Harry J. Cangany, moments after seeing The Beatles and Ringo Starr for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, February 19th. He recalls it like it was yesterday. 

Why listen to this episode? You will learn about Harry's:

  • 20 year hunt for the most controversial drum ever
  • Experience, seeing, documenting and touching Ringo's first drumset
  • Life changing experience with The Beatles
  • The early rise of the drum set and how Ringo Starr made that impact
  • 150 Drum Sets and 50 Snare Drum large collection
Jul 6, 2016

We've heard about pocket so many times but what does pocket mean, and do you have it? We thought we would delve a little further to understand who is widely recognized as having a deep pocket to better help you create one. Pocket.

 To me, pocket implies the point at which a song feels just right.

 When you hear the pocket, it sounds perfectly comfortable and groovy.

When you play in the pocket, you are serving the song and making it feel good.

 The musical importance of pocket cannot be overstated enough; it is paramount in any style.  Furthermore, pocket allows the musicians around you to feel supported and grounded in a solid sense of time.

 Often times, it is the rhythm section’s responsibility to establish the pocket, for which a groove or song can be built around.  As drummers, we have huge influence as to how a song feels, and how it moves from beginning to end.

 Below are some of my favorite drummers who have an uncanny ability to play what’s right for the song, form the pocket, and create a solid musical foundation for the rest of the band to sit on top of.  The effect that these players have had on my, and so many other drummers’ musicality is unmatched.  My list of influences is by no means limited to this list, but these are some of the guys who have had the most significant impact on my playing and feel.

Steve Jordan

Steve Gadd

James Gadson

Bernard Purdie

Aaron Sterling


Clyde Stubblefield / John “Jabo” Starks

John Bonham

Benny Benjamin, Uriel Jones, “Pistol” Allen

Stevie Wonder

Levon Helm

David Garibaldi

Brian Blade

Al Jackson Jr.

All discussed...


Jul 6, 2016


"The drums speak for themselves." – Nathaniel Mela. Playing a major role in helping bringing Craviotto drums to the marketplace. He's also surrounded by Craviotto drums daily, making him one of the luckiest guys we can think of. Nathaniel gives us the lowdown on his experience working with Craviotto and the backstory of Johnny Craviotto. He shares how Johnny growing up using drums from the 20-40's had an impact on Johnny's inspiration to pursue a particular style of drum crafting after seeing a shift from major manufacturers to ply drum shells in the 80's.

About Craviotto Drums

Craviotto one-ply, solid shell drum sets provide a sound and feel that is instantly recognizable. Each drum is handmade from premium quality, hand-selected wood boards. We begin at the source to ensure your instrument is free from imperfections. From there, each drum takes several weeks to make - start to finish. The result is an instrument that speaks for itself and inspires others. Each Craviotto one-ply, solid shell drum wears over one thousand fingerprints from the pickiest, most exacting talented drum craftsmen in the business. You bet and proud of it. From Maple, to Ash, to Walnut to Mahogany, let the fine craftsmen at Craviotto construct the instrument you've been seeking.

Why listen to this episode? You will learn How:

  • Craviotto was birthed
  • Johnny Craviotto's inspiration to begin building custom drums first came from and how Neil Peart was an early artist
  • Ringo Starr playing drums on the Ed Sullivan show impacted the culture of drumming as a whole and especially for companies like Zildjian Cymbals and Ludwig drums.
  • Jake Nicolle messed up on a Craviotto Snare trade that led to the formation of with Steve Augustine (I didn't mess up that bad on the trade)!
  • Johnny built such an impressive roster of artists who all buy the drums and don't receive giveaways
  • Johnny used to tour with Buffy St. Marie, Neil Young and many others
  • the early 20s, 30s and 40s drums had an impact on the Craviotto sound
  • To cope with letting go of a drum you regret parting ways with



"Just another Fish." - Johnny Craviotto

"It spread like wildfire amongst the right people."

"All these guys have approached him and I think that stems from the fact that Johnny is really doing something unique."

"The drums speak for themselves."

Connect with Craviotto: | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

People and Artists Mentioned



Co-founder of @180Drums and @SundaySeat. A lover of all things drums. I have toured and recorded with various artists, constantly refining my craft. I spend my time working on, Sunday Seat and various other projects, inspiring and raising up other drummers and young entrepreneurs when time permits. A good book and cup of coffee is always near by.

Click HERE to see Jake’s Lessons



All around bad to the bone. Mark tapes not only the intro and outro of the podcast but he's also a killer drummer in his own right. When Mark isn't out touring with Manafest or other artists he can be found in his studio recording satellite drum tracks for artists all over the world and mixing the latest 180 Drums Podcast episode. He's the real deal.

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Jun 29, 2016

"It's vital to understand that music is a business, not just art. You're an entity inside of a larger industry. Think beyond music." – Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson is not just Lecrae's drummer, but he's also an amazing teacher and entrepreneur. Nate has played with a variety of Grammy-winning and Billboarding-topping artists including: Wayman Tisdale, Kelis, Tank, Angie Stone, Lecrae, Jermaine Dupri, Sarah Morrow, and Tyler Perry among others. His style is flavorful and unique. He never plays to hog the audience’s gaze, but rather to form the greater whole of the musical experience through unity and balance. “Heard Not Seen.”

Why listen to this episode? You will learn how to:

  • Play for the Music
  • Not Talk Too Much
  • Develop your Weaknesses
  • Expose your own musical Identity
  • Create a successful music business
  • Develop a strategy for a successful career



Nate's #180Seat

ZION Cymbals


AJP Custom Drums



  • DW 9000 series pedals and hardware
  • DW 5000 series pedals

Remo Drumheads


He began banging on stuff at 2 years old

His experience on 180 Drums

Earnest Walker was Nate's mentor, who allowed Nate to drum tech his gigs. This was Nate's early education and further exposure to the drums.

Nate wasn't schooled at all.

He got started in church, but didn't like gospel music

Grew up in Houston w/ Chris Daddy Dave

Prayer Each Morning - "This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24

Most productive at night. Last thing of the day - shutting down computer, gone straight to bed around 3AM.

Nate's Father is an electrical engineer

His mother is a nurse

Blockbuster music selection

Mo' Better Blues

Violin and Recorder were Nate's schooled instruments


- Nate's dad, "Always focus on your weaknesses... It's the exact opposite of what you want to do, but that's where you need to spend your time."

"All I ever see, all I ever hear are my weaknesses... and because of that, I always have something to work on."

"Being an amazing musician requires the artist to create some infrastructure in order to have a career. You have to create something."

"Create something comfortable and authentic to who I am, and define myself as a player."

"It had the potential to be awful."

"Vital to understand that music is a business, not just an art. You're an entity inside of a larger industry."

"Think beyond music and just the drums."

"95% business 5% music."

"Play the music. Don't play at the music, play with the music."

"Music is your business product."

"Continue to practice and work even when things look good.

Connect with Nate: | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram 

People and Artists Mentioned



Co-founder of @180Drums and @SundaySeat. A lover of all things drums. I have toured and recorded with various artists, constantly refining my craft. I spend my time working on, Sunday Seat and various other projects, inspiring and raising up other drummers and young entrepreneurs when time permits. A good book and cup of coffee is always near by.

Click HERE to see Jake’s Lessons



All around bad to the bone. Mark tapes not only the intro and outro of the podcast but he's also a killer drummer in his own right. When Mark isn't out touring with Manafest or other artists he can be found in his studio recording satellite drum tracks for artists all over the world and mixing the latest 180 Drums Podcast episode. He's the real deal.

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Jun 21, 2016

Drake's Drummer Adrian Bent walks us through how he got the gig and played bass on some Drake tracks you love as well. Have you ever tried to understand how the guys touring arenas all over the world and playing on your favorite records first landed their big break? We have too and we know what that curiosity feels like. Getting a big gig is hard and there's a lot more than just one element involved. Hard work, network and opportunity all vary in their significance, person to person, but they matter. Adrian has all three working for him and explains how he practiced and put in the time to be prepared when the opportunity came knocking... Even though it did catch him sleeping ;) 

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"A lot of people can fall by the wayside... and give up. But, if they just stayed the course, they would realize nothing is built overnight." – Adrian Bent

Adrian Bent has played not just drums on Drake tracks you know... He's played the bass on several too. 


Why listen to this episode? You will learn how to:

  • Play Less and get hired to play drums more
  • The value in a "straight groove" mentality
  • Get big gigs
  • Keep big gigs
  • Develop a network
  • Value playing less



Adrian's #180Seat



"People really don't understand drums…. You've gotta make it more relatable."

"Even when it comes to soloing you need to make reoccurring themes for people to understand."

"Stay the course."

"No one sees the groundwork."

"No one saw the hours I practiced in church by myself, they just assume I came out of nowhere."

"Everything will come that is supposed to come your way."

playing "Relatable Fills."

"We need to simplify to make it relatable."


Connect with Adrian: | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

People and Artists Mentioned


Jun 8, 2016

"Cymbals are one of the best way for drummers to customize their sound. Picking cymbals out is a really special experience and it helps you create your sound... That's a really big deal for people who work here and are players at Zildjian."

Tony hosts the most eclectic vocabulary to describe cymbals. "Lush, shimmering, flavours, shades, Distortion boost, White noise, raw aggression."

Tony is responsible for Cymbals, Stick, Accessories and Gear at Zildjian

His role as Product Manager has an artist relation focus, brand awareness, and marketing co-relationship.

Tony creates his lists every day and eats his morning cereal from his desk.

" A funnel, not a tunnel. Funnel your ideas down into prioritization. This has the biggest potential... This is what people are absolutely screaming for."

Methods to the madness: Evernote, Google Docs

Cymbals trends: bigger Diameter and darker crashes, hi hats, rides. Fewer cymbals.

"There's so many directions we can go and there's never a shortage of ideas."

New Products

20" A Custom Projection Crash is the latest A Custom line addition

Extended ranges in K and K Custom family

Diversity in Ride Cymbal A Custom categories

New A Avedis Cymbal line - Vintage take on 50/60's A series. Taking the consumer through Zildjians footprint from the 50's - 90's. How Zildjian has managed to stay with popular music through the genres. A Series has followed that path.

"We make our cymbals as versatile as possible."


Western Illinois University

Played in ensembles, rock bands, marching - DCI Drum Core

Worked for Tycoon Percussion and Corporate offices of Guitar Center in Southern California before Zildjian.

"This industry is pretty small... [if] you develop a good reputation for yourself, it can carry you along."

New S Family mid tier price point Cymbal line, B12 Alloy - Tony helped bring this product to market.

Favorite moments with Zildjian - Listening to the prototype, as a team, before it becomes the final product. Meeting drummers at events around the country, providing a background to drummers on what goes into the making of each cymbal or new product release. 

Zildjian K line/series - A catch all for great ideas.

Special dry, k custom dark, hybrid...

K custom dark have really done quite well.

K Dark, K Custom Dark, Constantinople, Kerope

K Custom - overhammering with a lot of tone

K Dark - More of a fundamental pitch

Zildjian A line/series

Dave Grohl and the A Custom EFX - Distortion boost, White noise, raw aggression

People and bands Mentioned


Jason Bittner

Shadows Fall

Snarky puppy

Pucifer - James keening?



Hands like houses?

Larnell Lewis

Taylor Hawkins

Dave Grohl

Foo fighters

Emily Smith - Link to her podcast on a special highlighted level


Breaking Through the Noise

What would have defined a superstar drummer 15 years ago would have been a headlining gig. Now to be successful; market yourself online and utilize social media and youtube. Those guys are the new hero's [of the drumming spotlight].

Not only are you able to look at those guys videos every day but you're able to get lessons with them.

If you do it well... you can really make a name for yourself... In a different way... We want that to continue.

Nothing truly good comes easy... Work hard and keep at it.

Jun 1, 2016


“Out of everything I've done musically... such an easy idea is getting me traction.” – Tristan Kelley

Tristan Kelley (@TristanKelley) has more than 1,000 videos of original grooves. Try that one on for size.

What's exciting about todays podcast is it's emphasis on creating original ideas and being unafraid to share those ideas with the world. It can be intimidating creating your own videos and ideas but trial and error is your best friend.

 Why listen to this episode? You will learn:

  • Tristan's drum collection
  • How Tristan grew his Instagram account
  • More about your own creative process
  • How to Re-evaluate your own playing
  • How Tristan picked up the drums
  • How to quickly create new ideas
  • Tristan's daily routine
  • Why slow is fast


May 25, 2016

“You can only regret what you don't do.” – Lindsay Artkop (2015 Hit Like a Girl Contest Winner - Berklee School of Music Graduate)

Lindsay Artkop (@LindsayArtkop) is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, and an influential female in the world of drumming.

You might know Lindsay from her success becoming the 2015 winner of the Hit Like a Girl Contest.

What's exciting about todays podcast is it's focus on have a focused practice routine and how Berklee stirred up much of the way Lindsay developed that focused practice regimen. She shares the secrets to how she created a routine that's helped her maximize and focus her time in the practice room towards specific goals.

 Why listen to this episode? You will learn:

  • How Lindsay got started playing drums at a young age
  • The influence of various mentors on her life
  • The value of studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts
  • How to build a focused and disciplined practice routine
  • How Lindsay utilized the mentors in her life
  • Lindsay's experience winning the 2015 Hit Like a Girl Contest
  • How often Lindsay releases content
  • Various projects Lindsay is working on


May 9, 2016



“I tune a little bit higher than what most people are used to, and the reason why is I feel drums aren't meant to be the 'low end' instrument.” – Jeremy Berman (Q Drum Co - Founder & Chief Builder)

Jeremy Berman (@jeremy_berman) is building some of the most unique full drum sets on the market.

You might know Jeremy by his handcrafted drum shells Q Drum Co, but that’s just a tiny piece of the story.


Jeremy's career began working in a Guitar Center drum department, selling customers on every brand of drums, cymbals, sticks and products imaginable. While working as a drum tech, he felt a craving to work with drums and get away from working at a large music chain. After rolling his car and having a near death experience, Jeremy decided it was time to reflect heavily on what he was doing with his time. Taking his hands on experience working with, and his understanding of the drums, Jeremy decided to take on little income to learn and hone his craft as a drum builder with Orange County Drums. Fast forward more than a decade later and Jeremy has well established himself as one of the leading handcrafted drum artisans of this day and age, building drums out of shell materials few individuals have dared ventured into. Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel, Maple and Mahogany are only a few of the materials Jeremy is building entire drum kits out of at Q Drum Co. That's right, Bass drums, rack and floor toms made of all types of metals, often using wood reinforcement hoops. The sound and look is unlike any other. Pictures below!

Why listen to this episode? You will learn:

  • How Jeremy developed his career and reputation
  • How a near death experience led to his greatest leap of faith
  • Why to pursue a passion regardless of it's financial reward
  • How to become a world class drum tech
  • Building a brand organically without poaching
  • How Jeremy partnered with Ilan Rubin to develop Q Drum Co
  • How Jeremy tunes drums and his perspective on shell sizes, materials, depths, design and construction
  • Tuning advice, tips and all around drum tuning influence


Apr 13, 2016

Hey 180 Family! My name is EMAN. I am a musician in LA who makes a living playing drums and occasionally singing (more on that later). When Jake first approached me about writing for 180, I wasn't sure how to go about it mostly because I never write. However, during a series of flights, the right topic popped into my head. I am fascinated with the saying, “You Never Know”. So what do I mean by that? Hopefully in the next couple of stories I can draw a timeline of two completely unforeseen events that happened in my life, leading to my current place in my career.

... More available here

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