DRUM CIRCLEHREssentials_web



Do you need physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing and balance?

Need to relax and go within?

Join Carl and Karen’s healing drum circle

Carl Smelser is a Professional Drummer & Trained HealthRHYTHMS Facilitator and Karen Fazio has been a Holistic Health Practitioner and Reiki Master since 1990

No experience? No drum? No problem! Everyone is welcome!

Where: Awakenings Center for Conscious Living

25260 La Paz Rd Laguna Hills, CA.  92653

When: Wednesday, April 17th– 6-8PM

Wednesday May 22nd – 6-8PM

FEE: $20.00 at the door

Please Contact: Karen Fazio @ 714-362-4784 or [email protected] to reserve your space

Drum Lesson. The 40 International Drum Rudiments.



I am so proud of my students for learning all 40 of the Rudiments. In order for students to receive an award certificate they must: State the name of the Rudiment, State the sticking pattern and play the Rudiment. This month I have 3 students receiving this award. A young woman 8 years old and two young men of 9 and 14 years. I am so honored to know the parents of these fine young people. Thank you to JD Drum Studio for the Rudiment Chart. Carl Smelser.

Drum Lesson. Scion XB. Great for Drummers.


2012 Scion XB. Excellent for drummers. Single hatchback door lifts straight up and clears my head.  Rear bumper is low for easy load in and out.  Gear sits low in cargo area and does not block my side and rear vision.  Automatic transmission, power steering-brakes-windows-mirrors-door locks, air conditioning, wifi/bluetooth/phone sound system.  GREAT CAR. NO PROBLEMS EVER.  I always take care of the scheduled servicing at the Toyota dealer (never anywhere else!!)
Be Bop drumset, Drum circle djembes, Pecussion for gigs or Rock drumset–everything fits great!
Wishlist:  slightly more engine power, smaller turning radius, slightly bigger gas tank, overhead cargo illumination, more wiper speeds, slightly smoother ride, better sound system screen angle for visibility.  This is a fantastic car for this drummer.  The car’s nickname is “HAWK” after one of my favorite directors Howard Hawks.  Carl Smelser.

Drum Lesson. Tory Castellano of The Donnas.


Tory Castellano from the band The Donnas. Fantastic raw energy on the drums. My students are inspired by Tory’s wonderful drumming. She has that masterful choreography of movement the audience and camera loves. She was terrific in the Target commercial with Cheap Trick’s drummer Bun E. Carlos some years ago. Tory defines COOL. No other female drummer can hold a candle to her in the looks department. She retired from drumming some years ago, due to injuries. I wish her all the best in her academic pursuits. Carl Smelser.

Drum Lesson. Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone.


A pair of orchestral snare sticks, Remo 10″ pad, metronome set slow, each exercise 20 X’s, many aspects of grip/stroke technique and an uninterrupted hour of study. Rob Slack, principal percussionist of the Pacific Symphony, knows what he is talking about. Stick Control is a book I use for study and instruction. Thank you to the genius/author George Lawrence Stone. Carl Smelser.

Drum Lesson. Mitchell Peters’ Elementary Snare Drum Studies.


Mitchell Peters wrote one of my favorite books. The section, “Measuring Roll Speed” is brilliant and as an instructor I cannot live without it. Rob Slack, master percussionist from the Pacific Symphony, had me work in this book. I have had students start to THINK after they have worked this section of the book. Students become aware of critical analysis of sticking, speed and sound. The etudes are beautiful and the notation is written the way we wish all music to look, and rarely does.

Drum Lesson. Gigging/Teaching parts kit #1.


One of my drum parts kits.  Metric and sae.  Lots of pearl and Yamaha w/some Gibraltar/Ludwig/Danmar/Tama.  I try to avoid tape/adhesives (they have their uses).  3in1 oil, vaseline, locktite, lithium grease, wd-40, compressed air, quick detail car waxes/cleaners, gumout carb/choke cleaner are some of the products I use for drumset cleaning/upkeep.  I always wear latex gloves with any cleaning product.  Yes I do haul some of this on gigs and student lessons.  Clean rags, purell, rubber bands always come in handy.  Carl Smelser.

Drum Lesson. Mort Weiss Clarinet/Jazz Man.




Mort Weiss has meant so much to so many people. A walking encyclopedia of musical knowledge. Damn he is a great musician! Jeanne Weiss, Mort’s wife, is the dearest and loveliest person ever. Together they provided employment for my wife, Nadia, myself and other starving musicians. We have wonderful students because of the thoughtful referrals of Mort and Jeanne Weiss. I use Mort’s cd’s in my drum lessons to teach students how beautiful Jazz can sound with the right musicians. God Bless Mort an Jeanne. Check out Mort’s website at: smsjazz.com

Timm Boatman. 3/16/13. Great Classical Percussionist.


Timm Boatman, master percussionist, performed brilliantly in the Orange Coast College production of Carmina Burana. Timm played snare, tambourine, gong etc…For many years my wife Nadia and Timm performed with the prestigious vocal ensemble I Cantori, under the direction of founder Ed Cansino. Timm is a very intelligent, interesting and humble gentleman indeed. All the best to our friend Timm. Carl Smelser.

Alex Bodrero Senior Vocal Recital at Chapman College.


Alex Bodrero gave a fantastic Senior Vocal Recital at Chapman College Thursday March 14th.  “Great voice, great acting skills and a complete performer in every way”, comments from my wife, Nadia, the professional voice teacher.  The piano accompanist was incredible and the food at the reception was the best.  Congratulations to Alex.  He received well deserved standing ovations.  Carl Smelser.