Great Drum Circle. Karen Fazio/Carl Smelser. Laguna Hills. 3/13/13



We had a powerful Drum Circle In Laguna Hills Wednesday March 13th.  Karen Fazio designed a meditation, relaxation, visualization and healing program.  Karen also played a crystal singing bowl that had a remarkable room vibrating effect.  Drums were played to support the journey and all participants enthusiastically responded.  Djembes, gathering drum, frame drums, ocean drum, shakers, agogo bells, tambourines were used.  Miss Lewis brought her own beautiful Irish Bodhran.  I had a great 2 hours and I met many dear and wonderful people.  Carl Smelser.


Tommy Igoe. Drum Lesson for life.

                                             Tommy Igoe

I am impressed with Tommy Igoe. Great interview. He is frank and honest regarding the music industry.  Initially I paid no attention to his educational materials, but I am going to buy his “Groove Essentials 1.0 & 2.0 Books/Dvds.  We, as drummers, are most fortunate to have a sharp guy like him around.  Carl Smelser.

Christine Stevens Drum Circle. Great drum lesson.


SAMSUNGFrank Marino, Carl Smelser, Christine Stevens. (3/10/13) Christine Stevens is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and music therapist. Her company is UpBeat Drum Circles. The Rhythm of Radiance Sutra Jam and Drum Circle took place at The Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas, Calif. My wife, Nadia, and I had a relaxing, joyful, fun, exhilarating and life affirming 2 hours of powerful drumming and more. The 40+ people attending all agreed Christine Stevens is the Greatest! Frank Marino is also an inspiring gentleman who instructs Yoga in Newport Beach.


I am looking forward to the Drum Circle with Karen Fazio.  Please come if you can to:

 Awakenings Center for Conscious Living

25260 La Paz Rd Laguna Hills, CA

When: Wednesday, March 13th– 7-9PM

Candace Hansen. College Student/Humanitarian/Drummer. Drum Lesson.


Candace Hansen and I got to work together today sorting out jazz, latin and funk charts.  In a two hour lesson we discussed tempos, jazz ride technique, dynamics, Segno signs-Codas-1st/2cd endings, Bossa Nova, half-time, cut-time, moeller method, triplets and more.  She is a quick study.  I am always impressed with her enthusiasm to help other people.  Her drums have a beautiful sparkle finish and reflect the owner’s personality.  Carl Smelser.

Drumat drum rug. Drum lesson in gear.



I have used this rug for over 12 years.  It is thin, compact and easily rolls up into about a two foot long roll that fits easily into the Akona Scuba wheeled duffle I use for a hardware bag.  I never go to a gig without my Drumat.  The permanently attached strap perfectly secures the mat for transport.  After a thousand gigs, rehearsals and student lessons both of my Drumats work great.  Check out their website:          Carl Smelser


Tama Camco Chain Drive Bass Drum Pedal. Gear Drum Lesson.




I have used the Tama Camco chain drive bass drum pedal exclusively for over 30 years.  I still have the four original pedals I bought from West Coast Drum around 1980.  The pedals have been used for thousands of gigs, rehearsals, student lessons, practice and recordings without one parts failure ever!  The feel is great, the design and materials are perfect and kick every other pedal’s ass!  Thank you to the fine engineers at Tama.

Stick Hammock by Steve Distanislao.


Website:   Designed by top touring drummer Steve Di Stanislao (David Crosby, Kenny Loggins, David Gilmour), the Stick Hammock is a durable and portable tray meant to put sticks within easy reach. The stand, which is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, folds up for easy transport and can be set at any height between 23″ and 40″. The top is made from ballistic nylon and includes a pocket in the center panel to hold sticks in place. (Steve is the nicest person, great musician and now brilliant inventor–Thank you Steve, Carl Smelser.

Yamaha 6 1/2 X 14 Concert Steel. Snare drum lesson.


My Yamaha 6 1/2 X 14 Concert Steel Snare drum. Beaded shell, not seamless, is my favorite rock/pop/funk snare. Remo Emperor coated batter, Remo Ambassador snare side, 12-16 or 20 strand Purecussion classic wires and Yamaha all aluminum die cast rims give me an incredible sound. For a retro sound I use Canopus snare wires, Ludwig Silver dot/clear batter, Ludwig snare side head and Yamaha original steel triple flanged rims. I am strictly a 6 1/2 X 14 metal snare drum guy!

Yamaha Manu Katche 6 1/2 X 14 Brass. Snare drum lesson.


My original Yamaha Manu Katche 6 1/2 X 14 Brass Snare. Seamless shell with aluminum die cast rims.
I use Remo Fiberskyn Diplomat or Ambassador batter, Remo Ambassador snare side, Puresound 12 or 16 strand classic wires. I installed Yamaha’s top line throw-off. Original throw-off is always defective. I use this drum for Jazz. I am strictly a 6 1/2 X 14 metal snare drum guy!



Stanton Moore—A drum lesson in every song.





Stanton Moore is a breath of fresh air.  His instructional dvd’s put a BIG smile on my face.  It is hypnotic to watch him play.  Second Line Drumming, Metal, Latin, Blues, Jazz, DixieLand, All Kinds of Rock, Rudimental Marching, Funk–are ingeniously blended by this  very clever and gifted musician.  He also is a master of awesome drum sounds.  His advice regarding live miking was invaluable.  Make a point of seeing his drum clinic.  Stanton will re-charge your batteries like a bolt of lightning!  See his website: