Drum Lessons & Music Theory :: North Shore Auckland

*Update*: I've moved to Belmont on the North Shore! Esmonde Road offramp. In between Takapuna and Devonport.


  • Your choice of either 30 to 45 min drum lesson - same price
  • at your place in Auckland
  • $30 up to 11 years
  • $40 up to 21 years
  • $50 Over 21+ and over 45 mins to an hour
  • These prices are current now as I do still have vacancies
Secondary Schools Full Year Drum Tuition Plan (PDF)

Secondary Schools Full Year Drum Tuition Plan (PDF)

Your Drum Teacher: Tom Atkinson

Drumming for Breaks Co-op supporting Roger Waters @ Hyde Park London

Drumming for Breaks Co-op supporting Roger Waters @ Hyde Park London 2006

The demo above is my cover of the Queens of The Stone Age track "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret". All parts are performed by Tom, with the highlight being the rototom overdubs, keyboard solo. The final album version should include vocals, this mix is a rush instrumental bounce.

Below is a comparison of the sound quality of pro audio mic running into balanced preamps compared to a consumer mobile phone:

The quality difference is obvious: the studio microphones sound way better!

Lessons for Drum Set Covered

I like to provide something unique, so I'm going to "invent" a method of teaching for this semester. I will call it Permutations, and essentially live-blog it here.

Rudimentary Permutation Method for Drum Set

In engineering terms, a permutation is a stepwise transformation or pattern:

Animated interference patter of alternating thick lines

Starting with the kick drum - my favourite instrument - the idea is to take a constant hihat and snare pattern, normally an 8th note on closed hihat and a 4th note snare on 2 and 4, and progress through all the possible 16th note permutations.

Taking the longest set - the quadruple - to explain it, you are pushing the start time of the kick pattern out by one 16th note each time.

It is steady because it keeps going no matter if the snare is playing or not, thats why you get 8 of them:

  • Steady with snare kick permutations swing/straight
    • 8 x single kick patterns (Rock beat 1 is one of these)
    • 8 x double kick patterns (Rock beat 2 is one of these)
    • 8 x triple kick (Primus uses this alot)
    • 8 x quadruple kick

A harder to explain, but easier to play, and funkier sounding set of perms, is the set where the kick drum timing "ducks under" the snare drum, popping out just one 16th-note later.

  • Disturbed by snare kick permutations swing/straight
    • No Single kick - it exists in the Steady set above
    • 2 extra double kick patterns not in the steady set
    • 3 extra triple kick patterns not in the steady set
    • 4 extra quadruple kick (some great beats in here!)

Multitrack Drum Recording Sessions

I have a 16 channel recording setup based on Logic Audio 9. This is $60/hour but with a 3 hour minimum booking requirement. Drum lesson recording is free, because it does not require setup time.