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My new friend David, a Pittsburg worship leader with a cool blog about worship leading, featured me on his latest podcast episode. Cool, right? I talked about drums and playing them and other cool things like that. Click here if you care.

No seriously though… many thanks to David Santistevan for including me in his series. Check it out!

Hey everybody. Two cool and somewhat rare things happening this week:

1) THE UNIVERSAL CO-OP is an instrumental band featuring myself, Bill Mike on guitar, and Ian Allison on bass. We will hopefully be playing music a lot in the future but we’ve only done it once before and don’t have anything else booked until October. If you live in the Twin Cities then you should come down to Icehouse on Thursday night (7/12) and check this band out. More info here.

2) After Thursday night’s gig I’ll be hopping a plane the next morning to do a clinic at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ. My friend Ben Gowell leads worship there and has invited me to speak to the musicians at CCOTV. The evening is open to anyone and everyone. Things will get rolling around 6pm and are happening at the Peoria campus.

Ok… for those of you attending this Saturday’s The Drumset and the Kingdom gathering at Bethel, here are some details you’ll want to know…

We will get the day rolling promptly at 10am. Look for doors opening around 9:30. Seating is open, so get there early if you want a particular spot.

Arrival and check-in:
Bethel’s campus is technically located in Arden Hills, and the best bet would be to enter the campus through the east gate off of Old STH 10. Park in the lot on your right after you past the guard shack, across from the lake. The Underground is on the lower level of the Brushaber Commons building, which is marked with a “4” in this campus map. Follow the signs to the Underground once you are in the Brushaber Commons building. There will be someone outside the Underground to get everyone checked in and that will get you all set for the day.

10am… Welcome + Intro
10:30am… MATT TOBIAS
11:30am… GEAR EXPO (and open lunch break)
3pm… BWACK
5pm… Wrap up
(this is a rough outline and subject to change)

Bethel has 3 options for food, all within a few feet of the Underground. Down the hall on the same level in the Brushaber Commons is a small coffee shop with sandwiches and wraps and chips and whatever. Cheap and fast. Directly upstairs from the Underground is the 3900 Grille and the campus dining center. The Grille is a made-to-order a la carte spot with decent prices and decent selection. The dining center is a buffet-style cafeteria and, in my opinion, your best bet. A special discounted entrance fee of $8 (mention to the cashier that you are part of the drum clinic) gets you in the cafeteria for as much food/drink/dessert/whatever that you can consume. Besides these on-campus options there are a handful of restaurants nearby Bethel, but are probably not a good idea time-wise.

For those of you coming from out of town, we have a deal with the Hampton Inn off Lexington Ave (a few blocks from the BU campus) has a deal for rooms if you mention that you’re attending The Drumset and the Kingdom. $99/night down from $139. We are not providing any transportation to/from the hotel or airport.

We are really trying to get a handle on the numbers for attendance, so if you’re planning on coming then get registered! If you do end up deciding to come at the last minute then registration can happen at the door, although the price will have gone up from $52 to $75.

Visit for all your registration needs.

This year’s clinic…

Details and registration info can be found here. Please spread the word!

Many many thanks to all the guys who came to this past Saturday’s clinic.  I had a ton of fun and the event felt like a success.  For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s what we did…

I started out our time together by stating a recent revelation I’ve had about music and it’s importance.  The revelation is this: music is NOT important.  Rather, the connection between human beings that music makes possible, and the emotional influence that music has… these are the things that are important.  In other words, it’s not the music you make that matters, but the RESULTS of that music.  I’ll write a full blog post on this soon.

After that short introduction, everybody grabbed donuts and coffee and we spent the next 30 minutes or so just wandering around the room checking out the killer gear that was there.  Keith Anderson from Risen Drums and Eddie Clift from Paiste Cymbals had a lot of great equipment, and though things got a little loud, everybody was able to try out the stuff first-hand.  I had three kits there: the Glo Kit, the blue sparkles, and the new Mahogany studio kit.  Eddie brought more than a dozen cymbals, including some of the Twenty Series, the new Twenty Masters rides, the reissue 602 set, and a few Dark Energy models.  Best of all, Eddie showed up with a Spirit of 2002 Paiste snare, which is about as rare as any snare drum you can think of.  It was a major geek fest, but I for one really enjoyed it.

One of the reasons I had so much gear there was to give the guys a chance to compare and contrast a bunch of equipment that all sounds “good,” but not all the same.  This is a common misunderstanding for musicians… that something can sound “good” but still not be a good fit for a song.  Again, watch for a full post on this topic in the coming weeks.

The rest of the time was spent with some extensive Q&A.  I didn’t intend to take that much time for questions, but the guys were bringing up great topics and there was a lot of dialogue.  I really enjoyed that part and plan on making a long Q&A time a staple for future gatherings.  We discussed playing to the essence of the song, playing with/without drum shields, how to build a good monitor mix, the benefits of playing to a click, and how to respond to the unique audio environments that churches often bring to the table.

So it was great.  I really enjoyed myself, and I’m pumped to plan another one for next year.  In fact, I’m thinking about making more of a day out it, and maybe inviting some friends of mine to give presentations of their own and stuff like that.  This is totally going to be an annual event, so I’ll nail down a Saturday morning in March 2012 and everybody needs to be there!

A couple reminders and clarifications for Saturday, detail-wise…
– Starts at 10am, at my church.  There will be coffee/donuts.
– Go in the door with the huge awning over it and straight ahead to the “Ministry Center.” This is a different room than last year’s event.
– The Mono prototypes I was hoping to have there aren’t available for a few weeks yet, but Keith at RD donated an RD snare case for a give-away.  My man Ed Clift from Paiste will also be there, and I have confirmation that he’ll be bringing a bunch of the new 2011 models.

I’m super pumped to hang with everybody.  I hope you all can make it!  Again, please feel free to invite anyone/everyone you think would enjoy it.

Hey all. I’m really amped to be doing another seminar like last year’s March gathering.  This year’s event will be similar to last year, but I’ve got some new topics to cover and ideas to share, and I also want to do some extended Q&A both at the front end and closing of the clinic.

So here are the details for this year…

What: Lecture, demo, discussion, and gear geek-out session
When: Saturday, March 19, 10am-noon
Where: New Hope Church (Twin Cities)
Why: To develop in the unique skill of playing drums (and music generally) in a modern church environment, and to further expand the growing community of MN “church” musicians
Who: Anyone and everyone is invited… drummers, other instrumentalists, worship leaders… students, parents… etc
Cost: $5 suggested donation (not a deal-breaker, but will help me pay for the coffee and donuts I’ll be providing)

Also, I’m super excited to have some brand new equipment from the companies I endorse, which I’ll have at the clinic for test-driving (that’s the “gear geek-out” part). This includes an all-mahogany RD kit, prototype snare and kick pedal cases from Mono, and hopefully some killer new Paiste models (yet to be confirmed).  The Mono guy has even given me a stick bag to raffle off, so you might leave with the hippest stick bag on the market compliments of my man Pat at Mono.

I’ll post some additional info in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can check out the notes from last year’s event to get a feel for the discussions.  Please feel free to pass this invitation along to ANYONE you think might be interested.

Hello readers.  I feel obligated to apologize for not posting much this month, and the obligation comes from my sincere gratitude for you all, who visit and subscribe to this blog and often tell me how you appreciate and enjoy what I write.  So thanks for that, and sorry for the sparse posts lately.

In an attempt to make up for it, I’ve got a youtube playlist for you of a clinic I did last month.  Fair warning: it’s pretty long.  There are over a dozen videos and they are all 5-10 min.  The second half of the playlist isn’t in order of the way the clinic happened, and a lot of the clips are from the Q and A time, so some of it will seem random.  I just watched it myself and I have to say that I CANNOT BELIEVE how often I say “right?” at the end of my sentences.  Wow.  Go ahead and laugh at me for that.  And, feel free to post any questions regarding the stuff I say.  I’m always looking to refine my perspectives and being challenged by others’ questions is a great way to do that.

I feel like I’m doing clinic things left and right for the past few months, and here comes another one this weekend. Saturday morning I’ll be at Hope Community Church in Minneapolis for a seminar on playing drums in a church environment.  This event will be very similar to the clinic I did at New Hope Church last Spring, but I’ve expanded and updated a few ideas since then.  And I always just wing it anyway with these kinds of things, so who knows what will happen.

10am-noon.  There’s no cost for the event and it’s open to the public.  Details here.

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