I’m a big fan of Mike Johnston. Nobody else in my opinion has revolutionized the way we take drum lessons as much as him. From his state-of-the-art teaching facility, to his online lessons, drum camps and clinic tours, no individual is putting out as much effort towards enhancing drum education as Mike. He’s also a likeable guy. Although he has tremendous chops and teaching skills he remains humble and seems very approachable. One of his most noteworthy contributions to the online drumming scene was his open call for individuals to post positive reinforcement in the comments sections of drum videos in order to combat the negative comments that so often plague YouTube. (see video below)
In an interview on mikedolbear.com Johnston outlined his intent. “I ask everyone that’s in attendance to go online and find a video of anyone playing drums, whether bad or good, and say one positive thing. If they’re the worst drummer in the world say, ‘Your hi-hats sound great!’ but that one comment might be what keeps them from quitting. We can’t stop the negative comments; that comes from insecurity and I understand that. But what we could do is have so many positive comments on every video that’s out there that if you were going to write something negative you’d look out of place so there’s pressure the other way to say something nice.”
Another eye-opening theory put forth by Johnston is the idea that no drummer is better or worse than the next. It’s simply where they are in their journey with the instrument. Drummers thought to be “better” are simply further along than the “worse” drummer who has the same opportunity to catch up and even pass them. In his eyes the drum community as a whole is a brotherhood (and sisterhood) who share a deep desire to improve on an instrument they can’t fully master. He also preaches equality from the professional player in a band to the hobbyist who simply enjoys playing in their basement.
If you are interested in upping your game, check out Mike Johnston who will inspire and encourage you. Visit his website at www.mikeslessons.com.