Who is Nate, and What's The 80/20 Drummer All About?

Nate shed science.jpg

Are you a good drummer who's been working out of books for years, and just want someone to tell you what to do, and in what order to do it to become great?

Are you tired of internet videos that teach you this lick or that beat, but don't supply any context, like how important is this in the grand scheme?

Have you noticed some players improving in a hurry and others stagnating? Do you worry the "fast improvers" are in on some secret that you're not privy to? (They're not.)


I know what that's like. I was you.

There's a lot of instruction out there for the drums, and here's what makes me different.

  1. Most of the drum stuff on the internet is either from great drummers who can't explain why they're great or mediocre players who never figured it out. I'm different. I didn't start off good. I had to figure out how to become good. I want to cut through all the fluff and show you exactly what I did.
  2. I'm not interested in showing you random licks or exercises. I want to start from the question "what makes Ari Hoenig or Keith Carlock better than me?" and work backward. When you do that, two important things happen. First, you cut out all the extraneous details and focus on the few things that are the most important. Second, you save time.
  3. I'll be your Guinea Pig. In the "reality show" I'm creating, I'm tackling a new challenge almost every week. What if Justin Brown got called for a tour and I had to sub? Could I learn a demanding tune well enough to record it? What if I had to get into Juilliard or the Monk Institute? I'm not going to show you only the successes. I'm going out into the real world to demonstrate that my method either succeeds or fails.

What's My Story?

Nate playing with friends at the Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, New York.

Nate playing with friends at the Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, New York.

I went to Manhattan School of Music and studied with one of the best teachers alive, John Riley. In the years since I've graduated, I've learned the true meaning of a lot of the things John was telling me. Right after graduation, I was frustrated because I wasn't getting more gigs. Then I had a few insights, and everything changed. My focus was no longer "why can't I get more gigs" but "what if I did get this gig? Could I do it?" That lead me to start dissecting my own playing and analyzing everything ruthlessly under a microscope. Start with the problem, invent a way to solve it, work the solution, come back and record myself again, repeat. Here's one key revelation - all the "chops" I thought I was playing didn't mean squat, because my feel and my beat placement sucked. That lead to one of the central premises of The 80/20 Drummer - if you can't play it in time, you're not playing it.

Over the years I've been lucky enough to play with a great many of my heroes, and they taught me some valuable lessons. Put the tune first. Be reliable. Be a good listener.

I now live in Brooklyn, where some of the best musicians in the world are nice enough to play with me, and I'm a lifelong student of music and the drums. My journey's just beginning, and I want to help you become good as I continue to get better.

Ready to take it to the next level?

Check out the 80/20 Drummer Road Map, a free video course that contains all the "hacks" I've developed over ten hard years of facing the painful realities of my playing and dwelling in the uncomfortable space just above my abilities to get better.

What if I could tell you-

  1. The things to practice that will have the highest impact on your improvement.
  2. In what order to practice them, and how to spend your time, even if it's limited.
  3. A few simple exercises to tease out and micro-target your weaknesses, the results of which will affect your playing as a whole.