Drum Lessons

Learn to grow musically by establishing an effective, regular practise routine with Dave's help. Dave draws from over twenty years of teaching experience from previous appointments at prominent institutions such as Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and offers private drum lessons exclusively over the Zoom online platform from his studio in Berowra Heights on Sydney's Upper North Shore - so you can learn from Dave you wherever in the world you reside.

  • As your specific needs and wants are entirely different from those of anyone else's, enjoy the benefits of of learner-centred, self-determined learning, and progress toward what you want to learn in addition to what Dave determines you need to learn in a course comprising hundreds of subjects
  • Learn and develop technique, musicianship, repertoire, improvisation, history, aural skills, sight reading, coordination, general knowledge, and more. All aimed at giving you the best chance at being the best drummer you can be as an ensemble player, and as a soloist - no matter your preferred style
  • Dave only offers regular weekly lessons in 10-week terms for four terms per year. All lessons are exclusively online using the Zoom platform. Learn on your own drums in your own home
  • Lessons are 60 minutes for all students @ $120 ($109.09 / hr + 10% GST)
  • See full Studio Policy (opens in new window)


"Dave taught my son for over 18 months after a recommendation from John Morrison. Not only is he a master drummer but a wonderful teacher who inspired my son to achieve his dreams. He has a tremendous ability to make others believe in their ability. You would not find a better drum educator."
D. Brown, Sydney, Australia

"'The Magic Of The Stick' describes a playing technique that makes perfect sense. After 23 years of drumming, this video inspired me to completely change the way I held my sticks. After using the technique for a few months I noticed that I no longer had pain in my wrists, back and neck after extended drumming sessions. No more heat packs and pain killers! In the video Dave expertly demonstrates a natural hand position for playing, as well as including some interesting anecdotes about his own education with some of the world's best drummer's. You also get so see Dave's amazing playing! Highly recommended!"
Rebecca Clarke, Sydney, Australia

"He's the best teacher I've ever learned from. So patient and talented!!!!!!"
Bruce Doan, Sydney, Australia

"I have found Dave's ability to clearly and concisely communicate his diverse and deep wealth of knowledge about music of all sorts incredibly valuable over the course of my studies. His kind nature and the personal interest he takes in my studies always inspires and encourages me to pursue them further."
Harry Day, Sydney, Australia (drummer in Middle Kids)

"I was lucky enough to study with Dave in my first year of the BMus Jazz Performance at Conservatorium of Sydney in 2001. Dave's lessons at the time opened my eyes to the broad world of jazz. I have consequently taken to Dave questions of music and the broader implications to him. Dave time and time again has helped me workshop these equations into a productive and nuanced way, always allowing me to come to my own conclusions. I hold him in the highest regard as a teacher and mentor for this. Dave is uniquely equipped with a very exacting and specific approach to music evidenced in his deep affinity for the history of jazz music. This is coupled with an ability to relay the importance of the broader musical landscape we live in now."
Paul Derricott, Sydney, Australia

"One of Australia's leading independent drumset & percussion schools."
Magazine, Australia's #1 Drumming Magazine

"Thank you Dave for your amazing work with Jenna on her drumming... not only has she grown into a musician, but we love how she bounces in so happily after every lesson!"
Di Du Preez, Sydney, Australia

"Dr. Goodman, at my request, helped me conceptualise and formulate my own PhD proposal, which I am currently undertaking as a candidate at Sydney Conservatorium. During our consultations I was especially impressed not only with his mastery and recall of fine detail, but also his ability to quickly go beyond the detail and envisage creative, elegant and logical possibilities for overarching themes and structures in my work. His perceptive reflections proved instrumental in allowing me to make informed choices for the direction of my project. This I take to be the mark of a true educator – one who equips and opens the door, but never dictates the outcome. As a player and teacher myself, I also have personal experience of several of Dr. Goodman’s private students, and can attest to the efficacy, skill and differentiation of his teaching strategies across a range of styles and abilities."
Andrew Gander, Sydney, Australia (Dave's Mentor)

"Having been exposed to a wide range of learning experiences and situations since my early teenage years, I think it is safe to say that a musician/educator like Dave Goodman is something of a rarity in the Australian music education sector. I studied the drums with Dave during my earlier formative years as a musician. These opportunities provided me with an invaluable source of base knowledge about the drumset and rhythm in general. It also played the role of a bigger, deeply stimulating catalyst for confirming my journey into a musical career. Such an influence can only come from an individual that has amassed a deep well of experience in their chosen field, as well as an all-pervading passion for one’s instrument."
Jodie Michael, Sydney, Australia (Winner of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award Scholarship)

"Dave Goodman has been an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration since I first received his tuition in 2009. His eloquent and insightful instruction on the technical aspects of drumming as well as his immensely serious and positive outlook on the world of music has, and continues to nurture my growth as a drummer and musician. After my first lesson with Dave it became evident that he was an exceptionally thorough and experienced musician. I was blown away by his knowledge of the Free Stroke and Moeller Techniques and was even more exited to learn that he had spent time studying with technical pioneers Joe Morello and Jim Chapin. Dave’s clear instruction and demonstration allowed me to transform my hand technique. It was also during Dave’s tuition that I became exposed to his highly infectious attitude towards the Drum set and music in general. To every question asked there was a carefully formulated response that, as well as entirely eradicating any glimmer of confusion, encouraged me to investigate the issue further and come to my own understanding. Dave has always used a positive attitude and enthusiasm to guide my learning and always encouraged me to listen to a wide variety of music both inside and outside the realm of Jazz. Dave also spent time with me in preparation for my audition for the Con. His instruction on how to best follow the audition criteria and his teaching of aural skills necessary for the Jazz Aptitude test lead me to a successful audition in 2011."
Oli Nelson, Sydney, Australia (Winner of the James Morrison Scholarship)

"Dave, we can't thank you enough for the exceptionally high standard of teaching and enormous inspiration you have offered Finn over the past couple of years. His drumming technique and musicology has improved exponentially resulting in outstanding HSC music practical and theory results. What excites us most is his passionate desire to pursue a musical career. He has been very fortunate to have you has his mentor and looks forward to continuing his lessons."
Sari Parkinson, Sydney, Australia

"Dave Goodman was my instrumental teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium during 2000 and 2001. The sharing of his knowledge and experience was invaluable in our lessons, as he created an inspirational and supportive learning environment. Dave's dedication to music and ability to combine his academic research, professionalism and musicality is inspiring to his peers and a motivation to his student."
Cameron Reid, Sydney, Australia

"As one of the most informed and amazing drumming minds of Australia, Dr Goodman has put in a LOT of work to spread the wonderful word of the drums. In this excellent one-hour video [The Magic of the Stick], Dave presents a very interesting and inspiring overview of his wonderful, and iconic, approach to technique and drumming. To study with this man was a life changing event for me. Still he continues to strive harder and provide priceless contributions to Australian and overall drumming that transcends genres. Now everyone can get a glimpse into the mind of an Aussie legend, you will not be disappointed, only inspired!"
Ed Rodrigues, Sydney, Australia

"I was fortunate to study drums with Dave Goodman in my time at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2001 while undertaking a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance). The main thing that set Dave apart from my other instrumental teachers I studied with was that I felt, for the first time in my musical studies, that I had a mentor that I could discuss issues with rather than just learn a universal system in which may have worked for themselves. He was able to help me work out how to get my own voice on the instrument and work out the physical techniques and mental techniques that I required to be a functioning musician both at the Con and outside the Con." 
James Waples, Sydney, Australia

Student Success Stories

Finn's Going to Sydney Conservatorium

Congratulations to Finn Allen for getting in to Sydney Conservatorium of Music @ The University of Sydney to start a Bachelor of Music (Contemporary) this year! Finn's been coming for regular weekly drum lessons for two years, and I've enjoyed…

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Sam's Off To Western Sydney University

Sam Beazley is going to start the Bachelor of Music program at Western Sydney University in 2018. Sam traveled from Richmond to Berowra for his lessons each week this year, and his dedication has paid off. Congratulations, Sam!

Gabby Wins Loreto's Got Talent

11-year-old Loreto Normanhurst student Gabby Milkins won Loreto's Got Talent with her solo drumming performance a couple of weeks ago.

Well done Gabby!

Abby and Toby are On Their Way!

Congratulations to long-term (and now former) drum students Abby Constable and Toby Brown! Abby and Toby were in Year 12 in 2016, and they were both accepted into their first-choice tertiary music institutions for 2017: Toby’s going to James Morrison…

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Will to Open DRUMscene Live - Sydney 2015

Twelve-year-old drummer extraordinaire Will Harpur will open the DRUMscene Live - Sydney 2015 show on Sunday 24 May 2015 from 2:30 PM with a ten-minute drum solo. He'll share the bill that day with some of the most esteemed and…

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Congratulations Abby!

Drummer Abby Constable (pictured below) from Killara High School, a student taking regular private drum lessons with me for the past two years, has been awarded a scholarship to return to the Jazz Workshop Australia 2016 Jazz Camp. Abby was…

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Playlist of Dave's Students in Action

About Dave

Jazz critic John Clare has described Dave Goodman as ‘one of the leading drummers in the country’ and ‘[one of] the most intriguing drummers recording anywhere’. At just eighteen, Dave received an invitation to join the renowned Mike Nock Quartet and, at twenty, came second in the prestigious National Jazz Awards. Today, he is, undoubtedly, one of Australia’s most important jazz drummers. 

This is evident in the long list of luminaries – both Australian and international – with whom Dave has worked: Joe Lovano, Paul Bollenback, Bernie McGann, James Morrison, Don Burrows, Vince Jones and Mark Isaacs, to name just a few. At present, he is a key member of several of Australia’s finest ensembles, including Ten Part Invention, Kevin Hunt Trio, Steve Barry Quartet, and Matt Keegan Trio. ‘Dave’s infectious love of music, his dedication to jazz drumming and his melodic approach to the drumset have been a source of inspiration to me for twenty years,’ Matt says. 
Combining technical mastery with profound musicality, Dave’s drumming is celebrated for its powerful melodic sensibility and, most importantly, its distinctive voice. Chief influences include Jack DeJohnette, Mel Lewis, Roy Haynes, Steve Gadd, Idris Muhammad, and Elden C. "Buster" Bailey. 'I love them fundamentally because they are uniquely creative and original in playing only the essence of what each piece of music requires. I aspire to this in my own work.'
Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Dave is a genuine innovator: relentlessly imaginative and constantly evolving. His professional experience has been augmented with extensive study, both formal and informal. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Jazz Performance and a PhD in Jazz Drumset Performance Studies from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and has studied under several world-class musicians, including Billy Hart, Joe Morello, Jim Chapin, Gordy Knudtson, and Chad Wackerman. 
As a bandleader and composer in his own right, Dave counts numerous creative projects under his belt. Previous undertakings include Dave Goodman’s Strange Loop, featuring guitarist James Muller; eleven-piece ensemble Game 1A: Chess; Ad Infinitum, which, in 2002, was commissioned for a recording by the ABC’s Jim McLeod’s Jazztrack; and performing at the 2015 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues with an earlier incarnation of his quartet.

And now, three significant developments are in the pipeline. The first is the hotly anticipated Dave Goodman Solo EP, which will include some of music that Dave plays at clinics and concerts around Australia. The second is the launch of the new Dave Goodman Quartet, for which Dave has been composing pieces for a handpicked selection of his favourite musicians.

The third is Dave's website. This extensive, dynamic online resource allows students and drummers to access invaluable information and keep up with Dave’s educational activities and events. As an educator, Dave draws on over twenty years of teaching experience from previous appointments at prominent institutions such as Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and his pedagogical vision is ‘to help aspiring drummers to realistically evaluate and improve their own rate of progress over time by establishing and adhering to a regular practise routine that includes technique, repertoire, improvisation, and performance studies’.

Dave plays Sonor Drums, Bosphorus Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Innovative Percussion Sticks & Mallets, DW Pedals & Hardware, Roc-N-Soc Thrones, ProLogix Practice Pads, and Protection Racket Cases exclusively.

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