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OUR DRUM SCHOOL

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Backbone Drum School was started in early 2019 with its founder Jack Nelson teaching out of his spare bedroom in Bedford. What began as casually teaching a handful of students a couple times a week has now grown into Perth's only drum-centric music school with multiple studio rooms, operating 7-days a week. 

Backbone was created with the intention of leading by example. Our goal as drum teachers and music educators is to show students first hand what is achievable with the instrument both on and off the stage. We show this through our involvement in the Perth music scene; where we put theoretical concepts to the test in real life musical scenarios. This allows us to provide our students with tried and tested knowledge, in addition to insightful tips and tricks that can only be earned through genuine experience.  

We are true drummers before anything else, and we can't wait to show you why we love this instrument so much.

OUR DRUM SCOOL

OUR DRUM TEACHERS

JACK NELSON

Jack Nelson playing drums with Perth band Scream Mountain

Music has been an important part of Jack's life from a very young age. He started piano lessons and music theory education when he was just 3 years old and has been constantly involved in music ever since. Jack also has experience playing other instruments such as the saxophone and guitar, and has been playing the drums since 2011.

Perth drum teacher helping a student sitting on an acoustic drum kit before his performance in Bayswater

Growing up, some of Jack's biggest influences and role models in life were his music teachers; Jose Tabios, Lex Von L. Sumayo, and Gordon Jansen. They showed him first hand the incredible difference that a good teacher can have on your life, and were the inspiration for him to become a drum teacher.

THANKS TO THEM JACK'S MADE IT HIS GOAL IN LIFE TO HAVE THE SAME POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF OTHERS, AS THEY HAD ON HIM; NOT ONLY AS A DRUM TEACHER, BUT ALSO AS A MENTOR AND ROLE MODEL.

Music is undoubtedly Jack's greatest passion in life, as well as a creative outlet. Through music, he's learned to express his creativity in countless different ways and has learned the value of discipline and hard work. Jack's learned to apply these skills to all aspects of his life including his university studies, his own personal growth and development, as well as his bands and drum lessons. These skills have also taught Jack a strong work ethic and have provided him with a positive and determined mindset which he applies to everything he undertakes.

 

JACK WON'T JUST TEACH HIS STUDENTS TO BE OUTSTANDING DRUMMERS AND MUSICIANS. HE'LL ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THE TOOLS AND SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO HARNESS THEIR OWN UNIQUE STYLE AND CREATIVITY BEHIND THE DRUM KIT. 

Perth drum teacher helping young drum student set up his acoustic drum kit before his performance in Bayswater

As a young drummer, Jack can relate well to both children and adults. Lessons will be fun and engaging. You’ll find drumming and learning music theory enjoyable and fulfilling as you develop your skills, and grow as a musician.

You can find Jack playing at live music venues around Perth with his band; Pincer+ (Greyscale Records), Closed Off! (Loudmouth Records), or Scream Mountain.

 

OUR DRUM TEACHERS

JACK HILL

A black and white photo of Jack Hill holding drum sticks as he plays the drums

Jack has had a passion for drumming since he began playing at the age of 13. Taking lessons throughout high school, he pursued drumming after graduating and went on to study music at both UWA and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Since then, he has been honing his craft under the tuition of some of Australia’s leading drummers, most notably Ric Eastman and Daniel Susnjar from WA, and travelling interstate to study under Mark Charters and Gordon Rytmeister. Jack’s broad education on the instrument reflects in both his performances and in the lessons he gives to his own students.

Jack loves all styles of drumming and has had experience playing in a range of different situations, whether it be rock shows, pop gigs, musicals, background jazz, or even with classical orchestras. He believes that the drum set is the most versatile and creative instrument you can play and loves to show all the ways in which it can be used to create music. Even though his favourite genres to play are indie-rock, neo-soul and contemporary jazz, Jack jumps on any opportunity to perform and loves the challenge of learning new music for a gig.

Jack has had extensive session experience, playing for countless WA artists both live and in the studio. Most notably, he has performed at Singapore’s Music Matters festival and appeared on Triple J’s Like a Version with Noah Dillon in 2021. Jack still frequently tours Australia on his weekends or spends time at various studios around Perth recording drums when he’s home. You can hear Jack on more than 50 studio recordings with bands/artists including Noah Dillon, The Money War, Lilia, Clay Western, Xyanthe, Tasha Mitchell, Sam Carmody and Duncan Saige.

Jack has also helped many drummers to reach their own musical goals. He has been teaching drums for the last 8 years to a people of all ages and skill levels. Jack understands that everyone learns a little differently and knows exactly how to help his students achieve success for themselves, whether their goal is to play in a touring rock band, go on to study at WAAPA, or just have the ability to play along to songs at home. His students have ranged from ages 4 to 60 and Jack loves finding ways to make the instrument engaging and fun for anyone.

Starting piano lessons at 8, Jack also has a deep understanding of music theory, something he uses to provide comprehensive music lessons to his students. He couples this with practical ear training so that his students can learn aurally from songs when written music is not available. He has found that understanding what you’re playing and what those around you are playing can lead to a deeper connection with your instrument and makes playing with other people even more exciting.

DAN HARPER

A black and white photo of Dan Harper form perth playing on a Yamaha drum kit

Dan has been played with over 20 bands and artists such as Georgi Kay, Matt Gresham and Statues. Dan is currently an endorsee of Yamaha Drums Australia and plays with Shangrila, Jack Haynes and the Back Pains, and The Strange Collective.

Dan lives and breathes music and drumming through and through. He believes that

Dan Harper playing the drums at a concert in Perth

DRUMMING IS A HOLISTIC EXPERIENCE WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO THE GROWTH OF THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL.

Dan knows that drumming changes lives and he hopes to impart his knowledge, wisdom and experience on to every student he comes across. Drumming is for everyone and is one of the greatest vocations anyone can take up, and the beauty of it is it can be shared at any level, from hobbyist to professional and everybody in between.

Dan has been playing the drums since he was eight years old and has been extremely passionate about drumming for over 20 years. 13 of those years have been spent teaching at multiple schools, working with students between the ages of 5 to 65.

During his years at school, Dan played in every music group and ensemble that he possibly could. These included rock band, jazz band, orchestra and even the drumline. During this time, Dan also received his level 5 certification by AMEB for music theory and won the year 12 Music Prize, all while studying as a TEE music student. He then went on to complete a Bachelor of Contemporary Music at WAAPA under the guidance of Ric Eastman and Danny Caddy, where he honed his technique, sight reading, theory knowledge, proficiency of multiple styles and his musicianship. 

IAN TASSICKER

Ian Tassicker performing on the drums for a WAAPA practical examination

A drummer for 20 years, Ian began at the age of 15 jamming in his bedroom with friends, progressing to gigging in bars around the Perth scene. Since making the decision to study music full-time as a mature age student at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), he has played at some of Perth's most prestigious concert venues including His Majesty's Theatre and the Regal Theatre, and earned a diploma in songwriting in 2017, and his degree in contemporary music in 2022. He has been teaching students of all ages and ability levels for 7 years, and can adapt his approach to different learning styles.

As someone who has confronted and overcome his own mental health issues through music, 

IAN FULLY UNDERSTANDS THE POWER MUSIC HAS TO GREATLY IMPROVE A STUDENT'S CONFIDENCE, BASELINE MOOD, AND OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE.

His own experiences have helped him grow into a patient and empathetic teacher who understands the feeling of performance anxiety and can offer effective coping strategies. 

Ian's passion for music is heavily rooted in improvisation and telling a story through the drums. He has a love of jazz and fusion music and is heavily influenced by versatile session artists like Steve Gadd and Larnell Lewis. In recent years, Ian has also developed a love of playing in musical theatre orchestras and performed in 3 seasons in 2022 ('Sideshow', 'Mack and Mabel', 'The Spongebob Musical').

As a teacher, Ian focuses on building a strong theoretical foundation, on developing the student's confidence to express their unique voice on the drums, and on having fun! His primary goal as an educator is to get each student to the point where they can sit down at the kit and play for the joy of playing.  

Drummer Ian Tasicker practicing the drums at a rehearsal space in Perth, Western Australia

VINCENT DOUGLAS-SMITH

Drummer Vincent Douglas-Smith playing the drums at a concert in Perth, Western Australia

Vincent has a true passion for drumming and teaching. He began playing the drums at a young age and has been honing his craft ever since. His love for music and drumming was discovered early in life, and after his first drum lesson at the age of 5, he continued to take lessons throughout primary school and high school.

In high school, he studied Music and Composition and started learning the piano and saxophone at the age of 11. His knowledge of music theory is extensive, and he applies this knowledge to his drumming and teaching. He has experience drumming in multiple bands of various genres such as jazz, indie rock, pop, shoegaze, and even orchestral. He enjoys exploring genres from all around the world, including Africa, India, and South America, and is always excited to share his knowledge with his students.

Although a multi-instrumentalist, Vincent will always be a drummer at heart. He found his love for teaching by directing ensembles and providing individual lessons straight out of high school. He understands the positive effects that drumming and music can have on various aspects of one's life and 

WANTS OTHERS TO EXPERIENCE THESE BENEFITS WHILE GIVEN THE RESOURCES TO PROGRESS,

improve, and find their own voice on the drum set. He recognizes the importance of improvisation and drumming as a creative outlet.

Vincent has played in many different bands, gigging around Perth since the age of 16, and has even contributed to a few records.

HE BELIVES THERE IS NOTHING MORE POWERFUL THAN PLAYING IN A BAND WITH YOUR FRIENDS.

Vincent understands that drumming and music is extremely beneficial for the mind and connects us to one another as members within a community. He not only appreciates the spiritual aspect of drumming but also acknowledges how learning an instrument can improve various other aspects of our lives, such as focus, memory, abstract thinking, reasoning, and many more.

With his extensive experience, knowledge, and passion for drumming and teaching, 

HE IS EXCITED TO SHARE HIS SKILLS AND HELP STUDENTS OF ALL LEVELS AND AGES REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

REBECCA SMITH

Perth drummer Rebecca Smith holding drum sticks sitting behind an open hi-hat performing at her band's music

Music has always played an important role in Bec’s life. Throughout her formative years she was always intrigued by the various elements heard within songs and the craftsmanship that went into creating them.

 

As a child Bec learnt to play piano and began flute lessons at age 12. As a teenager, she had always created beats along to the sound of indicators in cars and realised she wanted to continue pursuing music while also exploring her fascination with rhythm. In high school, Bec gained experience performing and collaborating with other musicians by participating in her school’s percussion ensemble. As she got older she joined a band and has since used this experience to expand her knowledge, skills, creativity and confidence behind the kit.

Perth drum teacher Rebecca Smith holding drum sticks playing the drums in Perth, Western Australia

Growing up Bec had frequently faced issues with her confidence and abilities, largely due to having learning differences to other kids. Learning the drums and performing with other musicians has made monumental differences to this ever since, and has positively impacted her in various facets of life. 

THROUGH HER GROWTH AS A DRUMMER SHE HAS NOT ONLY DEVELOPED AS A MUSICIAN WITH HER OWN UNIQUE STYLE, BUT ALSO AS A PERSON WHO CELEBRATES HER DIFFERENCES AND THE DIFFERENCES IN OTHERS.

As a teacher, Bec is extremely empathic, patient and adaptable to each student's unique needs. She hopes to share her knowledge and experience with her students so that they may undergo the same positive transformations that she went through. 

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