BLOG

School of Rock Chicago's very own drum instructor Ryan Farnham was recently featured in Modern Drummer. In the article, he talks about touring with his band The Kickback and teaching SoR kids meaningful and deliberate drumming. "I emphasize that drums are a melodic instrument and I try to help them create melody using space and repeating rhythms," He said. "There is no doubt that there will be a whole crop of very successful bands in the next ten years that will have started at a School of Rock somewhere."

Read the post on Modern Drummer.

#drums #drumming #thekickback #schoolofrock #tour #touring #ontour

more

If your child wants to play the drums, trying to find the right kit for them to start on can be pretty confusing. Here are some pointers to help you find the right thing for your child. Once you've chosen a drum set, bring your budding musician to School of Rock for a tour and free trial lesson, and we'll help them love learning and playing music!

How To Buy A First Drum Set

The right place to start drum shopping depends on the person you're shopping for. If you're buying a kit for your young (single-digits) child that might or might not take an interest in it, you could be able to get away with buying the least expensive all-inclusive kit. If your kid gets into it though, you'll probably be shopping again within a year.

The options open up considerably if you decide to spend a little more up front, and you can find a kit that will last a long time, sound good and get your kid through at least high school. Important note about drums: Drums need regular adjustments to sound good and be fun to play. Luckily, this kind of...

more

One of the questions we get most often at School of Rock is which guitar or bass parents should buy for their child who wants to start learning to play. Here are a couple of pointers to help you find your way. Once you've put a sweet guitar or bass into your kid's hands, come to School of Rock for a tour and free trial lesson, and we'll help them love playing it!

If you haven't read part 1 of this post, you may want to go there first.

What To Look For If You're Shopping In Person

There's no way to poke and prod anything you buy online before it's at your door, so if you're shopping in person, here are a couple of things to watch out for. Important note about new instruments: One of the ways that guitar manufacturers save cost is by putting minimal labor into the final setup of the instrument. Often the parts are quality and the assembly is fine, but the fine-tuning that makes an instrument play well and sound its...

more

One of the questions we get most often at School of Rock is which guitar or bass parents should buy for their child who wants to start learning to play. Here are a couple of pointers to help you find your way. Once you've put a sweet guitar or bass into your kid's hands, come to School of Rock for a tour and free trial lesson, and we'll help them love playing it!

How To Buy A First Guitar or Bass

There are lots of great options for a first guitar or bass that are inexpensive and totally decent. If cost is your main consideration, you can still give your budding musician something they'll feel good about bringing to band practice. If your kid is ready for something a little more serious, there are a lot of possibilities for her/him, too.

Important note about affordable instruments: One of the ways that guitar manufacturers save costs on their affordable models is by saving labor on the final setup of the instrument. Often the parts are quality and assembled fine, but the fine-tuning that makes an instrument play well and sound its best is left to...

more
Howard-Jones-Live-A-20.04.1-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to HOWARD JONES (1955). A singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Jones is considered to be one of the defining figures of mid-1980s synth pop. He has released 10 studio albums, 4 of which have charted in the United States, and has had several hit singles, including "Things Can Only Get Better (US - #5)," "No One Is To Blame (US - #4)," and "Everlasting Love (US - #12)." Additionally, he has started his own record label, Dtox. Jones was also the keyboardist for Ringo Starr's All Starr Band's 2001 tour and has worked as a songwriter for other artists, including German synth pop group Propaganda.

more
brad-nowell-jpg-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes out in remembrance of BRADLEY NOWELL (1968). A singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, Nowell was best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of ska punk band SUBLIME. Sublime has sold over 10 million albums in the United States and over 17 million albums worldwide. They were one of the most popular bands of the third wave of ska, and had two singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay. Nowell's Dalmatian, Lou Dog, was the mascot of the group and often wandered the stage during the band's performances. Unfortunately, Nowell died of an overdose in 1996. Sublime's self-titled album and most commercially successful effort was released 2 months after his death.

more
jerry-harrison-of-talking-heads-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to JERRY HARRISON (1949). A keyboardist, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer, Harrison rose to prominence as a member of the critically acclaimed New Wave band TALKING HEADS. He was also an original member of the the American proto-punk band THE MODERN LOVERS. Additionally, Harrison has released 3 solo albums, and has produced several well-known artists, including No Doubt, Rusted Root, Violent Femmes, and Crash Test Dummies. Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads back in 2002.

more
kurt-cobain1-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes out in remembrance of KURT COBAIN (1967). A singer, guitarist, drummer and songwriter, Cobain is best known as the frontman and primary songwriter of American grunge band NIRVANA. He was often referred to as the "spokesman of a generation" in the media, though he had difficulty coping with his fame and public image. He was influenced by a variety of artists, including Iggy Pop, Pixies, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Unfortunately, Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Since their debut, Nirvana has sold over 25 million records in the United States and over 75 million worldwide.

more
242d95085fde6948a36bdd6553ba7d3c12d738bc-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to TONY IOMMI (1948). A guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer, Iommi is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time. He is best known as the lead guitarist for English heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH. He is a co-founder of the group and has also been the band's sole continual member. Prior to forming Black Sabbath, Iommi played in Jethro Tull. Additionally, he was a member of Heaven & Hell, a heavy metal band that also included the late Ronnie James Dio. He has also released 3 solo albums. His 2000 debut, Iommi, featured well-known musicians including Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, and Brian May. Iommi was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Black Sabbath in 2006.

more
DSCF7609-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to DENNIS DEYOUNG (1947). A singer, songwriter, keyboardist and producer, DeYoung is best known as the former lead vocalist for American rock band STYX, of which he is also a co-founding member. He departed from the group in 1999. Outside of Styx, he embarked on a solo career and has released 6 albums, his 1984 debut Desert Moon spawning a Top 10 single. Desert Moon was also certified Gold in Canada. DeYoung has also performed live with Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, Robin Gibb, Kim Wild, 10CC, and Tears For Fears.

more
green-day-performing-live-03-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG (1972). A singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Armstrong is best known as the frontman and a co-founding member of alternative rock band GREEN DAY. Green Day has sold over 25 million records in the United States and over 70 million worldwide. They have also won 5 Grammy awards and are credited with reviving mainstream interest in punk music in the United States. Outside of Green Day, Armstrong has been in several other musical projects, including sidebands The Network, Pinhead Gunpowder, and Foxboro Hot Tubs. He has also co-written with the Go-Go's, Rancid, and former Avengers singer Penelope Houston. Armstrong also co-owns the record label Adeline Records.

more
Mick_Avory-1.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to MICK AVORY (1944). A drummer and percussionist, Avory is best known as a member of legendary English rock band THE KINKS. He was the group's longtime drummer; staying with them from their formation and until 1984. Aside from the Davies brothers, he is the longest standing member of the band. Avory was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Kinks back in 1990. Outside of The Kinks, he has worked with Dave Clark, Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Animals' Dave Rowberry.

Other notable music birthdays today include producer Brian Holland (1941), Supertramp's John Helliwell (1945), Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee (1957), UB40 singer Ali Campbell (1959), Culture Club bassist Mikey Craig (1960), Lordi frontman Tomi Putaansuu (1974), Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd (1976), Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (1976), Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman (1977), and Sinergy's Kimberly Goss (1978).

more
tbuckley.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to TIM BUCKLEY (1947). A singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Buckley is recognized for his musical innovation. Starting out as mainly a folk artist, his work later encompassed several genres, including funk, jazz, psychedelia and soul. Though not successful commercially, his constant musical evolution and vocal ability made him into a highly regarded musician. Unfortunately, Buckley died of a drug overdose back in 1975.

more
peter-gabriel-inducted-to-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-2014.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to PETER GABRIEL (1950). A singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Gabriel came to prominence as a member of progressive rock band GENESIS. He was the group's lead vocalist and flautist. He later experienced success as a solo artist, releasing two Platinum and two Gold certified records in the US. Gabriel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010 and will be inducted a second time for his solo work later this year.

more
Ray+Manzarek+Vox.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to RAY MANZAREK (1939). A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer, Manzarek was a co-founding member of legendary rock band THE DOORS. He was the group's keyboardist as well as one of their songwriters. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the band in 1993. Outside of The Doors, he was a founding member of Nite City and Manzarek-Krieger. Unfortunately, Manzarek passed away last year due to bile duct cancer.

more
Cliff+Burton++Bass.gif

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes out in remembrance of CLIFF BURTON (1962). A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter, Burton was the bassist for American best-selling thrash metal bandMETALLICA. He played on their first three albums and received a posthumous writing credit on their fourth. He is also recognized for using a wah-wah pedal on his bass, something uncommon with bass players. Unfortunately, Burton passed away in a bus accident back in 1986. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Metallica in 2009.

more
lgjkbdylpjpbbig.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to CAROLE KING (1942). A singer, pianist and songwriter, King has found success as a solo artist and as a songwriter for other musicians. She achieved her first number 1 hit at the age of 18, and many of her songs since then have become standards. Her 1971 album Tapestry sold over 10 million copies worldwide and is considered to be one of the greatest records of all time. She is also the winner of 4 Grammy Awards, among them Album and Song of the Year. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1990.

more
motley-600-1377188372.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to VINCE NEIL (1961). A singer, guitarist and songwriter, Neil is best known as the lead vocalist of heavy metal band MÖTLEY CRÜE. A longtime friend of band drummer Tommy Lee, he joined the group after impressing the rest of the members with his audition. The group is one of the best-selling music acts of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Outside of Mötley Crüe, Neil has released three solo albums.

more
4072133102_57028ba1ba.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes to DAVID BRYAN (1962). A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, Bryan is best known as a member of best-selling American hard rock band BON JOVI. He is the keyboardist and an occasional backing vocalist for the group, as well as a co-songwriter. He has contributed charting tunes to the band such as "In These Arms (US - #27)" and "Only Lonely (US -#58)." Outside of Bon Jovi, Bryan has released two solo albums and is the writer of four Tony award winning musical Memphis.

more
bob-marley.jpg

Today's special An Artist Is Born birthday shoutout goes out in remembrance of BOB MARLEY (1945). A singer, guitarist, percussionist and songwriter, Marley began his musical career as the frontman for THE WAILERS. He later released material as a solo artist. Recognized for his distinctive vocal and songwriting stylings, he released some of the earliest reggae records with The Wailers and ultimately achieved worldwide fame with them, selling 21 million albums worldwide. Unfortunately, Marley passed away back in 1981 at the age of 36 due to cancer.

more