Throughout this new lesson series, Vic Firth Artist Jay Fenichel will discuss a variety of popular subjects – from fills and drum solos to techniques on how to practice smarter, not harder. Each lesson will expose you to concepts that will help develop your drumming skills, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced level player.

If you enjoy the lessons and would like to learn much more from Jay, check out for more free drum tips. Jay also offers a video lesson series available on his website that includes unlimited access to his "Drum Lessons Vault", as well as video feedback that is definitely worth checking out!

Join us each week for a new lesson in this series!


"YYZ" by Rush - Groove Breakdown - Part III


The Rosanna Shuffle Soul Vaccination
The Songo - Part 1 The Songo - Part 2
The Push/Pull - One-Handed Roll The Traditional Grip - Part 1
The Traditional Grip - Part 2 The Traditional Grip - Part 3
Steve Gadd Groove The Full Stroke - Part 1
The Full Stroke - Part 2 Open Drum Rolls
Flams Dave Weckl "Got A Match?" Breakdown
The Clave - Part 1 The Clave - Part 2
The Clave - Part 3 Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' Groove Breakdown
The Grouping Chart "What is Hip?" by Tower of Power - Groove Breakdown
"Hot In Herre" by Nelly - Groove Breakdown "Becoming" by Pantera - Groove Breakdown
"Cissy Strut" by The Meters - Groove Breakdown "YYZ" by Rush - Groove Breakdown - Part I
"YYZ" by Rush - Groove Breakdown - Part II

American Classic® 5A
Tear drop tip for rich cymbal sounds. Light and fast for jazz orchestral and pit work.
L = 16" | Dia. = .565"
  click here to download a larger image of the 5A
Peter Erskine (SPE)
Light and fast with a piccolo tip for pinpoint articulation on cymbals.
L = 16" | Dia. = .525"
  click here to download a larger image of the SPE
Heritage Brush
Features a light gauge wire and a smooth rubber handle. Fast and easy to play.
Dia. = .530" | Spread = 5"
  click here to download a larger image of the HB

Jason Fenichel began his drumming career at the age of 8 years old, quite by accident. Jason's first instrument choice was actually clarinet. On line, behind a bunch of other nervous grade-schoolers, to pick up a band instrument there was the band teacher sitting in front of a small desk loaded with mouth pieces for all of the instruments.

One by one the teacher was asking each kid to make a sound out of their respective instruments mouth piece. If you couldn’t, the teacher would go ahead and assign an instrument for you. Jason watched in horror as a student who chose clarinet got stuck with the tuba because he couldn’t produce a sound out of the mouth piece!

Out of fear that the same thing would happen to him, Jason changed his choice to drums to avoid having to blow into anything and getting stuck with the tuba… The rest was history.

Jason continued to study drums throughout grade school to high school and eventually rose through the ranks to become the top drummer there. He than attended College at “The Conservatory Of Music @ SUNY Purchase.” Where he soon realized he was back at the bottom of the heap.

"I Got Blindsided In College By The 'Harsh Reality Of The Music World' And It Nearly Ended My Career Before It Began. At my audition for college the department was only accepting three new freshmen since there was a cap on the jazz program (75 students at the time)... and they already had plenty of drummers... or so I was told.

I was at the drums waiting for my big chance to impress the professors. They were all looking at me with that dismal glare as if saying...

'Hurry up kid, do something, ‘cause we have a lot more students to go through and we’re not even looking for drummers this year.'

Feeling like I was about to blow the audition, I knew I had to do something drastic. So toward the end of a standard blues progression I closed my eyes, grit my teeth and through down the fastest, craziest fill I could possibly do. The solo was furiously out of control and I was totally lost in the count. Somehow… by the grace of God himself I crashed the cymbal and came in on the correct beat!

I opened my eyes, as the dust settled to the shocked look of three stunned professors! They didn’t know that I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. They were just blown away thinking I was this drumming prodigy and immediately accepted me into the program. I was one of three new students, and the only drummer for that year out of over 100 applicants, accepted…

… Sounds Great, Right? A Real Cinderella Story!

However once the school year started the ruse was revealed. The teachers quickly realized that I was a fake who had a miracle audition, not the prodigy they were hoping for. I couldn’t duplicate that miracle again.

"They weren’t allowed to kick me out of the program, so instead they tried to get me to quit by really giving me hell in all of my classes for 2 years. It was from sheer white-knuckled panic that by my junior year I had outworked my entire class to survive and prosper as the top player in my school and later as a professional drummer. I reached all my goals and blew past all my ceilings because I didn’t have a choice. I was forced to find the answers… and I did!"

Jason went on to become the head instructor at The 'Ratamacue Percussion Learning Center' in East Northport, NY for 3 years and then later opened his own studio J-Sonic Music Studio in N. Amityville NY where he continues to teach today.

For years Jason played drums in the NY based rock band "Halfmanwonder" where he opened for major acts like The Dave Matthews Band, SR71, The Smithereens, David Crosby, Spearhead, Sugar Ray, and Derek Trucks until their interminable hiatus in 2003.

Today Jason is the drummer for the jam/fusion band Scogeojam and well as the music director for Nocturne Orchestras, performing at corporate events all over the country for companies like Volkswagen, Emagine It, Moody's Investors Service and Hard Rock Casinos.

Jason has also recently expanded his drumming career to include The Drummers Almanac, an interactive website for drummers to help them hone and organize their drumming practice, and a new box set of DVDs centered around developing SPEED and ENDURANCE on the drums (VPS: Ultimate Endurance For Drums)… the first in a series of teaching courses that will accompany the website.

"With all of the years of studying, playing and teaching countless students... I am so excited to share my honed teaching system with drummers all over the world. My goal is to help students learn and develop the right way so they don't have to go through the same trials that I went through in college"