Drum Lessons

John Mears’ 36 years of combined performance and recording experience and his overall passion for drumming are what he draws upon when teaching his students. He adapts to each student’s personality and adjusts his approach for each lesson.

 “I always treat my students with respect, courtesy and patience which I find makes them more apt to relax, listen, learn, feel the music, and have fun.”

John has completed courses in Music Theory, Music Appreciation, and Music Production at San Diego State University, Palomar College and Mira Costa College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from National University and an associate’s degree in Communication from Palomar College. He currently attends The School of Professional Experience where he continues his education on performance, song writing, producing, arranging, recording, management and instruction.

John Mears describes teaching a new student:
For beginning students, my method of teaching combines a balance of learning the fundamentals such as rudiments with notation, stick control, dynamics, meter, etc. while also teaching the student to play by ear. This is imperative for a drummer perhaps more so than any other instrument. I discuss what music styles the student is interested in and we work on learning rhythms and songs by performing alongside actual recordings. Lessons are always designed to be fun, interactive and engaging, never tedious or mundane. For practicality, drum practice pads are used to learn rudiments, but since the whole idea of learning is to play drums, I get the student on a set on day one, and every lesson after.

John brings a foundation built on a lifetime of experience and love for all genres of music.  He has played and recorded with bands such as Crash Carter, Michael Tiernan, Tower 7, The Surf Chiefs, The Standards, The Late Walter Phobicman (w/ Matt Beckley), Life of Wryley, Tom Yermak's Tomfoolery, and Head Full of Zombies.

“Performing drums has brought so much joy to my life and expanded my creativity.”

Performances include: The Fonda Theater in Hollywood, The Palomino Club, The Belly Up, The La Paloma Theater, Rusty's on the Santa Monica Pier, The Casbah, Humphrey's, The Hard Rock Café, The Del Mar/San Diego County Fair, Festival Del Mar, San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon, Canes, Fiesta Del Sol, The Sony Art Walk, Winston's, The Bacchanal, The Calypso and numerous other venues, events, corporate shows as well as live performances, Air Play and/or interviews on Television (NBC, FOX, KUSI) and Radio (91X, 94.9, KGB, KPRI, KKSM and others in and outside the San Diego area). 

John also has over 50 recording sessions in Los Angeles and San Diego. Crash Carter's release "Red Buttons Blink" and Michael Tiernan's "Jumping In" are available on all digital sites such as iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc. for purchase and/or streaming. 


We feel like we hit the teacher jackpot with John! He really knows music & has a passion for sharing this knowledge. Plus he can REALLY hit those drums. He was patient, flexible, & 'made it fun' with my 12-year-old son picking up drum sticks for the first time. So grateful we booked with 'Mr.John!' 

-Melinda P. 

We would like to thank John for becoming our all time favorite drum teacher. In just 7 lessons John managed to not only give our daughter the support and teach the techniques she needed for her upcoming concert, but also boost her self-confidence tremendously. Our daughter is a quite girl and as the only percussionist in the school band, she needed and needs to learn from someone with John's experience at teaching children.

Thank you, John. We can't wait to take more lessons soon!!

-Katja E. 

Video: Crash Carter and John Mears Live at Belly Up- July 28, 2015