BA in Psychology!! Summa Cum Laude!

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Hey party people!

I wanted to update you people on what’s been going on with me. I don’t post as often as maybe I should, but we’re all busy people! Anyways, as the title indicates, I graduated from San Jose State University this summer with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with Summa Cum Laude (3.9 gpa), also with a minor in Special Education!

I’m not trying to brag with this post but rather celebrate. It’s been a long couple of years but I’ve finally achieved a notable level of education. It’s strange to be out of school for really the first time in my life and to be working full-time. I feel like an adult haha. So with my earned freedom I’ve chosen to work as a camp counselor this summer to help pay down school loans, as well as have a fun job to ease my way into the working world. I’m also still teaching drum lessons, though I’m always looking for more students!! (wink wink nudge nudge ;).

Other current aspects of my life include practicing guitar everyday, making and writing music, reading, pursuing Spanish fluency, meditation, and being with the people I love! On a musical note 🙂 I have secretly completed writing my second solo album a few months ago! As I have mentioned in previous posts, I create music using Tuxguitar (similar to Guitarpro) in which I program every single note from guitars to drums to other instruments (violin, piano, etc.). If you’re reading this then you’re in my inner circle of music because I have kept my personal music endeavors on the down low. In fact I’ve only played a rough version of my music to 2 people EVER. Why am I doing this? Well the answer lies somewhere in the first sentence of this paragraph. Think about it…

In regards to further education, as of now I don’t have any plans to pursue higher or other degrees simply because of the cost of those degrees. I absolutely LOVE learning, and I would go to school full-time as a job if someone paid me. No question! But it always comes down to money. So until I figure out my “calling,” I will not unnecessarily “waste” money that won’t be invested back into myself. Instead, I will continue to learn using book stores, libraries, people, and the internet. Regardless, I’m VERY grateful for my degree and hope it serves me well in the future.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan Clark

Online Drum Lessons!

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Hey All,

As my Fall semester comes to a close, I’d like to open NEW doors! I have been on Skype for a while now for trading language lessons with Spanish speakers, and I’ve decided I’d like to start making more use of the power of the Internet. So…

I’M NOW OFFERING ONLINE DRUMS LESSONS (via Skype) woo!

My Skype name is: rclarkyyyy

The price will be the same as my normal rates (30mins = 15$) (1hr = 25$). Check my ‘ONLINE Lessons’ section for more details.

So if you’re looking to learn to play the drums from the cozy-ness of your bedroom, now is the time! Feel free to add me on Skype, though send me an EMAIL (ryanonthedrums@yahoo.com) or leave a COMMENT to be sure I see it. I look forward to hearing from all you guys and gals!

– Ryan Clark

 

Updates! & I’m accepting NEW students!

Hey everyone,

Long time no post…from me! Like nearly everyone on the planet I’ve been quite busy. Here’s a quick rundown of my current activities:

1) SCHOOL of course. I’m a commuting senior now at SJSU, about to finish my BA in Psychology with a Minor in Special Ed. Definitely ready to take a break ahaha!

2) I got a job as an assistant teacher at Sarah’s Science! It’s a cool after school program for grades K-4 that teaches kids about science through making toys.

3) I’m learning Español and I’m loving it! Plus it really makes commuting to school much more bearable 🙂

4) Lastly, I’m still teaching DRUMS!!! And unfortunately this month I lost 2 of my longest-lasting and wonderful drum students. The demand of school is real haha, but I understand. I often don’t have time to practice or write music. Which leads me to my next point….

I’M ACCEPTING NEW STUDENTS! 😉

As one door closes, another opens! I welcome all drum students, beginner to advanced, young to old, who want help learning anything about drums. I’m here to teach you what YOU want to learn (styles, songs, drum solos, techniques, speed, etc.).

I work in the east bay area only, and the rates for cities closest to Pleasanton are: 30 mins = 15$ …. 60 mins = 25$. Send me an email if you’re interested at: ryanonthedrums@yahoo.com

Take care,

Ryan Clark

 

A Sweet Review for Worse

Here’s a cool review of my band (Worse)’s recently released album (To Be Alive Is To Be Alone) by NoCleanSinging.

Take a peek!

http://www.nocleansinging.com/2015/03/17/worse-to-be-alive-is-to-be-alone/

Ironically, it will probably take more time to read the article than to listen to the album.

And here’s the link to our album: To Be Alive Is To Be Alone

http://worsesf.bandcamp.com/album/to-be-alive-is-to-be-alone

-Ryan C

Wow…Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

2014 has been a BLAST!

I’ve been so busy with school, work (teaching drums and working with autistic kids), learning ASL, learning guitar, making music, and living it up with the people I love that I’ve neglected this website! No regrets haha. But really, I’m going to come back and make this page awesome! I’m open to all opinions so if you have ideas, let’s hear ’em in a comment!

In regards to drum lessons, I’ve been having lots of fun with my students lately. One of them just passed their first drum song ever (ACDC’s “Back in Black”)!! A fun little thing I’ve been trying to spice up my lessons is by doing our warm ups to fun songs, such as the old school Super Mario theme. It’s a fun alternative to the beeping of a metronome.

Also, for anyone reading this, I still have some open slots for new drum students (of any experience level). Explore the rest of my site to see what I have to offer and send me an email at: ryanonthedrums@yahoo.com

REMEMBER THE FIRST LESSON IS FREE! 😀

Thanks for tuning in and check back for some NEW 2015 DRUM VIDS! woo!

-Ryan Clark

Christmas/New Years Update!

Hey peeps,

I’ve been pretty busy lately, as I’m sure most of you are around this time of the year, but I’m making some time to give ya’ll a quick update on what’s going on. While it’s been a little difficult to make time for drums, I’m still managing to do it; I’ve been mainly practicing double-bass speed, gospel chops, grooves, and coordination. I really want to make more drum videos, but my acoustic kit isn’t even setup and I’ll be moving soon so hopefully after that adventure I can. I’ve also been playing guitar quite a bit, getting lessons from my dad (whose page is linked at the top about guitar lessons). One day I’d like to be able to play guitar with my drum students, so that they can experience what it’s like to play with other musicians.

In addition to this, I’m constantly writing new music for my solo project (which is unnamed at this moment). This is another reason why I’m learning guitar. It’s a bit of a strange experience writing music that’s heavy on guitars when I can barely play, but I hope to change that soon.

On a totally unrelated topic, I fail to recall whether I’ve mentioned my volunteer work with autistic children and teenagers, but because I’ve been doing it for a while (6 months) I’ve been offered a job being an autism therapist! I’m very excited about this, and I’ve started doing my online training already, which consists of around 30 hours of Applied Behavior Analysis training. So partly because of this arena of my life, I’ve been quite busy. But this doesn’t mean I’ll stop giving drum lessons any time soon :-). I plan on managing both jobs at the same time, as I think it’ll create an interesting and rewarding challenge.

So that’s my quick update. I’ll try to see what I can do about making some more drum videos soon. Until then, happy drumming!

Ryan Clark

Thanksgiving & Stick Tricks

Can you pass the drumsticks? (lol lame joke)

Well our bizarre holiday has come around once again. I hope everyone’s doing well and stays safe tonight. I know I will, as I’m just taking a break from a homework-filled holiday vacation. Anyways, here’s my most recent update for ya’ll:

I just turned 21 two weeks ago, which is pretty cool I suppose. I haven’t had the chance yet to use my age to get in to music clubs yet, but I know my dad wants to take me. And I can finally have Ins and Outs at the metal shows I attend, which is great to cool down from all the moshing, haha.

And this past week I’ve taken an interest in learning more stick tricks! I’ve never really been that interested in learning these, as all drummers who do them will tell you that the music comes first (which is what I focused on). I knew a few basic ones: the twirl, the forward and backward flip, and this one that I picked up from Thomas Lang (check him out). But I decided I’d start learning stick tricks more intensely, as they’re pretty entertaining to watch. With the help of Youtube, I’ve learned 4 more, and plan on learning even more. They’re pretty fun to do and can give you something to do during those simple parts of songs. I will be teaching these also to my students, when I feel they’ve learned enough about real drumming to take on these fun new challenges! You gotta walk before you cartwheel!

Well that’s all for now. Supper’s ready!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ryan Clark

I Gave a Speech on Drumming!

Howdy folks,

I’ve been quite busy recently, due largely to school, so I haven’t had much time to update anything here or even practice on my own drums everyday! Ironically though, I got the chance in my Speech class to give a talk on anything I wanted to, so you know my first thought was “DRUMS!”. And that’s exactly what I did. Unfortunately, the speech could only be 7 minutes long, which is hardly sufficient to inform a group of non-drummers on anything drum-related, but I think it turned out alright.

I ended up talking about the basics of how drums are played, the importance of drummers in music, and where the future of drums is headed in recorded music. All of these topics haven’t really been touched on within this blog, especially the last one. So I thought I’d just briefly sum up the main points of my talk for you guys, so you guys wouldn’t feel left out ;). Keep in mind this is very basic, as it was intended for a specific audience…

Well, today’s modern drums are played often times with sticks in either the matched or traditional grip. And with these sticks, we drummers use 3 basic motions to hit the drums: arm, wrist, and finger motions. Arm motion is used primarily for loud, slower hits like accents, whereas wrist and finger motions are conserved for faster notes, which are, by their nature, quieter. And since us drummers are typically sitting at a drum kit, this frees up our feet to participate in the musical process. For most drummers, the left foot occupies the hi hat pedal, which controls the hi hat, and the right foot occupies the bass drum pedal, which obviously hits the bass drum. Everything up until here has been a description of the physical aspects of drumming, so I will now discuss the mental side of things. Drumming requires a certain amount of coordination between limbs which, if you aren’t accustomed to doing, takes an enormous amount of mental effort to accomplish. But us drummers who have experience under our belts don’t have to think too hard about coordinations that may drive the beginner insane. This is not to say that we don’t struggle mental with anything; if anything, coordination challenges only get more difficult as you improve! So in essence, it depends upon what we’re doing at the time to tell you what exactly we’re thinking about, whether it be a complex time signature or what I want for dinner haha.

Fortunately, drummers are hardly under-appreciated inside and out of the musical circle, so we don’t struggle as bad as the bass player does in explaining the importance of our position. Although, I would guess that there are still many non-musicians who would question the importance of drums, to which I respond with (mainly) tempo and rhythm. Tempo, or speed, is largely associated with the mood of a song. If you’ve ever heard a recording, then listened to it at a different speed, it produces different feelings when you hear it, sometimes ruining the song. But how do drummers influence speed? Well the prime example I can provide is this: if you’ve ever seen a live band performance with a drummer, you’ll likely witness the drummer playing the first notes of the song (esp. those where multiple instruments begin at the same time). These notes they play are the ones that count off the song, usually in a “1, 2, 3, 4, GO” fashion. Now, however fast the drummer choses to play these notes in the moment are essentially how fast everyone else must now play them. And if you’ve ever played with a band live before you can probably testify to the fact that we don’t always play at the speed we practice at. Usually it’s faster, due to the nerves. NOW, moving onto rhythm, if you’ve ever listened to pop/rap/rock music, you already know that the drums usually hit on every single beat in a song. Because they do this, the other band members often rely on the drummer to keep the time (or if you’re a string player, it’s the bassist). Thus, if the drummer messes up the beat, it can throw everyone off, which demonstrates their importance in music.

Lastly, the future of drum sounds in music are on a trend right now, and yes, it has to do with technology. Drums are now being electronically sampled in almost every genre of music (at least it seems), including rap/rock/pop/r&b/electronic/metal/etc. This means that real drum sounds (from a recording) are being replaced by either fake/pre-recorded drum sounds. And there are a variety of reasons why sound engineers are conforming to this, but I won’t go into it now. The basic pros and cons of sampling drums, as I see it, are the following; PROS: it’s faster and easier, there’s a large soundbank to choose from, the sound is a lot clearer, and it allows for a perfect drum track. CONS: it gets rid of the need for a drummer, the sounds can often sound fake (despite being on purpose sometimes), and the drum track is too perfect. It’s basically like replacing the drummer with a robot that only knows perfection. And if you’re a drummer, you can probably tell, as I can, the difference between when a human is playing vs this robot. Ultimately, I think it creates an artificial sound, which as I said, can work for the music but it just depends.

WOW, ok that was a lot. I’m done now haha. Leave a comment if you liked/disliked my speech; it is most appreciated either way! Thanks

Ryan Clark

A conclusion to the summer of 2013

Hey guys long time no talk,

Well summer’s just about at its end right now, as I go back to school at Las Positas College in 2 days. I’m excited to continue my studies, although I’d like to do a quick recap of the things I did over my summer (all of which I’ve yet to mention in previous posts) before school begins.

I’ll start my recapitulation with my musical endeavors; I played with two shows with two different musical groups. The first show was in Oakland with a metal band called Diatomic. The music was kinda tough to learn because of the fast tempos and many quick time changes. The gig itself went alright; a few flubs here and there, but it was quite solid. The other group I played with was of the progressive rock genre, which was called Orpheus. I really enjoyed learning these songs because I was allowed a sizable amount of creativity with the drumming, and there was a lot of happy, melodious grooves I got to play. I played with Orpheus in Livermore at an event called Jupiter Sunrise, which was hosted at someone’s house with quite a large gathering. There was someone taking pictures, so I’ll see if I can get some for you guys to gawk at soon haha.

On a non-musical note, I began volunteering with autistic children this summer in Dublin. The organization that I volunteer for is called Creative Autism Solutions Team, and it’s run by some of the kindest and loving people I’ve ever met. This whole experience was extremely eye-opening in too many different ways to list. I loved it so much that I’m going to continue volunteering during my school year as best I can while managing classes, homework, teaching drums, and my personal music. One of the greatest parts about this was that this was the first time I’d ever REALLY volunteered, by my own will and not because I was forced to. My main goal with volunteering was just to be productive over the summer, but as one might guess, I was affected much deeper than that. And if anyone from the Bay Area knows autistic children who need a daycare, I strongly recommend C.A.S.T.!

I’m glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this summer. I was able to make and write music, help kids with disabilities, see family and friends, and finally start learning guitar from my dad! Overall I’d say it was quite the positive experience.

Well that’s all for now. I hope everyone else had just as good a summer as I did!!

– Ryan Clark

I bought a Wuhan 12″ China from Best Buy

Hey everybody,

I hope everyone’s been having a good summer so far. Personally, mine’s been going great; I’m volunteering at a daycare for autistic children in Dublin and I’ve working on some musical projects. And, as you can see, I bought a Wuhan china cymbal from Best Buy for about $15. This wasn’t a very serious buy because I found an old Best Buy gift card that still had some money on it, so I thought “Why not?” and bought it. And for those of you who don’t know, $15 for any kind of cymbal is extremely cheap.

And so, as I expected, I pretty much got what I paid for in terms of quality. The cymbal came somewhat dirty with some scratches on it, but nothing too bad. And when I played it, it was surprisingly loud, almost too loud. Louder than all my other cymbals somehow. It sounded very trashy as well. And although I typically enjoy trashy sounds (probably from more expensive cymbals), this china’s tone just sounded cheap. However, I think I might’ve found a use for it in my kit by using it in a stack (two cymbals stacked on top of each other – it can create unique sounds). I put a Wuhan splash on top of it, which dampened the sound a bit and actually sounded alright. I might toy around with it some more later, but I thought I’d share my experience with you guys.

I think the lesson I learned here is that there usually should be a minimum on how much I spend on a cymbal. Although I prefer to buy cheap, good-sounding cymbals, I think this was too cheap. I could barely stand the sound of the china on its own, which isn’t a good sign. However, there are ways around it, like how I used it for a stack. And cleaning it can alter the sound as well. All in all, if you’re seriously looking for a cymbal, I would recommend buying something more expensive.

That’s all for now! Happy drumming!

– Ryan Clark