Drums & Percussion Instructor: Billy Thompson
Billy D. Thompson is a longtime musician hailing from San Leandro, CA. He’s been a drummer for 17 years, starting his first band and playing his first professional gigs in the 9th grade. He arrived in Sacramento in 2012 to pursue his music education. After graduating from the Sacramento School of Music with his jazz drumset degree in 2016, he decided to plant his roots and continue to grow in the city of trees music scene. Since then he’s traveled all around the United States touring and performing.
Billy’s professional career has spanned dozens of bands and genres including pop, punk, funk, soul, salsa, Americana, Rock ’n’ Roll, swing, fusion, blues, Brazilian, CCM, and nearly everything in between. It’s his core belief that versatility is a musicians greatest asset.
This versatility applies not only to genres, but to instruments and jobs in music as well. Specializing in drums and Congas, Billy also plays guitar, bass, and keys. He’s a songwriter, producer and recording engineer working with several artists in Sacramento and beyond. He has over a dozen songs published and copyrighted to him. On top of all of this, Billy has been teaching lessons for many years, using his variety of experience to meet each student’s unique needs.
Billy teaches using the John Xepoleas method, which is the same method he learned from as a young drummer. This method focuses on reading music fluently by taking students through all three Standard of Excellence books, as well as book one of the Progressive Drums series, and John X’s own book, Style Studies. After that, students are able to choose from a variety of classic drum instruction books where they can specialize in whichever styles inspire them the most. This method is supplemented by the same exercises and techniques Billy has created to develop speed, accuracy, flexibility, and musicality in his own playing.
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