Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA

Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA


Hello Jeff Johnson! I recently received your book and had a quick look. Bravo! Great job! I teach the same system, pretty much verbatim (same terminology), and it's very nice to have it all written out so concisely in one place. George Lawrence Stone and Joe Morello have influenced so many of us through their writings, teachings and students.

I am looking forward to working through the book and recommending it to my students. I also teach a percussion methods course and will introduce the book to the class as well. Thanks and I hope we get to meet at PASIC!
Hey there Jeff,
Thought you'd appreciate this!
My son Tyler first drum lesson and only instructor was with Jeff Johnson. He truly enjoyed learning from him sharing his gift and talent of music. My son learned so much from him and we HIGHLY RECOMMEND him as an instructor!. I was going through my sons school work and I found this essay that he wrote about Jeff. The essay is about HEROES in his life. And I just wanted to share with you part of his essay.
I would like to pursue drum lessons

Professional drum lessons in Henrico County and Richmond, VA. (804)266-2288

Located in Henrico County, Johnson Drum Instruction offers lessons on drum set, snare drum, and other percussion. Drum lessons are taught by Jeff Johnson, a professional drummer with extensive performing and teaching experience. Johnson Drum Instruction prides itself in offering in depth drum and percussion lessons above and beyond the usual course of study. Lessons are conducted in a creative env

Operating as usual


Jeff's new book, Note Groupings and Combinations for Drumset, is currently the " #1 New Release" in the Percussion Instruments books category on Amazon.


Jeff's new book is now available! He's been working on it for quite some time. Please visit for sample pages, audio, and purchase info.


Jennifer Johnson presented the Patrick Henry HS percussionists with a gift of (two pair) of SABIAN mini hi-hat cymbals and marching hi-hat attachments. We had the pleasure of using the stage and equipment at the high school for the Johnson Drum Instruction recital and just wanted to say "thank you." Also, a big "thank you" to all of my students who donated toward the gift.

Photos from Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA's post 06/26/2023

Thank you to RTOM Corporation for the door prizes and overall support for music education. Look for my blog post (coming soon) on RTOM's website!


Congratulations to Reyaansh for winning the grand prize at our recital, a Sabian XSR Fast Crash cymbal. Thank you to Chris Stankee and SABIAN for their continuous support of music education!


Johnson Drum Instruction is proud to support the 39th Innsbrook Classic Golf Tournament Benefitting St. Joseph’s Villa.

Photos from Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA's post 06/06/2023

Photos of the student percussion ensemble at the Johnson Drum Instruction recital. We played my arrangement of Oye Como Va. All students were then invited on stage to play percussion (shakers, tambourine, etc.) on the Downs/Mattingly arrangement of the Peter Gunn Theme.


Congratulations to all the Johnson Drum Instruction students who performed in our recital this past Tuesday. There were 30 solo and 2 percussion ensemble performances. Thank you to SABIAN, Alfred Music, Alfred Band & Orchestra, Sweetwater, RTOM Corporation, Vic Firth, Hearos - Plug In and Evans Drumheads for their support and gifts/door prizes.


Join us for the Johnson Drum Instruction recital this Tues, May 30th at 6:30
Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, VA


Mark your calendars for the Johnson Drum Instruction student recital - Tuesday May 30th! Solo performances plus a percussion ensemble formed entirely of Johnson Drum Instruction students! More info to come.


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Holiday shopping for the drummer in your family can be difficult. Jeff has set up a recommended products page (with Amazon links) to make the task much easier.

Click below to visit the recommended products page.
It may take a few seconds for the images to appear, since each product has an image/Amazon link.

Johnson Drum Instruction - Johnson Drum Instruction's Recommended Products Sticks, Mallets, and Brushes


We're so grateful for our program sponsors!

Take your percussion skills to the next level with Johnson Drum Instruction. Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA specializes in improving reading, technique and coordination. Whether you want to learn online or in person Jeff will make a lasting impact in your music career.


Reposted - error in exercise is now fixed.

An online drum forum recently had a discussion about shifting accents within the paradiddle. I wrote an exercise (including motions) to help solidify the concept. I thought I would share it here as well.


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student, Stephon Lawrence Jr. Stephon auditioned and was chosen to be in the Big Cheeks ensemble this upcoming school year (his first year of high school). Here is the description of the ensemble from Clover Hill HS’s website:

”Clover Hill’s Show Bands are well known across the nation. Clover Hill’s Varsity Show Band, Big Cheeks, plays for New Dimensions and Iridescence. Big Cheeks is nationally ranked and consistently wins Best Band captions each and every season. Big cheeks is the #1 Show Band in the Country for the past 4 years!”


Even though the concert I was scheduled to play with the world famous Drifters is not happening this Saturday, it is going to be rescheduled to a future date. I look forward to playing “Under the Boardwalk,” “This Magic Moment,” “There Goes My Baby,“ and their other great hits with them in the near future!


I am honored to be a guest on Matt Patella's podcast. Looking forward to sharing my memories of my mentor, Joe Morello. It will be good to see other former students of Joe's, including Matt, Steve Forster, and Allen Herman

Matt Patella Drum Page
Matt Patellas on line lessons
Matt Patellas Drum Studio


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction students Ian Bland, Henry Walworth, and Daniella Jeyasingh on their District Band accomplishments. Ian made the snare/percussion section for the high school District Band. Henry made the snare/percussion section for middle school District Band. Daniella made first alternate for mallet percussion (middle school District Band). I had the pleasure of guiding them along the process, but they put in the practice and hard work!


Christmas came early for Rafi Waters and Matt Guza! Rafi auditioned and was accepted to Berklee College of Music with a very nice scholarship! I have had the pleasure of working with Rafi since he was 5 years old! Rafi always sets goals and works until they become a reality. Matt Guza auditioned and was hired as a drummer for BB King's Blues Club at Sea! I have known and worked with Matt even before I moved to Richmond (he studied with me in Pennsylvania). He still contacts me for "brush up" and/or Skype lessons. However, our relationship is more peer/friend than teacher/student since he has really found his own way in the music business. Congratulations to both Rafi and Matt!


Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? Johnson Drum Instruction gift certificates are still available. No need to leave the house - I'll send an invoice and email you the certificate!


This is one of my favorite photos from this year’s PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention). I had the honor of meeting the legendary Anthony J. Cirone at the Alfred Publishing booth. We took this photo of us with our books. He is holding his preview copy of the Advanced Edition of Portraits in Rhythm featuring his personal notes and performance suggestions. I been using Portraits in Rhythm for years. It is truly a classic! Thanks again to Alfred’s editor, Dave Black, for publishing both of our books.


Johnson Drum Instruction's Recommended Products - Johnson Drum Instruction

Shopping for drummers can be quite difficult. I have set up a recommended products page to make the task much easier. I use most of the products myself. Many of the items can be tried out at my studio before ordering. See link below. Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student Rafi Waters on a great performance at the All Virginia Jazz Ensemble concert. AVJE is an audition only ensemble featuring the top high school musicians in Virginia. Rafi was selected for drum set all four years - and placed first in the entire state this year!


I received this beautiful journal as a thank you gift from a student who is moving. Samir, I wish you the best on your move to Minneapolis. Congratulations on your new job! I'll miss our post-lesson chats. Please keep in touch.


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student Rafi Waters for coming in first in the entire state in the All Virginia Jazz Ensemble (AVJE) drumset audition! While this is an extremely select group of musicians, he was accepted into AVJE all four years of high school! Rafi sent me a nice message thanking me for helping him, but I simply guided him along the way. He put in all the long hours of work and preparation. Congratulations again Rafi!


School band students - Lessons can be extremely important in a student's development. Students who take lessons on a regular basis tend to excel in band class and place higher in audition-based bands such as District Band, school jazz band, All-State Band, All-State Jazz Band (AVJE), and marching band. Feel free to contact Johnson Drum Instruction for a free trial lesson!


Johnson Drum Instruction's Recommended Products - Johnson Drum Instruction

With students going on vacation at this time of year, I thought I would share my recommendation for practicing away from home. I use Vic Firth 5BCO rubber-tipped sticks when I am away (see link - third product in practice pad category). They can be played on just about any surface. Of course, you should enjoy your vacation. But during a rainy day (or any other downtime), you can still get in a little practice. Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA 07/19/2019

Beat The Heat with Grease! | Cadence Theatre Company

Johnson Drum Instruction student Rafi Waters will be drumming for Grease this weekend- presented by the Cadence Theatre Company and Virginia Repertory Theatre. Check out the link for info and showtimes. Cadence Theatre Company and Virginia Repertory Theatre presentGrease: School VersionBy Warren Casey and Jim JacobsRunning July 17-21 at VCU’s Hodges Theater


I meant to post this a while ago. Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student Rafi Waters! Rafi was the only high school student to be asked to perform with the Virginia Commonwealth University brass ensemble on their tour of Columbia.


I had a great time working with the students at the Fortissimo music camp. It is one of the only music camps that specializes in jazz for middle school students.


Live Stream

I was honored to have two expert instructors discuss my book, The Level System, on their podcast. Matt Patella is an expert drummer and instructor - and long time student of Joe Morello. Allen Herman, who also studied with Joe Morello, performed on Broadway, playing on shows such as A Chorus Line. He can be heard on the original cast recording of the musical.

The audio is a bit soft, so be sure to use headphones. Matt speaks very highly of the book. At 30:25 Allen said, "He sent me a copy when it first came out and I was very impressed. He did a very diligent job of capturing what it [the system] was about. I've never seen anybody do that with this technique. Actually it was non-existent [prior documentation]. You only learned it by word of mouth. Now you have it written down and anybody can learn it."

Thanks again to Matt and Allen. I have followed your work for years. It is an honor having you mention my book! Special thanks to Dave Black and Alfred Music for publishing the book and making it available worldwide!

Matt Patella Drum Page
Allen Herman

Description here.


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student Henry Walworth for auditioning and being selected for Middle School District Band. He is among the top snare drummers in District 1 (which includes Henrico, Hanover, Richmond, New Kent, and surrounding counties).

Also, congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student Rafi Waters for auditioning and making the top High School District Band. Rafi also has been selected for Virginia All State Jazz and recently performed with the jazz ensemble at the VMEA convention.

I may have directed them toward their goals, but THEY did the hard work and practice! Great job!!!


Students should not hesitate to travel a bit for a qualified, experienced instructor. Greg Jansen flew in from Australia on a grant to study with prominent drum instructors in the US. He booked a three hour lesson with me to explore the nuances of The Level System. We also discussed other aspects of technique including double strokes, closed rolls, and flams.

I am honored that Greg chose Johnson Drum Instruction as one of the stops on his trip. Greg is very talented and knowledgeable already, and is gaining even more information to bring back to his students. The future of drumming in Darwin, Australia is very bright with such a caring, committed instructor guiding students. Safe travels Greg!


Timeline Photos


I had a great time playing Swing Machine’s Christmas Extravaganza at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.


Congratulations to Johnson Drum Instruction student, Rafi Waters. For the third year in a row, Rafi has been chosen to perform in the All Virginia Jazz Ensemble.

This is an “audition only” ensemble. Students throughout the state auditioned, and only four drummers were chosen! Great job, Rafi!

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1700 Forest Glen Road
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