5 Drummerszone artists - Adam "The Orlando Drummer" Tuminaro

Adam "The Orlando Drummer" Tuminaro
United States
I can remember when I got my first drum set. I was 12 years old, and my mom bought me a silver Rogers kit she found at a yard sale. I remember bashing away on those drums in our garage for hours. It was awesome.

What I cannot remember, is when I actually became a drummer. I spent years as a child hitting things. In fact, in 7th grade I was suspended from school for tapping on my desk during a test. It was like a strange compulsion to hit things and see what they sounded like. I felt creative, and simply made a habit of constantly tapping. It was kind of weird, because I didnt think of myself as a drummer. I had never even considered that there was a whole industry dedicated to people just like me. I suppose I just didnt know that I was a drummer yet.

By age 13, I began to connect all the dots. Drums felt natural. I didnt feel like I was very good, but I didnt care about that early on. In high school, where most musicians breed their insecurities, I decided to try Jazz Band. I had a close group of musician friends, and we played our first concerts together in various local metal bands. I learned a lot, and saw improvement in my playing, though I still never even remotely considering drumming as a serious career.

I graduated college in early 2009, and had taken a couple of years off of the drums to focus on school. I got a pretty cool job in Orlando taking pictures of cars for Toyota. The money was great at first, but as the economy worsened, my hours were cut back, and so was my pay. I got a job teaching drum classes at an after school daycare called Spark Family Enrichment Center. I had about 5 students per week, and sometimes did group lessons with several kids and their families. This was my first taste of teaching, and I had a great response from students and parents of students. It seemed to be a great way to supplement some income, and work on my own drumming fundamentals.

I only had one source of information that I had ever really learned from. It was YouTube. I didnt own any music books or DVDs. Of course I listened to music, but when I really wanted to learn something new, YouTube was my primary resource.

I would watch other instructors and try to pick out things that I liked. I noticed how many different ways there are to present information, or to create a perspective for the student. I also noticed reoccurring patterns and themes between YouTube lessons; some good, and some bad.

In 2010, I posted my first YouTube lesson, and bought the domain to OrlandoDrummer.com. My goal was to collect a handful of students and perhaps develop my own curriculum one day. I noticed there were more bad drum lessons out there than good ones; something that inspired me to create something different. It didnt seem like it would be too difficult to create lessons that offered at least a clear, consistent presentation of material. My first YouTube lessons did well, but I had a few other musical endeavors to pursue before focusing all my energy on YouTube.

In 2010 and 2011, I spent most of my time playing in a pop band called The Crazy Carls, and teaching drums part time. When the time came to leave the band, I relied a bit more on teaching for my income. I began to teach at a local Sam Ash, and quickly learned some useful sales tactics, and how new students were brought in. After a short time at Sam Ash, I felt underpaid, and decided to try out my own private lessons. I believed I was more qualified to teach, and more equipped to market my lessons. I also began a 6 month internship with a large marketing firm, where I started to sculpt my website and overall approach to the social media realm of the music industry.

In 2012, I made the leap and decided to make teaching drums my full time job. The first 6 months were brutal, as I had only few students and sub-par gear for recording video lessons. I struggled to maintain 10 regular students, and hardly made enough money to pay my bills. I knew that I was competing with all the other drum teachers in Orlando, but clearly I needed to set myself apart. Everyone had a crummy website, a couple YouTube videos, and a few Craigslist ads. I had to do something different, or I knew I would soon be swallowed up by the bad economy and find myself exactly where I was 2 years prior.

I began to focus on making more video drums lessons. I knew that no teacher here in Orlando had a collection of lessons online. I thought that if I had enough video lessons, I could raise my lesson prices and offer these videos to my students as part of my curriculum. Soon I had about 10 YouTube videos up, and started to get some good feedback. My subscribers went from a couple dozen to a couple hundred. I noticed many viewers seemed to be impressed that the information in my videos was correct. There is an astonishing amount of YouTube teachers out there who are simply dont know what theyre talking about. I knew I didnt want to be that guy. I only taught on subjects that I believed I could teach accurately, and this seemed to weed out a lot of problems early on.

Towards the end of 2012, I joined the band, Stockholm. We performed all over Florida, and had some killer shows at some of the largest venues in the state. Stockholm produced a phenomenal EP, which you can grab on iTunes. Stockholm functioned as an outlet for my material that was developed through teaching. I improved a ton of skills from teaching over the years, and Stockholm was a project that allowed me to let loose and really be a musician.

In January of 2013, I started the year with a new computer, a new camera, and about 1500 YouTube subscribers. Throughout 2013, I made YouTube videos every month and began to gain over 500 new subscribers per month. (An average that later peaked around 1300 subscribers per month.)

In summer of 2013, I was offered a position in a metal/rock band signed to a major label. I accepted a national 3 month tour, and began to learn nearly 2 albums of incredibly technical music over the course of 6 weeks. It was in this time that I discovered what the word practice really means. This was my big break, and I wasnt going to settle for anything less than perfect when I showed up to the gig. I practiced 4 to 6 hours per day, every day, for 6 weeks; more than I had ever practiced anything in my life. I not only grew as a drummer, but as a person. I experienced what it felt like to completely submerge yourself into something, and I started to realize how much I was capable of accomplishing if I had the right motivation.

24 hours before my flight to LA to start rehearsals, the band told me to cancel my trip and stay home. They had opted for another drummer. I later learned that I was replaced by a drummer who simply costed less than me, and didnt require money for plane tickets, as he was local. Regardless, I instantly had no gig. I had given up all my private students for the tour, and had no idea what I would do over the summer with no income.

At this time in my life, I had no students and no band. I felt as if I had worked harder than I ever had before, only to be left empty handed.

But I did have one thing. I had a few hundred YouTube subscribers; online fans and friends who had never gone anywhere. Though bands fall through, projects get scrapped, and passionate endeavors become lost causes I had a small following of online students who still desperately wanted to learn from me. I had lost a lot, but not everything.

The summer of 2013 was supposed to be a national tour for me, but all of a sudden I had all this time on my hands. It was at this point that I decided to go focus completely on YouTube and online education. I decided to turn my website into an online store, and invested even more in recording equipment and software. I also met Mr. Scott Walters over that summer, who to this day has helped me tremendously with the development of OrlandoDrummer.com.

By the end of 2013, I had nearly 15,000 YouTube subscribers. It became obvious that of all musical pursuits I had taken on, this was the one that seemed to be gaining traction. The response that came from the drum community was (and is) overwhelmingly positive.

Since the summer of 2013, I have dedicated my entire drumming career towards education, primarily online. I still maintain some private students, host local clinics, and occasionally play gigs. However, my focus remains on fully investing into the online music education industry. This dedication has lead to my partnership with Drumeo as a Satellite Instructor, and has also seated Orlando Drummer quite well within the ranks of other Online Drum Lesson companies.

Now entering 2015, my focus is to optimize my education platforms, implement live streaming lessons on OrlandoDrummer.com, and host clinics and workshops outside of Florida. Keep your eyes peeled its going to be a busy year for The Orlando Drummer.
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