Bettencourt Drumming

Bettencourt Drumming

5.0 (3)
1 employee
32 years in business

About this pro

My teaching method includes:

  • Reading all levels in both snare drum and full drum set 
  • Focused snare drum and sticking technique
  • Focused drum set and “feet techniques”
  • How to “groove”
  • Dynamics
  • Fills, posture and relaxation techniques for greater speed and endurance

One hour lessons include learning to “groove” with a bass player (via accompaniment on the Chapman stick) Beginning, intermediate, and advanced students are welcome and all styles are covered - rock, jazz, funk, swing, reggae, fusion, ska and more – just ask!
Professional experience includes drumming with The Square Roots, The Road Hogs, The Room Shakers and many others.  

It is extremely rewarding to help students become the future of music!  Watching students grow, and become great drummers is so fun!

Read more about this pro


Belmont, CA 94002
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3 Reviews


  • James Lee Jones Jr.

    I’m not a drummer, but have played in many bands with Neil and he is simply the best drummers I’ve ever played with. He is an expert with dynamics, holding a solid tempo, polyrhythms, odd time signatures and is fluent in all styles of music. With his finely tuned and trained ear creative jam sessions flow beautifully with this very intuitive musician. He’s patient, well spoken and loves to teach. Neil’s passion for excellence in music and love for performing at his best is infections and inspiring. Playing with Neil has helped me become a better bass player and improved all-around musician as well. It's great that Neil is now available to teach what he knows!

  • Robert K. Wolf

    Neil is a stellar musician and instructor. I highly recommend you see him play and study with him.

  • Kyla Haimovitz

    Neil is an amazing drummer and teacher! He started me off in high school on a practice pad (and anything else I could get my sticks on), he helped my buy a killer kit, and got me thoroughly addicted to drumming of all flavors. Even as a teenager just starting out, Neil always treated me like a completely capable equal. He is totally laid back but somehow always manages to get you so excited about drumming and eager to learn more. He is also highly encouraging, and keeps you on point, challenging you to constantly improve. Of course he taught me the basics, but interspersed that with so many new styles and techniques at the perfectly tailored pace to make me never lose interest. He taught me how to sight read and work through complex pieces, how to improvise like a boss, how to play with other musicians, and rock all sorts of crazy time signatures. Learning how to play so many different styles of drums also gave me a beautiful window into whole worlds of new music that I have carried with me far beyond my kit. I am so grateful for the skills he taught, but also for my ever-developing love and understanding of music that only a great teacher can plant.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Finding out whether they have any previous musical experience that could be applicable to help get them set up with proper materials.  Then of course finding a time slot. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I studied with Art Flower for 6 years who was a member of the SF symphony, as well as being a house drummer at Bimbo's in SF. Under his tutelage I developed I gained a mastery of classical approach, as well a a modern approach to the drum set.  I have now been playing for 50 years, teaching for 35.  

Lessons offered