West Side Drum Lessons And Recording

West Side Drum Lessons And Recording

5.0 (2)
Best of 2022
17 years in business

About this pro

Choosing a private teacher is a very personal. One size does not fit all. But your proof will be in the first lesson, where you can tell if it's a good fit. I have taught professionally for over 20 years, and have been playing the drums for over 30 years. My Bozeman, MT studio features  a full kit, a complete learning environment, and full recording capacity. I will soon be adding a location in Livingston MT as well! So, if you want to learn good studio drumming technique, this is your spot! You will learn everything from proper physical approaches (Gladstone, Moeller and many other methods) to 4-way coordination, linear technique, and much more. I also specialize in the psychology of motor memory and improvisation. I work with all ages and levels of abilities, and feature super-fun approaches for children. But, like I said, do one lesson before you decide to commit. If, after your first lesson, you want to purchase 4 lessons up front, the initial lesson is free.  

Please read more about my experience and qualifications at www.westsidedrumlessons.com!

Instruction is, by far, the most fulfilling thing I do with my life. It's not just the opportunity to impart my knowledge; it's the personal connection as well. Performance and studio work is fulfilling in its own way. But instruction creates an interpersonal bond which, in my opinion, has a more lasting impact. It's not just about teaching someone how to play an instrument. It's showing them a different way to think. And, often enough, my students show me a different way to think as well.

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Bozeman, MT 59715
Email verified
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2 Reviews


  • Doreen Gelfand

    My son has taken drum lessons from Alex for several years. Alex was very methodical, started w/ basic exercises on a practice pad before easing my child onto a drum set. Our school's music teacher appreciated that my son had been trained this way and I appreciated that my son had time to really think about whether he wanted to stick with drums. Many kids want to play drums and want to pound away immediately but Alex makes sure they are serious and prepared first before you make the investment.

  • Dan Konopka

    Studying with Alex Platt helped me get my head and chops together to record the next OK Go record. Not only is Alex Platt a great musician and friend, he's also an amazing teacher that'll ship-shape your whole drummerly world.

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

Depending on the level of the student, we may address anything from advanced techniques to essential physical processes. Oftentimes, with beginners, I will begin with training the student's wrists, fingers, and arms to establish good habits, and move to more advanced concepts such as music reading, four-way coordination, and learning some grooves! 

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

I received my music degree from the California Institute of the Arts, and studied with legends such as Joe LaBarbera, Mike Clark, Dave Elitch, Tootie Heath, Sherman Ferguson, Rick Latham, and many others. I have taught at clinics and workshops, including the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Montana State University.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Please inquire regarding my rates.

What types of students have you worked with?

I work with all ages and levels of ability. Currently, my youngest student is 5, and my oldest student is 70. I work with beginners, intermediate students, and even professional players. One of my students, Dan Konopka, is the drummer for OK Go! Read more on my website, www.westsidedrumlessons.com!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Picking a private instructor is a very personal choice. There are countless approaches, and one size does not fit all. I recommend that all students give one month with a teacher before making a decision about whether or not to continue with him/her.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Depending on your level of ability (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), your questions may vary. One very important question: what is your own level of commitment? You should also consider the amount of time you can dedicate to practicing, which is critical to reaching your goals. Another important aspect is your budget: lessons are expensive! Can you dedicate the money AND the practice time to make it worthwhile? What is your end goal? (Playing in a band? Playing for fun at home? Perhaps seeking a career as a performer?) In asking yourself just a few of these questions, you can ascertain whether or not to pursue lessons. More than anything, you have to have the drive to make a long-term commitment to learning. Playing a musical instrument is fun, certainly, but it is also a discipline.