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I offer lessons in:

  • Accompanying
  • Bongos
  • Conga
  • Djembe
  • Drums
  • Guiro
  • Improvisation
  • Instrumental Coaching
  • Maracas
  • Music History
  • Percussion
  • Latin Percussion
  • Arabic Percussion
  • Performance Techniques
  • Timbales
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    Jim GreinerOffering private lessons in
    Santa Cruz, California
    About MeContact MeBlog
    Learn to play percussion instruments for:
    • Percussion & Rhythm Skills • Recreation • Personal Empowerment

    I've dedicated my life to sharing and promoting the many physical, mental and emotional benefits of playing hand drums and hand percussion instruments with people of all ages and from all walks of life. I've taught, performed and studied in over 50 countries, including two years in Africa where I was profoundly moved and inspired by the way rhythm can uplift and unify people.

    I teach a wide range of hand drums and hand percussion instruments from beginning to advanced levels. My students range from novices, to hobbyists/recreational percussionists to semi-pro and professional levels. I teach, and play, a wide range of musical styles, including Traditional and Contemporary Latin, Caribbean & African, Rock, Jazz, Reggae, R&B, Funk, Blues, Hip Hop and Pop.

    For more information about my schedule and rates, email me through this site, or call me at 831-462-3786. I do gladly offer a sliding scale and work/study opportunities for students of limited means. I will never turn away someone who is passionate about learning to play percussion!

    My Teaching Background
    Since 1985, I've taught thousands of private lessons and group workshops in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas of California, and worldwide. I've also taught the joys and benefits of drumming to tens of thousands of people worldwide in corporate groups, conferences & meetings, communities, schools and private celebrations of all types.

    My Performance Background
    I've performed a wide range of musical styles worldwide at scores of the top hotels, resorts and conference centers with The Bill Hopkins Rockin' Orchestra, one of America's premier corporate events bands. I've also performed at dozens of festivals with a number of bands, including the iconic Rock/Jazz group Quicksilver Messenger Service, with Gospel/R&B/Blues "Lioness" Sista Monica Parker, with Sitar virtuoso Ashwin Batish, and with popular festival headliner The Gary Gates Band. I've also played thousands of shows at clubs throughout the U.S.

    I am an endorser/clinician for a number of the world's leading music instrument manufacturers, including Latin Percussion Instruments (LP), Sabian Cymbals, ProMark Drumsticks, Gibraltar Drum Hardware, Audix Microphones and Factory Metal Percussion. I've taught hundreds of clinics throughout the U.S. and beyond in music stores, universities, and music conferences with the support of these sponsors.

    I am also Head Artist of LP's Recreational & Community Drumming Program (, and I design percussion workshops for LP, write instructional articles and make instructional videos for LP. I also worked with LP to create the new (in 2010) LP484 Jim Greiner Pro Shekere, which has a lightweight, perfectly-balanced, durable fiberglass shell that I designed from a gourd that I hand-picked at a gourd farm. We then worked for two years to create a colorful series of unbreakable plastic beads that were formulated to give the natural sound of beads on an organic gourd.

    Through my own company, Jim Greiner's Hands-On! Drumming® Events, I have conducted thousands of interactive drumming programs worldwide for corporate team building, conference and meeting ice breaking, communities, schools and private celebrations of all types. I've also brought my Rhythm Power® inspirational workshops - using drumming as a down-to-earth vehicle for personal enrichment and empowerment - to tens of thousands of people worldwide.

    My many music industry awards include being a multiple winner of Drum! Magazine's annual Readers Poll for Percussion Clinician of the Year, Drumming Instructional Video of the Year and Drum Circle Facilitator of the Year. Santa Cruz-area awards include the Gail Rich, Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year Award (2013), and The Santa Cruz Business Council's Career Mentor of the Year Award (2008).

    My Teaching Philosophy
    My goal is to ground my students in the fundamentals of their instrument(s) and of rhythm, and to help people play clear and consistent sounds, solid grooves, interact with other musicians with open ears, open minds and open hearts, and have fun!

    I incorporate many of the teaching elements that I experienced during my two years of drumming in Africa, along with fun and easy techniques that I've developed while teaching in the U.S., Asia and Europe. I also integrate the traditions of each instrument into my teaching. In this way, we show respect for the traditions, and ground ourselves in the traditions. This allows us to have a strong foundations upon we we can build as we explore our own personal musical styles.

    I use drumming as a real-world vehicle for people from all walks of life to reinforce real-world life skills, including how to communicate, collaborate and celebrate with others, while learning to relax, breathe efficiently, focus, let go of the fear of making mistakes, to celebrate and reinforce regular successes, and to celebrate the blessings of life.

    I look for students who are dedicated to advancing at their own comfort level.

    Rates And Availability
    Private lessons: $50/hr, $30/1/2 hr. Contact me for available days and times, and for additional information about rate discounts for multiple lessons, couples and groups. I do have work/study options; I will make it possible for all dedicated students to take lessons with me!

    I teach at my Hands-On! Drumming® School, minutes from downtown Santa Cruz, in the Monterey Bay Area of California. I also travel throughout the U.S, and beyond, to teach hand drum and hand percussion workshops for community groups and schools.

    Also, contact me for more information about bringing the uplifting and unifying power of rhythm to your corporate groups, conferences and meetings, community events and private celebrations.

    "Percussionist Jim Greiner invokes the primal power of rhythm to lower the participants stress, to exercise their minds and bodies, and to bind them together into community."
    – PBS spedcial, Healing Quest

    "Well, you have added another fan to your list! Your skill, inspiration and encouragement make you my only choice as a teacher." – Linda M.

    "What a journey you took us on! You exceeded all expectations; your methods, your philosophy of rhythm and of life, your relaxed attitude, your basic humanity make you the master teacher everyone said your are!" Joan P.

    "One father enthusiastically thanked Jim for imparting to his son, in such an immediate, down-to-earth way, the life lessons that he wanted to teach him." – Article about Jim in Drum Business Magazine

    6 postings total

    Harnessing Our Personal and Musical Power To Do Good
    September 9, 2015
    Playing Music Keeps Our Brains Healthy & Helps Us Communicate Clearly!
    June 24, 2015
    Rhythm: The Universal Language
    June 24, 2015
    Drumming For Corporate Team Building and Community Celebrations
    June 24, 2015
    View All Blog Postings