Piano, Drums, Bass Guitar, Voice, Guitar

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Piano, Bass, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Drums, Percussion and Theory

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The Drummers Studio

244 east Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038, US

(626) 676-2486 (Cell) (508) 520-1414 (Studio)


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Back2School 2019

Join the Drummers' Studio for a fun Fall season as we begin our 10th anniversary celebration. We offer Piano, Voice, Bass Guitar, Drums, Guitar, Mallet Percussion, Theory along with  Rock Bands.

Call 2Day at 508-520-1414

Kris Russell 

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Drumming to the Beat

By Heather McCarron – Staff Writer Country Gazette 
Kris Russell, Drum Instructor and President of The Drummers' Studio, shows his studio.
Kris Russell talks about his drums as if they were people.

“This one is warm,” he says, grooming one of his drums with a soft paintbrush before taking up a drum stick and tapping it firmly against the taut skin. “It has a presence to it. It feels good.”Then there’s the deep one, he continues, and the fat one and the throaty one.“Fat is full. It has a good character to it. Deep is different from fat. You hear more low frequencies.”When it comes to detecting the nuances of drum language, Russell is adept. And it has made him a sought-after drum technician and drummers’ performance coach in the professional music world.He has toured with such artists as Billy Miles, Jennifer Lopez, Lionel Richie, Brian Culbertson, Taylor Hicks, Earth Wind and Fire and, most recently, Hanson, and he has teched, tapped out beats or managed the stage for more recording sessions, music festivals, club gigs and concerts than he can enumerate.And now, the Franklin resident has opened a private home studio, “The Drummers’ Studio”, to teach drumming skills to others.“I enjoy passing on the gift of drumming,” says Russell of his inspiration for starting a drum school. “Every time a new student comes in, I get to introduce them to this whole new musical experience where they can have fun, challenge themselves and become part of a World-wide fraternity for life and pass what they find on to others.”Russell is entirely in tune with his drums, and can manipulate them to speak in whatever voice he wishes. Even the slightest change in tone doesn’t escape him. Want a ’60s Beatles sound or a ’70s Beatles sound? Russell can make it happen. “And yes, there is a difference between the ’60s Beatles sound and the ’70s Beatles sound,” he insists with a grin.Russell got an early start in learning the subtle language of music. “I had the unique advantage of being raised by two music-minded parents who were at opposite ends of the musical spectrum,” he says.His dad, Sam Russell, was LA’s top booking agent and a manager for Hall of Fame jazz artist Quincy Jones, as well as Nancy Wilson and Kenny Burrell, and he contracted festivals such as Monterey Jazz, Long Beach Jazz, the first ever Sunday Jazz Brunches, the Flip Wilson and Bill Cosby shows, and many TV shows, concerts, recording sessions and club gigs. His mother, Mary Russell, gained her Master’s in Classical Piano Performance, “and played for and educated my brother Russ and me, while listening to all types of music, ranging from the classical composers to gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, country western and world music.” Russell plays a number of percussion instruments, from congas to timbales, and says he can play “a little piano and Bass Guitar.”He remembered his first drums well.“Our family went to Mexico and my dad and mom got a small set of bongos when I was really, really little,” he says. “But I didn’t get a drum set until I was about 10. I played it a little bit. In Junior High I was in the Marching Band were I because Section Leader  and Orchestra I played the Viola. In High School I was in Marching Band were I became the Head Drummer. I continued in the College Marching Band becoming Section Leader and in the Tournament of Roses Band becoming Section Leader.”He developed a particular passion for Drum and Bugle Corps music and he taught the style when he lived in Southern California throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 2000's.“Part of my duties being Head Drummer in High School and Section Leader in College was having the responsibility to maintain our drums, and this is really where I gained valuable experience with drum tuning, shell construction and hardware maintenance,” he says. “So doing it as a profession was a natural progression.”Russell started drum teching as a profession in the mid ’90s with two sound companies: Vintage Pro Audio’s Derrick Rogers and Phil Manor, along withMaupin Entertainment’s Jarmil Maupin.“People think the drum tech just sets up and breaks down. No, no, no,” he says. He makes sure the sounds from the drums are just right, and this can change based on the performance space. He has to consider the sound on stage and the sound as it is received by the audience.Using an analogy, he explained, “If you go and buy a Mercedes, maybe all you want is to turn the keys and go. My responsibility is to know everything about that Mercedes. How can I get better gas mileage, better performance, better ergonomics?”Russell’s role as a Performance Coach is equally as important. In many ways, he serves as a personal trainer.“We watch posture, we watch emotions, we want to decrease tension so you can play longer and with less injury,” he says. “So I might be working with Ronald Bruner Jr. – he’s probably one of the top five drummers in the world – and he trusts me enough to say, ‘Hey, how did I do?’ At that point it’s my responsibility to be very honest, supportive and to always stay in the solution.”Russell’s knowledge is far from lost on those with whom he works.“Kris is highly knowledgeable as it relates to drum and percussion equipment,” says Felix “D-Kat” Pollard, of Los Angeles, Calif., who drums for Clay Aiken,Lionel Richie, Taylor Hicks and American Idol and has worked with Russell. “He’s taught me a lot about the importance of making subtle adjustments in my playing that has given me more power and control over the instrument.”Another fellow drummer, Trevor Lawrence Jr., also of Los Angeles, says Russell’s new drum school in Franklin is exciting. “The Drummers’ Studio is an important step to the development of drumming in the Boston area and Kris Russell is a great, very fundamentally sound teacher of drums and music,” says Lawrence, who has drummed for various artists, from Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie to Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock.Marybeth, of North Attleboro, is one of Russell’s students and has found him to be a “very knowledgeable” teacher in many styles of drumming. “He’s a great teacher,” she says. “His classes fly by because he makes it so much fun.”And Russell isn’t one to rest on his laurels. It’s always a learning and perfecting process for him as well.“I’m always trying to challenge myself with different configurations,” he says  – and different styles. To keep up in the professional musical world, he says, “you have to know as much as possible.”To learn more about The Drummers Studio, or promotions for new students email thedrummersstudio@gmail.com, or call Kris Russell direct at 508-520-1414

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