Emmure’s Mike Kaabe Loves Being a Drum Instructor on the Side
It isn’t often that a musician in a major band offers up the chance for students to sit down for lessons – especially in the middle of headlining a national tour.
But that’s just Emmure drummer Mike Kaabe is doing, and so far, the idea seems to truly rock.
“A student just left me about an hour ago,” he told Noisecreep from the east coast, where Emmure is in the middle of headlining the All Stars tour across the United States. “He was maybe a little intimidated at first, but then he settled in. That’s what usually happens. If they’re big Emmure fans, it takes a little bit of time to relax. But then I start asking them questions, we get into it, and all is well.”
The incredible fan opportunity came as a result of Kaabe noticing that Born of Osiris drummer, Cameron Losch, had started giving lessons. “I asked him how it was working out,” Kaabe said. “I picked his brain because it seemed like a cool idea. I was concerned in that I don’t really read music. But he doesn’t either. It’s about feel and attitude. Once I realized that, I really got into the idea. Plus, music is a communal thing. Whatever I’ve picked up over the years, whatever chops I’ve learned, I feel compelled to share. We’re all students first and if a few of us can also become teachers, well then we help the music grow and thrive.”
Kaabe says it doesn’t matter what style a student want to master, he can provide the framework. And that the most important thing a young drummer can know is that it takes practice – and lots of it. “I’d play 5-8 hours a day at first. And I still play a ton. You have to commit.”
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Although Kaabe will consider teaching assignments within about a two hour driving radius of his Queens, N.Y. home, on the road the best thing student drummers can do is shoot him an email when they see his tour is coming near their town. And if the timing are right, the lesson can be booked – with a special perk. “They’ll also get free tickets from me to come see the show.”
When asked what drummer he would have liked lessons from, Kaabe recited a broad-spectrum list that speaks to his love of craft – “Buddy Rich, anyone who played with Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, Tomas Haake from Meshuggah – I could go on and on all day.”
Kaabe’s passion as an intense, dedicated drummer is well known. When he talks about teaching the drums, he displays the same firepower.
Students interested in a lesson can reach out to Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.