Jared Falk Interview
Learning From the Greatest
Jared Falk is one of the internets most renowned drum educators. Here’s how he got started and what he’s up to right now:
How did you get into music/drumming in the first place?
I was sitting in class in grade 10 and saw a guy I knew air drumming to the song. I thought it looked like so much fun so went home and told my parents I wanted to play the drums. It took a couple months, but I eventually got a kit and was glued to it since.
When did you make the move into education and product development?
After touring the US and Internationally from 17 – 21 I decided I’d like to stick around home more. I’m not good on a tour bus, and get claustrophobic really fast. Although I love the gigs, I hate everything in between.
At that time I started teaching and actually took over Lionel Duperron’s students as he was cutting back in order to spend more time with his family. The student base continued to grow and grow until I maxed out at 40 students. At that point, it still wasn’t a full time job for me, and I worked another full time job as well as taught 40 students.
I ended up taking on a student who was very web savvy and had posted some videos online (this was before the Youtube days). The videos he posted were getting thousands of downloads so we decided to work together and create our own downloadable videos and sell them online.
From there we eventually moved on to DVD sales only, as the market wasn’t really ready for that yet. Now you’re seeing more and more companies going to download only as the population becomes more computer savvy.
What were your goals for your company and how have things worked out?
My goal has always been to teach as many drummers as possible. It’s not about making a ton of cash or anything like that. I just love the community and love sharing information. That’s actually why we created FreeDrumLessons.com. It’s still my number one focus online.
You’ve become a bit of a YouTube/Internet phenomenon how has that impacted your life?
Not much actually. You get recognized a little when you’re out on the street but that’s about it. It’s really just given me a larger reach and the ability to grow the drumming community more in a positive direction.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenges have been with the business side of things. Having to manage the communities online, as well as juggle employees and paying bills can be tough and stressful.
What do you think are the keys to becoming a great drummer and educator?
I think the most important thing is to just care. The more you actually care about whether or not your students progress the better. I always hear stories about drum teachers who are just in it for the money or as a job. Teaching drums can be a great living if you love teaching and chatting with other drummers. If you don’t like that, then don’t teach.
Can you tell us what’s in the pipeline for Jared Falk and Railroad Media?
We have lots on the go. We launched our guitar and piano lesson sites (http://www.guitarlessons.com – http://www.pianolessons.com). We are also launching a massive drum lessons members site at http://www.drumlessons.com. Those are the three biggest projects as of right now.
In a few months we will have a new drum product coming out which is taught by Lionel Duperron and called the Drum Fill System.
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for drummers who want to follow in your footsteps?
My main bit of advice would be to not look for the easy way out, and always be prepared to work hard and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
Also, don’t listen to what anyone else says about you. If you know you are doing something right then go for it. There are so many trolls out there who have nothing better to do than put down other people and constantly criticize, don’t listen to them, just keep on doing what you love and know is right.
Update: Now Jared runs the successful Drumeo online lessons.