Master The Feel With Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine has a successful career as a drummer, composer and educator. Photo courtesy of

One great session drummer, composer and educator that has been very active in the jazz and rock worlds for many years is Peter Erskine.  Erskine has played and toured with many successful acts throughout his career including the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Steely Dan and Weather Report, among many others.  Erskine has a musical and versatile approach to the drums, which include many different styles of music, making him a great session drummer to learn from.  We are all fortunate because Erskine has developed several lesson books and teaches drums in Southern California.  I put together a few videos that offer examples of his drum lessons and a few performances that feature his creativity and versatility behind the drum set.  I hope you enjoy the videos as much as I did.

It only seemed right to start off this post with a warmup video.  In this video, Erskine features an exercise that he often uses to warmup before he sits at the drum set.  Take a look at

Erskine provides another great drum lesson in this next video.  He shows us his ride cymbal technique and offers some great insight about technique in general.  Have a look at

Now onto a couple of videos that feature Erskine behind the kit.  This next video offers a great drum solo that showcases Erskine’s deep pocket groove and melodic, creative fills.  Enjoy the video at

The last video I will leave you with features Erskine with the great jazz fusion group, Weather Report.  Most people might know this band as the creators of the hit song, “Birdland,” but I found a performance of another hit, “Teen Town,” that features Erskine a little more.  Notice how impeccable Erskine’s endurance is with this band.  Check it out at

Peter Erskine is a great session drummer, composer and educator to learn from.  I suggest looking him up and checking out some of his other projects as well, plus many of his lessons are available too.  I really hope you were able to take a few things away from this post and that you enjoyed it.  Erskine is an outstanding player that any band would be lucky to have.  He is a great compliment to the group that never overpowers other musicians; which is precisely what it takes to be a successful drummer in the music industry.



Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. Joe Loes

    Thanks Chris, that was very cool. A bit out of my league, but very cool!!! Not the warm ups, or the rides. but that video was killer cool.


  2. Gerry

    Great great videos AGAIN, Chris. I’m not sure they improve MY drumming but they open my eyes to some great drumming. Thanks.

  3. Drew

    Love that warm-up. I’ve been doing that for about 20 years and I’m sure I learned it from him. It was a clinic in Spokane Washington where I first saw it.

    I ran into Peter in a restaurant in Helsinki about a year and a half ago and had to tell him that that clinic had a profound effect on me.

    He was with John Abercrombie at the time. Awesome trio to watch live.

    Thanks for the vids Chris