This bio is taken from Jeff's website-
It seems like playing the drums has always been a huge part of my life. I started playing drums at the age of 10 in middle school band after seeing my brother’s high school marching band getting ready for a Friday night football game. I was like a magnet being drawn to a refrigerator. Once I got a taste of the drums I was hooked! I began taking private lessons from a local high school student because the middle school band department wasn’t giving me what I needed to grow and learn as fast as I wanted. I was like a dry sponge in search of the ocean.
I soon found the call of competitions. I wanted to be the very best. Thus began a journey to audition and make 1st chair snare drum in the Alabama All-State Band all four years of high school. I continued on this path to get a percussion scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mobile. I studied music theory, music history, scales, rudiments, etc…you name it, and I studied it. I really enjoyed the challenge of playing in a big marching band, but that feeling soon left as concert band kicked in.
I slowly realized I didn’t have a passion for all percussion instruments. I only wanted to do one thing: Play drum set. This obsession consumed me. I began practicing as often as time would allow. I watched countless DVD’s of famous teachers and attended clinics as often as I could. I wanted to land a drum set gig that would allow me to do what I loved, and that was play drums.
I began playing drums in several ensembles at college. Much to my excitement, I got my first real band gig a month after graduation. We were the typical lounge band, playing everything from Lionel Richie to Kool and the Gang. It’s funny though, our tag line was, “The more you drink, the better we sound!” This opened the doors to a lot of other playing opportunities. I played at various events around the Mobile, AL area with different groups. I wanted to play jazz, but I couldn’t convince myself that I truly liked the music. I only liked it because I was supposed to like it, or so I was told.
I then got a call from a local acoustic duo looking for a drummer. They held auditions and I got the spot. My most memorable moment of that audition was the fact that the kit I showed up with had 8 drums and 6 cymbals. I was later told I got the gig partially because I had the biggest kit! I played with that band, Dog Named David, for about two years until they went back to being a duo. Little did I know that a recent concert where we headlined for the University of Mobile would be the connection that would change my drumming career forever. The opening band, Big Daddy Weave would soon need a new drummer and I was the lucky man. That day at the University of Mobile was over 11 years ago. I have been with the band now for over 10 years and have played over 1,200 concerts. I have been to 49 states, all but Hawaii, and have spent an average of 120 nights per year on a 45′ Prevost bus in a bunk the size of a large coffin.
As a full time musician and private teacher I was very busy with balancing my schedule while spending a third of the year on the road. There were times during my early years with the band that I had 32 private students per week. I owe most of that experience to my first private teacher Brandon Smith who taught me the basics of teaching private lessons and knowing how to connect with my students. As the band got busier and busier I found it more difficult to maintain my private lesson schedule. So I gave all of my current students to a good buddy in Mobile, AL and focused on the band and all it involved.
As the schedule with the band became more predictable I began to experience more free time on the road. After reading a book recommended by my good friend Paul Powers, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” became the one book I refer to as the book that made the difference. I began to see life in a different light with the ability to make a difference and do something of significance not being as out of reach as I had previously thought. Being primarily an audio learner, I began listening to audio messages and audio books as often as I could. I try and listen to an average of 5 podcast per week and listen to a good audio book every month. It certainly is a better way to spend my time on the road than playing video games in my bunk.
After reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” I got my first idea for an invention. It was called, “My Biggest Fan”. I assembled it in my garage and sold it at concerts and online. Ultimately, it cost too much to produce, but I know it is not the end of the line. Someday I will develop it and sell thousands.
I was no stranger to the custom drumstick world. I had ordered sticks from another company the year before. I didn’t know what was available and so I got what I could find. Below you can see the first drumstick we ever had. This is what a lot of people have and don’t realize there is so much more out there. Soon after we sold our one and only batch of sticks from the other supplier I developed a relationship with my current supplier. I knew it was a great fit because of their attention to quality and detail. I believe if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I also believe in being the best if at all possible. That’s what I started my company on: Being the Best!
Having played the drums for over 26 years with several bands, including Dove Award winning contemporary Christian band Big Daddy Weave, Jeff discovered he had another dream that would not be denied. www.JeffDrummer.com is a look into his life exploring the many experiences of life on the road as the drummer with Big Daddy Weave and the way those experiences have developed him into the entrepreneur he is today.
He started a custom drumstick business out of his house in February of 2009. He started with one client and a budget of $500.00. He set a goal of 25 clients by the end of the year. He was blown away to exceed his goal only 8 months later! He currently works with over 70 clients and has a reputation of being known as ”The Drumstick Guy”.
He also has an extreme passion to join others in their journey of discovering their own passion. He has found most people don’t truly know what their passion or calling is. As a career coach he is thankful for the opportunities he gets to met with others and help them with their journey. Most people feel their passion should be saved for the weekend. Their dreams of daily walking in their passion are stifled due to the pressures of our society. He am thankful to help other discover what they were created to become. For More info on Jeff you can visit his websites at www.Jeffdrummer.com and www.Customstix.com.