Mike Johnston: The Most Important Video He Has Ever Uploaded


These two words evoke a wide range of responses when considering the spectrum of content presented on it. California drummer/teacher Mike Johnston has become familiar to viewers all over the world through this digital medium, as well as through his drumming educational website (www.mikeslessons.com), and his most recent video upload is one I want to repost here and talk a little about.


Mike’s very sincere message concerns the negative posts on YouTube, and how we as drummers should do what we can to encourage, not discourage, other drummers and their efforts. He then addresses a case where one of his young drum students, an 8-year-old, posted a short video of his playing to show Mike how he was coming along. Some negative comments were posted, which begs the question: why would you shoot down a young drummer’s efforts?

Yeah, why would you? To me, it’s just shy of bullying.

We live in such a jaded age, where everything is racing by at 900 miles-an-hour in a sound-byte world, where so little seems to matter, because it’s about to be replaced by something else new and fresh, over and over. But for at least 2:22 minutes, someone out there decided that a kid’s feeling’s mattered, along with those of many other aspiring drummers.

True, some of what is posted on YouTube is pretty raw and ragged, but if a young (or an old) drummer puts up something for us to watch, maybe (as Mike points out) they are just in a different place along the drumming progress time line.


Maybe they just need a little constructive criticism instead of being ripped to shreds. Maybe if they heard these words, they might be inspired to work harder, study more, and broaden their perspective.

You never know.

Mike’s message in the video is simple: “Find a drumming video on YouTube, comment something positive and your work is done :)”

So here it is, and I invite you to watch it all the way through. Give it a couple of seconds to move past the slow motion drumming when he begins to speak. I also hope you will share this link with your fellow drummers through message boards, Facebook, and whatever other social media you frequent.

[Thanks to Bart Elliot (www.DrummerCafe.com) for initially posting the clip on Facebook.]