Hello, I’m John Lamb.


I’m a drummer, author and educator who is passionate about making great music and helping students succeed. Most of my work revolves around the idea that people do what they think will work.

This is the core idea around all my books. Anatomy of Drumming explores what a drummer needs to know about movement to be a better drummer. Start Playing Drums is a method book for adult novices to teach themselves the basics of drumming, and A Matter of Time is about how rhythm works in the brain. With a better understanding why things work, readers make better decisions that yield better results. I also write for DRUM! Magazine and Computer Music Magazine.

I teach extensively around Portland, OR where I’m based, but do travel around doing clinics, masterclasses and private lessons. Whether you’re in Portland or not, drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you. Oh, and I endorse Remo Drum Heads. The company really cares about what I care about, and their drum heads sound great every time, without fail.

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Books and Magazines

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Upcoming Kickstarter

Soon I’ll be launching a kickstarter project to create a music education game that will teach music students the basics of reading staff notation and music theory while they write their own songs. I’ve been working on the idea for years and used it for many of my assignments in my classes en route to my master’s degree in Online Education. The next step is to create a video for Kickstarter. If you’d like to help with it, or any other aspect of the project, or if you just want to stay updated on the project, drop me a line! 

About the project

The project is to create a music making game that teaches students to read music notation and music theory through songwriting. The interface will be a unique blend of staff notation and step sequencer notation that allows the student to see behind the curtain, making the rules of staff notation more transparent. The student learns these rules through induction.  

Brand new to the field of step sequencers is a mission-based interface that games already use in lieu of instruction books. Through completing the missions, students gain experience with staff notation and songwriting. 

Completion of missions yields points that they can spend on their avatar and unlocking new sounds and abilities (such as new clefs, new modes, etc) 

A social component allows music teachers to assign homework and monitor progress and allows for peers to collaborate and share masterpieces. Students can upload their songs, set their song as their ringtone, etc.

Music teachers will also appreciate that their students learn staff notation, allowing them to focus on actually teaching music instead of cryptography. Students and teacher can also craft play-a-long tracks that can be used instead of a metronome to support practice of a particular phrase or piece.