Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/19/2013 2:56 PM

Moving Picture: Rock drummer teaches youngsters his craft

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Video: Moving Picture: School of Rock

  • Drummer Barret Harvey teaches a student at the School of Rock in Naperville.

       Drummer Barret Harvey teaches a student at the School of Rock in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Harvey watches student Caleb Turner as he goes through a drill at the School of Rock in Naperville.

       Harvey watches student Caleb Turner as he goes through a drill at the School of Rock in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Drummer Barret Harvey looks up a drummer on YouTube to show his student while teaching at the School of Rock in Naperville.

       Drummer Barret Harvey looks up a drummer on YouTube to show his student while teaching at the School of Rock in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Barrett Harvey of Downers Grove teaches at the School of Rock in Naperville.

       Barrett Harvey of Downers Grove teaches at the School of Rock in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Harvey gives a lesson to James Turner, 15, of Bolingbrook at the School of Rock in Naperville.

       Harvey gives a lesson to James Turner, 15, of Bolingbrook at the School of Rock in Naperville.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Barret Harvey was just 10 years old when he decided he wanted to be a drummer and he's never strayed from that career path.

"The drums chose me, I didn't choose them," says Harvey, who grew up in Joliet and now lives in Downers Grove. "I knew I was going to be a drummer. I had to be a drummer."

Now 40, Harvey plays in a southern-style rock band called The Righteous Hillbillies, has done jingle work for companies ranging from NASCAR to Disney, and spends two days a week at the School of Rock in Naperville, teaching kids the art and craft of drumming.

He says he was inspired by a high school teacher to share his knowledge with others and began offering lessons immediately after graduation. He still finds time to work with students, no matter how busy his own schedule becomes.

He currently has a dozen students and says he loves to teach them multiple styles -- including jazz and West African Lingala -- that they can apply to their rock beats. He also makes sure the youngsters watch videos of famous drummers such as the late Buddy Rich to help pick up pointers.

When students ask him how he keeps getting all his gigs, his answer is pretty simple: "I show up prepared, I show up early, I know my material and I'm not drinking and drugging."

Harvey says his parents insisted he learn the rudiments of drumming, which gave him a more traditional style that's a little jazz-based.

He was just 17 when he sat in with an old-time dance band in Joliet for the first time.

"All my buddies were flipping burgers, but I was playing bossa nova with guys 75 and 80 years old," he says. "It was a great experience."

Harvey was still in college when he got his first record deal and he hasn't stopped performing since.

His band, The Righteous Hillbillies, will play June 22 during the Naper Nights celebration at Naper Settlement.

Ask him about his secret for success in the music business and Harvey reflects on advice from his grandfather.

"If you're early you're on time, if you're on time you're late and if you're late you're a jerk," Harvey says.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here