Percussion Instructor – Luke Emig

Luke Emig, Percussion Instructor at The Lesson Studio

Luke Emig

By Elizabeth Gold, Correspondent of The Lesson studio

Although Luke Emig started playing the saxophone in second grade band class, when he heard a friend playing drums at age 12, he got hooked on the beat.

“I like the groove and feel and rhythm of drums,” he says.  “Plus playing the drums uses all limbs and gives instant gratification.”

Luke’s early challenges with drums stemmed from the conflict between counting and just playing.  “I didn’t know it at the time but timing was my biggest challenge,” he says.  “At 12, using a metronome can be tedious and nerve racking – especially since I was more interested in just having fun rather than being a professional.

“The way to get the right sound, however, is to use the metronome – it doesn’t lie.”

When Luke started playing drums in Roswell, Georgia, he began with heavy metal and then moved into regae, ska, punk rock, jazz, jazz fusion, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian music.

What kept him interested and continuing to study the instrument?

“Playing them has always given me a strong creative release,” he says.  “The coordination aspect came easy to me, and I started playing with other musicians early on – that kept me going and learning.”

Luke says he’s liked teachers along the way for different reasons.  One for hanging out, being personable and not pressuring him too much.  And then at age 16, he hooked up with a teacher who “whipped me into shape and taught me theory.”

He credits that push and demand as what got him ready to go to University of California, Berkley to study music.

Today Luke plays with two groups.  “Playing music is such a rewarding experience.”

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