SDS 2023 Drum Retreat Information
*DO NOT BOOK TICKETS OR MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS (i.e. FLIGHTS AND HOTELS) UNTIL WE HAVE FOLLOWED UP WITH YOU AND YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS BEEN PROCESSED FOR THE CAMP OF YOUR CHOICE.*
So what is it like? (watch this video)
2023 Drum Retreat DatesEven though the retreats are now wait list only, please still submit your form if you would like to come. We do have cancellations and often contactthe wait list to fill those open spots.
July 23-28 – LEVEL 2 – SOLD OUT (Wait List Only)
October 1-6 – LEVEL 1 – SOLD OUT (Wait List Only)
November 5-10 – LEVEL 2 – SOLD OUT (Wait List Only)
You gots questions? We gots answers!
What is the cost of each drum retreat?The total retreat fee is $1199 for the full week. A non-refundable/non-transferable deposit of $400 is due immediately upon signup. The remaining, non-refundable $799 of the balance is due 45 days before the first day of your drum retreat.
Am I guaranteed a spot if I submit an application?Unfortunately, no. The process is this…submit your application, wait until you hear from us (could be up to a week), if you have solidified a spot in a drum retreat we will send you all of the info you need in the follow up email. If all spots are taken for the retreat of your choice, you will have the opportunity to be moved to another retreat date OR be put on the wait list for the retreat of your choice.
What is the age requirement?All attendees must be over the age of 16. If you are under the age of 18, you must travel with a parent or legal guardian. If you are unable to travel with a parent or guardian, please contact Grant at email@example.com to discuss options. If you are under the age of 16 and interested in attending a future retreat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We are working on developing a retreat for that age group based upon the interest we have.
I’m left handed, is that a problem?Not at all. Right handed, left handed, open handed, traditional grip, matched grip, or any other combination of those…you’re welcome here! The only issue is with the ekit we have available. It’s very time consuming to reverse that setup. But we have 6 other acoustic kits set up in the building and you get your own practice pad kit for all of the group sessions (along with kick pedal and throne). Reversing the acoustic drum sets only takes a couple of minutes. We just ask that you reset them once you are finished playing on them.
I got put on the wait list…what does that mean?We regularly have cancellations. Multiple people on wait lists have been able to attend the retreats. So please, put yourself on the wait list even if the retreat of your choice is full. Unfortunately, we are only able to offer 4 drum retreats in 2023. This means there are only 40 spots (10 per retreat) available. Once a retreat is full, it will be listed as “Sold Out – Wait List Only”. The wait list for each retreat date is based upon which applications came in first. We do occasionally have cancellations. If a cancellation happens, we will contact the first person on the wait list and continue down that list until the spot is filled.
What is included with the retreat fee and what will I be responsible for paying for?Your drum retreat fee covers: -Full week of teaching -Gear you’ll use for the week & facility fees (practice drum kit for you to use for the week, practice drum sets, cleaning, etc.) -Drinks and light snacks at the studio -If your camp includes a guest artist, musician, or other professional, your camp fee will cover this as well. -A shuttle to and from the SDS approved hotel each morning & evening. -Transportation to and from all drum shops on the Friday morning drum shop hang. Additional costs you will be responsible for over and above the retreat fee: -All airfare and other related travel costs -All lodging and hotel related costs -All lunches and dinners (there is a complimentary breakfast at the SDS approved hotel. If you choose to stay somewhere else, you will be responsible for your breakfast as well) -Any transportation or costs associated with extracurricular activities outside of camp activities.
How do I know if I should sign up for the Level 1 or Level 2 Drum Retreat?Some of you may be questioning which drum retreat you need to sign up for. This can sometimes be a difficult assessment…you can be intermediate in one area while still being a beginner in another. Don’t worry though…use the information below to help you assess yourself. As well, feel free to contact us and we are happy to help you assess your playing and recommend a camp experience to you. Here’s the bottom line…I keep these camps intimate and limit the number of people for this very reason. Even if you sign up for a level and realize it is not the correct level for you, we can augment the material to challenge you no matter where you are in your development. The Level 1 Retreat might be for you if… -You have been playing for 1 year or less (NOTE: even if you have played for 2 years, you may still be on a beginner level. That’s totally fine. This is not a race. To get the most out of the camp experience, you need to be brutally honest with where you feel you are in your development.) -You have not completed The Warrior Way lesson plan -You struggle with many of the basics -You have never played with other musicians -You find yourself struggling with basic independence issues (i.e. you cannot separate the kick from the hihat when playing a groove, etc.) -You are most comfortable playing songs like Back In Black, Superstition, Rolling In The Deep, 7 Nation Army, and other straight forward songs. The Level 2 Retreat might be for you if… -You have completed The Warrior Way lesson plan. -You are playing out regularly with a band or at your church. -You find you have a good grasp of basic concepts but you are wanting to learn to explore those concepts deeper. -You can handle songs that have several different grooves, feel comfortable transitioning between those grooves, and find yourself learning songs quickly. -Essentially, if you do not fit in the Level 1 Camp, Level 2 is for you. NOTE: Level 3 Retreats are coming in the future. If you attended a Level 2 camp last year and wish to attend again this year, the material can be modified so that you work through the material at a higher level than you did in your previous experience.
Where is this located and hosted?SDS Studios is located just south of Nashville in Columbia, TN. Columbia (nicknamed MuleTown) is a small town with tons of southern history combined with a hip vibe. The studio building itself is situated just south of the town square (so many boutique shops, antique stores, vinyl shops, coffee shops, and food places to explore) and around the corner from the newly designated Arts District. Most of the week will be spent at the studio but you will have breaks and down time to be able to explore the historic downtown square, hike to beautiful spots like Stillhouse Hollow Falls, or catch a ride in to downtown Nashville for music and fun.
Do I need to bring my drums?Nope! Each person will be assigned a practice drum kit for the week, bass drum pedal (speed flyer), and drum throne. In addition to the 10 practice drum sets we will have set up for daily sessions, we have no less than 7 drum kits set up at the studio at one time (one of these being an ekit). There is also a variety of snare drums and percussion instruments to choose from as well as Vic Firth isolation headphones to use at each drum set. Oh, and the entire porch railing is a practice pad. Just imagine your 14 year old self designing a drum space…the building is pretty much that.
Please bring a set of drum sticks. In addition to sticks, if you would like to bring smaller items to make you more comfortable such as drum thrones, bass drum pedals, etc., you are more than welcome to. To put it more simply, bring your sticks and we’ll provide the rest!
What is the length of each retreat?The retreat week runs Sunday night through Friday night. A mandatory orientation for all attendees will happen on Sunday nights at 6pm CST. We will meet to go over the week, answer questions, set goals, and go over all rules to ensure everyone has a great experience.
What does each day look like?Shuttle pickup from the hotel begins at 8am each morning and we will start classes at 9am. Each day will end between 5 and 6pm and you will be free to spend your evening hanging with other attendees, exploring the local attractions, or just getting some rest. We will take breaks for lunch and snacks throughout the day.
When do I need to arrive?Orientation is MANDATORY and will happen on Sundays at 6pm CST. You will need to ensure that your flights and travel arrangements will allow for you to get to the Sunday evening orientation.
When do I need to depart?The week will officially end on Friday night after our recording session (complete with a professional Nashville engineer to run things). The session will run late into the evening so I would plan on a Saturday leave time at the earliest.
What does transportation look like?Transportation to and from the airport for arrival and departure is the responsibility of the camper. Please allow for those costs in your trip planning. If you stay at the approved hotel (Hampton Inn in Spring Hill, TN), we will provide a morning shuttle to the studio and an evening shuttle back to your hotel. You may choose to stay anywhere you like as long as you arrange for your own transportation to and from the studio.
What if I want to bring my car?Totally fine
Where do I stay?We have worked out a discounted room rate at the Hampton Inn in Spring Hill, TN. The rates will vary depending on the time of the year. The hotel is centrally located in a local shopping center so that you can easily walk to food in the evenings (Longhorn Steakhouse, Panera, Cracker Barrel, Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden, Pizza joints, Burger joints, fast food options and a ton more). In addition, there is sidewalk access to shopping (Kohl’s, Ulta, Super Target, etc.) as well as a movie theatre directly beside the hotel. To see all that is available around the hotel, just search “The Crossings in Spring Hill, TN”. NOTE: You MUST sign up online to get the SDS hotel discount You may stay at any local hotel, bed & breakfast, or Air BnB but you will need to arrange for your own transportation to and from the studio each day. We are happy to answer any questions and give you reccomendations if you prefer to stay at one of these.
Can I room with another atttendee?Absolutely! Part of the magic of the experience will be the bonds you make with other people. The more time you are able to hang with them, the better. If you would prefer to room with another attendee of the same sex and similar age, you can let us know that when you submit your information. We will try our best to connect you with another person that wants to share a room. We cannot guarantee that just because you request to room with someone else we will be able to make that happen.
FOOD!!! What does the food look like each day?Each person will be responsible for purchasing their own meals, starting at orientation. Breakfast: The Hampton Inn provides a full breakfast each morning or you are welcome to find your own breakfast at one of the many local places. Lunch: We will break for lunch each day. You are welcome to join the group for lunch or venture out on your own. The square, located just a few blocks from the studio, boasts an array of local food, coffee, and desserts. Please allow $15-20 for lunch each day. Dinner: Each day ends at 6pm and you are free to find your own dinner after you arrive back at your hotel. Snacks: We will provide drinks and light snacks available throughout the day at the studio. Anytime we take a break you are welcome to bring your own snacks or munch on some of ours!
What is the weather like?Summers are hot here in central TN, but not unbearable most of the time. If you come in the fall, you can expect to need a light jacket during the day and heavier clothing in the evening. Please check local forecasts closer to your event time.
What airport do I need to fly in to?Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Do I need to rent a car?No, unless you feel you need one. You will be responsible for arranging transportation to and from the airport. There are a number of shuttle options and Uber/Lyft options. It takes roughly 45 minutes to get to the SDS approved Hampton Inn Hotel. We will be providing daily shuttles going to and from the studio. If you wish to spend an evening exploring downtown Nashville after a camp day ends, all transportation will be at the cost of the student.
So are we just going to sit in a room all day and play the drums?I don’t know…sounds awesome to me! Each day will consist of a balance of group sessions, individual practice time, group practice time, one-on-one sessions with me, and group listening activities. Each attendee will have their own practice kit to play on in the group sessions. We will have multiple drum kits set up throughout the building for individual practice times as well as for attendees to shed with each other or sit down with me for targeting specific issues. In addition, you will be learning a song of your choosing and recording it at the end of the week at the Friday night session. Depending on the week you attend, you may also have practice sessions with local pro players that I line up to come to the studio. Oh…and Nashville boasts two of the best drum shops in the United States…so Friday morning will be spent going to Nelson’s Vintage Drum Shop and Fork’s Drum Closet (we will provide transportation to and from the drum shops).
How many students will be at each retreat?To keep the environment intimate and maximize one-on-one time between me and the students, each retreat is limited to 10 students.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE INFO BELOW AND SUBMIT TO APPLY FOR A RETREAT SPOT: SDS Drum Retreat Attendee Info
Please enter all information as accurately as possible. We will follow up with you shortly and send the payment form for your non-refundable/non-transferable camp deposit of $400. In addition, you will also be required to sign an SDS Drum Retreat waiver before you can pay your deposit.
*We reserve the right to refuse any application for any of our drum retreats or in person events*