Mike Dolbear has been a professional drummer for over 30 years and has worked in a variety of musical situations with many artists all around the world from wedding bands to West end musicals and playing on hit records to TV jingles. Mike set up his teaching studio 18 years ago during a 10 year stint playing at the prestigious London west end venue 'The talk of London'. Mike enjoys the opportunity to pass on the knowledge he has learned over the years. He is versatile in his teaching and can adapt his methods to obtain the maximum improvement from his students. Record companies and management companies often ask Mike to assist and teach their drummers helping them with technique or small areas that need fine tuning; this has also included stamina and confidence building.

Over the years Mike has studied with the great Jazz drummer Kenny Clare, Max Abrams and Bob Armstrong and had percussion lessons with the great James Blades.

Many of Mike's students have become professional musicians and teachers including current students Cherisse Osei (Mika), Kapil Travedi (Mystery Jets), Emily Dolan Davies (The Hours, Cher Lloyd), Steve Forrest (Placebo), Fashion tycoon Peter Werth, Mark Richardson (Skunk Anansie) and has helped Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) and Brian Bennett (The Shadows).

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  Mike talks a bit about his history as a player and an educator, his relationship with Vic Firth, and The Ultimate Drum Experience.

See what Mike is using:
American Classic® HD4
Vic's original SD4 design‚ but in hickory. For a light touch and great feel around the drums.
L = 15 7/8" | Dia. = .530
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Essentials Stick Bag
Cleverly designed to hold 4-5 implements. A hook-and-strap system allows for secure suspension from the floor tom or snare. An internal pocket and elastic drum key loop make the bag complete!
H = 19" | W (when open) = 8 1/4"
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Mike has performed and coordinated many drumming performances for television channels including BBC and ITV TV shows Blue Peter, The one show, Xchange, and CBBC Level up and TV commercials. In November 1999 Mike wrote the top selling UK drum tutor book "Rhythm and Fills" and in October 2012 will release his first Mike Dolbear "Rhythm and Fills" app for the apple and android market. The new updated book "Rhythm and Fills" with audio and play along tracks distributed by Hudson Europe is also now available.

In 1999 Mike also set up the world renowned and now one of the biggest drum websites and drum forums in the world; Mike wanted a platform to bring the worldwide drum community together but never expected the website to become this huge! Mike also runs the sites with currently over 1.5 million views, classifieds and

Mike has organized and promoted clinic tours with Thomas Lang, Stanton Moore, Jojo Mayer, Gavin Harrison, Aaron Spears and many more as well as co- sponsoring "Drummer Live" and "The London Drum Show" and he also runs the residential UK drum course "The Ultimate drum experience"

Mike and his team run the national under 17 "Young drummer of the Year" competition; now in its 11th year it has generated some of the top drummers in the UK with finalists and winners now working with many major UK bands and solo artists including "One Direction", Gorillaz sound system", Rita Ora and Jamie Cullum to name a few.

In 2012 Mike co-ordinated and taught the 1000 drummers that performed at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle, this was by far one of the highlights of Mike's career playing in front of the biggest TV audience of all time. Mike was very proud of the show and of all the drummers and to do this in his home town of London was amazing. Mike also had his first number 1 album with the sound track of the Olympics "Isle of wonders" and has since been featured on Radio 2, BBC breakfast show, Sky news channel, US independent radio station NPA and various drum magazines.
You can read all about Mike's Olympic experience here:

You can also hear Mike talking about his experience on this BBC Radio Two clip with Richard Bacon and Zoe Ball

Mike told us "I have always played Vic Firth sticks; they just feel comfortable in my hands and help me achieve what I need to do without worrying about my sticks. They always offer a good selection for the various musical situations I play in and are always looking for ways to improve as a company. I have got to know Vic Firth personally and I am very proud and honored to be able to call Vic a friend and somebody who I admire not only as a musician but as a business man".

In 2012 Mike was very proud to be involved in the design of the new "Essentials stick bag" the perfect stick bag if you just need to carry a couple of pairs of sticks, rods, pair of brushes, drum key and ear protectors.