Message from Nick

Hey, I’m Nick Ruffini – Professional Drummer, Executive Producer and Founder of Drummer’s Resource.

This is less of an about page and more of a mission statement…a manifesto if you will.

I started the site in 2013 to educate, inspire and motivate drummers around the world through interviews with and expert, real-world advice from the greatest drummers in the world. 
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Drummer’s Resource is More Than Just a Drumming Site

From the beginning, DR was intended to be different from other sites in every way possible by focusing on helping my listeners and readers succeed, in and beyond the drumming world. How? Here’s what you’ll find in my podcasts:

·   QUALITY guests on the podcast

·   A COMMITMENT to putting you first

·   A FOCUS on real-world advice and applicable takeaways

·   The tools to help you SUCCEED on your own terms

We offer some of the best content on drumming, practice routines, getting gigs, etc. (as a matter of fact, I suggest you grab your free copy of Stick Control Variations: 11 Creative exercises to improve your independence, dexterity and speed). But you’ll also find articles about business and entrepreneurship, networking, relationships, habit formation, motivation, marketing, and much more. Why? Because we’re not just drummers.

Truth is, most of you are weekend warriors, hobbyists, or looking to step up your game and turn pro. Whether you want to lose 20lbs, foster better relationships, grow your business or land a tour with the biggest act in the world, you need the right tools: Discipline, hustle, hard work and focused energy. The principles and topics laid out on this site will help you excel not just in music, but also in the music business and life.

If you can control your mind you can control your life – no matter where you want to go or what you want to achieve. Creating success is all about creating excellence within yourself.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness, therefore, is a habit not a skill” – Aristotle


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Meet the Team

Nick Ruffini – Executive Producer and Founder

NYC Drummer Nick Ruffini (Philadelphia, PA native), began playing drums at age 15 and never stopped. Nick attended Villanova and Kutztown University, graduating in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Management and Music Performance. He served as treasurer of the Kutztown University Percussion Department 2002-2003 as well as President from 2003-2005.

Even while earning his degree Nick pushed his drumming career to new heights, playing with anyone, anytime, anywhere. During college Nick played in a Salsa Band, a 17-piece Big-Band, a Jazz Band, a Percussion Ensemble, and an African Percussion Group along with local and regional bands up and down the East Coast.

Nick is the founding drummer for the national touring group Monacy and The Nick Ruffini Band and can often be seen performing with Jeff Washington (Melba Moore, Mica Paris, Freddie Jackson, Chaka Khan, Dee Dee Bridgewater and others) and The Sermon – totaling over 200 shows per year.

In 2011, Nick launched his solo career, recording a record under his own name. The album includes Johnny Defrancesco (Defranceso Brothers) on guitar, Paul Klinefelter (Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra) on bass, Rich Budesa (Budesa Brothers) on organ and was engineered/mixed/mastered by 2011 Grammy Nominee, Glenn Ferracone. Following a nation wide radio campaign, Nick’s first solo release “Pressin’ On” peaked at #54 on the US Jazz Charts.

2013 brought yet another change for Nick as he teamed up with Boso Drumsticks to become their artist relations director. Following joining Boso, Nick launched Drummer’s Resource, an online community where he provides interviews and expert advice from the world’s greatest drummers and music industry professionals. With hundreds of thousands of downloads and website views per month, Drummer’s Resource has become a staple in the online drumming world.

Nick has performed/shared the stage with: Phish’s Page McConnell, Everlast, The Greyboy Allstars, Dave Grippo (Trey Anastasio Band), Johnny Defrancesco, DJ Q-Ball (DJ for the Multi-platinum artists The Bloodhound Gang), Jazz Legend Melvin Sparks and Badfish, just to name a few.

With his diverse background and performance experience in Funk, Rock, Jazz, Latin, or any other style of music, Nick’s unique sound and energy are undeniable, making him one of the most sought-after drummers on the scene.

Nick is endorsed by: Aquarian DrumheadsBoso DrumsticksBosphorus CymbalsCympad USA , DrumtacsKickport International and Prologix Percussion and has studied with: Daniel Glass, Glenn Ferracone, Dr. Will Rapp, Dr. Frank Kumor and Joe Mullen.

Justin Thomas – Producer

Justin Thomas is a Drummer and Audio Producer from Gaithersburg, MD. He started drumming at age 9 and played in various local bands including The Fisherman. In high school he was also in a band with Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders) called 7Lox. He’s the original drummer for The Muddy Crows helping them win The Washington City Paper’s “Best Original Band of 2015” award. His teachers include drummer and vibraphonist Chuck Redd as well as Mike Johnston. Respected not only for his exceptional talent but also his professionalism, Justin has entertained audiences up and down the East Coast including venues such as DC’s Gypsy Sally’s, Jammin’ Java and Baltimore’s Artscape Music Festival.

Justin also developed a love for music and audio production at age 14. In 2004 he put his production skills to the test and started his career working for iHeartRadio as a personality and DJ. This eventually lead to a gig working for some of the biggest radio stations in the country including HOT 99.5 and DC101. A long time fan of the Drummer’s Resource Podcast, Justin is taking his love for drumming and audio production to new heights as the new producer of the show.

Connect with Justin:

Zack Albetta – Contributing Writer

Zack Albetta
Photo By: Dan In

Zack Albetta’s musical path has taken him from his hometown of Santa Fe, NM to the historic and vibrant music scene in Kansas City, to the top of the musical food chain, Los Angeles. He is enjoying a dynamic career, performing in a variety of musical roles. From LA’s premier clubs and theatres to Disneyland to studio session work for film, TV and online media, Zack would rather be behind the drums in almost any capacity than anywhere else.

Zack earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, starting at the University of New Mexico and finishing at Ball State University. In 2003, he entered graduate school at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was awarded the graduate assistanceship for the percussion department, as well as a jazz scholarship. Zack’s primary mentor during this time was the director of jazz studies at UMKC, sax legend and Grammy nominee Bobby Watson.

Zack spent four years at UMKC, earning a Master of Music in classical percussion and a Master of Arts in jazz and studio music. By the time he graduated, he was already in high demand around Kansas City and spent the next three years performing with Bobby Watson, The 18th & Vine Big Band (with whom he backed up legendary vocalists Karrin Allyson, Mary Stallings and Ernie Andrews), Shay Estes, Mark Lowrey, Clint Ashlock, New Jazz Order Big Band, Barclay Martin, The Kansas City Symphony, The Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and many others.

In 2010, Zack set his sights on Los Angeles. He hit the ground running, performing in the prestigious Center Theatre Group’s west coast premier of the hip-hop musical Venice at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Following that, he quickly began amassing performance credits with the area’s finest including Johnny Mandel, Pete Christlieb, Kim Richmond, Jacques Lesure, Gina Saputo, Doug Webb, Jennifer Keith and Josh Nelson. He has also performed in dozens of shows with Southern California’s premiere musical theatre production companies including Musical Theatre West and 3-D Theatricals, recorded for television, film and online media, and is a regular performer in several groups at Disneyland.

Zack Albetta is an Artist Endorser for UFIP Cymbals and Aquarian Drumheads.
Contact Zack: Facebook | Twitter

Joey Smith – Marketing and Technology Advisor

1393999_10152340852326034_4343746015369234556_nJoey Smith began playing the drums as far back as he can remember. His earliest recall is playing washtub bass for his father in a country band at the age of 7. He found himself playing more washtub than bass so his father decided to get him into the drums. Since then, he played with Dizzy Gillespie at age 17 at the National Association of Jazz Educators in 1987 and cut his chops on jazz with high school band director Melvin Hodges who was the Sax Player with Gladys Night. This lead to him being accepted into the McDonald’s All-Star Jazz band and being awarded a full scholarship at Georgia State University where he studied with Jack Bell, Principal Percussionist of the Atlanta Symphony. As a college student, Joey played everything from Reggae, Jazz, Marimba, Symphonic, Rock, and Heavy Metal and eventually toured with Class Rock Led Zeppelin Cover Band Sticky Lemons.

Fast forward to what happens to most players. He got a job in 1994 and started developing websites for his employer to make ends meet. This lead to getting a position as a consultant for a top Microsoft Consultancy where he developed internet sites and tools for companies like Cox Communications and Coca Cola. Because of his role, he also acquired his Microsoft Certified Engineer status and Internet Professional certifications as well. In 1999 Joey won the Microsoft Project of the Year for the Internet work he did with Cox Communications and appeared in Windows Enterprise Magazine as well as Keynotes for Microsoft top events. From there He went on to consult and eventually getting hired to work full-time as Chief Information and Technology officer with Dr. John C. Maxwell. As CIO, Joey was the first two-time finalist for state-wide Georgia CIO of the Year in 2003 and 2004 and won the Microsoft 2003 Pinnacle award for Customer Internet Innovations with Microsoft Technologies.
After leaving the John Maxwell Company, Joey started his own coaching business to help start-ups grow their business ideas from scratch using the power of the internet and marketing skills. Many of his clients today are now seven-figure businesses that literally started from their flip-flops with Joey’s help. This led to Joey also winning the World’s Best Internet Marketer in 2011 at the World Internet Summit in 2011 in London where he was a keynote speaker for 5,000 people on the topic of Social Media.
Today, Joey spends his time marketing, digging into new social technologies, drumming and recently acquired the Berklee College of Music Drummer Specialist Certification. His goal is to help as many drummers as he can with technology and marketing and get back into the love of music.

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