All posts by Kane Drums

Blending diverse rhythmic and musical styles into the mainstream scene with good taste has been Tim Kane’s forte as a Massachusetts-based drummer, percussionist and music educator for more than 25 years. Kane began drumming and playing trombone in fourth grade. He graduated from Fitchburg State College where he was course and ensemble trained in jazz, concert and various school-based jam bands. He also studied and performed with a jazz quintet at the well-respected Indian Hill Music Conservatory in Littleton, Mass. Today, Tim is the resident drum set and percussion instructor at Eagle Hill High School in Hardwick where he implemented an innovative new percussive arts and djembe group drum circle program for special needs students seven years ago, as well as teaching privately in his home recording studio. Kane exclusively plays Remo classic pin stripe and dotted heads on Gretsch and Rodgers drum kits, and owns about 20 Remo djembes and hand drums that he uses in his drum circles. He is also endorsed as a drum set educator by Vic Firth Drum Sticks and worked previously for several years as a professional educational and product writer for Dixon Drums and Gibraltar Hardware. He had a major story about famed Police drummer Stewart Copeland published in Modern Drummer magazine two years ago that is featured here. Kane currently tours New England in the northeast region’s top trop-rock Jimmy Buffet-style tribute bands, The Island Castaways Band, which released a new CD of original songs this past spring that is getting killer airwaves on a bevy of top island music radio stations. The band’s top single is linked here. TICB’s fan base ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand at indoor and outdoor gigs. Kane also plays in the Somerville-based alternative original rock band, “Right on Red”, and holds down jazz drums for the Trinity Swing Big Band, and performs regularly with all original jazz-folk band, Luscious Lushes. In 2012, he published a full album of his own making, composing and recording 10 original songs and playing all instruments found streaming live at Spotify and located at Reverb Nation here. Kane expanded his teaching and performance business five years ago to host All Together Drum Circles that exclusively features Remo djembe and percussion products in private and public settings on a weekly basis year-round. Recent clients have included 92.5 The River radio festival, the Worcester YMCA, area schools, senior citizens, town commons, parks and recreation depts., and the Center for Autism Awareness of Central Massachusetts. Learn more about Tim and his upcoming schedule at and on Facebook at Call or text him at: 774-757-7636 Email:

Cape Cod Kinda Night (lyrics)

Lyrics and music by Tim Kane

Verse 1

Let me tell you ‘bout one Cape Cod night 

Legend tour ‘round all the sights

We started at the Chatham Squire

‘Cause Brewster’s Woodshed was on fire

Cruised 6A for a few long miles 

Caught sunset over Grand Isle

Verse 2

National Seashore roared all its might

Casa Del Cabo couldn’t quite quench, 

Almost missed the strobes of Nauset Light, 

Watching Anglers from the bench 

Bridge 1

We’re jetty jumping bound

Struttin sea grass in a dune 

Star gazing out on the sound

When that distant fog horn booms 

Chorus 1

Just a Cape Cod kinda night

Just a Cape Cod kinda night

Just a Cape Cod kinda night

Just a Cape Cod kinda night

(Music Interlude) 


Sped to Peetown on Old King’s Highway 

Walked the strip to find that Barbie doll lawn

Grays Beach lights beckon back our way 

Missed the boat to Hyannis before next dawn 

Risked careening off Herring Brook Road 

And got lost in cranberry bogs unknown

Salt pond pit stop to lighten our loads

Softly steppin’ around the lover plovers abode

Bridge 2

Searchin fins from the sand 

Ice cream treats by the bay 

Listenin to a Funk Bus band 

Fishin 1K tuna by the day 

Verse 4

Eatin lobstah at Moby Dick’s

Killer low tide at Mayflower Beach 

Salutin JFK Memorial

Jumping off the Sandwich Boardwalk 

Chorus 2 to outro

It’s a Cape Cod kinda night

It’s a Cape Cod kinda night

It’s a Cape Cod kinda night

It’s a Cape Cod kinda night

It’s a Cape Cod kinda night….

Behind the Drum Kit Blog #1

Playing for your fans

Often when I play live drum set with a band and need more inspiration,I try to imagine a famous drummer or musician I admire is out there in the crowd listening.

It’s a simple mind trick. It refocuses me on my core mission to perform at a high level. I play fewer notes and fills that way, too. I try hard not to overplay and really pursue locking in tempo/timing first and foremost. No errors.

But when you really think about it, we all mess up and we’re never going to perform at a gig where Steve Gadd or Stevie Wonder are present, either. We’re performing for our fans, whether there is 50 or 5,000 people in attendance. I’ve had the honor to perform music live – my life’s passion – in front of both crowd sizes. There’s no difference in my mind.

“If they aren’t dancing, you’re not really drumming.” That’s my mantra. Like no other instrumentalist on the planet, drummers are charged with the crucial task of providing good groove for both your band AND for all the fans in attendance. That starts with solid preparation and practice and extends right through the entire gig.

So how can we inspire or excite fans who need some prodding? How do you attract large groups of listeners to get involved in the music you’re performing?

Beyond the expected standard that your drumming is prime time ready, there are a few proven strategies I’ve been fortunate and blessed enough to develop and share over the past few decades. Here’s my top 5 tips:

1 – Follow their moves: I routinely “tweak” my live tempos to match the perceived timing of fans’ foot stomps, nodding heads, hand claps and even buffet table fork drumming prowess. We find a happy medium together. This is my number one tool. I constantly scan the audience and adapt to their collective groove.

2 – Make your snare crack: If there is one drum that should be hit with more intensity, this is it. All your fans are essentially trained by the various mix engineering approaches of today to accentuate the snare. Given most songs fall on two and four for snare hits, it is silly not to give your fans what they are accustomed to hearing. Crack it.

3 – Check dynamics at the door: Band stage levels and overall sound affects everything heard by fans. If you can’t hear other musicians playing around you, you’re too loud. Period. Time to adjust. The other motivation to consider is fans definitely want to talk about and sing your tunes to each other while dancing and clapping. Give them that opportunity because we all know good band dynamics all begins and ends with the drummer.

4 – Know the song sections; Leading your band into that next song section or phrase with a fill or cue is equally as important to your fans. They listen for song changes, too, as that does impact how they dance, clap and fork drum on the buffet table. If they seem confused on the dance floor, try re-directing them with a simple fill.

5 – Make eye contact: If you’re looking down at the drum kit or up at the open sky, you are totally disconnected from the reality of your fans. They will tell you what they enjoy and don’t with their eyes. Look at them.

  • Tim Kane is a full-time music educator, drum set and trombone musician, and world beat percussionist living with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts. Learn more at

Drummer ROGER GUTH – living the dream in jimmy buffett’s coral Reefers

PRELUDE: The last time I got to hang out and chat with a famous drummer was a few years ago when Stewart Copeland, drummer for The Police, visited his daughter on a campus where I teach drums. It’s ironic that Stewart is someone Roger Guth, long-time drummer for music legend Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, greatly admires.

While I did name drop a friend of Roger’s in helping to arrange the Zoom meet-up, I never knew if he was actually interested until an obscure email arrived one day from an old AOL account. Does anyone even use AOL anymore, I first thought, suspecting possible identity fraud? His non-invasive, cheerful note of acceptance was a true blessing.

When Roger actually showed up on my songwriter Q&A interview video podcast, “Tiki Tim’s Trop-Roc Tributes”, on May 16, 2021, my many questions were well researched. The story below paints a wonderful picture behind the man, drummer, songwriter, and fisherman that is Roger Guth. He’s one of the most humble, reserved and nicest people I’ve ever met.

Roger Guth behind his drum kit on a major concert tour, which he dreamed about as a kid.

To tell the story of Jimmy Buffett’s Drummer Roger Guth, one must travel back in time to when he was 10 years old living with his family on a St. Louis, Missouri farm. His dad was a talented accordion player in a local wedding band. While many family members played instrument – his sister was classically trained on piano – none of them entered the industry professionally.

Roger started playing drums at age 7 and also dabbled on the keys around the house. His family fully supported his choice to enter the music industry, but also warned him of its many perils and high rate of failure. It didn’t deter him. Roger dreamed of making it big as a drummer after seeing legendary jazz-big band drummer Buddy Rich play on the Tonight Show hosted byJohnny Carson a beloved comedian of Roger’s. Ironically, that teenage dream actually came true after Roger and Peter joined Jimmy Buffett on tour in 1989. They all performed together on the Tonight Show in 1990 where he met Carson in person.

While Roger is first to admit he would not play piano too well live or in studio, he was entranced by its “magical” voicings. When he a grew a bit older and met another one of Jimmy Buffett’s long-time guitarists, Peter Mayer, at age 16, the two eventually formed a jazz and pop-infused trio along with Peter’s bass playing brother Jim.

Celebrating our first female jazz drummer

By Tim Kane

Long before the advent of the modern day drummer in America and women’s incredible contributions leading that movement, our country enjoyed early female drumming pioneers the likes of Viola Smith (née Schmitz). 

Born November 29, 1912 in Wisconsin, Viola was the first professional female jazz drummer and noted for using up to 15 drums in her trap set. Many of the early percussion instrument choices Viola used on her trap kit with her first family band the Smith Sisters are the same ones used today by jazz/rock drummers and in group drum circles. Viola approached the drum kit like an orchestral composer meets trained facilitator, surrounding herself with as many tools as possible to create the ultimate rhythm and sound. Sound familiar? Remember Keith Moon’s large double bass drum rock kit with The Who in the 1970s, Neil Peart’s mammoth 360-degree stage kit with Rush in the 1980s, or fellow jazz drumming great Billy Cobham’s 10-piece fiberglass “Fibes” kit playing with Miles Davis in the 1960s? Viola literally invented the large drum kit set-up. 

She particularly enjoyed the woodblocks, congas and more famously her unique innovation employing elevated tom toms on her right and left side, which are now an industry standard. Back in the 1930s, many tom-toms required real animal skin heads just like we use today on authentic djembes and frame drums. There are many parallels between what drummers do and use for gear today and the giant footprint Viola carved. She was also humble enough to seek more training attending renowned music college, Juilliard School, and by taking lessons with legendary drummer, teacher and snare drum builder, Billy Gladstone.

When I first heard of Viola’s death, I only had a vague understanding of her immense contributions to the women’s movement and drumming. She was known as the fastest girl drummer in the world and a female version of Gene Krupa. She began drumming at age 12 and took the stage soon after touring the United States and world in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music from the 1920s until 1975 – all during a musical time largely dominated by male drummers and other musicians. Who can forget Viola’s brilliant composition on “Snake Charmer” by the Coquettes – an all-female orchestra she started – where her elevated tom-tom sounds and patterns closely resembled West African Dunduns. Not surprisingly, her dad was also an orchestra leader and gifted cornet player. Viola drummed on Broadway and performed at the inauguration of President Truman. Bucking the female novelty stigma of her time, Viola also appeared on the cover of Billboard Magazine and wrote female musician-centric articles for DownBeat.

Viola was still playing her trap set at age 104. What many may not know is that in her final days before moving on into the universe this past October at age 107, she battled Alzheimer’s Disease at a faith-based community in southern California called Peacemakers. 

I’m exhausted just researching all of Viola’s incredible contributions to jazz music and the drumming community as a whole. Let her drum in peace.

  • Tim Kane is a professional drum set musician, percussion instructor and drum circle facilitator who serves as newsletter curator for the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild. Learn more about him at

Tiki tim’s trop-roc tributes

“TIKI TIM’S TROP-ROC TRIBUTES” is a special weekly video and audio podcast powered through Zoom to Facebook Live, which is re-broadcast on live radio every Sunday at 8 pm at FLA.-based Shore Life Radio. Drummer Tim Kane hosts the show every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in his home-based recording studio turned tropical island paradise with everything miced up.

Tim’s show features regionally and nationally touring trop-roc singer-songwriters from around the country in an intimate, in-depth live Q&A and live performance format shown live at his FB biz page, Recent guests have included major trop-roc touring artists Suny Jim White, Scott Kirby, Beth Travers, Ray Boone, Don Middlebrook and Tim Charron among many others. Tim also plays-along to his guests’s own original songs during the back half of his program as well as features a trivia contest and drumming tips and stories. Besides drumming, Tim has been interviewing music and entertainment personalities for more than 15 years as a freelance writer and blogger for newspapers, magazines, and online realm.

Learn more about Tim at:

Transparent drumming

Someone remarked to me before a recent drum circle that she thought I was just a “rhythm starter” who owns a bunch of drums, and not an actual teacher of drumming.

It’s a common misperception in my industry. While there is nothing wrong with simply starting rhythms as I have to do that often during drum circle events, there’s also many hidden elements folks can’t see or initially understand on the surface. It helps to also attend a drum circle before formulating an opinion. Negative stigmas and confusion can easily set in without experiencing one live.

I’ve played drum set and percussion since I was a little boy of age 8. I never stopped playing. I’ve been formally trained in jazz and marching drums and percussion and music in general through college courses and many live playing gigs. I also play trombone and compose songs on piano. I have taught drum set to kids and adults professionally for more than 15 years. I have taught percussive arts at a local high school for the past 10 years.

I’ve lead drum circles for all ages for the past eight years and actively study rhythm and music cultures from around the world. While that is lean time compared to the full body of my musical learning, I still draw from all those past experiences today.

Additionally, I also was fortunate enough to develop and hone leadership skills managing large groups of creative-minded workers for many years. I was formally trained in public speaking and helped organize conventions and professional workshops for seven years in Boston.

I’m a current board of director and newsletter curator for the internationally recognized Drum Circle Facilitators Guild.

And I’m blessed to play drum kit and percussion for The Island Castaways Band, which is probably my 10th legit musician group in my lifetime that has exposed me to creating rock, jazz, funk, world and reggae beats. Most of those bands also composed their own songs. I draw from all of those incredible band rehearsal/performance experiences as well dating back 30 some odd years.

When you combine all of this into my current drum circle program, it’s fairly obvious that I am not only a rhythm starter. Experience counts and the more diverse the better.

I am a drummer, teacher and performer who facilitates therapeutic, lively and fun hand drumming programs as one part of my full-time music business. Many dozens of clients across New England can vouch for that.

Online drum lessons

Drum instructor Tim Kane


Call or text him at: 774-757-7636

Tim Kane, a professional drummer with more than 30 years of performance experience, teaches beginner to advanced musical styles on drum set and concert percussion, including hard rock with optional double kick drum, jazz, funk, reggae, world beats and marching drum corps. He teaches live in studio based near Boston, MA or online via Skype, Google Plus Hangouts, and YouTube Live Streaming platforms.

Kane School of Drums Brochure 2018

Tim graduated from Fitchburg State University and is certified and endorsed as a school drum instructor by Vic Firth, an international manufacturer of drum sticks, mallets, brushes and percussive devices. He is also a recognized current member of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and Drum Circle Facilitators Guild board of director.

His online lessons include learning and refining students’ rudimentary and sight reading ability, eliminating bad habits, improving dynamics, creating better drum fills, soloing, playing with other musicians, composing original parts, understanding the mechanics of song structure, and building a personal signature playing style. Ear training is enhanced with drum play-along songs. Tim can record every session so students and parents review progress.

Lessons can be offered weekly or less frequently depending upon student schedules.



1 – Develop your rudimentary hand-foot technique from beginner through advanced.

2- Learn to sight-read and/or improve your ability to do so live.

3 -Enhance your listening skills with a play-along track program, and learn songs you choose and find challenging.

4 -Learn to compose and play drum solos, which Tim will record for you as MP3 and MP4 files.

5 -Work on school-based band sheet music and songs you need to learn.

6 -Refine your playing style, whether it’s double bass oriented or traditional hi-hat.

7 -Improve your endurance and sense of dynamics.

8 -Play better and more intricate drum fills and a variety of musical styles from jazz and funk to rock and metal.

9 – Benefit from decades of wisdom from playing with other musicians, and a growing collection of instructional videos and audio recordings.

10 – Set goals and achieve them by having a professionally trained instructor guiding you along the way.

“Djembe Wings” prototype developed for wheelchair users

Patent Pending

I’ve been working with engineer Steven Tamburri on designing a working prototype for a special Djembe stand idea I created that is intended for wheelchair users and others.

Through working with mostly senior citizens for the past 7 years facilitating drum circles, I discovered that many existing Djembe stands just aren’t designed for people in wheelchairs.
Wheelchair users find it difficult to play a Djembe at the proper height using both their hands because neither it alone nor a stand can easily be positioned between most wheelchair tires and foot supports. Many frail seniors can’t easily move their feet or knees apart as well.
All too often, wheelchair users have to play a Djembe with one hand with it positioned to only one side of the wheelchair. This obviously takes half of the experience away from those players.
Called “Djembe Wings”, the Patent Pending prototype Wings were professionally designed in Brookfield, MA and 3D printed at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing located in Valencia CA. to solve this challenge.
“Djembe Wings” eliminate two of the typical three Djembe stand legs, thus giving wheelchair users the proper forward tilt needed to play a djembe while also centering it directly between both legs with great stability and comfort. It’s fully height and width adjustable and comes with an added knee support brace to fit almost any size  or type of wheelchair.
A very special surprise bonus to this prototype was the discovery that players can actually feel the Djembe vibrate while playing via the White Wings themselves.
“Djembe Wings” can also be used for players who are not wheelchair users but may experience difficulty tilting a Djembe forward for a variety of reasons having to do with leg and knee strength/injuries, the slippery finish of djembe outer coatings on pant legs, and other factors. As shown in the attached pictures, my special one legged stand would make a great upgrade or alternative for anyone.
I’m looking for help in trying to further develop this product as manufacturing and marketing costs as a sole proprietor musician like myself are off the charts expensive.
Wondering if there are any partners or special needs hand drum product supporters out there that might be able to point me in the right direction as I think the “Djembe Wings” solves the Djembe playing problem for anyone in a wheelchair and gives players not in a wheelchair an excellent new tool to tilt the instrument at its intended downward angle to be played correctly.
Please let me know if you have any interest or know of anyone who may be interested in speaking with me. I have all the designs and schematics and the actual prototype.
Thank you,
Tim Kane