September 22, 2020

Drum Lessons

Chris Dye, Vic’s Drum Shop Instructor
Chris Dye was raised in a “Beatles vs. Bluegrass” home in Casper, Wyoming; hometown of The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. At the age of 3, Dye fell in love with the drums while watching a Troopers performance and began playing shortly thereafter. With a propensity for the arts, he studied both music and visual art from grade school through college. He participated in several show choirs under the direction of the renowned Marcia Patton, including The Casper Children’s Chorale. With band director, Gregory Paulson, Dye studied percussion and music theory. Additionally, he completed years of private lessons with a variety of instructors in Casper.
Dye’s teen years were filled with performance in every imaginable context; concert, jazz, and marching band, show choirs, talent shows, weddings, dances, and various musicals. At 16, Dye began marching with The Troopers and completed two competitive seasons with the corps. The percussion staff, Pat Amann, Joel Gittle, and Louis Boldrighini, taught Dye a whole new skill set: “active” ensemble listening, high levels of mental focus, and strict discipline of practice. In 1994, Dye left Wyoming to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, yet his drums never gathered dust. After college, he cultivated a critical mind and a love of the creative process. Dye saw the student/teacher relationship as an invaluable facet of this process.
In 1998 he founded his private drum lesson program. Armed with decades of performance experience, corps-style chops, and ceaseless curiosity and patience, Dye attracted a wide variety of students; from beginners through advanced professionals, both hobbyists and serious musicians of all ages. Aside from teaching, Dye has performed live and in-studio with dozens of bands, played several large music festivals including Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, CMJ, and SXSW, and collaborated with Grammy Winners. Dye has toured extensively in the US and abroad, supporting hundreds of acts, including; Spoon, Cursive, Sharon Van Etten, The Walkmen, Make Believe, Russian Circles, The Kooks, Broken Social Scene, Murder by Death, The Gossip, Smog, The Thermals, Sebadoh, The Meat Puppets, Pelican, Rogue Wave, Minus the Bear, Pinback, Kevin Devine, Story of the Year, Tapes N Tapes, The Hold Steady, Pedro the Lion, The Appleseed Cast, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Mercury Program, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and hundreds more.
Dye was a founding member of the now dissolved band, Chin Up Chin Up, and is currently a member of Speck Mountain, The Sweeps, and Exit Verse (featuring Geoff Farina of Karate). Dye has on-going affiliations with Wedding Dress (featuring members of Maps & Atlases and Joan of Arc), Midnite On Pearl Beach, and Campdogzz, among others. Dye strives to bolster passion for music in his students. He teaches universal drumming concepts with a focus on “playing for the song.” Dye’s unique teaching philosophy addresses how to listen, learn, and play with conviction.



Aaron Memphis Smith, Vic’s Drum Shop Instructor

Aaron “Memphis” Smith is speaking to a generation. His platform is an altruistic approach to music and celebrating all of its truest forms. The message is simple: “There is no departure without a dream” and his mission is to see to it that his peers are inspired to make this the most powerful and knowledgeable age of music that the world will ever see.

As a native Memphian, Aaron was exposed to all genres of music. Through his mother’s affinity for the craft, Aaron discovered the soul striking melodies of gospel music while growing up in church and the importance of the instrument. With a music selection varying from The Winans to Commission, it was only natural that Aaron developed his passions around non-secular music.

As a teenager, Aaron traveled a path that led him to Illinois, where he continued to develop his blessing. Aaron managed to balance his talents between church and Auburn High School, a performing arts school located in Rockford, IL. Aaron’s abilities allowed him to be a scholarship recipient that led him to Rock Valley College under the direction of Ken Stein. Aaron studied Music Performance in a Jazz ensemble form. Aaron’s accolades include, but are not limited to, playing for jazz saxophonist, Harlan Jefferson, as well as working with various artists such as Kim Burrell, LeAndria Johnson, Greater First Chorale, Todd Dulaney, Garrett Body, Ann Nesby, Gina Venier, Paris Bennett and many more.

Aaron’s passion for music has allowed him to pave a path for those striving for success within the music industry. With his knowledge, he has formed his own organization titled D.U.F.C. (Drummers United for Christ) geared toward youth and musicians. This forum allows musicians a close and personal opportunity to meet their favorite drummers in a clinic session. He believes that there are so many life lessons you can overcome with using strategies you use with developing your craft. Aaron feels it is so imperative to inspire and motivate even if you haven’t reached your plateau, it’s important to give back no matter what level of success you’re at.

“I believe that putting your all into perfecting your craft, not only for yourself, but to reach the hearts of people, is imperative… Being able to create emotion from person to person through your instrument is pretty impressive and rewarding.”


Vic’s Drum Shop teachers are gigging professionals with diverse backgrounds and have the ability to teach all levels and styles. Lessons take place on-site in our state-of-the art teaching studio and are priced at $25/half hour or $50/hour without any long term contractual obligations. Please email or call the store at 312.770.1200 for more information or to book your lessons!


Greg Landfair aka Stix, Guest Instructor

Greg’s lessons consist of drum exercises, technique, and musicality that can be practiced years beyond the physical lesson. Having the experience, knowledge, and privilege to learn from drummers like Malcolm Banks (played for Earth Wind and Fire for a short time), Thomas Pridgen, and Felix Pollard while only in his 20’s, is why he can best relate to drummers of any age.

Greg Landfair, Jr. started drumming as a freshman in high school, playing in his basement, at church, and with his father’s band, Fresh Oil. By sixteen he took second place in the national Next Great Drummer competition, second only to a veteran drummer twice his age. By 19, he played along side Frank Ocean at Coachella in 2012, in 2013 with Kids These Days and 2014 with Chance the Rapper.

He attended Merit School of Music stStix, Greg Landfair, The Social Experiment, chance the rapperudying jazz drumming, and it was there that he met members of what would become his former band, Kids These Days. A diverse mixture of genres, ranging from hip-hop, to classical, to blues, defines the unique sound of Kids These Days. The band had been given nods in several widely circulated publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Landfair and KTD toured North America, playing at legendary festivals like Lollapalooza in the band’s hometown of Chicago, Summerfest in Milwaukee, Coachella, and the Ottawa Bluesfest. He currently drums in The Social Experiment, Chance the Rapper’s band.

The Social Experiment has toured all over Europe, Canada and the United States. Landfair is featured on Chance’s songs “Wonderful Everyday (The Arthur Song)” and “Sunday Candy”, two singles that caught the attention of many music blogs and critics. The band also performed live on the Arsenio Hall Show in 2014. His current projects, which are his far most circulated, are his “Stix Drum Packs I, II, & III”. These drum packs are a collection of sounds geared towards producer usage. They’ve been heard on Vic Mensa’s Innanet Tape and used on songs by prominent producers like Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox. Landfair and former band members were featured on an Adidas national campaign along side Big Sean and Nicki Minaj. He also played at special performances for Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) at the Chicago Theatre, Rahm Emanuel’s Inauguration in Grant Park, and a Late Night TV performance on Conan O’Brian. In the past 3 years he’s received sponsorships from the famous drum company, Ludwig, Sabian cymbals, Promark drum sticks and Evan’s drum heads by way of D’addario. Aside from contributing to artists songs and touring, Landfair is a DJ. He produces and is teaching hundreds of lessons to aspiring drummers, young and old.

There are currently no Drum Lessons From Stix days scheduled at Music Garage at this moment. We will post any future availability here as well as on our social media platforms. Call us at 312-997-1972 or email us at to sign up once dates are announced!