Dave Stark was born and raised in New York. From a very early age, music was something that drew him in. Not baseball or football or any other sport, but MUSIC was what interested him. It all seemed so magical. Dave’s musical journey started when he got a guitar at age 5 and started taking lessons and learned to read music. His cousins in New Jersey had a basement full of instruments but he was drawn to the drums every single time he visited. He was hooked from the very first notes and at age 7, started his formal education on drums. Growing up on Long Island, he had a wealth of great teachers to study from, and he took full advantage of that opportunity. Some of the teachers he was blessed to study with included Jim Chapin, Dom Famularo, Al Miller, Franke Malabe, Gary Chaffee, Gary Chester, John Ramsey, and Alan Dawson. After attending Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, Dave returned to NY to continue his studies and entered the NYC playing scene. He studied with every great drummer who he could get a lesson with and quickly filled up his calendar with sessions and gigs. Now highly in demand,it didn't take long before Dave was playing around New York City and Long Island 7 nights a week backing up various bands and artists. Back in NY is where he also started teaching, first at the Long Island Drum center, and then at his own music school on Long Island and NYC. In 1988 while at a NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants) in California, Dave was approached by the original ddrum company based out of Stockholm, Sweden (Clavia SE) to become a clinician for them and their electronic drums and triggers. He was soon traveling the world doing clinics for them. Shortly after in 1989 he was approached by Zildjian to be one of their artists and his career was now in full bloom. Last year Dave celebrated 30 years as a Zildjian Artist (in 2020, Dave felt it was a time to change and signed on as an artist with Sabian Cymbals). Besides gigging and sessions around NYC and the surrounding areas, he embraced the fact that his reputation as a teacher was being spread by his busy schedule and travel within the drumming industry.
With over 35 years of teaching and gigging experience, he has also become a much sought after teacher and clinician teaching many top pros who seek out his advice, guidance and mentoring. Dave has a long list of very accomplished students now making their livings by playing, teaching and recording. He also has students who have gone on to have very successful careers in other areas within the music industry. Dave's lessons and clinics focus on helping students discover what it is that's holding them back in their technique and reading skills, and then help them overcome that. Dave also specializes in advanced rhythms and the understanding of them by breaking down into the simplest of forms. He's put together a very successful program which guides students (and parents of students) in how to navigate the many different careers offered within the music industry. There are many different paths one can take and not everyone is aware of them. Dave has often said that his career took many different turns that he never saw coming back when he was practicing and taking lessons as a kid.
His articles have been published in Modern Drummer, by the Percussive Arts Society, 21st Century Drummer as well several other publications inside and outside of the music industry. Dave has performed clinics at The Collective School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Musicians Institute, for numerous college music departments, and at music stores/schools around the globe. He has been a private drum set instructor for several colleges and universities from NY down to Florida (where he now resides). Dave is currently President of the Florida Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. He is also serves internationally as a board member on the Education Committee for The Percussive Arts Society, where he had previously served on the Drum Set Committee. Dave is an artist-endorser for the following companies: Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, Prologix Percussion, Solomon Mics and Humes and Berg.
Dave's long-awaited book will be published and available in 2021. Stay tuned to the blog on this page for updates!