Dom Famularo

“Dreams lead to innovations. Innovations lead to a better world.”

It’s that simple.

“I intend to be the greatest architect that ever lived,” Frank Lloyd Wright announced at the beginning of his career. His What if… inspired his why not.

So Frank Lloyd Wright broke all the rules. Many of his structures, now seen as brilliant masterpieces, were in violation of existing building codes when they were constructed. But Wright wasn’t interested in what architecture was. He was interested it what it could be.

Which is why many people today believe that he had achieved that lofty dream he so boldly announced. And because of it, his ideas on light and space will influence generations of architects.

So if you’re looking for rules to follow. Here are the two that make the most sense:
Rule No. 1: There are no rules
Rule No. 2: When in doubt, refer to Rule No. 1

Know More About Dom

Many drummers teach lessons, play in drum clinics, and lead master classes, but no one does it as much as Dom Famularo. With inspirations such as Buddy Rich and Jim Chapin, Dom has led a life full of inspiration and knowledge to the drum community. He was the first ever western drummer to teach out east in Asia, and continues to play for clinics across the world. Dom’s incredible ability to reach people and communicate, mixed with his sense of humor, provides him with an ability to teach every drummer from any style. His achievements as a drummer go beyond that of teachings, being a professional drummer since the age of 12.

Dom started drumming early in his life with his two older brothers. He eventually moved onto other bands, where he realized that he wanted to be a drummer for the rest of his life. Dom always had an outgoing personality, which made him an easy teacher to listen to. He knew right away that he would be a drum instructor.

Dom has quite the education to back him up. Starting as early as he could, he has taken drum lessons from many professionals. These include lessons from drum masters like Joe Morello, Jim Chapin, and Al Miller. He spent many years studying drum rudiments, theory, jazz and other techniques from these drumming greats. In the year of 1976, Dom attended the Dick Grove music school in California. Here he furthered his drumming knowledge under the direction of many drumming instructors.

Dom is best known for his work as an instructor and educator. When he was starting out, he maintained an average of 40 – 50 students a week. Eventually, he took his teachings abroad as he started leading more and more drum clinics. His popularity grew as a drumming instructor as he played at Percussive Arts Society Convention (PASIC), Percussion Institute of Technology (PIT) in Hollywood, California, KOSA Camp in Vermont USA, North Texas State University, the Graham Cole Percussion Camp in England, and Drummers Camp in the Black Forest of Germany. This is just a small sample of the many clinics he has played.

In addition to instructing, Dom has played for many recordings and live performances. He was a guest performer at the first ever Buddy Rich Big Band tribute concert. Dom has also played for B.B. King, Lionel Hampton, Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones), T Lavitz (The Dixie Dregs), and the Louie Bellson Big Band. Although he has played for many top artists and groups, Dom does not rely on this as his claim to fame.

Dom has played on a wide variety of drum sets in his lifetime. Currently, he endorses Mapex drums, and plays a sparkle finish Mapex Saturn maple drum kit. Dom does not play two bass drums, however he is a master at the double bass pedals. As for cymbals, Dom plays a large variety of Sabian HHX series cymbals. Ever since he can remember, Dom has endorsed Vic Firth drum sticks, as they are his favorite type. Dom also endorses Evans drum heads, and Shure microphones and in ear monitors.

If you haven’t heard of Dom Famularo yet, you may want to take the time to check him out. His incredible ability to teach will inspire any drummer. Being a master of the Moeller method and the double bass, Dom has a special place in the new music scene today. Plus, with teachings from Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, and Ronnie Benedict, Dom sure has a lot of experience behind him. Dom plans on teaching the drums until the end of his life, following in the footsteps of Jim Chapin.

Dom Famularo Picture 1


PULSE Magazine Feature – When Dom Famularo “hugs the cat,” the drum gods hug him back.

Percussio Diem

When Dom Famularo “hugs the cat,” the drum gods hug him back.

Author: Drew Moss | Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Despite numerous requests, Dom Famularo insisted on flipping his drumstick through our headline.
Despite numerous requests, Dom Famularo insisted on flipping his drumstick through our headline.

Dom Famularo is a smiling, swirling, stick twirling supernova. Between the frequent drum clinics and speaking engagements that have him globetrotting from Port Jefferson to Peru and his bustling teaching practice, Famularo reaches thousands of drummers every year with his world class chops, ebullient personality and message of pure positivity. The 61-year-old Famularo works out of the drum school/studio/bunker he’s tucked into the side of a hill in his expansive backyard. It’s from this space that he operates as a premier drum educator.

As such, Famularo is a proponent of the Moeller method, a drumming technique adapted from Civil War drummers by Sanford A. Moeller and popularized throughout most of the 20th century by modern drumming patriarch Jim Chapin. This hard-earned method encourages a softly rounded arm/hand posture that can be described as “hugging the cat,” which allows the hands do less while the drumsticks do more. Once mastered, the Moeller method leads to the holy trinity of percussive nirvana: More speed, more accuracy and more energy. And energy is Famularo’s primary export.

“Every day to me is extremely exciting,” Famularo exhorted as he detailed his endless projects, travels and teachings. “I live my life with true enthusiasm. As long as I keep feeding myself knowledge and inspiration, I keep going. I think I got another twenty years in me.”

Over time, Famularo honed his craft, hung around the scene and became an integral part of the drumming elite. While his might not be a household name, Famularo holds his place at the fore of the drumming brotherhood. “[Long Island drum teaching legend] Al Miller introduced me to Buddy Rich. That opened up to a whole different world. I met Carl Palmer, Steve Gadd, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones… all drumming royalty. Ellington would be [backstage], Count Basie. Buddy was connected with Sinatra. You got to meet these incredible talents. So the passing of lineage to me, that’s what’s thrilling. And the Long Island thing was a big part of it.”

Famularo has shared more than a few licks with many of Long Island’s best drummers. He’s helped many of them on their journeys and his take on this uniquely suburban/percussive phenomenon has real roots.  For Famularo, it simply comes down to space.

“Long Island has access to New York City, so we can hear the greatest musicians in the world,” Famularo said. “Then we can come back and have room at home to practice drums. It’s not tenement or apartment living. We’re not cramped and restricted by sound limitations. You can go in the basement and woodshed!”

But as a teacher, drumming is only half of Famularo’s story. What he’s really sharing through all this shake, rattle and roll is his worldview, one that evokes the teachings of self-empowerment gurus like Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle. Famularo’s mantra is blindingly simple and readily accessible.

“If you put your mind into your bliss and you live in that reality, then anyone that steps into the circle of your bliss gets it,” he said. “There’s no fear. There’s no ego. You’re just pushing your abilities as far as you can with the tools and the gifts that you have. You have to allow it to happen. You have to believe.”
The Long Island Drum Tree
Looking up into the branches of the mammoth Long Island drum tree, everyone and everything can be heard from the intricate math rock of Michael Portnoy (Dream Theatre/Long Beach) to the psychedelic polyrhythmia of Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead/Lawrence) to the early hard rock thunderfunk of Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Brooklyn) to the original sweat and swing of jazz giant Roy Haynes (Miles Davis, John Coltrane/Baldwin). To the casual listener, he might not be the best known, but perched in the middle of it all is Famularo—Port Jefferson’s high priest of the paradiddle.

Drew Moss
Author: Drew Moss
Drew Moss is an SAT/ACT specialist, journalist, filmmaker and musician. He teaches film and writing at Hofstra University and Adelphi University. He lives in Long Beach, NY with his wife and children. See his work @

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