Drum Set

  • Stick technique & rudiments (snare drum)
  • Rock & Funk: basics
  • Jazz: New Orleans, Swing & Bop
  • Brushwork
  • Theory, reading, chart studies
  • Latin Drum Set (Brasil & Cuba)


  • Cuban school
  • Floating-hand technique (manoteo, pescadito)
  • Sound production technique and articulation
  • Traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms
  • Rhythms of popular Latin-American dance music
  • Stylistic soloing
  • Playing with two, three, and four drums
  • Clave and timeline patterns (bell, cáscara)
  • Brazilian rhythms and Pop grooves


  • Cuban school
  • Martillo and repique
  • Salsa- and conjunto style
  • Stylistic soloing
  • Clave & cáscara
  • Campana (Bell Patterns)
  • Güíro (Danzón & Cha-Cha-Chá)


  • Cuban school
  • Baqueteo & Danzón
  • Mambo & Salsa
  • Charanga style
  • Fill-ins (Rellenos) and cierres
  • Stylistic soloing
  • Clave
  • Stick technique
  • Reading, chart studies


  • Havana style
  • Okónkolo, itótele & iyá (individually)
  • Rumbitas, oru seco, toques especiales
  • Stroke- and muffling technique
  • Liturgical background information
  • Selected chants
  • Clave


  • Bembé, Güíro style
  • Machete del Songo (Oscar Valdés style)
  • General technical and rhythmical exercises
  • Guataca

Rhythmics (musical)

  • For musicians of all classes of instruments incl. dancers
  • Rhythm and meter
  • The vocabulary of Afro-American rhythmics: "rhythmic cells"
  • Sylistic devices of rhythmical extrapolation, variation, and improvisation
  • Up-beats, off-beats, and syncopation
  • Duplets, triplets, quadruplets und hemiolas
  • Rhythmical re-layering
  • Rhythmic notation


Dates and prices by appointment, 10-12 participants max.

Weekend workshop "Rumba"

  • Yambú, Guaguancó (tradicional), Columbia
  • Salidor (tumbadora) & tres-dos (tres-golpes, segundo/a): ride patterns and variations
  • Havana- and Matanzas style
  • Clave, palitos & shékere (maruga, maracas)
  • Quinto: basic ride and soloing
  • Patterns for two and three to four congas

Weekend workshop "Bembé"

  • Bembé bell pattern (6/8), guataca
  • Various versions and their mula- and cachimbo parts
  • Caja: Basic Ride Patterns und Solistik
  • Basic patterns for shékere (Güíro)
  • Conga: basic rides and soloing (Güíro style)
  • Basic rhythmical exercises over the Bembé bell pattern
  • Bembé rhythms for two and three to four congas
  • Iyesá (Yesa)
  • Selected chants, clave

Weekend workshop "Salsa"

  • Congas: tumbao básico for one and two drums
  • Bongos: martillo, campana, basic repique (as far as possible)
  • Timbales: cascareo & campaneo, cymbal (platillo), abanicos und pick-ups
  • "Small percussion": maracas and güíro
  • Clave
  • Polyrhythmic interplay in the different form sections in Son or Guaracha
  • Bolero-Chá (Bolero rítmico, Ritmo Bon-Bon)
  • (optional: Guaguancó, Mozambique, Bomba, Plena, Merengue etc.)
  • Feasible as band-coaching program (rhythm section)

Weekend workshop "Batá"

  • Generic toques: Yakotá - Ñongo - Chachálokafún
  • Variations, conversations and transitions
  • Okónkolo, itótele & iyá (individually)
  • Stroke technique
  • Clave and selected song material
  • Liturgical background information
  • (optional: toques from the oru seco or selected toques especiales)
  • Participants have to supply one or two aditional batá sets.
Photo of Thomas Altmann playing drums
Photo: Marc Schultz-Coulon

Teaching Experience

I am looking back on more than 35 years of teaching percussion and rhythmics, including workshops and engagements for the Arbeitskreis für Schulmusik, the Institut für Lehrerfortbildung, the Musikschule Hannover, UniDanza Hamburg, the Steptanzschule Hoofers, Musikschule Armin Schneider, the Hamburger Konservatorium in Blankenese, the Hamburg School of Music and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg.

Although my priorities shift naturally according to the temporary requirements of my profession, I have seriously studied, publicly played and taught each one of the listed percussion instruments for extended periods of time.

In addition to instrumental instruction, my topics include rhythm theory and Jazz- and drumset history.

Lesson Terms

  • Price for 1 hour (60 min.) private lesson: € 40,-
  • Feel free to inquire prices for groups /classes, multiple lessons, workshops and clinics.
  • Lesson frequency by appointment. As usual, appointed lesson dates may be cancelled free of charge 24 hours in advance.

The Classroom Section