Learn Drums with José Cortijo: from Passion to Pro drummer

Learn drums with Jose Cortijo, seasoned drummer, percussionist and music educator

In the ever-evolving world of music, the quest to learn drums has captivated the hearts of aspiring musicians worldwide. Today, we dive deep into the journey of a celebrated percussionist and educator, José Cortijo, whose rhythmic wisdom has shaped the percussive landscape from Barcelona to Germany. Our conversation unveils the essence of drumming, entrepreneurial ventures, and invaluable tips for those yearning to master the drums.

The Rhythmic Journey: An Interview with José Cortijo

How did your musical journey begin, and what inspired you to pursue percussion? “I hail from Barcelona, Spain, and moved to Germany in 1981. My foray into music was quite accidental. At 15, I received a Santana record as a birthday gift from my grandmother. The rhythm, the energy… it was magnetic. That record, despite my grandmother’s unfamiliarity with such music, became my percussion primer in an era devoid of resources like YouTube or instructional books.”

In an age dominated by technology, how do you blend traditional percussion teaching with modern innovations? “With the advent of digital tools, I ventured into apps and electronic drum projects, like #percussionways. These innovations aren’t just tools; they’re extensions of the traditional methods, allowing for a more dynamic and accessible learning experience. My teaching philosophy revolves around preparation and personalized lesson planning, which technology has made more efficient and impactful.”

Check out the complete interview with José Cortijo on our YouTube channel

Ready to elevate your drumming? Drumap offers over 150,000 drum samples and rhythms, making creating and sharing your beats a breeze. Dive into the world of rhythm with expert tips!

Entrepreneurial Spirit Cortijo’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his multifaceted projects. From authoring books to developing apps and teaching at the university level, he juggles various roles with ease. His approach is meticulous, planning each lesson with the foresight of a master educator. “If you’re not preparing, you’re not teaching right,” Cortijo asserts. This philosophy underpins his success in managing multiple projects and his deep commitment to education.

Learn drums with Jose Cortijo, seasoned drummer and music educator

Cortijo’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his multifaceted projects.

“If you’re not preparing, you’re not teaching right”

Technical Tips to Learn Drums

Discover Your Passion: Cortijo emphasizes the abundance of resources available today. “If you’re passionate about a particular percussion instrument, pursue it. The internet is flooded with tutorials and apps to guide you,” he advises. Your passion is the compass that will guide your learning journey.

Set Clear Goals: Understanding your goal is crucial. Whether you aim to play in a drum circle or aspire to professional greatness, your objective will determine your path. “Define your goal early on,” Cortijo suggests, highlighting the importance of tailored learning paths.

Instrument Selection: For those in Germany looking to play pop percussion, Cortijo recommends starting with the conga and tambourine due to their versatility and the fundamental stick technique they require. “Congas offer a seamless transition into band settings, offering flow and rhythm essential for any ensemble,” he explains.

Elevate Your Drumming Skills with Drumap Ready to transform how you write, share, and explore drum notes? Download Drumap, the Grammy Academy awarded music app, and join a vibrant community of drummers and percussionists. With Drumap, you have access to:

🎶 Over 150,000 drum samples and percussive rhythms.
📝 Tools to create and share your drum beats effortlessly.
💡 Inspiration and tips from master drummers across all genres.

Persistence and Practice: Mastering the drums is a journey of continuous learning and practice. “Embrace every opportunity to play, and don’t shy away from challenges. It’s through persistent practice that you’ll find your unique rhythm,” Cortijo encourages.

Community and Learning: Engage with the drumming community. Learning from peers and experienced drummers enriches your understanding and opens doors to new techniques and styles. “The drumming community is vast and welcoming. Immerse yourself in it,” Cortijo advises.


José Cortijo’s story is not just about learning drums; it’s a narrative of passion, resilience, and innovation. Aspiring drummers have much to gain from his wisdom, from the importance of a strong start to embracing technology and understanding the significance of goal-setting in their musical journey. Whether you’re taking your first steps or looking to deepen your drumming prowess, remember Cortijo’s words: the possibilities are endless, and your passion is the key to unlocking them. So, keep the beat, and let your drumming journey unfold.

As we conclude this enlightening conversation with José Cortijo, it’s clear that to learn drums is to embark on a never-ending journey of discovery, technique, and self-expression. Cortijo’s journey from the streets of Barcelona to the digital realms of music education underscores the universal truth that with passion and persistence, anyone can become a maestro of the drums.

Dream of mastering the drums? With Drumap’s 150,000+ samples and rhythms, plus tools to craft and share your beats, you’re set for greatness. Get inspired by pros!

Get ready to take your drumming to the next level. Get expert tips on coordination, drumming techniques, improvisation and more in the post titled “Charting Your Drumming Journey”. / Written by: Raul Rodrigues: CEO of Drumap, Drummer, Music School Director and Mariano Steimberg: Drum Professor at Berklee College of Music, Valencia Campus.


Jose Cortijo’s web page and Instagram account

Pictures by Edgar Maier & Kalle Linkert

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get free groovy content to inspire and improve your beats