Christian Pepin, Drums & Percussion Educator
Christian Pepin teaches at Bananas at Large Fridays and Saturdays and would love to start teaching you! If you’d like to get started on percussion or drums with Christian, he is offering a “Buy 3 Get the 4th FREE” Promotion*.
How did you get started in music?
"Man... That's a tough question! My whole family are musicians! My moms side of the family all sing and my dad side all play some sort of percussion instruments. I was the only one to start off with drums, so I guess I was born into the business right off the bat. Before I could walk, I had a pair of sticks in my hands."
How long have you been playing?
"I've been playing professionally for about 20yrs now. I started my first gig when I was close to 10 yrs old."
What artist inspired you when you were first learning to play?
"My main inspiration to playing would have to be my grandfather Papo Pepin. For years, they secretly didn't tell me he was a such a big deal. He is a legend at this point. I've been able to travel the world and every time someone tells me how my grandfather was able to inspire them in so many ways. My grandfather has recorded with some of the top Latin Artists in the world. That alone gave me the momentum to strive and want to be like him in a way. But I never saw him like that... I just saw him as 'Gramps'."
What is your favorite genre to play and why?
"That's a tough question... I love to play Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Caribbean and Latin Jazz Music although I'm known to record more world music. That means ANYTHING really and that is difficult in my opinion."
What is your favorite song to play right now?
"Sadly... I don't have one...I love everything!"
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
"I love teaching! I love watching students faces when they finally get something they've been working on for weeks! Seeing progress in every way, whether it is through music or in life. Music is truly an amazing gift that anyone can apply to their everyday life. It has saved mine for sure."
Are you in any bands? If so, what are they?
"I'm currently in way too many bands! I have my own salsa band called 'Orquesta Bembé' and I'm in about 10 other salsa bands here in the Bay Area. I also sub for a few American and International touring bands as well when the need arises."
Do you have any fun stories to tell or tidbits to share?
"The one I can definitely remember that happened a few years ago... on our way to Bolivia, the plan was that we were supposed to fly in... all of a sudden as we were walking towards the plane, it's left engine just fell on the ground! It was a pretty interesting experience for sure. Good times..."
What is the best advice you can give to a beginning player who is just starting?
"Stay humble. Work hard and LOVE what you do. Build a good work ethic and listen to those that have done it. When you feel like giving up, go even harder. Practice more and dedicate yourself to your craft. I promise it will pay off."
What is the best advice you would give to an established player?
"Stay humble! Don't lose sight of your goals and always learn to grow and study new styles and material."
What is your “gigging” instrument and equipment and why?
"I use Pearl Timbales and Bells, Pearl Elite Congas and Bongos. Zildjian Cymbals: I love my El Sabor 17"... the shimmer, clarity, and versatility in that cymbal is amazing! Cympads Cymbal enhancers are great and for sticks I use Promark .500 Mambo sticks for Latin music because of the weight and durability and the .595 for playing on the drumset. I like them because the weight feels pretty even between a 5A and a 5B. Evans Drumheads are my go-to heads for the drumset."
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