A lifelong working musician, Andy is in high demand as both an instructor and player in his native Seattle. With a steady student base and a consistent performance schedule, Andy has made music his full time job. Proficient in many styles, he is a multi faceted musician who plays drums, keyboard, bass, DJ’s and produces music. He is co founder and drummer of Seattle’s premier afrobeat band Cascadia ’10, drummer in psychedelic synth band Afrocop, drummer with singer songwriter Michael Stegner, and bassist in prog rock band Nosretep (with fellow SDS instructors Mike Peterson, and Igor Abuladze). He has released CD’s and vinyl (yes vinyl) with his group FCS North in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.A, worked on remixes for a variety of hip hop and electronic artists, and has performed in such notable venues as the House of Blues in Chicago, Nokia Theater, and CBGB’s in New York, Seattle’s EMP, S.A.M., The Showbox, The Triple Door, and even at the top of the Space Needle! Andy has had the good fortune of performing music with many well respected musicians including Issac Brock (Modest Mouse), Reggie Watts, John Wicks, Graham Haynes, Eyvind Kang, Wayne Horvitz, Bill Horist, and more. Teaching at the Seattle Drum School since 2004 has allowed him to further develop his craft as a mentor and guide for aspiring musicians, as well as seasoned players looking to expand their ability.
How lessons with Andy work:
Lessons are tailored to suit the individual student’s needs, with an emphasis on providing the skills necessary to
becoming a great musician. You can expect to learn drumming fundamentals such as technique, reading,
transcription, rudiments, and composition. Students are expected to bring a folder for music, and practice each
week in preparation for the following lesson. Progress is charted weekly, and goals are set. Also expect to have
fun! Andy has an easy going personality, and a passion for music that makes him an entertaining, inspiring guy to study with.
What others have said about Andy:
“An Excellent Drum Teacher”
I have been taking drum lessons with Andy Sells on and off since I was in eighth grade (age thirteen) and a
complete beginner. Six years later I am currently nineteen, and while I am a much more confident drummer, I am
still learning alot. Not only is he a cool, friendly and easygoing guy, but he is an expert drummer. He can play any style extremely well, and to make it even better he can help teach you those different styles with ease. He pushes you but not in an aggressive way, he instead talks to you finds out where you’re at and makes you want to practice every single day and believe me he’ll know if you haven’t practiced. As someone who has been with him as both a beginning and an experienced musician I can confidently say he will find ways to challenge you, guide you and help improve your skills.
Alex Sanchez Stern
“Patient Inspiring Teacher”
Andy has been been teaching our 11 year old son drums for several years now. Andy’s technical expertise is
phenomenal, but he also really has a knack for keeping things challenging but fun. He’s been a major inspiration to our son!
“A one in a million teacher”
Of all the music teachers I’ve had for the various instruments I’ve played, Andy was by far the best. His style of
teaching is different than any other teacher because he focuses on different types of music and unconventional
drum beats. While in the lesson, you may think he’s throwing random pieces of music at you, like eccentric African songs, but after time it’s easy to see how it all connects to relevant music and definitely helps to better
understand and appreciate any music you may be into. Andy never gave up on me even when I wanted to give up
on myself a couple of times. He always pushed me to do my best, and was still a cool guy that introduced me to a whole new world of music.
“Simply awesome teacher, drummer, and musician”
I took lessons from Andy here and there, never consistently due to my fluctuating financial status, which made
Andy a great teacher for me. Completely understanding of my situation, he made sure to focus my lessons on what will help me that moment and in the long run, and techniques to expand my view of drumming while taking lessons and while away from them. He listens ,he’s patient, and can correct a problem pretty quickly, plus he’s an awesome drummer!
Ginnie from The Valkyries
While taking lessons from Andy Sells, I found a competent teacher who was knowledgable and focused. His
communication of musical ideas was solidly backed by examples from current and legendary musicians. He made
learning coordination for music understandable and accessible. Having been in the music community of Seattle for many years, Andy has earned the respect of his fellow musicians by being stellar. A dedicated musician.
-Bill Cole, drummer Feral Children
Some reviews of Andy’s drumming:
Andy Sells’ drumming and percussion astound. His click track comes from some kind of astral
metronome. Dancing on, around, underneath the beat, he then subtly or dramatically shifts to
another. Or just switches to a different kit altogether. This is particularly effective on songs like
“11:11” and “All That’s Now In Effect (R.F.I.D.).”
-Review by Scott Burgess
Published in West Coast Performer Magazine
Outside FCS North’s rehearsal studio, you might guess the rapid-fire percussion is coming from a computerized drum machine. An electronic device containing a sequencer that can be programmed to arrange and alter digitally stored drum sounds. When the heavy door opens, you realize it’s a human drum machine, Sells.
-Tom Scanlon, Seattle Times
FCS North boast another one of Seattle’s many great drummers in Andy Sells, and tonight the fascinating
instrumental band celebrates the release of its latest effort, Vocabulary.
-Kathleen Wilson, The Stranger