Born in Rochester, NY, Billy's musical journey started out around the age of four when he discovered the piano at his aunt's house. Shortly after that his parents bought an old used piano, put it in their living room, and Billy started taking lessons. By the time he turned eight his musical focus had shifted (much to his parent's dismay) to the drums. "Actually, my fascination with the drums started very early. One of my uncles was a volunteer fireman and he would march with the fire department in all the local parades and my family would always go to watch. I remember being excited by the fact that whenever a marching band paraded by, the drummers were always playing. Even if the rest of the band stopped and just marched, the drummers kept it going." By the time he reached the seventh grade Billy was practicing several hours a day and playing after school with his friends in his first rock band.
It was around the age of fourteen that Billy got his first studio experience which eventually led to him becoming an 'on-call' drummer of sorts for a couple of small local recording studios. "To be honest, it all started because I lived within walking distance of the one of the studios and would go over and just hang out whenever I could. I recorded a few tunes there with my rock band and that led to me being asked to play on some other people's songs. Nobody ever got paid for any of the stuff I played on back then but that didn't matter. I was getting the best hands-on training I could get into the studio world."
During high school Billy's musical opportunities continued to grow as he branched out to fill the roll of timpanist in a local symphony orchestra, played in numerous pit orchestras for local theater groups, as well as beginning to develop his writing skills. Billy also spent a couple of summers playing in jazz workshops led by, GRAMMY Award Winning composer, arranger, and conductor, Jeff Tyzik.
The musical foundation, and pocket, created by a drummer and bass player is crucial both in the studio and live. And, Billy has recorded with some of the best - including Willie Weeks, Dee Murray, and Bob Babbitt.
Billy spent many years living and touring out of Nashville. During his time in Nashville, in addition to studio work, Billy held down the drum chair for, multi-platinum recording artist, Ricky Van Shelton. He has toured with Reba, The Judds, Alabama, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Highway 101, Lee Greenwood, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson and many others. Billy has appeared on several shows for The Nashville Network including Nashville Now (the old Ralph Emery program), The Grand Ole Opry, and Hee Haw as well as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Grammy Awards, Austin City Limits, The Country Music Awards, The American Music Awards, and The Peoples Choice Awards programs.
In 1990, Billy was honored to have feature article written about him in Modern Drummer Magazine.
Click on the magazine cover at the right to view a PDF file of the article.
With 30+ years of professional playing, Billy's experience includes club gigs, orchestral work, studio recording, national and international touring - playing some of the world's greatest venues including Madison Square Garden, Caesar's Palace, The Houston Astrodome, The Universal Amphitheatre (now named the Gibson Ampthitheatre) and The Fox Theater -- along with countless theaters and arenas throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Currently residing in Upstate NY, Billy concentrates his musical efforts on session work, live gigs, writing, clinics, and teaching.
In addition to playing, Billy is a regular contributor to the Drum Forum as the writer of a professional column. The Drum Forum began in late August of 2005 as a replacement for the Drum Center Forum run by Harry Cangany where he was also a professional column contributor before it closed. The new Drum Forum has over 23,000 registered members, countless guest visitors, and continues to grow as one of the premier on-line drum communities.
Do you ave a project, large or small, that needs professionally played and recorded drum tracks?
Billy has been working as a professional studio drummer for over 30 years. Since the advent of digital recording it's no longer necessary for the players on your tracks to reside in the same location. You can have real professional drum tracks on your songs. No more canned drum loops!
The process is simple
Contact Billy by filling out and submitting the Contact Form letting him know a little about your project. Be sure to include a contact phone number for yourself.
Billy will contact you to tak about the details of your project.
You will send the pilot tracks (mp3) to have the drum tracks recorded for.
Billy will record your drums tracks and send you a complete set of Stems that you can import into your DAW for mixing and processing.
You mix the custom-recorded drum tracks into your song(s).
Billy is endorsed by, and exclusively plays equipment from, the following companies:
The "You've Got To Move To Groove" seminar is geared toward advanced high school, rhythm section, students. A typical seminar day consists of 3 or 4 small group clinics where the students are introduced to the concept of "Groove" as it relates to the music. The focus is on musicality and feel rather than playing fast or complex patterns and is taught through example and hands-on experience for each student. The day ends with a large rehearsal session with the full jazz band(s). Here, the students get a chance to implement some of the things they've learned in the small group clinics while carrying the message of the day, "You've Got To Move To Groove" to the entire ensemble.
"Billy Goodness brought an inspiration to Webster Schroeder High School students this past Spring when he spoke and taught about the fundamentals of playing in time. A new motivation from my students has risen to become steady and firm drummers. I am looking forward to working with Billy in the future and having my students have an opportunity to learn from a top-notch professional."
Webster Schroeder High School Band Director
"Billy Goodness is a seasoned pro with great range and extensive experience; he is also a highly effective teacher/clinician. Billy’s presentation at our annual Music Department Convocation covered essential personal and networking skills for working musicians and session players. The students were suitably impressed; Billy’s talk contributed much appreciated energy and focus to the beginning of the academic year."
Professor of Music, Finger Lakes Community College
"Billy Goodness' workshop involved students in a "real life" professional drumming situation in which they played along with a studio created track. Each student was critiqued and encouraged as they attempted to find and keep the groove. Billy emphasized over and over the importance of 'groove' and 'feel' and how the movement of these elements must be felt in the performer's body. Billy's workshop has had a lasting impact on students in Jazz Band and Concert Band at our school."
Jazz Band Director, Webster Thomas High School
Billy is currently accepting Intermediate to Advanced level students.
"My focus, as a drum instructor, is on the music. Its not so much about having the fastest hands or the loudest drums. Its more about having a broad musical understanding and the skills that give you the ability to connect with the other musicians around you - living and playing in the moment."
"My goal is to help each student fulfill his or her own potential as a creative musician. This means providing every student with the opportunity to explore many musical styles and to eventually find their own “voice” on the instrument."
Subjects covered include:
If you are interested in finding out more about Billy's Clinics & Seminars or Private Lessons, please contact him by using the Contact Form.
Here are a few examples of tracks Billy has played on.
Sean Patrick McGraw
Sean Patrick McGraw
Russell Thompkins Jr.
and ... always ready to play!
Simply fill out and submit the form below.