Having played a bit in my youth, I returned to drumming at the ripe old age of 52. However don’t confuse late starting with lack of enthusiasm. It was more a lack of opportunity.
I began playing again when a friend, who knew that I had done a bit of singing in the ‘70s, asked some work colleagues and myself to put a band together to play at his retirement party. The only problem was - we were short of a drummer!
Luckily, I knew where I could get hold of a drum kit and having always had a good sense of rhythm and timing, I agreed to be the drummer. We had just four weeks to practise! Fortunately the others were all good musicians and the gig went down well.
About the same time, I became involved in a ‘rock shop’, which was led by the world famous bass guitarist Herbie Flowers. His son, Nick and several other respected professional musicians, accompanied him. Herbie and his team were an inspiration to me especially when he made complimentary remarks about my drumming. I was hooked!!.
I practised regularly on an old Gretsch kit which I had bought and re-skinned. I watched videos of the masters and attended as many drum clinics as I could. Colin Woolway led one of these and this was where I first heard of the Drumsense programme. Unbeknown to me, my wife arranged for me to have lessons with him as a birthday present. I benefited greatly from these and continued to have many more. I have always admired Colin’s performance as a drummer and it was the Drumsense programme that took my playing to a different level.
Some three years later at the age of 55 I retired from a 32-year career. I was determined to improve my standard of playing and at last I had the time to dedicate to it. I’d purchased a Yamaha kit from the legendary Dave Mattacks, (DM in the trade) and I felt I owed it to Dave and the kit to be able to play to the best of my ability. I took my skills one stage further and completed a Full Time Diploma in Popular Music Performance (Drums) at the highly acclaimed drum and percussion school, Drumtech. I obtained my Diploma in 2005 and I firmly believe that I would not have achieved this without the initial help of Colin and the Drumsense programme.
I now play many different styles of music and have recently played a number of jazz trios and quartets. Two recent gigs, which were very special for me, were when I accompanied the renowned jazz trumpet virtuoso Janusz Carmello and the celebrated vocalist Emer McParland. Both top class musicians - a fantastic experience.
Another great learning experience was a master class with Rick Latham, famous for his book, Advanced Funk Studies. I have learnt so much from him along with all the other acclaimed drummers whose clinics I have attended. I have yet to come away from a clinic feeling that I hadn’t learnt something new. It never ceases to amaze me how drummers are always keen to share their knowledge and technique with other drummers to enable them to improve their drumming and performance.
Whether you are a beginner or a ‘returner’, I believe the most important thing is to enjoy playing the drums. Whatever your age, if you have the enthusiasm, and can put in the effort, you can improve your drumming with a little help from the Drumsense programme and me!
Remember the four Es
Enthusiasm plus Effort Equals Enjoyment!!
Get in touch – SOON.
Teaching location: Surbiton
Phone 1: 0208 240 1803
Phone 2: 07958 602335