Left hand, right hand, kick..

DSCN0605To be a great drummer is to have balance, time, groove and independence.

It goes without saying, whether you are new or a pretty established player, working on these core principles can be a statement of how far an individual can be judged, for most of us this is a state of constant learning.

But, that does not mean that we don’t possess the attributes to be a great drummer, after all, individuality and our own level of ability makes us who we are; the more interesting and different a drummer plays can often go a lot further.

So as standards, we probably unfairly compare ourselves to our heroes or influences. Personally, I like to think of music as a whole and not just an individual instrument. It’s a totally different experience when isolating the drum tracks to a favourite song! I absolutely do pay more attention to what the drums are doing, whats been played, what beats or fills are being used, but I am brought to a drummer by the song in general. Therein lies the problem!

Comparisons can have a limiting effect, especially on those who are new and aspiring. There are naturally a lot of variables in trying to play like our favourite drummer, anything from the drums used, the room it was recorded in, the producer doing the recording to the player themselves. To replicate isn’t impossible but you are you and not them. I still don’t really understand when I hear things like,  I want to be able to play just like Neil Peart, Dave Grohl, Mike Portnoy, Travis Barker, Lars Ulrich etc. Why? Although I have many influences and enjoy listening and getting inspiration from these drummers, I want to develop my own style and my own sound.

As a drum educator I believe in developing your sound, establishing what you need to get better and together we can learn from each other and make real progress. I believe in setting standards and achieving goals, but I am interested in musicality, natural playing and accompaniment.

There is a place for grading and taking performance and instrument exams. For those wishing to pursue a line of work in music, those wishing to go to college and study music or perhaps even just as a personal achievement, I am a big endorser for learning through Rock School or Trinity Guildhall. I have taken graded exams myself and am proud to have got to a level where I am but I don’t think I will ever stop learning.

Thinking of learning the drums can be a daunting prospect, like with anything new, there is a lot to think about and a lot to learn. For drums, developing muscle memory is a process than cannot be shortened. It takes time and patience to get comfortable with some techniques and to harness speed. As its often said but often overlooked, start SLOW!

Being balanced with both hands, having sound technique, pushing 3 way into 4 way coordination, developing independence and control  and having a strong sense of timing are at the heart of drumming.

Learning to play has to fit in with you and what YOU want to achieve. Whether this is unlocking how to play certain songs, for your own enjoyment, to understand how to use better technique, how to be more comfortable in your own ability, perhaps with your band, achieving grade 8 or just wanting to be a weekend hobbyist – there is no right or wrong.

Whatever your need, whatever your wish or direction playing the drums, Ghostnote Academy can provide bespoke lessons tailored to your specific goals.

So give it a try..pick up those sticks!! 🙂

Like us on Facebook

Share your drum pics on Instagram

 

 

©ghostnoteacademy.com2017

Advertisements

Musicians’ Union

musicians-union-brandAs a full member of the Musicians’ Union I take pride in not only using the union to get the latest in teaching practices and methods but I also have all the resources available in providing the best and well researched music education.

By having the support of the union I have an ever growing source of new material from other members to guest speakers and posts, taking the Musicians’ Union on this teaching journey delivers the most up to date information.

As well as the obvious benefits, the union also provides liability insurance, disclosure and barring service checks and additional learning in child protection in music education.

Taking the welfare and safety of my students is of paramount importance, providing music learning while offering piece of mind for both student and learners families is at the heart of what GHOSTNOTE ACADEMY aims to achieve.

Music is fun and learning to play an instrument should be happy, enjoyable and safe.

So why not take advantage of exciting, new lessons? From one drummer to another..

 

©ghostnoteacademy2016

Brand Vs Technique

SONY DSC
Mike Portnoy

Does brand make a difference?

Is it the sound, look, make or representing artists that make us choose what we like or not like to play?

Is it really all that important about the “gear”, does a price tag make a difference or are we just sucked into the whole advertising world and how its presented to us?

I am a self confessed drum gear junkie, or at least I would be even more so if my family allowed it!

There is something special about our favourite brand or model of drum paraphernalia, we all have our reasons, yet at the heart of the issue is playing, whether in a band on on our own. Personally I agree that technique has a lot to do with sound, and this is echoed by many players, teachers and artists. Sure there are certain brands that perhaps have a better projection, deepness, decay or whatever but there is more to this than just Labels.

It is important to remember that behind many great players and all the shiny drums and dazzling stacks of cymbals is someone who has worked and improved their technique over many long years of practise. This is no coincidence, and this is nothing new. Many people take lessons to drive a car but this doesn’t mean we can drive Formula 1 cars and compete in races!

Developing your skills and “chops” takes a lot of work, combining muscle memory, fitness, stamina and control; its not something that happens overnight.

As much as our principle makers of drums and cymbals is an identity and important to us, its also important to remember that having plenty of flashy stuff is great but if it takes away from performance its a waste of time. I learned to play from having a Snare drum and Hi hats only and had to wait to add a full kit in time. Though this wasn’t a conventional way to learn, it not only helped me appreciate individual drums more and what they do but also an important lesson on what you can do with just 2 drum/cymbals (as well as the financial obligation with buying a drum kit).

Having a drum kit is more affordable today, an electric set up even cheaper, but as long as those core foundations are set early we don’t loose sight of the important goals; what our job is and how we interact with other musicians.

I have been playing with other musicians for years, I have been in bands since I was 13 years old and have gained experience that takes many years to achieve. Having fun and playing music is one of the best feelings and one of the most satisfying experiences, being a drummer is a big reward and its still the best seat in the house!

Lessons can open doors, they can teach you and the teacher more important styles and disciplines that could otherwise be overlooked. I have had lessons and enjoyed the time greatly, through commitments with work and family those lessons tailed off but I’m never far away from what I was taught and will hopefully pop in for some catch up lessons down the line.

So, there’s no time to loose, contact your local school or teacher and get out there and get learning! There is much work to do but its not a chore when its something we have passion for.

There’s no time like the present!

 

 

GhostNote Academy ©2016

 

Pointing in the right direction..

york-city-centre-signs

Drums were the very first instrument used apart from the human voice. In fact drums have been part of our DNA all along.

Whether you’re new or just starting out, beneath everyone, there is the capacity for rhythm and coordination, most us can recognise a beat or keep time in various forms.

The drums are an instrument that anyone can enjoy but to be able to have an understanding and a command of different techniques it takes time and patience.

Starting out is never easy, the early days can be frustrating and confidence can be low. Every drummer out there has experienced this, from the greats like John Bonham and Neil Peart to Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, but with time and dedication its possible to overcome such obstacles and reach your potential.

At GHOSTNOTE ACADEMY, we cater for those individuals who are new to drums or have picked some skills but need pointing in the right direction. We offer lessons that can combine theory, technique and practical disciplines all on full or part drum kits. Using a high standard of equipment in bespoke sound proof rooms at Melrose Yard Studios, there is plenty of space to make progress and lots of noise!

We are based in the heart of York City center, a stones throw from Clifford’s Tower and the Shambles, where equipment and facilities are all provided.

So, if you’re looking for drum lessons and  want to start something exciting in a brand new drum school then don’t hesitate to get in contact!

Melrose Yard Studios

ghostnoteblack