A Drummer is not just for…




The festive season maybe soon upon us but do not forget that drums are not just a seasonal favour; but for life!

Yes, we all understand that what comes with the territory of family obligations, the drums are sometimes relocated to accommodate a tree inside the house or a relatives bedroom for a few days; it is hard to get some drum time in December!

But, what we must not do is let the momentum disappear. One way to keep the home fires burning is to receive or give a drum related gift. It could be some new gear, if you have very nice and wealthy relatives, but ordinary items can do just as much good. The humble book can be one of the best ways to keep up the silent learning but DVD’s, Sticks, a new Album, a practise pad, drum key or even a new spring for your Bass drum pedal can be enough to keep satisfied the drummer within.

One of the main downturns over Christmas can be actual practise. With such a busy month, clocking up decent hours can be a headache. It is vital to remember, and quite often the wrong conclusion, that you need to have physical kit time and anything else is no good. Wrong! Yeah, it’s better to sit behind your drums but that can be difficult for some.

The act of playing is important, of course, but there are other methods to maintain healthy levels of memory, learning and stamina. If you have an electric kit, and thus somewhere to set it up, its near enough quiet and it’s almost as good as the real thing – if you have a high-end one!

If you have no acoustic or electric drums, fear not, there are other ways. My favourite is the practise pad. Not only because its minimal in volume, small (compared to a full kit) and transportable but because you can hone in on those all important rudiments. The practise pad is great for all round development of stick control, weaker hand work and for tightening up those technical skills. Often over looked, it’s a fantastic time to brush up on key areas without the need to set much gear up.

The old classic and often the starting point to most drummers’ birth; the hands and knees. It does have results in working new things out or just simple play along. Not only this, but perhaps spend more time on counting out loud, metronomically speaking! Playing air drums and counting out loud might perhaps look strange from the outside so take the time to use this when you might not be disturbed!

Reading books and listening to music can also be a preferred way to spend Christmas. Well, us drummers should incorporate listening to our favourite drummers, reading books, where notated or not, or just enjoying some music to relax, it all helps broaden the horizon. For an extra mile, why not research some new music to listen to or research a new drummer to watch on YouTube and get some inspiration.

No matter your activity, maintain a healthy balance and stay well over the Winter. Drums are a life long learning activity, professionally or not. We never stop learning and will never reach the end of our playing. We CAN always improve and be the best we can but we will always keep developing as we grow as musicians.

Drums and playing music is our passion. We hope that being a drummer is as much about learning new skills as well as being part of a wider social group.

If you are in need of finding that spark to reignite something, perhaps its been too long, or even if you have never played before there are lessons out there for you.

GhostNote Academy provides Drum lessons from the heart of York.

For more information please fill out the contact form below 🙂



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!! 🙂

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New Year’s Resolution!?

dscn0410What does 2017 have in store for you?

Planning something exciting? Some new way to preoccupy your time or learning a new skill?

To achieve a successful change in lifestyle or a new past time it takes a number of steps to make it work, Here are 6 to help you on your way..

The first point to think about is to pick just one thing. There is no need to try and shoot at multiple targets and miss, select one and make sure you do it well and satisfy your own progress.

Secondly, make a good plan of what is necessary and what might be needed. It could be that your new venture might cost more than you think!!! A third consideration would be to anticipate problems and so developing patience would be key here. Most new skills take time to learn and perfect so establishing a reasonable learning curve would help in achieving goals and show positive results.

A fourth point, one which is commonly overlooked, is to pick a start date, or even a length of time to complete certain activities or goals. Don’t pick random dates and fail to prepare adequately; time and again some negative experiences make a resolution short! Linking this to point number five; expect to fail! Not everything will go your way, some things take a lot more control and discipline, therefore, embrace the failures and provide this as a catalyst to succeed even further next time!

The last point, or the sixth on the list, is to just go for it! At whatever stage, at whatever cost, ability, access or age, most new choices can be daunting but there is always a way. It does not always have to cost the earth or for you to be Gods gift from the beginning. Take a chance on yourself and dedicate some time to do something you want to do and make 2017 the year that you want it to be!

At GhostNote Academy we can provide all of the elements to achieve all those outlined above. We can work with you to keep track on your targets, to develop a key skill or even just to get you started. We have all the equipment you need, playing and learning out of Melrose Yard Studios on a full studio drum kit, there is no outlying cost of purchasing all manner of gear. There are also exclusive opportunities to receive or claim promotional offers on lessons to assist on saving money further, just don’t forget your hearing protection!!

Of course, there will be times when you feel that your not making progress; indeed, many drummers (myself included) would consider themselves to be continually learning new skills, its just an evolution of your sound! Despair not, we have the experience and the patience needed to underline those achievements and take the time to work on those stubborn tricks that make you scorn your sticks! So make a note in your diary/calendar, pick a suitable date in the new year and make it count!

We are excited to start an amazing new year and hope you will join us too!

Happy New Year!! 🙂





25% off in October


October is generally the month we go back to learning, back to uni, school, college etc so why not take advantage of this autumn offer and get 25% off all drum lessons for a whole month!!

Book a 1 to 1 lesson for all existing or new students and pay £15 for your hour lesson!

If you’re new to drums, don’t worry, we can take care of your drumming apprehension with our relaxed and easy paced lessons to get you playing.

So take advantage and get in contact, we’d love to hear from you!

Happy drumming 🙂