As one year closes and another is just round the corner, I feel this is the perfect opportunity to reflect on your drumming, your achievements and goals and look forward to opportunities with your drumming.
Some of you may be receiving a drum kit for Christmas and the drumheads may need tuning. There are some fantastic online videos about this subject. I thought I would add my take on this as a beginner’s guide to tuning.
This month is all about the drum workshops ‘Summer Drum Club’ taking place next month. This is a fun, informal drum workshop learning in small groups a variety of drum skills including setting up a drum kit, famous drummers, soloing, groove patterns, recording and much more.
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What we offer…
Sevenoaks Drum School is a drum teaching hub led by professional drummer Billy Cunningham based in Sevenoaks focussing on the core skills needed by today’s modern drummer. Billy specialises in teaching the essential drum concepts in a light and fun manner. Lessons are suitable for children as young as six years old through to adults.
In Sevenoaks Drum School you will learn:
A groove is a combination of bass drum, snare drum and cymbal to create a strong and steady beat. All musical styles covered and catered to your own tastes.
DRUM FILLS/SOLO IDEAS
A drum fill is a pattern played around the drum kit to highlight something in a song or before a new section of music. Sometimes drummers are asked to play a drum solo…you need to be prepared!
COORDINATION AND TECHNIQUE
Technique is really important to practise to become an excellent drummer. Billy will take you through a hand-picked selection of the correct exercises to improve technique and coordination.
SONGS AND HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC
Playing to your favourite music is a really fun way to practise drumming. You have to keep a strong beat to play in time with the music.
DRUM EXAM GRADES
Billy has been teaching the drum exam grades for over 10 years and has a 100% pass rate. Working through the grade books is great way to cover all the essential musical skills.
Learning to read drum music is really useful skill whether you are playing in the school jazz band or drumming in a West-End show, Billy will teach you the correct skills to do this.
Daniel Eaton, Headteacher, Leigh Primary School says…
Loren M, age 18 says...
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1. HOW MUCH ARE DRUM LESSONS?
2. WHERE ARE THE DRUM LESSONS?
Studio lessons take place after school Monday to Thursday 3.30–7pm and a Saturday 9–1.30pm in a custom-designed studio in Sevenoaks
3. HOW DO I PAY FOR LESSONS?
You can pay either by cash, bank transfer, or card using the Monzo links above.
4. DO I PAY WEEKLY OR TERMLY?
You can pay weekly, half-termly or for the whole term, whatever is easier for you.
5. I HAVE JUST BOUGHT A DRUM KIT, CAN YOU SET THEM UP FOR ME?
Yes I can set up your drum kit for the minimum cost of £35 (based on an hour of set up time). Any additional time will be charged by 30 min payment increments.
6. MY HI-HAT HAS FALLEN APART, CAN YOU HELP ME?
There are many potential issues with a hi-hat. The following YouTube video may help you. If you still need assistance please email me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdCcpp7aIYE
7. I AM THINKING OF BUYING A KIT, DO I BUY AN ACOUSTIC OR AN ELECTRIC KIT?
There are many brands offering a range of quality in drum kits both acoustic and electronic. There are a few basic points to consider here. Acoustic (real) kits are obviously loud, usually take up more space in the room but is the real instrument so will feel better and not even the most expensive top-of-the-range electronic kits on the market in my opinion, do not feel as good as the real drum kit. However there are some great electronic kits available, they take up less space in the room, you can play with headphones if you wish so you’ll only here the noise of the pads when they are struck. You can also play an electronic kit with a loud speaker/amplifier as well. You can play acoustic drum kit with silencer pads. There are some very good silencer pads available to reduce the noise of the drum kit on the drums and the cymbals. Some silence pads are more effective then others. A very good range of pads is the company Soundoff. See the following demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gua7FC6dkc
8. WHAT BRANDS OF ELECTRIC DRUM KIT DO YOU RECOMMEND?
The very best electronic drum kits are made by Roland and Yamaha. These kits are well made, have excellent drum sounds and extremely reliable although they are more expensive. There are many intermediate brands who also make very good starter electronic drum kits such as Alesis and Session Pro.
9. WHAT BRANDS OF ACOUSTIC DRUMS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
This really depends on your budget. As with electronic drum kits, acoustic drum kits vary massively in range from the very beginner starter kit to high quality professional kits. There are also many brands providing kits in the beginner range, intermediate and professional range. Please email me for more info.
10. I CAN’T HEAR THE MUSIC WHEN I’M DRUMMING, CAN YOU HELP?
There are various techniques for listening to music while drumming so you can hear the music clearly without damaging your ears. See the following video for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFQ8VSeWqTA
11. THE DRUMS ARE VERY LOUD, SHOULD I WEAR EAR PROTECTION?
Yes I highly recommend wearing ear protection. There are various options including basic foam ear plugs you will find in the travel section of a supermarket, ranging to industrial ear defenders and custom mould ear plugs. I have custom mould ear plugs from a company based in Orpington called Ultimate Ear, here is a link to their website: http://www.ultimateear.com. The following is a link to a video to demonstrate the various hear protection options. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jadEAnBz5vg
12. THE DRUMS ARE REALLY RINGING IN MY ROOM, HOW DO I SOLVE THIS?
This is a technique called drum muffling or dampening. There are a number of ways to reduce the drums ringing in your practice room. The following video demonstrates this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZPlOyFKFDM
13. WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T MAKE A LESSON ONE WEEK?
It’s not a problem to cancel a lesson however one week’s notice must be given otherwise the lesson will have to be paid for in full.
14. IS THERE A NOTICE PERIOD TO CANCEL LESSONS?
There is a five week notice period to discontinue lessons.
15. WHAT LOCAL SCHOOLS DO YOU WORK IN?
I work in Amherst, Trinity, Weald of Kent (Sevenoaks) and Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys (Sevenoaks).
Hi, I’m Billy
Professional drummer, teacher & founder of Sevenoaks Drum School also teaching in a number of schools around Sevenoaks, Kent.
I’ve studied drumming with some of UK’s finest drummers and teachers including Pete Riley (Republica, Keith Emerson, Roger Walters) Colin Woolway (Suzi Quatro, Drumsense, Rhythm magazine), Tristan Mailliot (Jim Mullen, Trinity College of Music) Matt Skelton (Stacey Kent, BBC Concert Orchestra) and Michael Skinner (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Guildhall School of Music).
I’ve been playing the drums all my life and have worked with many great musicians, bands, and orchestras in venues, theatres and festivals throughout the UK and Europe. I’ve performed in bands spanning a huge variety of styles of music including Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Samba, Big Band and Orchestral.
Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13
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