The Drumming Journey

These pages are for the sharing of my experiences as a musician and performer.

I can trace my drumming roots to the childhood dinner table, where, sitting opposite my father, I watched him play along to beloved big band swing numbers using knife, fork, cup and plate. A decade or so later and the arrival of Neil Peart and Bill Bruford on my turntable sealed my choice of instrument.

Early college band ‘The Passion’, with their self-penned version of ‘Prog-Pop’  (drawing on contemporaries such as Simply Red, Big Country  and The Police plus a healthy dose of Yes, Barclay James Harvest and RUSH), gave me a platform to experiment and improvise across a variety of musical styles. The band also garnered a first taste of performing in London and Brighton.

Following years brought me further opportunities to develop my playing style, including a spell in a worship band where I found a deeper appreciation of texture and dynamics. (You had to be as aware of what was happening among the audience as with the other musicians on stage.)

Finally returning to my roots, I began to study Jazz about eight years ago and have added stints in Jazz combos and big band to a repertoire that has taken in Soul, Rock, Pop and Folk performances.

My fascination with drumming could be described as piloting the line that weaves between the drive for technical skill – mastering the instrument – and finding an empathy for the piece – the right note in the right place at the right time.

My current position appears to be a wonderful opportunity to explore a rounded seam from future and past. I’m currently playing in 3 bands – each diverse and yet somehow complimentary to and enriching for my journey:

The unashamedly progressive rock of ‘Fusion Orchestra 2’ is a wonderful place to explore technical ability and hone those chops.

The simplicity and songcraft of  ‘Runaway Jack’ pushes me further towards that elusive state of playing just enough and no more.

The Big Band Swing of ‘Perdido’ is, well, just great fun to play those jazz standards with musicians who are way past me in experience.

So in these pages I’ll be talking about all and some of these – the highs and lows, pitfalls and perfections, as well as hopefully giving some tips and sharing some of the work along the way.

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