Birthplace of the Heavy-metal, Bhangra and Grindcore, Birmingham also had a huge deal of influence on the emerging British techno music.
No wonder then that you can easily find someone to teach you how to play the drums in Birmingham.
If you are a beginner and want to learn to play the drums better to hire a private tutor to teach you the rudiments. If you already know how to drum and are looking for more casual lessons or practice, why not join a band?
Whatever your level of musicianship, Birmingham is ripe with opportunities if you know where to look at.
The History of Birmingham Music Scene
If you happen to walk in the streets of Birmingham you might stumble upon so musical historic sites. One of such is the Hare and Hounds in King's Heath. It is one of the rare sites to have hosted major bands that was not torn down by gentrification.
The pub, considered as one of the finest small concert spots in the UK once hosted the Birmingham born band UB40 for their very first concert in the late 1970's.
The rich and varied musical history of Birmingham can be traced back to the arrival in the city of Jamaican musician Andy Hamilton and the later emergence of the Brum Beat movement played all over the city and the surrounding region.
Birmingham music scene was so vibrant during the 1960's that it was estimated that around 500 groups were active in those years. The diversity of the music produced in the city was so eclectic that one single genre never emerged like it did in Liverpool with the Beat music.
Through the following years, Birmingham saw the emergence of many different music genres and their associated bands:
- Progressive rock with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, the supergroups Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia
- Heavy metal with Black Sabbath and Judas Priest
- Ska and reggae with The Special and Steel Pulse
- Punk rock with the Swell Maps, Misspent Youth or The Prefects
- New Romantics with Duran Duran.
Because of the incredible mix of genres and origins, Birmingham was known to be a very tolerant place when racism was still the norm in Great Britain. During the 1960's and 1970's white and black musician could often be seen jamming together in bars and concert halls.
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The Benefits Of Learning The Drums
If you are thinking about starting playing the drums is probably because you enjoy music and would like, maybe, to become another famous British drummer.
However, drumming goes beyond music. Many researchers have found the playing a drum set actually has a lot of benefits on the learning skills, the well being and the confidence of the musician.
Here are 5 reasons why you should take on the drums:
- Reduce your stress: a study by the University of Oxford psychologist Robin Dunbar, from 2012, found that drummer experienced a higher level of endorphins than other musicians after playing their instrument for only 30 minutes. Endorphins are the same hormones that are responsible for the runner's high and trigger a feeling of well being or euphoria.
- Boost your learning skills: many studies have shown a link between music education and increased learning skills. One of the main components that make learning and playing the drums such a good exercise for your brain is that you are forced to use both hands. While most people generally use their non-dominant hands for easy tasks like texting, playing the drums require to coordinate both hands at the same time and in a precise and harmonic way.
- Stay fit: because playing the drums requires you to move both your upper and lower body, in quick and sharp movement, it makes it a great, low impact cardio exercise. Scientists have estimated that an hour-long session of drumming is the using a stair step machine for 30 minutes. Just look at the famous drummers!
Private tutors in Birmingham
David Sugden and Nathan England-Jones are both a part of Drum Lesson Birmingham. A studio which aims to teach students of all abilities how to play the drums.
They are also part of the greater MRG Music organisation, "a network of professional musicians located throughout the UK and Ireland, tutoring students of all ages and abilities across a wide range of different instruments".
They teach most of their lessons from their central Birmingham dedicated drum studio, near the Birmingham Arena.
They aim to tailor his lessons depending on the level, ability and goals of each student.
England-Jones graduated with a BA in Music from the Birmingham Conservatoire and has years of teaching to his record, making him the perfect tutor to get you to your Grade 8 on the drums.
Sugden has been studying the drums since he was four years old, playing his way up to Grade 8 with Trinity College London. He pursued his under and post-graduate degree with world-class professors and began teaching the drums 12 years ago at the University of Essex.
While giving private drum classes he also maintained a professional career as a musician mainly playing jazz music.
Learning the rudiments of all the different instruments that make a drumset, how to use your drumsticks, pedal, cymbal while keeping your groove will be a piece of cake if you're tutored by a professional drummer.
Music Schools in Birmingham
Birmingham Drum School is one of the main private drum schools in the city. Located in the heart of Birmingham, they have four fully equipped classrooms with different drum kits, both acoustic and electric. All the teachers are experienced and offer one to one drum lessons for any level of musicians. The schools also have its own little shop on site if you want to purchase new equipment such as drumsticks or drum pads.
While you will learn to play the drums, using cymbals, bass drum and snare drum, your instructor will also teach you how to keep your rhythm and beat.
The Birmingham Rockschool is a contemporary, performance-based, independent music school in Kings Norton, South Birmingham. Initially located in Formed Solihull, they moved to the Mercury Music Studios in 2015 and had since expanded from six hours a week to seven days a week!
This school's unique approach to teaching focuses on preparing students for live performances.
Their purpose-built facilities in Kings Norton, as well as featuring their studios and practice rooms, boasts its concert room with stage, P.A. and lighting equipment.
The school also organises some open-mic nights all over Birmingham so check out their website for some more info.
Want to find a drumming lesson in Manchester?
The Birmingham Music School located in the Jewellery Quarter accepts drums students from 9 and above. Their group lessons are taught by Yamaha accredited teachers, and their studio features high-end Yamaha equipment including two acoustic drum kits, one electric kit, a full PA system as well as specially designed practice pads.
If you want to have a go, the Birmingham Music School offers a free trial lesson!
Learn How To Play the Drums Online
Learning how to play the percussion online is also a possibility. Though that will require you to own a drum kit.
Many online videos go through the basic of how to play the drums and review many techniques and methods to improve quickly on your beat.
If you're looking into online learning, take a look at Drumeo, an online platform founded by Canadian professional drummer, teacher and businessman Jared Falk. It is entirely dedicated to learning the drums online. On top of offering loads of free videos and tutorials to completely hone your skills, they also have a weekly podcast that will give you a great insight into the world of drummers.
Some tutors also offer remote lessons through Skype, which can be an option if you're living far from major cities or town or if you can't commute at all.
While it will probably take you a bit longer to progress using remote lessons, it is entirely possible and will just require you to have your phone or camera pointed at your drum kits while you play for the tutor to be able to correct you as you go.
Join a Band in Birmingham
If you are already an intermediate drum player or maybe even an advanced drummer who's looking to practice with other musicians, why not join a band.
Websites such as Join My Band, Band Mix or Bandonkers list hundred of ads from bands looking for musicians or from people looking to jam.
Rehearsal rooms are also great spots to meet fellow musicians and make friends with potential future bandmates. This is also a great place to meet musicians playing other genres: jazz, rock, punk or electronica, it will be a great way to broaden your repertoire.
Another way to meet other jammers is to attend open-mic or jam sessions. You don't have to perform if you don't want to obviously but if you like a band's cover of Led Zepplin or the performance of a singer, don't be shy and engage with them. Music is always more fun when shared with others. This guide to Birmingham's best open mics might come in handy.
Find a Tutor on Superprof
Superprof is a hub of professionals looking to pass on their knowledge and experience onto students. One of the best things about it is that you can see reviews left by other students about a drum teacher and find the perfect match for your needs and expectations.
Christian Jerromes, one of the Superprof's drum instructor, has been teaching students of all ages since 2014 and boasts a 100% pass rate when his students have entered examinations. Get in touch and start drumming!
You can also search for drumming teachers in Birmingham, see if some tutors are willing to come to your home or maybe join a group lesson schedule near where you live.
Keep practising what you are taught during your drumming lessons and you will master the double bass and the ride cymbal in no time, getting ready for your first drum solo performance Bonham style before you know it.