Home of many famous bands such as Kaiser Chiefs of The Pigeon Detectives, Leeds has fostered local groups from their debuts on stage to national recognition.
Some famous drummers the likes of Gary Husband of the 4th Dimension was born and raised in Leeds, so is Adam Perry, better known as the Yin who’s work with the Collective earned him three Top 40 singles in the UK.
The rock band James, performing live in Leeds (by stopherjones)
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:
Alasdair Wells is probably a name that will keep coming up if you are looking for an experienced, professional and dedicated drum teacher.
Graduate from the Leeds College of Music with a speciality in jazz and popular music performance, Wells has been teaching for many years when he was not too busy performing with A-listers such as Natalie Holmes and Nicky Powel.
If you are looking to learn the rudiments of all the different instruments that make a drumset, how to use your drumsticks, pedal, cymbal while keeping your groove and beat, a private tutor will be the most efficient way to reach an advanced drumming level.
Barney Riley is another Leeds based tutor. He recently graduated from the Leeds College of Music but already has a lot of experience under his belt. Currently working as a professional drummer for Eaves and The Jenova Collective, he shares his time between the stage, the recording studios and the classroom.
His experience as a drummer in many different bands from big swing bands, jazz quartets, symphony orchestras, brass bands, rock/punk/ska bands made him familiar with many styles and he has been able to tailor lessons around his students’ needs and goals.
Bill Ransom performing along Beth Hart’s blues band (by Guillaume Laurent)
“The reality is that my style of drumming is largely an athletic undertaking, and it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game.”
– Neil Peart, Canadian-American author and retired drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush.
The Leeds Drum Academy was founded by João Figueiredo an official Soultone USA artist, a Drumeo Certified Instructor, a Vic Firth Artist & Educator and a member of the Sabian Education Network.
The Academy offers one-on-one lessons, masterclasses, pro courses and summer drum camps.
Their 150m2 facilities were purposely built for high-quality drum tuition and all the equipment there is state of the art.
This is one of the rare music school in the country to be completely focused on teaching how to play the drums.
Music Nation Leeds was founded in 2012 with the aim to “promote music education and development in fun and engaging ways and to provide a variety of learning opportunities so that anyone can get involved in music, no matter what their current skills and aspirations are.”
Their drum lesson programs welcome any level and focus on teaching how to play, to understand, to practice and to learn how to play the drums.
If you have never held drumsticks in your life, do not worry, Music Nation Leeds will guide you on your journey to worldwide fame.
Want to take drum classes in London?
The Leeds College of Music is not only one of the leading European music schools, it is also the only music conservatoire to offer both Higher and Further Education course. If you are serious about making a career out of your drumming passion, the Leeds College of Music will be a perfect fit for you.
Their BA in Music (Jazz, Folk or Popular) is the perfect way to cement your drumming education while furthering your drumming skills.
“The Conservatoire opened in 1965 as Leeds Music Centre, providing a Light Music course with a significant focus on Jazz. In 1993 Leeds College of Music launched the first Jazz degree in Europe, and in 2004 we became the first UK conservatoire to offer Popular Music, Music Production and later Music Business.
50 years since our inception, we now have a diverse offering of music degrees spanning Popular Music, Classical Music, Jazz, Music Production, Music Business, Film Music, Songwriting and Folk.”
– Leeds College of Music
The College also offers short courses for those wanting to get started on playing the drums but who can’t attend a full-time course.
Tony Coleman was a long-term drummer for blues superstar B.B. King, until the American music legend past away in 2015.
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.
“The advice I like to give to drummers is that there’s no right or wrong way of playing the drums. I think the drumming community can be very antiquated and very stuck in the past of, like, this Neil Peart style, technical Guitar Center drum video kind of approach. That you need to have played for 15 years before you ever do anything worthwhile.”
– Janet Weiss, American drummer of Sleater-Kinney and Quasi
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 Leeds’ best open mics might come in handy.
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.
You can also search for drumming teachers in Leeds, 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!