Home of The Bee Gees, Oasis and The Smiths, Manchester has been at the centre of the English music scene for the past 70 years.

No surprise then that you will be able to hone your skills quite quickly in the city that earned the nickname of Madchester because of its alternative rock and acid house scene.

The Oasis band on stage.
Oasis which disbanded in 2009, was formed in Manchester and is one of the most famous band from the city (by Anirudh-Koul)

Manchester and The Second Summer Of Love

The history of Manchester modern pop music dates all the way back to the 1970's with bands such as The Hollies and The Bee Gees. But one of the band to emerge from the midland's city music scene was the Smiths.

In 1982, The Smiths formed with Morrissey as the vocalist, Johnny Marr at the guitar, Andy Rourke at the bass and Craig Gannon on the drums. Even though the band struggled at first, they eventually succeeded in breaking through and became one of the most influential independent group to have emerged from the British music scene.

The Rolling Stones magazine listed four of their albums on their "500 Greatest Album of all Time"

In the late 1980's, artists from the Manchester Area developed a new music style, merging alt-rock and acid house music to start what would become the Madchester cultural scene.

A Guy Called Gerald, from his real name Gerald Simpson, was one of the first artist and DJ to initiate the Madchester movement.

The Second Summer of Love, which actually refers to two summers, those of 1988 and 1989, hit Manchester in full and saw many unlicensed rave-parties, fuelled by electronic dance music and MDMA, pop up all around the Manchester Area.

Many others would follow: Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Northside, 808 State and James, all recognised by the British music press in the early 1990's.

Find drum lessons in London or take part in drumming classes in Birmingham or join a drum workshop in Leeds or find a drum tutor in Glasgow.

The movement was mainly located in Northen England, and even though Madchester was popular throughout the country, it barely made it out of the UK.

Even though the movement was shortlived, the rise of this cultural scene had a huge impact on the city's nightlife, which can still be seen today with the development of the Gay Village, Northen Quarter and the City Center.

The former Hacienda club in Manchester.
The mythic nightclub the Hacienda was the epicentre of the Madchester movement. Unfortunately, it was closed and demolished and has been replaced by an eponymous block of apartments. ( by Robert Scarth)

Drum Studios and Private Tutors in Manchester

Manchester Drum Lessons was founded by Mike Barry and is one of the biggest private lesson studios in the city. Mike Barry boast more than 17 years playing the drums and 10 years teaching them.

While most drum tutors only give lessons as a side income, Barry has made it his principal occupation and now teaches to more than 50 students. And if you are living too far to commute to Manchester, Barry also offers Skype lessons.

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.

Tom Rice Drums is another Manchester-based studio founded by eponymous professional drummer Tom Rice. Rice teaches lessons to all level of students, from complete beginners to advanced drum players.

The first lesson is free which makes it perfect if you are a beginner and you're not yet sure that drums are for you.

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.

Here are numerous drumming lessons online for beginners.

Chris Sharrock giving the V sign during a concert.
Chris Sharrock was the last drummer to play for Oasis before they disbanded in 2009. (Anirudh-Koul)

"Don't quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can't see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It's the one that makes the sweetest sound."

- Simon Sinek, British-American author and motivational speaker

Music Schools in Manchester

The Mauder's School of Popular Music was founded in 2008 by musician and teacher Neil Maunder as a response to a lack of local music school projects in the Manchester Area.

It began as a nomadic school, using different community centres every night and later moved to its own location in Manchester City.

With more than 250 students and even more people attending the school's workshops, MSPM became a real musical community where everyone is welcome to come and learn.

The school offers drums lessons every day of the week and gives Rockschool grades from 1 to 8, with a 100% success rate.

The British and Irish Modern Music Institute or BIIM, is a collective of eight independent colleges, with over 6,000 enrolled students. Founded in Brighton in 2001, all the full-time courses that the BIIM offers focus on education relative to the music industry from guitar and drums to event management and music journalism.

The BIIM Manchester college offers two full-time courses that focus on learning the drums:

  • The Artist Development Diploma in Music Performance (Drums), is a two-year vocational course that corresponds to three A-levels. It focuses on "developing your performance skills and musical style, improving your technique, getting yourself noticed by connecting with the music industry, and steadily building your confidence towards that of a professional musician."
  • Their BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship, is aimed at those wanting to make drumming their career. "The degree is both academically and musically challenging, providing the perfect balance between practical and technical skills, and theory and analysis. You’ll explore and develop your potential career pathways through research and professional projects, and will learn the essential business skills required to work successfully in the music industry.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Chris Sharrock giving the V sign during a concert.
Chris Sharrock was the last drummer to play for Oasis before they disbanded in 2009. (Anirudh-Koul)

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 Manchester

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 Manchester's best open mics might come in handy.

The Manchester International Festival in 2017.
The Manchester International Festival is held every other year and is the perfect occasion to meet other passionate musicians (by brainflakes.)

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.

Just search for drumming teachers in Manchester, see if some tutors are willing to come to your home or maybe join a group lesson schedule near where you live.

Finding a drum tutor has never been easier!

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