I moved house in January
A big step, a big change, to the coast.
It’s something I always wanted to do. We all talk about change and it takes some effort to realise it. But if you are prepared to jump in, and with a bit of luck, you pop out the other side you are afloat, and the tide is with you. The end of the road. The beginning of a new chapter. This is the sea.
It's big, and it constantly shifts, the rhythm of the tide is constant. It’s flat when there is no wind. Just a massive heavy slab of blue. Its colour palette changes with the sky, like a Turner. On dull days the weight of sky over sea is almost physical. Like the under belly of a giant grey aircraft, just over head. Clouds become sculptural, when a storm approaches from the Channel. The tide still rolls, but rolls harder. Its the same, but different every time. That's why we stop and stare. Thats why WE play drums.
Rhythm - Pulse - Repetition - Distance
Playing the drums has always been constant to me. It comes naturally. I always knew that. Rhythm. It was only a matter of time before I realized I should take lessons. To make that big step, to better yourself, to create change and develop creativity - put yourself into the NON Comfort zone. Its a gamble. But it just might pay off - so make it work. Be committed.
Eventually, the tide is with you. Paddle at first, warm up your feet, take the next step. Lessons are like the first wave, “boy that took me by surprise”, “here comes another,’ but hey I was prepared this time. Be inspired, watch the pros do it. I went to a drum clinic years ago on the South Bank - and then a photographic exhibition. That day changed my musical direction, the tide turned. I listened to new genres of music and discovered new ways of playing. I also took pictures in a different way too.
I’ve played live many times, recorded, jammed, rehearsed…. but the Grades are like the jumping of the pier. How deep will I go this time ?
They are designed to take you a step further, push the boat out, and stretch your horizon so that technique and skill become finely tuned. Reading music is your map, your chart.
Navigate it properly, learn it, and you will be able to interpret music in a different way. Your tutor is the lighthouse, and the tide is with you. There is only one vessel out tonight, it’s you. Take on the sea.
Mike Redpath - Performer and Planet drum student.
Check Mike's drum channel here.
Playing drums gives me a good feeling,
although it feels much greater when you can work with like minded artists. That's why I'm working with the up and coming Nicola Hogg. Last year we've released 4 singles, you can check these out on all social media platforms with the handle @nicolahoggmusic - for them we've worked with Abbey Road Engineer Christian Wright (Ed Sheeran) and other collaborators.
The single 'Flow' won the Mayor of London Big Busk competition which received press coverage from BBC News, BBC introducing, the Evening Standard and many other major media outlets. It also took us to Glastonbury where Nicola shared the bill with artists such as, Mullally, Everything Everything & producer Naughty Boy. Touring wise, Nicola played in Italy and Argentina.
Where is she now?
She's now back in London, where we are planning for her second set of song releases, gigs and tours. We'll be rehearsing at Planet Drum too, so pop in if you want to meet Nicola or just say hi! Make sure you listen to her tracks, and leave a comment if you like them!
Blog post by Hernan Palazzo
Keith Debarra performed in 'The Lost Disc',
the latest production by the The London Snorkeling Team. We have asked Keith to tell us more about this production:
"I performed again at Shoreditch Town Hall for three nights with the London Snorkelling Team.
Last year, I performed with them in a collaborative production of 'A Mid Summer Night's Dream' with Filter (production company) and Lyric Hammersmith.
As well as a run at the Lyric, we were also very lucky to bring the show to Australia and Dublin. It was a great experience and great to be involved in something quite different from what I'm used to. They are very creative people making some very interesting things things with music and theatre."
Again, it's a very interesting
experience to see how something like this is put together both musically and theatrically. It is a new production based on a short sketch which this team put together for another show some years ago.
My role, as you might have guessed, was to play drums but I had some lines to deliver at some point which was fun and nerve racking .We had rehearsed a lot and I think it was a really good show. Let us know if you came along for either of the three shows at the Shoreditch Town Hall."
Blog post by Planet drum teacher, Keith.
Providing online lessons
has always been an avenue that we have wanted to pursue. Being able to share our tutors' knowledge, skill set and musicianship with a wider audience and demographic. Since the outbreak of Covid 19, it seemed that providing online live tuition would be coming to our students sooner than we thought. The Planet drum teachers have tried, tested and perfected the lessons so our students receive the best experience possible. We provide online lessons for all instruments including drums, saxophone, singing, trumpet, piano, guitar, bass and music production.
Through using Skype or Zoom,
students are able to carry on their learning and playing with our dedicated tutors. The lessons can be recorded for the student to watch back and practice at a later date as well as being provided with a unique learning and homework plan.
Our tutors have also been working hard to provide recorded lessons and online content for those students who cannot yet take part in the online lessons. When Planet drum can return to the musical crypt, I am certain that we will still be providing our online lesson service for students of all ages and abilities.
I've been coming to Planet drum
for work experience for the past couple of months, and I have to say, I’ve been really enjoying helping out with what they do here. Ever since I started in November, staff have been incredibly friendly, supportive and willing to learn about my autism spectrum condition (ASC), which has helped me stay calm and organised so I can be at my best to help around. I have learnt a fair amount more about drumming already, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
as making sure things are tidy for workshops and gigs, I’ve been able to use the myriad of drum kits here to practice; it’s been amazing, to be honest. Even though I’ve only been playing for around 3 years, the kits here are so great-sounding and well-maintained that I almost feel professional playing them (although my half-hearted attempts at TOOL playthroughs might attest otherwise about my own skills), and it’s a wonderful resource to have as someone who’s in a band and gigging.
I play in a band
called The 404 Stormers, a rock band that’s a part of the charity called Centre 404; based on Camden Road, we’ve been a band for many years and I’ve been a member for two of them. After taking a year break from playing gigs to write music and recharge, we’re back ‘on the road’ and are playing a gig at the end of the month, so the opportunity to practice here at Planet Drum (even if I’m the only member of my band here) is very helpful.
Plus, the soundproofing means that no-one will complain if I’m playing too loud...
As a musician,
professional or amateur, dedicating time to practice can be a priority. Practicing allows us to continue to develop our technical skills and ability. However, if you are a musician or learning an instrument, you will know that this is easier said than done.
It is safe to say that nobody likes to practice the things that they are not good at. For example, when I was learning guitar as a teenager, I would only like to practice the songs and scales that I could play proficiently; this made me feel good. Now as a fully grown adult and singing teacher, I can say that this is definitely not the way to progress.
to dedicate to practicing and mastering your instrument can also be tricky in amongst the chaos of everyday life. Especially so for drummers. Even if you are lucky enough to own your own drum kit, (in London? Well done you!) you are faced with problems including sufficient space, soundproofing and neighbours who like to complain about the noise. Fortunately there are ways around this; electronic drum kits, practice pads or hiring studio space.
A downside to hiring studio space is that you have to pay extra to hire your own cymbals and breakables, or you have to struggle to bring your own on the dreaded tube! Not all hope is lost though. Our Planet drum students get access to hire out our studios for a small fee. Students enjoy practicing in our studios as they all include two quality drum kits with Ziljian cymbals, a wide range of percussion, PA, electric pianos, guitars, basses and amps. We know how difficult it can be to find time to practice so we want to make it as easy as possible.
Blog post by Planet drum teacher, Katy Russell