About The Drum Coach

Have you ever thought about what it would feel like to make a living as a professional drummer? To travel and let the music take you on an adventure? If so, then the Drum Coach website might be for YOU!

Thedrumcoach website provides all types of drumming information from beginner lessons (through the Drum Coach Drumming Foundation books) right up to personal self(drummer)-improvement essentials – there’s something here no matter where you are on your journey.

Some of the most important information on this website comes from my personal experiences as a percussionist and musician for over 35 years. So, I invite you to take advantage of the Drum Coach Experience, whose aim is to provide high-quality, on-demand information for drummers as they begin their journey to achieve their personal drumming goals and ambitions.

Our commitment to our readers is always 100%! If you have any problems, questions, or concerns, just let us know and we’ll help you take care of the situation as quickly as possible.

And remember to Stay In Time! and continue to Rock!

The Drum Coach

A Magical Experience Timeline

Go to the bottom and work your way up to read about the drum coach’s personal drumming experiences and how it all got started.

timeline_pre_loader

Writing & Publishing

After The Sound of Music, I did one more tour with Paul Daniels and then decided to dedicate the rest of my time to writing. Whilst in the UAE I started writing the Drumming Foundation Book Series and wanted to give it a good go. Over the years it took many iterations until I finally published the whole collection.
PHASE FIVE - BIG CHANGES
2002 - 2015

The Sound of Music

This is going to sound strange. But as I was working with Paul and his family, I did a short theatre gig on The Sound of Music Show. It was the most intense musically challenging gig I had ever played. The dynamics were really intense. Often requiring playing that was hardly heard yet needed to be rudimentarily precise.

Paul Daniels - It's Magic

I worked with Paul Daniels and his family for a few years from the time I was offered the gig in Southport. I worked on a few It’s Magic Tours as well as several pantomimes featuring Paul, Debbie, and Martin over those years.

Again the music was consistent and required more and more skill from the drummer. Of course, I spent a lot of time practicing over the years so was growing as the gigs grew around me.

Paul Daniels

Pardon the pun, but this was a really magical time for me. The music was very busy and was to be played exactly as written. This was mainly due to working with sequencers which required a more basic solid type of playing.

Paul and his family were all really nice folks, and they offered me the following year with Paul’s brother Trever on keyboards. Trevor had done a lot of work with one of my all-time favorite drummers Ronnie Verrell (Jack Parnell  as well as Lots of T.V. work). I first listened to Ronnie on a Jack Panel Album many years ago – He was completely awesome. In particular, this rendition of Skin Deep. I used to practice and play this four hour on end in the 80s.

Southport Pantomime

In 97 I was offered a pantomime in Southport with Frazer Heinz (Emmerdale Farm fame). I had worked on about 10 pantomimes over the years and so I was pretty experienced with these types of gigs.

Contrary to what you would think, pantomimes were really demanding theatre gigs. You would normally spend a couple of weeks rehearsing and then begin playing two shows per day for four weeks. The reading was usually quite intense at times and to be honest, they were always a joy to work on.

Of course, the drummer had sound effects to do as well so it could become really intense at times.

It was on this gig that I was offered the Paul Daniels gig.

PHASE FOUR - GROWING MOMENTUM
1997 - 2002

United Arab Emirates

After being in the Middle East for 3 months,  the bass player and singer were kicked out of the country for… well, snogging in public.

From that point, the keyboard player and girl singer/sax player decided to stay and so we sent to the UK for sequencers and began learning a new song list. We chose the songs, I wrote all the words out and gave each member a copy with all the backing vocals highlighted and we began practicing.

It pains me to say that at this time I had to sing myself. Let me just say, it wasn’t pretty. But we got by and ended the season on a high. Drumming sometimes requires you to adapt to new situations.

Positive Touch

I became friendly with several local music stores and one in particular that closed down a few months ago. The drum department had a really nice guy called Paul. He did me some great deals on drums and cymbals.

Consequently, I used to tell every other drummer I met about the store and the great deals and over the years put many thousands of pounds/dollars in sales their way.

But as I said, I got some great deals there myself. Paul put a few gigs my way but one stands out. It stands out because the band did 6 months around the midlands and then we went to Abu Dhabi in the Middle East (UAE) for six months.

Scarborough Residency

Over the last few years, in between residencies, I had been playing one-nighters with Susan Maughan (Bobbies Girl) and other 60s/70s personalities.

And up to this point I had played on several pantomimes, again with UK celebs. These times had been fantastic from a musical point of view as it was constantly changing and evolving.

 

This trend of one-nighters ended for a while when I took on a residency on the east coast of the UK.  Scarborough.

Also, up to this point, my music listening was somewhat limited but at this time I met the drummer who used to play for Roy Wood’s Wizard.  He kindly gifted me several cassette tapes by The Rippingtons, The Yellowjackets, and Steps Ahead… as well as other great contemporary artists from the United States. From that point, my listening began to widen and my playing began to grow too.  

Jersey Year 3 - The Inn On The Park

My third year working in Jersey was my second year working at The Inn On The Park. Although the resident artists were different, many of the visiting UK celebrities had changed a little and included more bands such as Showaddywaddy, The Merseybeats, The Three Degrees, Detroit Emeralds, and so on. It was a fantastic year and again required constant reading. And although the charts weren’t too complex, the experience again was just as fantastic.

I must admit, these past few years were spent enjoying myself in the daytime, spending time on the beach, swimming, and visiting the beautiful vistas of the Channel Islands.

Jersey Year 2 - The Inn On The Park

The previous year at the Sunshine Hotel in Jersey led me to meet a drummer from the same town I was from, chesterfield.

He introduced me to his bass player/band leader and after spending most of the previous summer with them, it was decided that I was to take over at the

In  On The Park where they had spent the summer. This was my first step into working with top-shelf artists from the UK. People like Les Dennis and Bobby Davro among many more celebrities. The reading was also very challenging which was great.

Many of the artists included here can be found on the Drumming Foundation website.

PHASE THREE - BUILDING MOMENTUM
1992 - 1997

Jersey Year 1

On returning from the Canary Islands, there was very little work available so I took a day job working for a printer. But as you can imagine, that didn’t suit me very well. But I did have to stick it out for a year.

After which I went on an audition for a gig in the Channel Islands – Jersey to be specific.

It was a hotel residency which again had a variety of artists throughout the week along with the resident artist. The reading wasn’t challenging but again, the experience was exceptional. Great people, great food, and great music. What else is there? 

Tenerife Residency

After working with Karmuna for a year, the keyboard player and I left the band. We secured a residency in Tenerife (Canary islands) working for a small entertainment team.  There was only a singer and hypnotist with occasional visiting artists, most of which had no music. But even though this wasn’t a challenging musical situation, the experience was phenomenal. We played outside on a rolling stage 5 nights per week by the side of an amazing swimming pool. It was completely awesome. 

Karmuna

After the residency in Devon, work again took a dive. so, I did what I had to do and joined an electronic-style band called Karmuna. I purchased a Simmonds SDS8 Electronic Drum Kit and had some great fun creating the sounds for songs such as Blue Monday, Vienna, It’s My Party, and Nick Kershaw-type music. I must say, this was a great experience as all the programming involved manual settings as the SDS8 wasn’t the flagship Simmonds kit. each song required fast changes to the interface. but I created a system and i worked just fine. The system that I created ensured smooth-flowing changes from one song to another.

Summer Season In Devon

In 1993 I secured a 6-month residency in Devon. This again widened my experience as this gig involved the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s shows. Each of which was heavy reading and although given the choice this wasn’t my favorite kind of music, the reading side was the most challenging so far. And as well as the residential shows, we also had nightly visiting artists. Most of which had reasonable drum charts.
PHASE TWO - THE NEXT STEP
1985 - 1992

DNA - Beatles Style Band

My first time in the recording studio was with a band called DNA. They were three brothers who wrote their own material. I recall one song was a real “tear-jerker”. And another very optimistic. When we weren’t rehearsing the original material we did the local clubs playing Beatles, Rolling Stones and other 60s tunes. They really sounded like the Beatles. And that was the reason the record companies didn’t like us. So deal or no deal. No deal! Shame, they were a great band.

Here’s an example of some of the original material. Oh Did You KnowNot Supposed To KnowFeel This WayA Long Time AgoTomorrows Gonna Be AlrightYou Know How It FeelsHave You Heard The News

Powerplay

Apparently, my name had gotten about in the local towns. I had just bought a new Rogers Kit delivered and within an hour, a knock came on the door. On opening the door there was a man and woman waiting outside the door. The man began to introduce himself. He said he works for Jimmy James and the Vagabonds and he was leaving to start his own band and was looking for a drummer.

Of course, I jumped at the chance. We began practicing in a local practice studio and began gigging a couple of weeks later.

 

I played with them for 2 years until internal problems split us up. We had just returned home from a 6-month European Tour and I was looking forward to the next one. But it never happened.

Here is a recording of a couple of songs we did. It was recorded back in the 80s but it’s not too bad. Madonna – Dress You Up and Phyllis Nelson – Move Closer

1980-83 Aged 20-21

New Formula - Punk Rock Band

Then there was another dry spot. I was looking at all the local papers every few days and there was nothing. Until I went for another audition and got a gig with a Punk Rock Band of al things. My brother was the punk in the family and I really didn’t like that kind of music. But what the heck! there wasn’t anything stopping me so I worked with them for a few months. I left pretty quickly though. I just didn’t like the kind of music. But that didn’t stop me from getting a local artist and sign writer to write the band name on my bass drum head. New Formula. Looked great, and the band loved it too but alas, it wasn’t to stay on my bass drum very long before I quit. 

Old Time Music Hall

After a few months of working as an Exhaust & Tyre Fitter, I got my first drumming gig. It was… wait for it. An Old Time Music Hall show. I was 17 years old and playing all the old songs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. It was mostly brushwork and although it was just a temporary gig, I actually really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the vast variation of the music. I had to keep my wits about me doing crash cymbal effect and all that stuff. But although I find it funny now, I really enjoyed it. Down At The Old Bull And Bush – boom boom!

Left School

I left school at age 16 and was immediately faced with … something I wasn’t prepared for.

Despite my experience as a drummer whilst still at school, there was absolutely no drumming work available. So I had no choice but to get a regular job.

1977 Aged 9-12

My First Drumming Gig

I had just reached my 9th birthday. My drum instructor called me and said he had a showband looking for a drummer, and that he had put my name forward. The audition was that same night at 7.00 pm. I told him that I would go on the audition which I did. I was kinda terrified but my father went with me. I remember focusing on my new drum head (Evans Blue Oil Skins) and how great they sound.

All of the band members were present. The leader counted me in and we proceeded to play a few Abba tunes. Mama Mia, Waterloo, and Money Money Money. 45 minutes later and I had my first drumming job.

We toured for 4 years around the local club circuit. I was playing 4-5 nights per week and I felt really enthusiastic and optimistic about this great start to my drumming career.  If only the girl who broke my 5-year-old heart could see me now. (hahaha). I was overjoyed for the entire 4 years until the band split up.

Drumming Lessons Began

I began taking drumming lessons with Morris Fogg, along with his two sons, Malc and Terry Fogg. Terry was the original drummer for Sounds Incorporated who used to back all the big American Artists that visited the UK in the 60s. He also played for Christie (yellow river fame) as well as Tony Christie. I recall him being a resident drummer at Batley Variety Club in Leeds in the 70s.
1972 Aged 9
1968 Aged 5
PHASE ONE - THE BEGINNING