Lee Allatson Hosts a Music Workshop for Leicester Drummers at Quad Studios.
Drum Hang 2015 at Quad Studios, Leicester.
What a great day this was for drumming – and moreover a vibrant display of what Leicester has to offer in terms of drum kit players, teachers and a complete local support network for everything drum and drummer related!
Presented by local player/teacher and long time friend Tim Brown, the event was an open invitation to drummers to bring their kits along and jam together, chat drums and also partake in a program of masterclass-style workshops given through the day by Mark Haynes, Damon Clarridge, Tim and myself.
We’re very lucky in Leicester to have a facility like Quad Studios, and even luckier that proprietor Bob Bryars is a drummer too, so the vibe on the day was already set to be very much one of inclusivity and sharing.
Tim had booked the two larger rooms at Quad: one running as the ‘jamming room’, which had about 10 kits set up around its perimeter; the other room was arranged in more of a classroom format for the workshops, with demonstration kits at one end and seats facing.
It was a bright and early start (especially so for a Sunday morning!) with drummers rolling up at 9.30am to load in and proudly assemble their weapons of choice. Bob had also organised some of the Quad kits which were set up ready in the jam room – and it certainly wasn’t long at all before the playing started!
I took this early opportunity to check out the masterclass room, where I found a whole crew of old chums getting their kits ready for the big event (cue lots of man-hugs and smiles). It’s one of the odd things about playing in bands – you rarely get to spend time in a musical environment with players of your own instrument, which only made to serve this occasion as all the more special. I should say that at this point I did feel a little guilty at electing to use only a pad for my workshop on practice… Folks, I will promise to bring a kit for the next one. 😉
First masterclass up was the brave Mark Haynes, offering some ideas and direction on using accenting within 1/8 note sequences; a break for some more jamming and chatting, then a presentation from Damon Clarridge, centred around the importance of warming up with some specific exercises and guidance on that; cue more jamming, copious coffees and more drum talk, then another sojourn to the masterclass room where I offered my own philosophies on getting the most from practice time. I don’t mind telling you that I got a proper attack of nerves just prior to my slot, as I realised I had been working in the cosy 1-to-1 teaching format during recent times and hadn’t given a (master)class for some 15+ years! I settled in though and really enjoyed it – especially the interaction – very warm and friendly. Even more playing from the attendees next (and I’m left wondering where some of these folks get their energy?!) then it’s the turn of Drum Hang host Tim Brown, with his masterclass on the subject of bass drum technique – and some eye-popping demonstrations of pace and daring to go with it…
What an amazing day!
On a personal note, it was wonderful to get back in touch with some old local faces. The standard of playing and dedication to our instrument displayed by everyone at Drum Hang does our local drumming community – and world wide ‘drummerhood’ – true credit. Attendance fees even served to raise £100 for the Rainbows charity.
We should all be very proud.
Thank you, Tim, for the opportunity to get involved. Here’s to the next Drum Hang!
A video playlist of excerpts from my masterclass on ‘Practice’ at Drum Hang 2015 can be found via the Dye House Drum Works YouTube site