Studio opening & the adapting musician in 2020

It’s been a while since I have written on here, and what a strange year 2020 has been so far. Apart from the obvious pandemic being the main source of focus this year for most, for me personally finally a life long goal of having my own drum studio has been achieved!

Over the past 2 years I have been building a soundproofed drum studio where I can practise, record and teach drums from. It’s been a long road but one I finally completed in March this year. Just in time for lockdown to hit properly, so during this I have been extremely lucky in that I have been able to carry on playing drums.

Another goal was to make the studio into a fully operation live drum tracking studio where I could provide remote drum recording for anyone all over the world. The Pandemic kind of fast tracked this idea as I had time to be able to get my drum recording setup up and firing, and I began to get recording work in almost immediately, which has been incredible!

Over the past months I have been working with a wide range of artists and bands, and already have a number of tracks recorded in the studio that have already been finalised & released, you can check out those tracks here:

As like many others I have been forced into adapting to this new landscape and becoming an online session drummer & providing remote drum recordings seemed like the obvious choice for me. Recording has always been my favourite part of music creation so it was an exciting step. For more info on this, the process and getting in touch regarding your project visit my remote drum recording page for more info.

My drum lessons have also adapted and gone online, via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime I have been able to continue on existing drum students and take on some new students from around the world. This has been a lifeline to me and also helped a lot of people through lockdown to still be able to up keep their own practise and learning on the drums. If you would like more info on my drum lessons or how to book something in with my please have a look at my drum lessons page for more info.

As I say I have been keeping busy myself with a lot of new learning whether it be learning from prestigious drum books like Charles Wilcoxon’s “Modern Rudimental Swing Solos“, Gary Chester’s “The New Breed” or the classic George Lawerence Stone’s “Stick Control” or up keeping my brand new YouTube channel Thom Mills Drums.

My YouTube channel has been an exciting area that I have been avidly updating each week with a case study of a particular song play through on the drums and accompanying drum lesson. I have been getting great feedback from viewers on these and this has underlined my aim with doing these weekly videos, which is to try and offer a complete and easy to understand method of how to learn and play along to the tracks. I release a video every Sunday at midday so be sure to check out my channel and get subscribed to keep up to date with the latest videos.

For many people in the creative arts industry it has been a tough time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The live music sector is an area that for me take up the main chuck of my income and is the same for a great deal of musicians and crew working in the music industry. I don’t know when the live music sector will be able to start up and although the government has shown a little support for the arts, it really is not enough and not enough care is being given to the future and nuture of an extremely important part of everyday culture in the UK. I hope and pray that more importance is given to music and the arts so that in the future we can once again boost a thriving music and artistic output.

‘The Story Is’ Album Release

1st March 2019 sees the release of the 4th Skinny Lister album ‘The Story Is…” on Xtra Mile Recordings. It’s my 2nd album recording with the band and was recorded at Blue Bell Hill Studios with Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, The Enemy).

We will also be embarking on a World Tour in March, beginning in the UK and taking in Europe and the USA. The first single from the record is out now and can be listened here:

Also for those looking to enquire about drum lessons, I am currently taking on new students, so please do get in touch. Thanks! Thom.

Drum-Kit Lessons

Every lesson I teach is tailored around the individual student’s musical taste, needs and ability. This way the student is motivated and focused throughout the lesson. My experience enables me to break drum teaching into 4 key areas:

 

  • Sight Reading / Aural Perception – From basic notation and values to advanced chart reading, transcription, studying genres of music, drum grooves, click tracks, pieces and performance and Grades 1-8 also taught, if required.

 

  • Technical Development – To achieve a perfect technique, study of Moeller system, Drop and snap technique, sticking, posture, breathing and all aspects of drumming technique.

 

  • Drum Grooves & Fills – Study of specific grooves relating to individual genres, these include; Rock, Pop, Funk, Metal, Country, Afro-Cuban, Drum & Bass plus many more. Also study the relative drum fills used within these genres to help to form an understanding of how to write the perfect drum part.

 

  • Session Drummers & Live Performance – Studying a vast selection of drummers and genres. Learning key performance techniques and songs to be performed live and along to tracks.

 

  • Additional Subjects:
  • Drum Tuning – How to make you sound great behind a kit, as you can learn all the greatest techniques, but if your drum kit doesn’t sound good this will have less impact. Also cover drum-kit care how to look after your gear and the internal workings of your drums.
  • Music Industry – Learn the basics of how the industry works and how to get the best out of your career as a musician and own musical project.

 

My lessons are taught from my own written syllabus with aspects of other workbooks and exercises, techniques to achieve the ultimate drumming experience and information. I am also currently writing my own drum workbook.

I have my own drum studio based in Brighton where I teach from, provide mobile drum lessons where I travel to the student and teach on their own kit and also offer interactive drum lesson through Skype.

CRB checked.
Musicians Union Member.
Skype Username: thommillsdrums

Rates – £30 per hour / £15 per half hour.

 

Bibliography;

  • Progressive Steps To Syncopation For The Modern Drummer – Ted Reed
  • Stick Control For The Snare Drummer – George Lawrence Stone
  • Master Studies – Joe Morello
  • Advanced Techniques For The Modern Drummer, Vol 1 – Jim Chapin
  • Conversations In Clave – Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez.
  • The Drumset Musician – Rod Morgenstein & Rick Mattingly
  • Advanced Funk Studies – Rick Latham
  • Play Rock Drums – Joel Rothman
  • Jungle/Drum ‘n’ Bass For The Acoustic Drum Set – Johnny Rabb
  • Afro-Cuban Grooves For Bass And Drums, Funkifying The Clave – Lincoln Goines & Robby Ameen
  • Trinity Guildhall, Drum Kit 4, Pieces & Studies, Grades 7 & 8.

Skype Drum Lessons & New Website.

I have now started to do Skype drum lessons, so you can now learn to play the drums from anywhere in the world! If you are interested you can contact me here or email me on thommillsdrums@aol.co.uk. My Skype username is thommillsdrums, take a look at the video I did for www.gigsido.com to see into my drumming window…

You can also checkout my profile on gigsido.com here:
http://www.gigsido.com/Lessons—Tutoring/49/teach-you-to-play-the-drums-and-become-the-ultimate-drumming-monster!-

And check out my new website…