Let’s face it, at the end of the day any lesson is only as good as its teacher. The same goes for companies and employees. The fact that you are here means that you’re interested in what I have to offer and therefore are really asking yourself, “Is this guy worth my investment?”
Now I could answer that for you with a cheeky, subtly egotistical YES but it’s really up to you to decide. Let me fill you in on who I am and what I’m doing here. I’ll present you with the facts and you can decide from there for yourself.
The Origins Story
So I masquerade around the drumming world as ‘Roro’, a nickname given to me by my niece (involving children for sympathy votes?). My real name is Harry and I’ve been playing drums for 20 years now. Truth be told I have always been obsessed with drums from a very young age but my parents never had the money to buy me a kit. That, and they didn’t want some kid to be making a racket all day!!!
Most children would have given up on a desire and moved on to something else and whilst I did fill my time with other activities I never gave up wanting to play drums. I would make drum kits out of toy boxes and wail on them with pencils for hours.
Lost In Translation
So lets skip forward a few years. I’m now 10 years old standing in the assembly hall of ‘big boy school’ with my mum learning about all the things the school had to offer. We finally make our way to the music teacher. This is it my big chance. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m sporting a very 90’s curtain style hair cut and I’m ready to seize my dream. A bit of chit chat goes on between the teacher and my mum and eventually the question I’ve been waiting for arrives at my feet. “What instrument would you like to learn Harry?” There it is! 10 years in the making and now neatly packaged and delivered right to me. This is it. The word is already in mind it just needs to travel down to my voice box, form inside my mouth and escape into the air ready for all to hear. “Saxophone” Yep I said Saxophone. My one chance to play drums and I say Saxophone.
Luckily, or maybe not, I had an incident early on in my saxophone career where my teeth were introduced to a hockey ball quite suddenly. Four teeth removed, hockey stick retired and still no drums.
Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Luckily I had made some friends and these friends were connected, musically I mean. In fact my best friend’s dad played guitar in a band! It was through him that we met a guy who played keyboards in a function band and who happened to have a drum kit and a recording set up at his house. My friends and I would go round this guys house often after school and play on the drums or keyboards or make our voices into alien voices or remix songs. I know I know it all sounds dodgy but we were kids just looking to make some noise and this was a place to do so.
One day I go round and the guy opens up a silver box. Inside is the slave pedal and linking bar to a gorgeous Tama Iron Cobra pedal. I’d never seen this before and was amazed by it. Just as he finished setting it up a guy with a head fall of dreadlocks walks in. It’s his brother. It’s his brother kit in fact and he’d come to collect it. Before he packed away my favourite toy, mr dreadlock showed me what playing drums was all about. I sat with my jaw on the floor and my eyes the size of dustbin lids as Mr Dreadlocks thrashed and flailed around the kit. Did I mention he totally abused that double pedal as well?
Mr Dreadlock left and with him went his drum kit and my dreams. My foray into drumming was short but sweet and left on a high note. Luckily for me Mr Dreadlocks brother (the original guy) loved having a drum kit so much he soon replaced his brothers one with one of his own.
A Good Teacher Makes All the Difference
The replacement was, well it was erm. Well you see it was old, like really old and the other drum kit had been new and shiny. The only redeeming quality this drum kit had was that it could be mine for £60!!! Not bad however I only got £10 a fortnight in pocket money so it took me a while to own it!
The kit came from a drummer called Pete Sewell. He showed me a few things on it and I even watched him record a song on his kit! Meeting Pete changed my life. Back to the kit for a second. I kept this kit at a few different friends houses for a few months whilst I worked up the courage to ask my mum if I could bring it home. Eventually I did and she let me on the condition that I put towels over them to make them quieter!
Finally my drumming career had started! Every day I rushed home from school to play drums before mum got home from work! I formed bands with my friends at school and I played along to all my favourite bands. I was loving life finally! It was around this time that I discovered a band called Blink 182. More importantly I discovered Travis Barker. Boy can that dude DRUM!!!
Another condition my mum laid down was Lessons. At first she enrolled me in lessons at school. The teacher was alright but we didn’t really fit so a new teacher was to be found. Step in Pete. I started having lessons with Pete around the age of 12. The first day I walked in he sat me down and asked me to play. Me being a 12 year old boy I played the most complicated thing I could with a super fast fill. “That’ll impress him” I thought in my naive little brain. Pete didn’t say much except “so what do you want to learn?” The answer was simple “everything” I said. One word that changed my life and seemed to shock Pete too.
Pete literally taught me everything from basic beats to jazz, funk, reggae and more! My lessons with Pete stretched on for many years. Every week he would push me and every week I’d work my butt off trying to impress him by learning everything he taught.
Another Brick In The Wall.
The rest of my schooling involved playing in bands, stealing a drum kit (ok let me clear this up. I brought a drum kit off of my school. The teacher let me go in the store cupboard and choose one of three. I chose what i wanted and my friends and i took it home. The next day the teacher wanted to see what i had taken so he could work out a price so i only took two drums back to show him so technically not stealing), drumming and more lessons. Oh and I also hung out at the local music shop daily!!!! It was heaven being surrounded by all those gorgeous kits, snares and cymbals. None of which I could afford but all that I yearned for.
After school I studied Music Technology at college. This was by far one of the best times of my life. Ok so it wasn’t so much based around drumming but I learnt so much about recording, writing music, programming parts, theory, history and the industry. I still use a lot of what I learnt there!
After college I studied Music and Live Events Management at Uni. Not so much a music course but a business course using the music industry as its model. I decided against a performance degree at the time (a choice I regret) because I didn’t believe in my own abilities enough. Anyway, uni was great and I spent most of my time drumming anyway. My course was ‘Full Time’ but only actually six hours of lectures a week!!! Over this time my playing improved tenfold. Eventually in year three I started teaching other students and found that I loved teaching drums!
With the end of Uni looming and my life being it’s own thing now I had to decide what to do with my life? I emailed a music school asking if they needed a drum teacher. I didn’t hear back for months and then out of the blue they emailed me saying they did! That started a four year long relationship with them where I taught over 100 students over the years and started to really hone my craft as a drum tutor.
As always life happens, and I left the music school. I had my first child (mentioning children again…) and now had responsibilities. I got myself a new job building exhibition stands. Not drum related but it was through drums that I got the job. I had joined a band around the same time I started teaching. The band had a record deal and we were on the brink of making some serious headway into the industry. We played some amazing shows and I finally found a place to call home. Again life happens. The front man had to get a new job which left him no time for the band. The owner of the label also ran an exhibition company and so when I needed a new job everything came together.
After having my second child, drums took a back seat for a while. Trying to juggle the family and a very hectic job left me exhausted and no time for music.
Guess Who’s Back?
BUT now I’m back!! Back playing drums, back playing in bands and more importantly for you back teaching drums. I’ve got new ideas and inspirations. A new business and a new lease of life for drumming.
At the end of the day I’m me being me and I hope you have read this far and like what you hear. I’m the guy that will be teaching you (hopefully). I’m the guy that you’ll be stuck in a room with for an hour a week. And that’s, uh hum, About Me.