Summertime

summertime and the living is easy.

Or so the song lyric says.

We have had a very busy spring tour with Think Floyd so far this year celebrating the anniversary of the Wish you were here album.

Big thanks to all the wonderful fans and crew members we have met on our travels around the UK and the World as we travelled to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Malta and Spain. 

The Drumfarm will be open throughout the summer and I will be keeping myself busy with recording sessions for the Giles Rivers Company at Fiskerton Studios, also a recording project at the lovely Comfy towers  studio in Linby, Notts. 

See you all on the Road in September for the second half of the Think Floyd tour! 

Till the next time.

Best wishes from the Farmer.

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Happy new year.

Well it’s that time of year when I can pack away the Pantomime tools for another year, wood blocks, Swanee whistles, cowbells, slapstick, cabasa, fairy chimes and ratchets amongst other fun gadgets including duck calls and crow calls! It’s a crazy fun world and great to be part of the Panto family. Panto is intense with 42 shows crammed into a month, 2 shows a day with only 2 days off. The gig involves reading the music score from the fabulous musical director Matt Marks and following the script adapted by the great Lee Waddingham. The MD and myself provide a constant underscore for the 2hr show and you can’t take your eyes off the stage for a second! It’s a musical challenge for any drummer, but one I highly recommend.
I’ve now got one week to prepare for the 2015 Think Floyd tour, this year we are tributing the 1975 iconic album “wish you were here” as well as a few other new fantastic Pink Floyd tracks to add to what should be an exiting 2 hour set.
So it’s back in the rehearsal room, back in the drumfarm and looking forward to a fantastic 2015.
Regards.
The Farmer.

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Looking ahead.

Winter greetings from the Farmer to everyone.
We have had a very busy touring schedule down on the farm with Think Floyd, meeting some very interesting and helpful people on the way.
The Think Floyd 2014 tour finishes in London on Dec 3rd and we are already working on the songs for next years 2015 Wish you were here 40th anniversary tour, in this job we spend most of our time planning and looking ahead to be the best we can be for the audience and our students here at the drumfarm.
My 2014/15 pantomime season kicks off next month with Peter Pan as this seasons show. News to come on this as I pick up the songs and script this week.
Regards from the Farmer.

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Artist in residence programme

Hi Everyone. Just got some news on an exiting event happening at the MLC in Nottingham over the October half term.
The artist residence programme is a jam packed event, and it’s a great opportunity to hang out with like-minded drummers of all ages and levels of ability. You can get all your drumming questions answered after demos and talks from Paul Hose the MLC director. John Favicchia currently on a clinic tour from the USA and myself.
I aim to talk about musical diversity, from Rock to Pop and Theatre pit work to the world of the tribute act drummer.
There will be some Panto style fun and toys to play around with, aswell as some interactive kit playing.
Sign up at www.paulhose.com/artist-residence and we at the drumfarm hope to see y’all there.
Regards
The Farmer.

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World Cup fever.

As we enter into the Latin spirit of the World Cup 2014 down in Brazil. The fine rhythm farmers at the drumfarm have dug up some fantastic rhythms and grooves for you to try.
We have the classic Samba, it’s the sound of Brazil, slow, medium or fast to create the vibrant energy and passion.
Look at the gorgeous Bossa Nova and try to create something beautiful as you slowly cook this rhythm. Get Cookin! Make it groovy, hot n spicy!
The Partido Alto is a lovely variation on the Samba, it’s a pleasant rhythm to play, sometimes even sneaking it in as an alternative to Bossa Nova.
We also have the baiao Samba and many more styles and vibrant rhythms from the street that we adapt to our drum kit, just check out John Bonham rocking out a Brazilian street Samba groove at the end of the Led Zeppelin track “fool in the rain”.
Check out these amazing Rhythms. Enjoy the Music, Passion and vibrancy of Brazil and of course the Football!!

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Never play when you practice!

This month, myself and a fantastic bunch of Nottingham drummers will be having our butts kicked into shape by the mighty Thomas Lang.
When interviewed for Rhythm magazine recently, Thomas was asked WHATS THE KEY TO DEVELOPING GOOD HABITS VERSUS GETTING STUCK IN A DRUMMING RUT?
Thomas Lang “It’s very easy to avoid this mistake. Ninety-five percent of all drummers or musicians I know break practice rule #1 which is never play when you practice, never practice when you play. Practicing is unrewarding and terribly boring, it’s a very lonely and tortuous endeavour up to the point when you achieve something and that’s your great reward. It could be a very tiny little achievement but the reward doesn’t happen while you’re practicing, that is terribly exhausting, boring and frustrating. It is constant failure for days, months! But at one point after time there is improvement.
Keep focused, try not to drift away from your practice time and start noodling away on your kit playing your go to groove that you always do, you’re no longer playing the exercises and you’re now wasting time and not learning something new. You are playing not practicing. Sixty percent of your practice time is spent noodling, playing not practicing, which is a huge amount of time wasted on stuff you can already play. Keep growing. Keep developing and keep focused.

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Labels… The curse of music!

I often hear from my students at the drumfarm “I don’t want to play jazz” . But jazz is just a label and labels are the curse of music. Most musicians don’t concern themselves with labels- music is music, it’s either good or bad, and even the bad is not bad, just different.
Most drummers and bands get labelled, and Led Zeppelin are best known as the definitive 70’s rock band, but actually they were a really diverse band and John Bonham rose to the musical challenge.
When John Bonham was young, rock was in it’s infancy, he, like Keith moon, Charlie watts and Ringo Starr probably heard as much jazz as rock n roll. The first rock n roll drummers were jazz drummers, they had to invent rock drumming which previously did not exist.
Bonham took these influences to create his parts for classic zeppelin tracks such as Moby Dick ( Max Roach and Joe Morello and Papa Jo jones).
The point is that while Bonham was not a jazz drummer, the reason he was a GREAT drummer was because he opened his ears and mind to all genres of music, borrowing from every style going. To really understand what makes our current drumming heroes we have not just to study them, but we could do no harm in travelling back and finding out who THEY listened to…. Enjoy the journey!

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Don’t forget to spread the seeds from the drumfarm to all your friends who maybe interested it taking the 1st steps on the long and fruitful drumming journey.
Congratulations to all my rockschool students Charlie, Callum and Thomas on passing their grade 3 and grade 2. Good luck with the next step Lads!
I’m off for a busy November with Think Floyd www.thinkfloyd.net for gig dates. And a dep opportunity with my white snake friends Box Of Snakes.
Till next time.
The Farmer

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Twists and turns

My drum work takes many twists and turns throughout the year. Just as we have been taking a break from the Think Floyd 2013 tour, I have been filling in the down time with some Jazz and ballroom… Yes Ballroom!
It’s been great fun over the past week or so brushing up my Charlston, Quickstep, Bossa Nova, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rhumba, Samba and Tango rhythms.
I highly recommend these tools to all of us drummers, after all, it is ok to stick to one style or genre, but as a working drummer you never really want to be in a position where you have to say “no” to a gig.
We as drummers should be able to adapt from Panto pit to Theatre to ballroom dance hall just as easy as rock, pop or reggae.
So keep Rockin but keep an ear on that Rhumba… You never know when you may need it!
Till next time
Regards.
The Farmer.

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Happy 2013

Happy 2013 to all on the drumfarm!
Panto has just ended after an exhausting 42 show schedule of 2 shows a day. Great fun, although rather tiring.
Think Floyd begin the 2013 dark side of the moon tour in Bromsgrove on Jan 10th, so not much downtime after the Panto mayhem!
Don’t forget to get in touch for drum lessons down at the farm in 2013, we are hoping for a bumper crop of keen students both old and new, so spread the word.
All the best for now as I can’t hang around, I’ve got a tour to rehearse!
The Farmer.www.thinkfloyd.net

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Playing Drums live is one of the most exhilarating jobs on the planet...
OK, it's less adrenaline fuelled than Bungee Jumping or Formula One Racing, but if you want to enjoy earning your money, and you love music, it's a winner!
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