The Best Shoes For Drumming (and everything else)

Years ago I read a Tim Ferris article that turned me onto Vivo Barefoot shoes and I haven't looked back. Finding comfortable shoes that allow your feet to do what they need to do isn't as easy as you'd think. It was an image like the one below that surprised me. It shows how wearing regular western shoes physically changes the shape of your feet. This can result in all kinds of problems, but the main one is that it stops your feet from working in the way they're supposed to work. Proprioception Proprioception Read more [...]

First Impressions Count (but not that much)

I'm very comfortable sitting at home on my own with my laptop working on a project. I don't have to deal with other people and everything is under my control. That's how it's been since August writing the code for PolyNome. The same can apply to practicing drums in your garage. You have all the time in the world to work on whatever you want to work on. There's no pressure and you can enjoy the process of getting as good as you dream of. PolyNome is finally ready to release and I find myself Read more [...]

10 Of My Favourite Things (in no particular order)

It's been way too long since I last posted on here.  I've been really busy recording new VIP lessons and more recently I've been spending every waking hour adding features to PolyNome I'm currently at the end of a month long US tour and I wanted to share with you the things that have made my life easier when setting up and playing.  It's little things like these that make touring more pleasurable.  Something as simple as a quick-lock hi-hat clutch saves a couple of minutes a day with packing Read more [...]

Talk for 2 minutes about sheep farming… GO!

BEFORE YOU READ THIS ARTICLE… If you want to get the most out of this article, and you’re alone, then actually time yourself and try to talk about sheep farming for 2 minutes as if an audience of people were in front of you.  Your aim is to keep them entertained and keep going without stumbling too much, getting stuck or giving up.  It doesn’t have to be accurate, just give it your best shot… ready - GO! That’s what it’s like being in the middle of a song when the band leader Read more [...]

Music and Comedy

This is pretty interesting.

Early on, when asked about when material is ‘ready’, Louie CK says he feels it’s like a fruit.  It ripens, then starts to go off.

That’s a bit like how I’ve felt about my drum solo.  I’ll get a new idea on one night, then it might develop over the next few nights, then it starts to become stale.

There are a lot of parallels between music and comedy.  You can draw your own conclusions…

How To Jam

I was just asked the following question... I have a bass player friend who wants to jam and I'm unsure of what to do, so wondered "how" you like to jam. Here's what I replied... I consider jamming to be a playground. A place to discover new things. Don't pre-judge ideas.  Let them flow and don't worry if something comes out of you that you don't like the sound of. Speak to the bass player beforehand and agree that you're both free to try things without fear of criticism - that way Read more [...]

Harder than it looks!

I want to know if you find this as difficult as I did. It feels easy to me now, but for 20 mins last night I was finding it pretty tricky. Post in the comments and let me know. The basic swiss 6-stroke roll is two 8th notes followed by four 1/16th notes.  The 8th notes are accented.  I'll put underscores to represent 1/16th note spaces: R_L_rlrl All I'm doing is taking out some, or all of the left hand taps.  Taking them all out gives you: R_L_r_r_ ...which is evenly spaced 8th Read more [...]

Lessons from the road…

I've been recording every gig on this tour and listening to the recording on the journey to the next gig. I always find that when I'm disciplined enough to do this regularly I learn a lot about how I can improve my playing.  While you're actually playing the gig there are so many things to think about and it's very difficult to know if how it feels or sounds in your head is how it feels and sounds to the audience.  Recording the gig is a great way to know... I want to talk about three particular Read more [...]

Snare Sound

snare sound The above is a recording from my iPhone of how the top head of my snare drum is tuned. It's a 6.5 x 14 Ian Paice signature model. I've been recording gigs on the tour and I was unhappy with the tuning of my snare.  It was too loud and pokey, and I decided it was tuned too high.  I dropped the tuning a bit and now I'm happy with it.  I recorded the audio file for future reference when re-heading. Read more [...]