10 Tips from Our Legendary BIMM Drums Masterclasses

21 June, 2019

We’re committed to bringing the masters of music straight to you. Being in the presence of extraordinary drumming legends, hearing their stories, learning how they got to where they are (and even watching them perform) is something that we’re immensely proud to offer here at BIMM.

Check out our selection of the best BIMM Drum Masterclasses that have taken place over the years. These guests stepped out from behind their cymbals and high-hats to share their wisdom and chat with students like you. Not bad, right?

1) Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)

“Work with any musicians who want to work with you. Either they’ll teach you something or you might teach them something”

Drumming legends don’t get much greater than Nick Mason from Pink Floyd. He visited BIMM London to talk about the band in depth and discuss how he got started in music. He also had plenty of solid advice for the passionate percussionists in the audience. Have a watch to see what pearls of wisdom are up for grabs.

2) Ian Matthews (Kasabian)

“I stayed on top of my playing and I practised, bought books, listened to what people had to say to me and tried to take things on board”

Kasabian’s Ian Matthews passed on his wealth of experience to BIMM Bristol students. He discussed how he ended up in Kasabian, how he got into drumming in the first place and his versatile style. And, did you know that Ian is also a regular visiting faculty tutor across all our BIMM colleges? Just another perk to being a BIMM student…

3) Rex Hardy Jr.

“Every musician is different, so practise what you know you aren’t good at”

Rex Hardy Jr. is the legendary drummer for Mary J. Blige and Diddy. And he came to BIMM London for an incredible Masterclass. As well as talking about his career, he also showed students his drumming process and technique. Take a look to pick up a few pro pointers.

4) Steve Jordan

“I don’t advocate hitting the drum harder all the time. It’s about producing the right sound”

Steve Jordan’s incredible career is one to admire – and he joined us at BIMM London to talk about it. Steve became a member of the John Mayer Trio in 2005 and has recorded with artists such as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, B.B. King, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and Neil Young. During his Masterclass, Steve spoke about drum technique – and even gave some one-on-one drum advice to some of our lucky students. How awesome to be able to say you refined your technique with someone like Steve Jordan?

5) Harvey Mason

“My edge was being able to be versatile and to have dynamics and have control – not just to bash but to articulate”

The insanely talented, multi-award-winning drumming superstar that is Harvey Mason came to BIMM Brighton for an electric Masterclass. George Pickering, one of the students in the audience, said that it was a Masterclass he’d never forget.

“To be in the presence of one of my musical heroes, to learn his skills and to have an insight into his experience was incredible!”

6) Jojo Mayer

“If you want to get good then you need to play. Practising is okay (it’s a good substitute), but if you have the chance to play then that’s how you really get good” 

Back when BIMM London was known as Tech Music School, drummer Jojo Mayer joined us for an impressive Masterclass. In front of a crowd of 280 students, Jojo demonstrated his unique blend of drum n’ bass, jazz and jungle grooves before taking questions from the floor.

He offered his personal insight and invaluable tips about sound, groove, musicianship and techniques that have won him masses of fans from around the globe.

7) Steve White

“As drummers, you have to leave your ego at the door and accept that your job is to make the band sound good”

Steve White, a true hero of British drumming, also stopped by Tech Music School (now BIMM London) to showcase his drumming talent. Steve has over 30 years of experience and has played and recorded with artists such as The Who, Paul Weller, Chad Smith, The Style Council and many more. Have a look at his incredible Masterclass above.

8) Ralph Rolle

“Sometimes less is more. Not trying to play a whole lot of stuff in a short period of time, but choosing the right piece at the right moment could make a song (or whatever you’re playing) the best thing you’ve ever heard, or the best thing someone else has ever heard. And that is powerful” 

Sought-after drummer and producer Ralph Rolle also paid us a visit to BIMM London and BIMM Brighton. Originally hailing from The Bronx in New York, Ralph has worked with the likes of Prince, U2, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Biggie Smalls, John Legend and Nile Rodgers and Chic. Nile also popped into BIMM London with Ralph at a later date to say hello and give a sensational Masterclass.

9) Brian Frasier-Moore

“Everything you post [on social media], how nice you are to people, taking care of your business, being approachable, being humble – all of these things come into play [for getting the right opportunities]”

Brian Frasier-Moore, drummer for Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Usher and others, stopped by BIMM London to discuss his varying techniques and fills. He talked about social media and self-promotion in the industry as well. He also invited students up on stage to jam with him – all in a day’s work here at BIMM.

“I love drumming anyway, but to play with such a big name was just a huge deal for me. It was a huge pleasure”

– Carlo Vogot, Diploma Drums student

10) Deborah Knox-Hewson

“Be really polite, be professional, take criticism… Have these as your goals and really try to uphold them”

We always like to keep in touch with BIMM graduates – and they often come back to visit and share some of their wisdom. Deborah is just one of our successful past students who walked through our doors and into the music industry. Now a session musician working with the likes of Charlie XCX, she swung by to tell us about her time at BIMM – and give us her top tips on what qualities make up the best drummers in the business.

Masterclass Extras

Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

This man lets his skills do the talking. Imagine being able to say that you’ve watched Chad Smith come into your classroom and show you how things are done! That’s just what happened when the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer dropped into BIMM Dublin and jammed with drum tutor Graham Hopkins. It’s a Masterclass that students still talk about today.

We’ve also had Drum Masterclasses from drumming greats such as Royal Blood and Ben Thompson from Two Door Cinema Club (one of our BIMM alumni).

And we’re also extremely proud to offer high-tech equipment, world-class drum faculty and a dedicated Careers Team, so you have as much opportunity as possible to turn your creative flair into a fulfilling career.

And you don’t have to take our word for it – just check out some of BIMM Drum Alumni who have turned their passion into their full-time calling.

Still wondering why you should consider studying Drums at a higher level?

Click here to discover more great course features

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