Periphery Rhythm Section Masterclass

27 November, 2015

November saw a whole lot of drum and bass action come to BIMM London, though not in the way you might think. The drums belonged to Matt Halpern, the bass came from Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood, and both musicians belong to metal super-band Periphery.

Adam is a former student at BIMM Bristol and since graduating has found enormous success with his band Periphery, recording and touring extensively. He even produced the band’s double album project, Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega.

To a packed room, the bandmates displayed some of the awesome power of their metal sound, playing old and new tracks including fan-favourites like ’22 Faces’. After a powerful performance they took questions from the students who were keen to learn about topics such as technique, rehearsal and songwriting. Here are some of the great Masterclass insights the Periphery boys had to offer…

Mike Dolbear wanted to know about Adam’s technique for tuning drums:

“I use a pitch reference ‘pitch pipe’ which is a free app on my phone. It’s enough for me to hear the pitch and then tune a head to whatever specific pitch I’m aiming for. I’ve experimented a lot and I found that the real secret to me to great sounding toms is to tune the two heads a minor third apart. I’ve found the point where drums come to life and memorise those.”

How do you warm up before a show?

Matt: I don’t really have a specific warm up routine. I’m pretty limber as it is, I’m loose at all times so I don’t really need to warm up in that sense. I find that on show days it’s very important for me to exercise at some point during the day prior to the show for a good twenty to thirty minutes, whether that’s going to the gym and hitting some weights or whether it’s doing cardio, something that really gets my heart rate up, get the blood flowing so that when I go and play the show I’m not getting winded. I’m able to maintain my breathing, I’m not really sweating and I can really focus on the parts. I also usually teach during the day before a show so I’m playing during the day anyway.

What techniques do you think have helped you improve as musicians?

Matt: Play through your mistakes. If you’re playing it live that’s even better. That way you can hear if what you’re doing works or not. I have two ways of learning. One is to play exactly as the song is, and then to play the song in your own interpretation but still keeping within the boundaries of the genre.

These are the kind of insights students can really take away with them and work on and we’re really grateful for Matt and Adam’s fantastic Masterclass, and very proud of our ex-student of course!

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