Pink Floyd's Nick Mason's biggest regret: Lack of Music Teaching!


A packed room of BIMM London students were there for the eagerly anticipated masterclass with Pink Floyd’s celebrated drummer, Nick Mason, hosted by Head of Drums, Erik Stams.

Early on in the session, Nick was asked how it all began for him,

“I actually started because Rock and Roll was invented – when I was small it hadn’t!  It was a really exciting thing. Three or four of my friends decided to start a band. None of us could play anything. One of them bought a guitar and that was it!  So I quickly said I’d play the drums. I asked for money for Christmas and for £7.50 I bought a bass drum, snare, bongos, a sort of high hat and a cymbal. I never looked back.”

Nick shared that his biggest regret was not being officially taught to play drums.

“I would definitely consider myself self-taught. There was no interest in schools to teach music. There were teachers around, but I didn’t know where to find them.”

“I guess I had a different approach to the drums because I never had the technique to do the advanced fills, so I had to find ways of feeling more comfortable. On occasion it really does work and there are various ways of describing it, but one of those things is the groove.”

As a member of one of music’s most revered bands, Nick gave students an insight into the tensions that can arise.

“The aggravation is that you’re doing something while you’re growing up at the same time, over a long period of time. I think any band’s story tends to start off really well and as people grow up or – in some cases – revert to being seven years old, that’s when things get difficult.”

Nick described how band dynamics changed, particularly when members married and had children.

“Success is brilliant when the band is all working together to exactly the same point, but when you achieve that point it becomes clear that some of you want something slightly different. That’s when things fracture and that is why some bands find that they have musical differences.”

Nick discussed new technology and criticised the effect of the web on the industry.

“It’s lead by the idea that music should be the free toy in the cornflake packet. You can’t stop technology advancing but what the web has done for music is not good. I think it makes life very tough for younger bands to start.”

He told students the idea that music should be given away was “absurd.”

“Everyone deserves to make a living and we should work hard to get back to the idea that musicians deserve to get paid for what they do.”

Thank you to Nick for sharing his knowledge with our students.

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POSTED ON: March 24, 2016
  • London, Drums