Archive for June, 2009

Virtual Online Drum Machine – For Testing Tabs

June 29, 2009

We’ve got our simple online drum set up and running again for the purpose of testing drum tabs. Have a play and please let us know what you think by leaving comments here.

The tab tester drum machine was created using sounds from my Roland V-Club Electronic Drum Set.



How to Tune a Drum

June 23, 2009

Finally got round to finishing my article about tuning drums – my contribution to the debate!
How to Tune a Drum

The Isle of Wight Festival 2009 from the Medina River

June 15, 2009

I just finished an eventful weekend at the Isle of Wight Festival. The weather was great and my viewpoint was unique. I sailed up the Medina River from Cowes, moored up and then took my little rubber dinghy all the way to the festival where I tied up to a bigger boat, settled back and enjoyed the gigs.

The main stage is right next to the river, so the big screen is clearly visible and the sound powerful. Although it probably wasn’t as good as being inside the compound, it was certainly more comfortable! I didn’t envy the hardy souls who were swimming fully clothed (beers in hand) from the other side of the river, trying to sneek in, only to be turned back by security and having to swim back to the other side. There were other equally unsuccessful, albeit drier attempts to break in, such as the man paddling by on a windsurfer.


Looking for a back door

Looking for a back door

My favourites were more of my era, like Simple Minds, the Prodigy and Neil Young, although there were plently of other great acts. Below you can see my view of The View performing on the second day. The Stereophonics were good in the evening.

My view of The View

My view of The View

The Red Arrows came by for a spectacular aerobatics display to make the day perfect, despite the fact that I didn’t get to play on stage myself. Maybe next year…

The Red Arrows

The Red Arrows

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

June 9, 2009

Jimmy Cobb’s been geting a lot of press recently because of the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ seminal Kind of Blue album of  August 1959, the 50th anniversay for which is approaching fast. Almost 10 years older than me, this has to be one of my top five favourites. Occasionally I’ll listen to a track like So What by chance and wonder why I left it so long since last I heard it.

Jimmy Cobb is the last surviving member of the sextet that created this piece of work, and he’s touring in 2009 with Jimmy Cobb’s So What Band. Below is a 1959 TV performance of that very track.

Mary Jane Folk Rock

June 8, 2009

I heard from my old friends from Mary Jane last week. MJ was the only band I played with who released and albums and singles, and the experience of recording (sometimes on a shoestring, sometimes with a modest budget) was second to none.

I often hear from seasoned musicians about how when recording (and similarly from actors about filming), most of the time they’re standing around getting bored. I never understood that – I love all aspects of the creative process, and never got tired of take after take until it was perfect. (Well maybe not perfect, but acceptable!) I have very fond memories of playing and recording with Mary Jane anyway – even if sometimes the music was a little on the hippy side now and then!

Here is “Isle of Wight” recorded (if memory serves) in a great little studio converted from a garage somewhere near Cranley.

How to Play the Drums – Some Tutor Methods

June 7, 2009

There are so many different styles and methods of drumming that one tutor method won’t suit everyone; you have to find what’s best for you. When I first started learning I just played along to my favourite bands – and then I began to find my own style. Click here to read the full review.

Learn to Play Drums With Begin Drumming

June 7, 2009

What I find great about this course is the fact that I can download the videos straight to my iPhone and watch & listen while I’m at my drum set or practice pad. It’s certainly a back-to-basics course, but to be honest it’s something I could have done with years ago. Click here to read the full review.

Soundproof Your Garage For Drums

June 7, 2009

Do you, like me, find it difficult to have a good ‘n loud practise session because you know that someone, somewhere is moaning about the noise? I just can’t relax into it unless I know that no one but me can hear what I’m doing. So I had to soundproof my garage.

I had no prior experience of construction of any kind. It was daunting, but if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t have anywhere to practice. So… I went to the library to look for information on creating a soundproof garage… Click here for the full article.

Making the Change to an Electronic Drum Set

June 7, 2009

My enduring memories of electronic drum sets were of New Romantic bands in the eighties bopping around white hexagonal drum pads which made sounds more akin to a doorbell than to a drum. However, I didn’t have too many options, so I decided I’d have to put my faith in the technological progress that I hoped had been made in electronic drum sounds.

I had reached a turning point – no more room for the acoustic kit… Click here for the full article.

Make Time For Drumming Practice!

June 7, 2009

There just aren’t enough hours in the day for drumming practice. Even with my Roland V-Club Set which I could play any time, silently, I used to constantly find myself unprepared for band rehearsals and gigs because I just hadn’t done enough drumming practice.

So I practised in fron of the telly – drove the wife up the wall… Click here for the full article.