We are delighted to announce that throughout the Lock down period, we have been busy putting together a new and exclusive 'Ask the Pro's' feature where we ask some of the worlds most respected musicians how they learned to play their instrument and what advice they would give to new musicians.
These features are exclusive to Progress Music Academy and offer a real insight into how they did it and how you can too.
The fifth instalment is from Worldwide Clinician and Drummer Craig Blundell (Frost, Lonely Robot, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson):
1. Did you have lessons or are you completely self-taught?
I was self taught up until the age of around 11
a) If you were self-taught, how did you teach yourself to play drums?
Mainly listening to old records and trying to copy what I was hearing
b) If you had lessons, how long did you take lessons for?
I’m still taking lessons when I can, you never stop learning if you want to stand amongst the very best. I've never understood why drummers don’t have a mentor or a coach. Just because your the best golfer in the world it doesn’t mean a coach cant show and advise, its the same in music
2. How important do you think it is to learn to read/write music?
I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills if I didn’t have a form of understanding, especially in a studio environment. A lot of the time for me its one listen, while listening writing out parts, the second listen is recording. I’m in a deeply privileged position where I’ve played on 14 albums since March, a lot of them are very tricky, If I didn’t have the knowledge to write what I was hearing, I'd be completely lost
3. We’re there any ‘light-bulb’ moments you remember having whilst you were learning?
Yes, discovering good hand technique and the power of listening to a proper drummer for the first time
4. Do you have any specific tips for a good practise regime?
I mainly run every day as an 40/20. Start the day with 40 minutes of things that need work and finish with 20 mins of everything in context from previous sessions, always to music
5. Do you have any advice for a drummer (or musician) who is just starting out on their learning journey?
There are so many drummers out there to the point of saturation, the best advice I could give you would be:
a) never be a poor imitation of anyone
b) innovate don’t imitate
c) every day try and be better than you were the previous day
d) practice what you’re not good at
e) play styles of music you don’t like
f) carve your own path, stand out, be different
You can catch Craig in action below:
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