FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where are you based?
I am based in Castledawson, Co. L'Derry right in the centre of Northern Ireland. The central location makes it pretty easy to get to from anywhere in N.I. If you're committed to learning you won't be put off by travelling a little out of your area.
I used to do 70 mile round trips 2-3 times per week to practice with my old band for years and some people won't travel more than 2-3 miles!
I offer 2-hour workshop style lessons and double lessons for those who really want to make progress and don't want to travel every week for 1 half hour lesson so there's plenty of options available.
I have had a variety of students aged 7-50 years old who have come to me for lessons/coaching from all over N.I. - from Magherafelt, Cookstown, Armagh, L/Derry, Ballymoney, Ballymena, Antrim, Crumlin and Newtownabbey to name a few.
Why take drum lessons, can I not just learn by myself?
Pretty much everything you'd ever need to know about drumming is available online these days and yes you can learn by yourself.
The problem is that there's so many videos and SO much information online that it can be overwhelming and leave you feeling confused and not knowing where to start. You also tend to pick up a lot of bad habits and once you finally realise that you've been playing things wrong it can be hard to unlearn those things.
I am a self-taught drummer but looking back and thinking of the really unstructured way I learned, the bad habits I picked up and had to unlearn a few years later and the way I actually made things harder for myself, if I had to do it again I would go take lessons - at least for a while.
The advantage of taking drum lessons and having a coach like me, is that I can give you a more simple and structured way to learn, building a good solid foundation of getting those basics right, playing with good form and solid timing.
I can make you aware of little things that you're unaware of when you're concentrating hard on playing the right beats - things like speeding up when playing fills, missing a beat in a certain part or adding in extra ones without realising.
There's a reason that top footballerss, fighters, athletes, musicians and business people have coaches - they can analyse and see things that you're doing wrong or could do better that you wouldn't see yourself and to give you that extra little push or extra motivation at times to bring the best out of you.
I can help you avoid the mistakes that I made over the years and share my years of experience of learning, playing, gigging, writing, recording and overcoming injury and health problems and help you to become the best that you can be and progress A LOT quicker than you would be learning by yourself.
...and there's something about being there in person that is MUCH better than getting coached online.
Do I need to practice at home?
YES! You must commit to practicing at least 15 mins per day or 1.5 hours per week. Lessons are not to be used as a practice session. The lessons are for me to teach you, assess you're progress and give you things to work on for the next lesson so you can keep progressing.
If you don't practice at home then you are just wasting your money and both my time and your own. You need to practice regularly to get value from the lessons and I want to give you as much value as possible.
What if I don't have a kit right now?
I understand that you might want to try out some lessons to see if drumming is for you before investing in a kit. Having an acoustic or electric kit at home is ideal but I can show you how to practice the techniques I show you, at home with no kit (yes really!).
Do I have to commit to lessons long-term?
No. You can book a one-off lesson, several lessons, do a few months or take lessons for as long as you want. If you book a block of 4 lessons or one of the 6-12 week courses you have the option of continuing lessons or finishing altogether once the course finishes.
Any no-shows or cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will still be charged. If you're on 1 of the 6-12 week courses you will lose that lesson. If you give notice in advance you can arrange to re-schedule your lesson.
There are no refunds. The only exception is in the unlikely event that I have to cancel your lesson at short notice and can't re-schedule any time in the near future otherwise your credit for the lesson will remain. If you're on 1 of the 6-12 week courses and you cancel last minute or quit the course early there is no refund, you lose the remaining lessons.
If you're fully booked is there a waiting list?
Yes you can ask to be put on the waiting list and when a slot becomes available I will notify you ASAP.
What kind of kit are lessons taught on?
Lessons are given on my ALESIS CRIMSON II electric kit.
Am I too old to learn?
No! You are NEVER too old to learn or get back to drumming. I have had students ranging from 7 to 50 years old and happy to teach anyone older. Despite what most people believe, we are capable of learning and growing until the day we die and we feel better and more accomplished when we learn new things and make progress. If you have any doubts feel free to get in touch and I'll have a chat with you.
Will my health or injuries stop me from learning/playing?
It all depends on what your issues are. Will it stop you forever? No, not if you're determined to recover and do whatever it takes to get your health back. I broke my back and badly broke my left arm and wrist back in 2000 and became a much better drummer with an even better attitude after that! Chronic knee pain forced me to quit drumming and playing music in 2013 for about 5 years but I completely changed my mindset and my lifestyle, became fitter and healthier than ever, played a reunion gig with my old band in 2018, started teaching drums and created the BORN 2 BLEED brand in 2019!
Nothing is impossible and I'm passionate about this so if you're have any doubts please get in touch and I'm happy to have a chat with you to see if I can help.
Do you cover other styles of music apart from rock/metal?
No. If it's not some form of rock or metal you want to learn then I am not the right teacher/coach for you. If you're unsure though feel free to get in touch and ask.
Is it hard and how long will it take to learn?
That's a 'How long is a piece of string?'-type question. It all depends on how much effort and practice you put in and everybody learns at different rates. The more you pay attention in lessons, listen to what I'm say and practice at home the QUICKER you will progress. Someone who practices 2 hours per day will obviously progress A LOT quicker than someone who practices 15 minutes per day.
Someone who doesn't practice at all will make very little or no progress at all - plus they will not be able to continue taking lessons with me.
Learning to drum is not easy but like anything else worth doing, it is worth the effort and really fun and satisfying when you learn to do/play things you never thought you'd be capable of. Good music, learning new things and making progress is what life is all about!