Welcome to my Website

About Me

I offer tuition on a one-to-one basis in my private teaching studio.  The tuition can take any form you like.  I have pupils that range from 8 to 65 years of age. From complete beginners to professionals, the lessons can be tailored to your aims and ability.

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The Studio

My purpose built sound proofed studio enables pupils to learn in a professional dedicated environment, using a professional drum kit, recording and playback equipment. It is based in the Redhill and Reigate area, within walking distance of a mainline station and regular bus routes. Two miles from Horley in Surrey. I am half an hour by car from Dorking, Caterham, Crawley and East Grinstead.

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Finding the right teacher

Before I commence teaching a new student, I ask them to come for a free short taster session.  We can then discuss what you are hoping to achieve from the lessons. Before making your decision do check out all the drum teachers in your area and ask them about their teaching and playing experience, as it can vary dramatically.

Member of the Musician’s Union.

About the Teacher

In the beginning

I began playing drums and keyboards at school and turned professional very soon after. Having served my apprenticeship like many musicians on the club circuit, I enjoyed chart success with some original bands, before moving into session playing.

Over a career spanning 4 decades I have played on many famous West End Musicals, TV and Radio shows and toured the world extensively.

Session playing is still at the core of my playing life and ensures that I teach from a position of knowledge and authority – especially important for pupils aiming to play professionally at the highest level.

West End and touring shows include

  • Singing in the Rain with Tommy Steele. 
  • Summer holiday with Darren Day.
  • Tribute To The Blues Brothers.
  • Blood Brothers with Stephanie Lawrence, Barbara Dickson.
  • Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat with Philip Schofield.
  • Five Guys Named Moe. 
  • Smokey Joe’s Cafe. 
  • The Magic of Broadway – Oslo.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – The Palladium.
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me – The Savoy Theatre. 
  • The Genius of Ray Charles – The Haymarket,
  • The Rat Pack – The Strand Theatre.
  • Guys and Dolls – The Piccadilly Theatre starring Patrick Swayze.

TV and Radio shows include

  • Noel’s House Party, BBC1. 
  • The Barrymore Show ITV1. 
  • Brian Conley Live and Dangerous LWT and DVD. 
  • The Lawrence Olivier Awards BBC1
  • The BBC Radio Orchestra, Radio 2
  • This Morning ITV
  • Pebble Mill at One BBC1.
  • Gloria Gaynor in Concert BBC2. 
  • Top of the Pops BBC1. 
  • The Tube, Tyne Tees TV.  
  • The Alan Titchmarsh Show ITV. 
  • Blue Peter BBC1

Touring includes

  • The Supremes
  • Petula Clark
  • Five Star
  • Ben E King
  • Joe Longthorne
  • Gloria Gaynor
  • Lorna Luft
  • Wayne Sleep
  • Joe Pasquale
  • Bradley Walsh
  • Lilly Savage
  • Harold Melvin
  • Martha Reeves
  • Billy Paul
  • Cilla Black
  • Barbara Dickson
  • Paul Daniels
  • Marti Webb
  • The Drifters
  • Bjorn Again
  • The Monte Carlo Sporting Club Band
  • Brendan Cole, Live and Unjudged
  • Brendan Cole, Licence to Thrill
  • Brendan Cole, A Night to Remember
  • The Royal Command Performance
  • McFly, Metropolis Studios
  • Barry Manilow & Lorna Luft Blenheim Palace. 
  • High School Musical National Tour
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me CD A
  • Loose CD A




On any instrument it is important to get a solid foundation on which to build. Whether you are a complete beginner, or somebody who feels they have never quite grasped the basics. Foundation lessons will give you a good enough understanding of the basic techniques required for you to join a band.

At this stage it is important to emphasise a musical approach to playing the drums and not get bogged down in more technique than is absolutely necessary.

Foundation lessons include –

  • ¼” Note Rock Grooves
  • 1/8” Note Rock Grooves
  • 1/16” Note Rock Grooves
  • 4/4, 3/4, 12/8 and 6/8 Time Signatures
  • Shuffle Rhythms
  • Triplets
  • Basic Fills
  • Groove and Feel
  • Hand and Feet Coordination
  • The ten most important Drum Rudiments
  • Understanding Song Structure
  • Playing with backing tracks


When learning a new technique, I believe it’s important to understand how and where you could put this into practice. Wherever possible ​I like ​to give an audio example of the technique, so you can see how to implement the idea and inspire you to create your own interpretation.

Intermediate lessons include

  • Posture /Grip/ Fulcrum
  • Improving time keeping.
  • Working with click tracks.
  • Phrasing.
  • Intermediate Snare Drum technique and Rudiments.
  • Applying the rudiments to the kit.
  • Musical styles include
  • Metal
  • Funk
  • Reggae
  • Indie
  • Blues
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • Co-ordination development.
  • Reading and Interpreting Charts.


  • Odd time signatures
  • Latin
  • Afro-Cuban and Brazilian styles.
  • Beat Displacement
  • Linear Phrasing
  • Linear Rudiments
  • Studio Techniques
  • 4 Way Co-ordination.
  • Independence
  • Moeller Technique
  • Down-Tap-Up Technique
  • Brush Technique.

Independence, Interpretation and Jazz Coordination.

Study material includes

  • Syncopated Rolls for the Modern Drummer Jim Blackley
  • The Essence of Jazz Drumming by Jim Blackley.
  • Progressive Steps to Syncopation by Ted Reed.

Jazz drumming is a lifelong study on its own. In these lessons we will investigate the many ways to incorporate the classic syncopation books in a jazz style plus much more.

Jim Blackley played and taught in New York for many years before moving to Toronto. So when I recently toured Canada I decided to track him down for a lesson. He invited me to his home for the day. He spent the time showing me his approach to playing and teaching some of the ideas in his new book THE ESSENCE OF JAZZ DRUMMING.

Preparing for your first gig.

“Fail to prepare – Prepare to fail”

Techniques for preparing yourself and the band for your first gig.


West End Musicals

Covering the styles and techniques required to play West End Shows, Tours, Cabaret gigs. Working with conductors, depping on shows etc.

Big Band reading and interpretation

Learn how to sight read Big Band charts. Set up and voice phrases with a brass section.



If you have a question, please feel free to email me, but here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

When do you to teach?

I usually teach three days a week, depending on my playing commitments.

Do you teach every week?

Yes, but this depends on how much playing work I have in the diary. On an average week I teach two and a half days, although if I have a busy week of gigs or I’m working abroad, some weeks I can’t teach at all. My students have to have some flexibility. I personally believe it’s important to find a teacher who is ‘at the coal face’ earning a living from playing, rather than a teacher that has the theory but is yet to put this into practice. All my teachers were busy session players and I was happy to miss the odd lesson in order to tap into their experience.

How often are the lessons?

I find with most pupils, a lesson once a fortnight works best. The lessons can be for half an hour for beginners and an hour for intermediate and advanced students.

Do you teach beginners?

Yes. It’s really important on any instrument to get a good foundation. I have many pupils who start lessons having played for some time and have reached a point where they are frustrated with their ability, or maybe the band they are playing with are not always happy with what they are doing. I usually find this is down to having never grasped a good basic technique.

What ages are your youngest and oldest pupils?

At present my youngest pupil is seven and my oldest is 71.

Do you play professional gigs?

Yes, I’m very lucky. I have many contacts in the business I have built up over the years who still call me. Two thirds of my income is still from playing. The great thing about being a freelance musician is nobody has to call you with a well paid gig. There are plenty of musicians who would happily take your place. I enjoying live playing more now than ever, so all the time they call me, I’ll say yes.

Do you teach the graded exams?

Yes, I teach Rockschool and Trinity Rock. I find some students enjoy the challenge of taking the grades and they can be useful for students taking GCSE music, or maybe intending to go on to music college. I have also had a few lessons with Dave Hassell in Manchester on Latin, and John Taylor who taught at Footes Music in the West End.

Which teachers taught you?

Probably the most well known of my teachers would be Bobby Armstrong. He has taught most of the pro drummers in the UK. I have also spent some time with Jim Blackley over in Canada. He has written one of my favourite books on Jazz drumming, The Essence of Jazz Drumming.

Do you teach all styles of music?

Yes, as a session musician you have to be able to cover all styles of music. I think after you have covered the basic foundation, it’s good to have a knowledge of Rock, Jazz, Latin, Reggae, Funk etc. I tailor the lessons to each pupils aims. If you are into a particular style, then that’s great.

Do you cover reading?

When you are earning a living from music, it’s important not to limit you work opportunities. So I figured it would be good to also learn to sight read. This has opened many doors for me. I wouldn’t have been asked to do TV shows and West End musicals without being a good reader.

In my lessons, l write everything down, or make a copy of my prepared lessons. This doesn’t mean you will become a sight reader, but it does mean you can start to work out whether the bass drum comes with the snare or before it etc. I also record everything I think a pupil won’t remember when they get home. If you can hear it and see it, you will soon have a basic knowledge of reading.

Get in Touch

01293 786744

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