There is no hiding place in the studio....
No matter how much the hype or how big the talk is from a musician, the Studio environment is a great leveller. It tells the truth about your playing. Every grace note, every accent and all of the energy you give is captured. Being able to play simple things well is the most basic foundation you must have.
Many people overlook this and go straight for practising chops. Thats fine but to be a good recording drummer, the attributes you must have are:
A solid sense of the time and the pulse
A great feel
A flair for creating parts
A sympathetic ear to what's going on in the track
Excellent people skills
Total conviction in your playing
Being comfortable working to a click track
This list could be pages and pages of bullet points so for now we'll move on.
We will start the course having a look at your technique, your playing level and how you hit the drums. Everything is professionally recorded at the studio so you can hear exactly how you sound. I will put together a practise schedule with a series of exercises to work on any weak points we discover.
This course is bespoke for every student and lasts for two days. We'll have a series of chats prior to the commencement so I can get your background, where you think you are with your playing, what you think your weaknesses and strengths are.
The sessions range in difficulty and cover many different feels and styles. I have a vault of many sessions I have done over the years. We'll mute the drums and you replace them. These range from pop sessions, jingle sessions, playalong recordings from books or for more advanced players - Odd meter and polyrhythm madness from my own band HEADSPACE.
There are also many varied situations I can put you in.
Sight reading a chart and recording
Coming in and learning a track you've never heard before. Making your own chart/cheat sheet
Recording a track I have sent you the backing for. You must be well prepared coming into the session!
Playing in styles that may be out of your comfort zone
You will get constant feedback throughout the course. The course culminates in being filmed while playing to your strongest track of the two days. This is in HD and is shot from 3 different camera angles. Not only is this a good bit of promo to take away with you but it's also an invaluable insight to actually seeing how you perform.
Below is a testimonial from Robert Spiteri (Malta) who recently took the course.
ANother visitor to the studio was Pete Cater. Pete is a well known accomplished big band/Jazz drummer from the UK. We had some fun filming him playing to a Gordon Goodwin track from his 'Phat band playalong' series. A challenging big band chart in one take.
"Richard's live room is a great acoustic environment in which to record drums, in addition to which his mic placement and engineering skills achieve possibly the best ambient, open drum sound I have ever heard.
I can think of no other recording context in a 35 plus year professional career where the true essence of my sound on the instrument has been captured so effectively".
- Pete Cater UK Big Band / Jazz drummer.