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Stewart teaches at drum masterclass in Oxnard
signed tom head - copyright Tamadude
signed Dare To Drum shirt - copyright Tamadude
signed (and now used) drumstick - copyright Tamadude
Date: 2014-04-30
Location: Oxnard, CA, USA - Drum Channel Studios
Attendees: Stewart Copeland, John Bryant and six drummers

Stewart Copeland teaches at a drum masterclass at Drum Channel Studios in Oxnard, CA, USA.

In 2013 D'Drum started a kickstarter project to finance a documentary about the genesis of their collaboration with Stewart Copeland. One of the rewards for funders was today's drum masterclass.

Tamadude on Stewart's website:

"It was fantastic! It was held at the DrumChannel studios in Oxnard, CA, conveniently located right beside the DW factory. The place is immense. There were six students. An adorable six year old girl from Utah, a ridiculously talented 15 year old from Alabama named Isaiah Fogle, good friend & kind gentleman Rodrigo from Chile, a gentleman from India, Gin Blossoms drummer Scott Hessel, & yours truly.

We were met, greeted, and offered caffeine by DW founder & pioneer Don Lombardi. They had two 6 piece kits set up. We mingled while we waited for the man of the hour to arrive...

After Stewart made his grand entrance, he made his rounds shaking hands. Then we went around the circle and each student introduced themselves and said a few words about their respective drumming experience. As usual, Stewart was in fine form and had funny and witty replies for each of us. For instance, I said how I played as a kid but had to play on borrowed or rented kits and on my lap for most of my life until I got the signature kit that sits in my basement, to which he quipped, "I bet your wife wishes you still played on your lap!" Boy was he ever right about that! (I never did bother with that soundproofing project).

We then took turns playing a few bars each so he could assess our skill levels, and gave each student pointers. We each played two rounds. He had great tips & advice for all of us. I don't know about anyone else, but I was so nervous I could barley hold the sticks, so I just kinda stared at the drums & kept it simple. Some notable tips he gave were: get used to playing any kit without adjusting anything, play standard size sticks, get a bassist & jam, less arms more hands, practice fast but soft & slow but hard, stretch out wrists, protect ears, watch the band, grab a mike, grab a guitar, etc.

After the coaching part, it was time for Q&A, and as we all know Stewart is very generous & never short on words, so a class that was supposed to be 2 hours, ended up being over 3 hours! John Bryant finally had to step in & conclude the session, otherwise we'd probably still be there! Let me just add here that Mr. Bryant is a super friendly first class person, and I am honored to have helped back his film project.

Then came the photos & signing. Each of us received a signed 12" felt lined tom head made especially for autographing, boldly signed in blue sharpie, autographed Dare to Drum t-shirts, pairs of sticks which he signed, as well as various other items people brought to get signed. When I went to the Apollo gig on finale week 2008, I managed to acquire a Vater from the quiver on SC's chariot. It wasn't used by him, but it was still a cool keepsake, so I brought it with me to the Masterclass to get signed. After he signed it, I asked him to put a ding in it, so I could say it was used by him. Then he went over to a kit & smashed the cymbal about twelve times really hard, putting a nice group of notches in it. I now had a signed stick from the Apollo chariot, used by Stewart! See what I did there? :)

After the class wrapped, we were given the opportunity to take a tour of the DW factory, which was also amazing. At the end of the tour, on the way out of the building, the other DW founder John Good, met with us & took some pics. Great ending for a great experience.

I'd like to thank Stewart & Mr. John Bryant for being so gracious with their time in allowing us to support the film & be rewarded with such an awesome event experience. I can't wait to see the film! I also want to thank Rodrigo & his lovely wife for putting up with me & offering such hospitality driving me all over LA. We had some great conversations, & thanks to Rod's willingness to part with it, I got to come home with a 2002 Paiste flat ride!"

See also

  • Some of today's drummers met Stewart at the Sacred Grove on 2014-04-28.

External links

This section needs more information.


sources: stewartcopeland.net, personal information, photos