Top Tips for Gigging Drummers…

Simon DringBlog

tips for gigging drummers

Here are my top tips for drummers. Whether you are just starting out on the drums, or if you are a veteran of the gig scene, here are some things to think about.

Podcast: The Art of Backing Vocals

Simon DringBlog

the art of backing vocals podcast

Whilst indulging in my love of podcasts, I came across this fascinating episode released by the BBC about the often overlooked art of backing vocals. Nothing to do with drums, but everything to do with music. Originally broadcast in 2009, it features vocal coach and singer with the stars Kim Chandler (who I have been lucky enough to share a … Read More

Using technology in music teaching – my workflows

Simon DringBlog


I’ve always been a fan of gadgets and technology, from the early personal organisers to the palmtop Psion devices, through to the modern laptops and tablets. 15 years on, here’s how I organise my drum teaching using cloud storage and iOS.

One Becomes Seventeen

Simon DringBlog


I did a few dep gigs for a rock and roll trio recently. Most of the rhythmic patterns were quite straightforward, but I still wanted to clearly differentiate between the verses, choruses, bridges etc. Changing the bass and snare parts wasn’t really appropriate, and it got me thinking how I could make a subtle change in different sections using the … Read More


Simon DringBlog

I was recently asked to notate the drum part to Single Ladies by Beyonce. I am unashamedly a fan of Beyonce, and this song has always intrigued me, and so the prospect of notating it was a pleasant one! I notated the part from a live rehearsal version of the song – you can find it here:

How important is it to be able to read drum music?

Simon DringBlog

How important is it to be able to read drum music? I have been reading (and writing) drum music for over 20 years now, and I have found this to be one of the most useful skills I have. However, there are plenty of successful drummers (and other musicians) out there who cannot read music, and they seen to have done OK … Read More

How to write drum “cheat sheets”

Simon DringBlog

How to write drum cheat sheets

This post is about how I write my drum “cheat sheets”, or “road map” charts for songs I play with various bands. If the song is very complicated, I will occasionally notate the whole song note for note, but if it’s simpler, or I already know roughly how it goes, I write these guides to help me remember what happens … Read More

My friend the Paradiddle

Simon DringBlog

my friend the paradiddle

Anyone who has been taught by me, or knows me well, will have been subjected to me waxing lyrical about the Paradiddle. The issue many drummers have with Paradiddles (and in fact, all the rudiments) is they do not realise how useful the rudiments can be in day-to-day playing. Whilst you may spend hours/weeks/months working on Paradiddles, Flams, 5 stroke … Read More

Be prepared…

Simon DringBlog

After years of playing gigs, I have come up with a list of things you should always have with you (in addition of course from your drum-kit). Here goes…

Musical Gem: Erykah Badu – Live (1997)

Simon DringBlog

Erykah Badu – Live (1997) To be honest, I’m not normally a huge fan of jazz/soul/rap albums, but this one is a definite exception. Recorded live in 1997, it encompasses all the things I love about music – beautifully written songs, groove by the bucketload, and incredible musicianship.