Darren Ashford
West Midlands, West Midlands
Photo of Darren Ashford
Teaching Location:Birmingham, West Midlands, B9 4EG
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About Darren Ashford
I started playing drums at the age of 11 under the guidance of Oxford based drum teacher, Trevor Benham.
From the ages of  15-21, I hooked up with legendary teacher Bob Armstrong who was instrumental in giving me the skills to join the highly acclaimed National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) where I held the drum chair for 6 years.
This led to gigs with the Andy Ross Orchestra of “Come Dancing” fame and then aged 23 I began an 11-year stint touring the world with The Drifters  – for the last seven years as musical director.
I was also the house drummer at the famous Monday night jam sessions held at the 10 Rooms in Central London where I backed many leading artists in contemporary music such as The Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Will Young, Phats and Small, Sean Paul, Will Smith, Joss Stone, Lucie Silvas, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Shola Ama, Black Eyed Peas, Amy Winehouse, Gwen Guthrie, Romina Johnson, Beverley Knight, Angie Stone, Roachford, Kelle LeRoc, Alex Holland, Omar, Roy Ayers and many more.
Over the course of my career, I have also performed with D:REAM, The Dub Pistols, Laura and the Tears, Me’sha Bryan, Katrina Leskanich (ex-Katrina and the Waves), The Fizz (Formerly Bucks Fizz), with guitar greats Larry Carlton, Richard Smith and Mattias ‘IA’ Eklundh and in west-end musicals: Mamma Mia and Joseph.
With concerts for the Black Police Association (BPA) at the Royal Festival Hall, I performed with Maxi Priest, Carleen Anderson, Yolanda Brown, Cameron Pierre, Guvna B, Hersha Bailey and The London Community Gospel Choir.
To this day, I’m still very active gigging, recording and delivering masterclasses at music schools and colleges throughout Europe where I share my knowledge, experience and passion for music and playing the drums.
I have also written for two of the UK’s most popular drum magazines: Rhythm and Drummer, covering topics such as drum set ergonomics, odd time playing, advanced techniques and more.
I’m also teach at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) in London and at BIMM in Birmingham. I currently hold a PG cert qualification in higher education (PGCLTHE) and am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
My Teaching Concept
One of the most important roles of a drummer is to provide a solid time feel. Many timing issues can be traced to a weak technical foundation. Improving your technique will result in a higher level of consistency with both time keeping and dynamics and help you to execute your musical ideas with poise and control. This is an extremely important part of playing any instrument effectively and allows you to concentrate on listening and reacting, which is where the real music is made.
I tend to emphasis a musical approach to my lessons, prescribing fun, yet practical exercises to help each student reach their maximum potential, regardless of their ability level.
Lesson topics:
  • Hand & foot technique.
  • Advanced time keeping and the development of pulse.
  • Linear drumming.
  • Coordination.
  • Styles: Rock, Funk, Jazz, Brazilian/Cuban.
  • Advanced techniques such as the down-up/Moeller technique.
  • Reading music.
  • Working with a click.
  • Maximising your practice time.
  • Developing a professional attitude.
Drum Lessons in Birmingham.

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