Course options

Leaving Cert and Junior Cert practicals

Drums can be a bit tricky for music practical as it is not an instrument that is meant to be played alone; however, this does not mean that a good grade cannot be achieved on the instrument, quite the opposite! Playing along with the right track or in a group performance can be something unique for the examiners. My own sister is an examiner for the leaving cert practicals so I am well informed on how drummers can fully satisfy the requirements of the music practicals.

Rockschool performance certs & grades

I strongly recommend the Rockschool graded syllabus as it maintains focus and continuity to each lesson. It is nice to work towards a goal and to feel rewarded after a performance at an accredited Rockschool testing centre at the end of the year. The syllabus is very user friendly, and adaptable to different learning styles. Since 2018 they have been using real songs in their play along catalogue which has a great variety of artists and styles. Learners have the choice of working on anything from classic rock or metal like AC/DC or Black Sabbath to modern grime and hip hop like Stormzy or Drake, and absolutely everything in between. A variety of styles is encouraged within each book which broadens musical tastes as well as building a wider palate of drumming styles. On top of the suggested tracks in the books you can even do "free choice pieces", which means you can literally play whatever song you want provided it meets the criteria for the grade you are examined on.

Rockschool exams are really great but they aren't necessarily for every student. Many students are self motivated and know exactly what they want to play and learn, in which case the lessons can take more of a student-led approach.

more about rockschool

Professional techniques

Drummers performing week-in week-out can encounter stumbling blocks that seem to prevent them from developing their playing. I am a firm believer in strong technique being the key to unlocking speed, control, power, endurance and all the other attributes top drummers possess. Together we break down each stroke and built up again for optimum development, a slow but rewarding process which calls for the student to take one step back to go three steps forward!

Some common areas of focus are below.

Drum styles

A wide array of musical tastes are catered for. Exploring new styles can be an exciting and beneficial venture. Students will be encouraged to broaden their musical tastes as much as possible, and will be given recommended listening. Musicality, and playing with musicians is paramount in these lessons, for this reason, the studio is equipped with an endless supply of professionally recorded drumless play-along tracks of various styles that will be assigned each term.

Technique for professional focus

Technique for professional focus Drum Academy

Some common areas of focus are:

  • using both french and german grip
  • awareness of a tight/loose fulcrum
  • up/down technique
  • full free stroke
  • Moeller
  • using both heel down and heel up foot technique
  • ergonomics (seating position and drum positioning)

Slow motion freestroke / bounce

Here is a very brief overview of some of the techniques that can be focused on in lessons. Breaking down and re-building our individual strokes can really build speed and power, and while it can feel like taking a backwards step, it results in massive developments in your playing if given the time and focus.

Drum lesson styles

Styles Covered Include

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • R+B
  • Drum & Bass
  • Ska
  • Reggae
  • Metal
  • Jazz
  • Brazilian
  • Afro Cuban

Playing for fun!

“Technique” and “grades” don’t really sound that rock and roll, so sometimes guys just want to get playing the drums as quickly as possible! This can absolutely be done, bypass reading and technique and learn how to rock out your own way.

Talk to Shane today!