As a professional drummer with a huge passion for music, Daniel is a versatile player with an equally versatile catalogue of work. Daniel has worked with bands and artists from the worlds of rock, reggae, pop, country and jazz; and has experience playing on TV, Radio, and a variety of live shows throughout the UK and Europe.

A keen educator, Daniel currently offer home visits in and around the Salisbury area, at JNX Productions Music School in Tisbury and various academic schools in both Wiltshire and Dorset. Approximately four years after he first started teaching Rockschool Drums, we caught up with Daniel to ask him a few questions...

How long have you been using Rockschool, and why has it worked for you?

I have been using the Rockschool syllabus for around four years. I feel the books take a very musical approach to the drum set and the design of the syllabus is very easy to follow. I think having sections dedicated to songs, sight reading, questions etc. is a very useful way of breaking things down in a way that is easy to teach and learn.

What’s your favourite performance piece to teach, and how does it improve your learners?

It’s very hard to pick one specific piece, as arguably they all include important techniques, but I really enjoy Dark Matter. I love the intricacy of this piece; the ghost notes; the syncopated rhythms; it always keeps students on their toes. It also has a great open section when it comes to the solo too, which gives the student enough space to breath and really experiment.

What’s your favourite test (sight reading, improv etc) to teach, and why is it important for your learners?

The Sight Reading aspect is by far my favourite. I find that around 90% of my students are worried or nervous about learning to read notation because it’s difficult or scary, but once they start to understand the notation it’s amazing to see their confidence grow. It also allows them to work through the book in between lessons and make progress even without me there to guide them, which I feel is a very important part of the learning process.

What’s your favourite learner success story?

My favourite learner success story is when my first Grade 8 student went in for an exam and came out with a Distinction. When they came to me for drum lessons they were around grade 5/6 standard, so it’s been amazing to see their playing grow over the years and to come out of their final Rockschool drum exam with a top mark.

What musician(s) inspired you to start playing, and why?

I love almost all styles of music so I have a lot of different drumming influences, including Mark Guiliana, Jeff Porcaro, Benny Greb, Anika Nilles, Gene Krupa – the list is endless – but it was Travis Barker who initially inspired me to pick up my first pair of sticks. I remember watching Blink 182 live and the energy he gave off when he played was just incredible. I was a bass player initially but was always jumping on the drums at band rehearsals. I would spend hours on YouTube watching live videos of Travis and trying to replicate what he was playing, which is initially how I first started learning.

If you want to find out more about Daniel, as well as many other Rockschool teachers throughout the world, head over to our Teacher Registry for more info! If you're interested in booking Drum lessons with Daniel, you can click on the image below to go straight to his website for details.