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£5,875 pledged of £12,000 goal
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£5,875 pledged of £12,000 goal
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About this project

Several years ago, I started teaching in London's West End, in the musical hub of our city. I felt it a necessary place to be, despite the obvious charges that having a school at that location would incur.

My school has been a financial challenge, as I have had to pay for its redevelopment out of my own pocket. The basement was a very dark dirty, dusty place before I got at it! Now, however, it's bright with flat ceilings and concealed lights which give it a more modern look. Comfortable too, if I say so myself.

Now though, I need to get the next logical step in place, as an online resource, not only opens up a new market for us, but adds a resource for my students, where I shall leave the lessons which show the way to approach the many aspects of technique, reading, styles that make up the vast array of info they require. It was a simple request by a student, to "once more film me" using the camera on his phone, that began a conversation that finally got through my thick skull as a great idea!

So, I shall place lessons online that cover each aspect of playing from rudiments, all the way through the hand technique they use to play them. I am also planning to write a book that will go up as a guide to reading drum music. I know this is a lot to do, but it just makes sense. I don't see it out there, as its often said drummers don't need to learn to read, it's a choice, but I believe they do. If I teach a drummer to read, that places a basic grid in the mind regarding where the next note might be played, or a space left. This also enables people to not need to ask how to play their favourite Dave Grohl groove, that has just been written up in Modern Drummer or Rhythm Magazine! So I will eventually aim to have a shop online to sell books about drums, and for other goodies as well.

I think it makes sense I should also approach Skype lessons too, as I shall be on the road, and can make the most of my time. What's more, as I get out on the road it makes sense I should be always advertising the school as I'm out for 3 months with Steve Hackett, in Europe, then UK, then USA and Canada! So, it's an exciting opportunity to talk to people about it all.

I spoke to many fans last time I was out on tour about this project, who showed an interest, so as I've already let everyone know, it makes sense to ensure it all comes to fruition!

Overall, I am excited to be advertising something I truly believe in. I would hope with the injection of funds I will be able to get more lessons recorded in the shortest time, whilst retaining as high a quality as I am capable of. It's also a lot easier advertising on the road, than handing the flyers out on Denmark Street and the West End.

From the business side of things, the numbers are there for people to see on wonderful sites like Drumeo, and Steve's Drum Shed. They do a great job. I come at it with all of that info too, but also a unique selling point of my insight into how the great drummers of Genesis approached the songs they recorded, as I have had to play them! Also, through Steve's solo material, which is all pretty inspiring stuff - especially when he asks me about the new material for the Autumn tour!

What do we need the money for?

  • Cameras (x 4)
  • Lenses
  • Stands
  • Microphones with leads and stands or clips
  • Macbook Pro laptop
  • iMac desktop top of the range for film editing, and sound editing
  • External 8T hard drive
  • Redecorating the studio/repairing the roof
  • Adding more sound insulation 
  • Digital interface MOTU
  • Software like Sibelius, and upgrades to Cubase and Final Cut Pro
  • Advertising material and online specialist help for media advertising
  • Hire of a professional camera man to oversee filming

I would expect by the end to have around 400 lessons done, which should allow me time to be away on tour advertising as we play around the world!

Risks and challenges

I am very grateful to have been given permission to use the Royal Albert Hall gig from Steve Hacketts management before I started this, so I can at least say permission was not an issue.

The main risk I see is in not finishing all 400 clips, edited and loaded ready to go, before I hit the road to go on tour again, but I also know there will be time on planes trains and buses where I can be using the supplied Macbook Pro to edit while we travel.

As long as the flyers are printed when I leave for Europe there's no problem there. Same for the UK but I need to get stuff printed in the USA to be able to make that work, unless I can add them to the merchandise being shipped over, but that I will have to wait and see about.

I guess it may be tricky if people cannot attend the gigs to enable me to give them the rewards personally, but I hope it's not so hard for my wife to send the odd album or 2 to an address if that's what's required. I hope people can come to the gigs, and if they can't this trip, I shall send the rewards and give them tickets for another gig down the line.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    Gets a mention on our Thank You wall, and a personal message from Gary!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    My heartfelt gratitude, and a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the school's website! I would also like to invite you to join me when I get the Skype lessons online for a group lesson ! Date to be confirmed.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $39

    A 30 minute Skype lesson with Gary. To be arranged for a convenient time after the next tour, in the Autumn, finishes.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $78

    A copy of the Steve Hackett album, Genesis Revisited 2, and 2 tickets to one of the shows (when available) on the Autumn tour. I will then be able to say thank you personally, as I will come and say hi after the show. You'll also get a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the schools website!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $156

    Membership of the site for 12 months. A chance to check out all you need to know about Drumming for a year, and a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the schools website!

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £250 or more About $391

    A box of all the "Access All Areas" passes from my time on the road with Steve. 2 tickets to see our show (when available) to allow you to come and pick them up from me personally, and I can say thank you too. You'll also get a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the schools website!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £350 or more About $547

    Signed drum transcriptions of songs for the new set for the Autumn tour with Steve. Each person will receive 1 original transcription signed by me, and a copy of the other 5 transcriptions, and 2 tickets to come see us on tour, and a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the schools website!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,562

    A years' worth of lessons (40) with Gary, either in person at the school, or via Skype. These 40 minute lessons enable us to get the most done, in a focused time frame! Learn from Gary and get to grips with every aspect of playing, drawing on his experience of teaching, and playing to the highest levels! You'll also get a mention on our "thank you" wall of contributors, at the schools website!

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Funding period

- (30 days)