I do love a drum clinic and I have attended a lot of them over the years. Even if some of it goes straight over my head, I usually leave feeling inspired and just wanting to go home and immediately play. So, attending the Sunday of the 2017 London Drum Show put me in a perfect position to choose between a number of short clinics all in one day and stock up on education and inspiration.

Steve White, is in my (and many others) opinion one of best drummers in the world, if not the best. His was the first drum clinic I ever attended many moons ago in Winchester and I’ve been back many times since, including an amazing shared performance in 2000 with drumming legend Chad Smith of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Steve White On Stage

Steve came on stage and it was immediately clear that this was not going to be standard clinic as he dived straight on in with a history of music through percussion lesson. Starting in west Africa we were taken on a rhythmic journey as the Clave rhythm evolved as it moved around the world due to the movement of people, sadly starting with slavery. Steve showed how the Clave developed in Cuba into the Bembe and then how the 6/8 feel got straightened into a 4/4 making it easier to play quickly and then evolving into Rumba. The coolest part is when he demonstrated how the Clave is a truly universal rhythm found in virtually all styles of music right up to modern day drum and bass all demonstrated with buckets of style and finesse.

To wrap up, Steve talked about life changing advantages to playing drums and gave an impassioned plea to parents to encourage their children to stick with the instrument and not give up. Even if it’s not going to be your full-time job it’s just always something special to have in your life.

With that and only a minute left Steve soloed to the end of his allotted time, playing around with ideas included in the hour. I would definitely recommend a Steve White clinic to drummers and other musicians of all abilities and if you haven’t experienced the soulful groove of his playing, check out the Paul Weller tracks “Sunflower” and “Changing Man” or check out his playing with Trio Valore for something more up to date.