So first things first, for those who have never been to one, what is a drum clinic? Well, I’ve been to so many and they come in many different formats. But generally, it’s a live drumming masterclass starring a professional or famous drummer. So it’s part lesson and part performance.

I first found this out on a day out when I was still a school. When passing a shop with a drumkit in the window I dived in and the owner sold me a ticket to my first clinic… and it was a good one. It was with the amazing Steve White while he was still playing for Paul Weller and was the first of many clinics for me. When I finally opened a small drum store of my own, hosting clinics was high on my list of ambitions. I was certain I could make a success of it but how was I going to persuade big-name drummers to my small-town drum shop? This was the plan:

  • Go to the bank.
  • Borrow lots of money.
  • Give that money to the big drum brands.
  • Fill the shop with their products.
  • Accept the offers of wonderful endorsees who will perform clinics to help show off the gear.

Simple right? Wrong.

Getting the top brands on-board with the shop was easy enough. But even as promises of clinics echoed as I handed over the money for the opening orders, not one came through. Although it was never said, I’m sure the brands thought a clinic would never be successful in a small town like mine.

I started to believe they may well be right until one day a guy comes into the shop. He tells me he is friends with master drum educator and stadium drummer Colin Woolway. Colin was performing a clinic in a nearby town (even smaller than mine) and asked if I could help out on the night. The clinic only sold nine tickets… this worried me but it didn’t seem to bother Colin who was superb and I enjoyed a beer with him after the show. This experience gave me renewed confidence in what I could achieve.

So how do you put on a drum clinic? Well at this point it’s clear I didn’t have a clue. Luckily that changed and I’ll let you know how in next weeks blog! Stay tuned… In the meantime if you’ve never been to a drum clinic, check out some videos of our own clinics on our YouTube page here:

I was also fortunate enough to recently host Ralph Rolle in clinic. His inspirational story is available as part of the Ralph Rolle Lesson Pack here: