Leroy Rahman, tech music student

 5 August 2013

Leroy is a musician who completed a course at London's Tech Music School. He talks about being taught by Amy Winehouse's drummer and gives advice for people who also want to get into music.

Leroy was encouraged by his tutors to play music in his local area as a way of practising performance.
Leroy was encouraged by his tutors to play music in his local area as a way of practising performance.

Hometown?

I'm from Cardiff, Wales. My course was based in London.

What did you study?

I did Drum Diploma Popular Music Performance at Tech Music School, London, which was a one-year course.

Before that, I did the same subject at lower level diploma. I also have A levels and GCSEs, which includes Music.

What did you do on your course?

On the technology side, I had to prove that I could work equipment, and I was assessed on this.

Our lecturers persuaded us to go out and jam in pubs.

On the music side, we were given pieces to learn and had to perform them live in front of professionals as part of LPW sessions.

We were also assessed on:

  • improvisation
  • songwriting
  • practising patterns
  • editing music with Logic Prox X software.

 As well as developing academically, our lecturers persuaded us to go out and jam in pubs. So I frequently went to play drums in my local with other students, giving us a taste of performing for the real world.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best things were the lectures and masterclasses.

We had guidance from all sorts of people, such as Nathan Watts, who was Stevie Wonder's bass player, and Troy Miller, who was Amy Winehouse's drummer.

If you're interested in drumming, go to drum nights as much as you can.

Typically, they would give talks and demonstrations and do a question and answer session, explaining how they got to where the were in their careers. This was a great insight for us.

And the worst thing about your course?

Because my focus was on drumming, I think I was held back a bit from playing different kinds of music, which I thought was a shame.

How do I get into music?

1. Look for inspiration

If you  want to get into music, you have to watch it live. If you're interested in drumming, like me, go to drum nights as much as you can.

You should also go and play in your local pubs and live venues. You can get contacts in these places too, and it's always worth asking people if you can play with them.

2. Keep focused

Lots of people would like to take shortcuts, especially when it comes to learning instruments.

But it doesn't have to be too hard. A good way to start is by buying a beginner's guide to that instrument and making sure you complete every page and read it thoroughly. It's better than just skipping onto the next stage when you're not ready.

3. It's not all glitz and glamour

Lots of people on my course thought that it would lead to fame, especially as we were being taught by well-known professionals in the industry.

But of course that didn't happen. It takes hard work, the ability to be self-critical and a willingness to play in small venues for a long time, which is what I'm still doing.


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