Hey, I'm Dave. I'm a full-time drummer and my days are pretty much split between fixing and restoring drums, teaching, and playing live gigs.
I stumbled into drumming when I was 12. I always had a knack for banging on things and incessantly tapping my fingers on my school desk, but I never really connected it to drumming. It wasn't until my Grandfather passed away and left me his xylophone that I signed up for percussion lessons at school. I was quite shy at the time, so I never mentioned that I was there for the xylophone. Instead, they gave me some sticks and put me behind a drum kit, and the rest is history.
I fell in love with drumming right away, even though I'm not naturally coordinated or talented, so I had to put in a lot of practice hours! I worked towards getting my Guildhall grades, although I only ended up taking the grade 4 and 8 exams. I also started playing with junior bands at a local Saturday morning music school and even got into orchestral playing. My early focus was mostly on Jazz, and I became the percussionist (not just the drummer!) in the North Herts Youth Jazz Orchestra.
After finishing school, I went on to study Architecture at the University of Bath, but I spent almost as much time playing in different bands as I did on my course. I would play with just about anyone who needed a drummer, from heavy metal to funk to musicals. I even joined a local cover band that specialized in weddings and functions. During this time, I also started teaching a few other students to earn some extra cash. Surprisingly, I found that I really enjoyed teaching drumming, and quickly built up a small group of pupils.
Within a year of starting university, I convinced the local drum store (Assembly Music) to let me work part-time, and I absolutely loved it. It was there that I got my first taste of repairs and servicing drums, and I was hooked. I continued working there throughout my course and then went full-time after graduating for a couple of years until the owner retired.
That's when I started teaching more seriously, taking on regular evening students at the Bath School of Music and playing regularly with local bands. However, I still had to do shift work jobs to make ends meet.
After moving to Reading, I found a full-time job at DrumWright in Woodley and had to start from scratch with my teaching business. I was able to take on a few pupils, but with family and work commitments, my time was stretched thin. Eventually, I took a leap of faith and decided to try teaching full-time. That's when I started Dave's Drums. Initially, it was solely a teaching business, but when DrumWright unexpectedly closed down, we branched out into drum sales and refurbishment. We've been that way ever since, with my days filled with repairs and servicing, afternoons and evenings spent teaching, and playing gigs with bands at night!
Right now, I play with DeLorean, an 80's rock tribute band, The Skandal, a funky Ska band, and Amanda and the Beats, an incredible acoustic-tinged functions band. I also play at a lot of jam nights and I'm frequently the house drummer. Additionally, I often fill in as a dep drummer for local bands.
Dave's Drums is run in partnership with Dave's wife, Sophie.
"I'm Sophie, and I'm responsible for all things online - this website, eBay, Facebook and Twitter, as well as doing all of the admin and book-keeping! Whilst Dave adores everything to do with drums, he hates paperwork and organisation - luckily these are my forte!
"In my spare time, I enjoy running and yoga and have completed a number of running events including a half marathon, a marathon, a 24-hour running event (39.2 miles!) and a 50km ultramarathon. I can be found volunteering at my local parkrun virtually every Saturday morning.
"I also home-educate our son. I have four older "children" (3 now adults and the other coming close) as well. We have a lot of pets - 2 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs as well as chickens and ducks and a tortoise!
"Since we started Dave's Drums in January 2015, I have learned a LOT about drums and drumming. One of my favourite things is to hear the progress of Dave's pupils during their lessons. Dave has infinite patience and seems to have a knack for getting the best out of every student."