FREDDY CHARLES

Professional drummer, guitarist and composer.

A pair of drumsticks were probably the first thing I ever fooled around with when I was younger.  Well, maybe not the first thing, but I remember playing as young as 4 years old.  It's always easier to start learning an instrument when you're a child. Endless hours of the day to practice with no responsibilities, works wonders!  Those of us that were fortunate enough to have the time as a child to lay a foundation for music, we were lucky.  Drumming is the most physical form of musical instrument expression.  For me it was the only form of expression.  The drummer learns to control two sides of his brain, a practice that allows the individual to develop in a unique way.  In order to learn how to properly play the drums, you need to loosen up. The point is to release the tension through the beats and notes, as opposed to being tense while playing.  An accomplished drummer will learn how to master the muscle separation between arms, hands and fingers.  The latter being the most difficult. My influences when performing behind the kit are many, but the following will always stand out; Ginger Baker, Bill Bruford, Billy Cobham and Buddy Rich to name a few.  My practice regime as a child  was putting on records and playing along. Developing my ear was the most important aspect of my training.  Being able to hear what you are going to play, before you play it is what the musician strives for.  My approach to teaching drums relies on heavy ear training, rather than reading notes. I think some fundamental theory and notation reading is a plus, but not necessary in today's musical context.  

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