A Guest Blog from thedrumcoach!
What happens when you mix traditional West African drum rhythms with mostly local people keen on finding their inner drummer? The Lindfield Drummers!
Formed over 4 years ago from earlier LAFs and subsequent local drum workshops, the workshop group numbers have risen to 8 and are led by percussionist, workshop leader and personal development coach, Peter Welch, who lives nearby in East Sussex.
The members rehearse regularly at Lindfield Primary Academy and have built up a set of funky rhythms originating in Guinea, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and The Gambia. Besides playing and running open workshops at several LAFs, the drummers recently performed at the Fletching Festival.
So what’s the attraction when there are other leisure pursuits available? Local guy, Tim Richardson, says that “African drumming is a great way of engaging with rhythm and music in a fun group situation. You can improve at your own pace, meet people from different walks of life and learn a little of African culture along the way. For me it’s a good way to unwind and a great joy!” Tim also mixes his love of growing award-winning flowers and veg with his passion for music, his ageing VW camper van and travel. A true Lindfield polymath!
Workshop leader Peter combines his passion for world music and percussion with his work as a coach, helping people to perform better and to their full potential – hence, thedrumcoach. Formed back in 2007, thedrumcoach concept is to make authentic West African drum rhythms accessible and fun to learn. It’s a not-for-profit organisation with donations going to a West African music school and needy causes. There are currently four workshops running in Sevenoaks, Westerham, Hadlow, and Lindfield.
In the past, Peter has performed, toured and recorded with several percussion-based bands including Glastonbury regulars Carnival Collective – a 30 piece samba band, Yiri Ba and Kakandé – both West African drum and dance bands. He now enjoys encouraging others to play and to prepare for short performances, such as LAF.
Peter often travels to West Africa to refresh his drum roots and to learn from master drummers, then brings new rhythms and their roots and meaning back to share with the workshop drummers. The group play wooden djembés with their hands, strung with goatskin to create different tones and volume. Three bass drums, called dun-duns, underpin the rhythms and are played with sticks.
Holding open workshops gives adults and older teens a chance to sample the sounds and drum patterns, and to continue learning in beginners’ workshops that run in Lindfield regularly. This year’s public workshop is on Saturday, 17th September from 3-4pm upstairs at The Bent Arms (booking essential), so why not give it a try and find your inner drummer?
Catch the Lindfield Drummers playing by The Bent Arms and Paolinos Restaurant on Saturday, 17th September!