Session drummer George Cook's 'Pandora's Box' of Drum Gear
07 Aug 2017

Session drummer George Cook’s ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Drum Gear

Here at ACM, we pride ourselves on offering an unparalleled music industry education, where learning-by-doing is at the centre of our approach.

Masterclasses with musicians at the forefront of the industry are a vital part of education at ACM, so we were elated to recently welcome drummer George Cook to our Guildford campus for a unique workshop.

After a brief introduction to his career as a session drummer for the likes of Eminem and Birdy, George got straight to business and began his masterclass covering percussion, drum tuning, working with a producer, session work and drum layering.

Opening his ‘Pandora’s box’ of drum gear, George showed the students how percussion can really alter the sound of a drum kit. He emphasised how good gear doesn’t always have to be expensive by showing them a unique snare sound achieved by putting a £5 cymbal found in a charity shop on the skin. Keeping the students engaged throughout, George encouraged them to get up on stage and try the gear for themselves.

George’s top tips for being a session drummer:

  • Be an easy-going person
  • Study the instrument in depth
  • Be faithful to the music
  • Don’t be late, and present yourself well

During the session George spoke in detail about tuning a drum-kit, and how you can work effectively with a producer to achieve your desired sound.

It was a fast-paced masterclass with plenty of energy and the students clearly took a lot away from it. Staying back late to answer all questions, George spoke about his first impressions of ACM:

“It’s awesome, the facilities are fantastic. I have to say the whole studio facility thing – that kind of blew me away a little bit, I’ve never seen that before, I haven’t really been to many colleges but I’ve never seen that and I was really impressed. The fact that they can record a drum-kit at a really high level is really gonna help them. I say drums but guitar, bass – you know anything, it’s really gonna help them when they go out into the industry and do it for real.”
George Cook


If you’d like to study at ACM and learn from world-class musicians like George Cook, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.

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