The Masterclass lasts for an hour and a half and Jeff can cater for up to 200 students in a workshop. He has a technician who comes in to set up the equipment, this normally takes an hour. There are 2 sections of the Masterclass:
Section 1 – Jeff begins by explaining how he got into the music business, from playing in bands in school to playing and recording with many famous artists including Stretch, Judie Tzuke, The Climax Blues Band, Def Leppard and of course, Status Quo. He explains to students that like any other business, it is hard work, determination and a degree of luck that are the key ingredients to a successful career.
Jeff then talks about the development of the drum. Students will learn how technological changes through the centuries have led from animal skins being stretched over hollow logs, to modern plastic skinned drums, designed to stay in tune.
Jeff starts with African drums and then onto the old European military drums, right through to the modern snare drum where he demonstrates a few rudiments. Students are selected to play various drums all through the session.
Section 2 – This section deals with the drum kit and percussion. Each part of the kit is explained and Jeff goes through different styles of playing including independence tuning etc.
Jeff then plays a solo on the kit to show how versatile a drum kit can be. The results at times are breathtaking as he demonstrates the skills of a professional musician.
After the drum solo Jeff invites up to 100 students at a time to play percussion and drums with him.( There are 200 pieces of percussion for the students to choose from). Usually, everyone gets up and plays an instrument and there are two attempts at this until everyone has joined in.
When everyone has sat down Jeff likes to invite drummers in the audience to come up and play his kit. It is quite a large kit and he likes to give the drummers this opportunity. To round off the Masterclass, if there is time, Jeff invites the students to ask him questions about the workshop or music in general.
Evening Workshops For Parents & Friends
Jeff is also available for evening workshops with Parents and friends. This a relaxed and informal evening where parents get involved and also have the opportunity to ask Jeff questions about his career and life on the road.