We are a drumming band who enjoy arranging our own material to play at a wide variety of events. We started in March 2009 when about half a dozen of us wanted to find out if we could knock up a few tunes together and play during the Bonfire season in and around Lewes. Now our numbers average around 20 at rehearsals so we must be doing something right!
We welcome new members, whatever age, at any time. You dont need any prior drumming experience to join us (most of us started as complete novices). All you need to qualify is:
-a decent sense of rhythm;
-a willingness to learn;
-and enjoy playing in a friendly, informal atmosphere.
If you like the sound of this, then read on!
Annual fees are £10 for Adults, £5 for under 16s, payable to our Treasurer. Our membership year runs from late August/early September, when we hold our Badge Night to renew our annual membership and claim our new badge for the coming year.
These are our life-blood! Obviously, not everyone can make every rehearsal all of the time, but we really like it if you do!
We meet from 6.30pm to 8:30pm every Tuesday evening in the Scout hut at the end of Ham Lane in Lewes (just down the road from the Dripping Pan). In warmer months we practice outside, but even in the autumn we often take the opportunity to practice processing in the dark outside (vital preparation for bonfire season!). Apparently, you can hear us practising from the Golf Course!
We have a Rehearsal Leader who helps with tuition and there are plenty of us willing to be drum buddies if you need any help, but usually we think its best if you dive in at the deep end and join in as best you can.
Please get in touch via our Contact Us page if you’d like to join us and well take it from there. All we ask is that you arrive promptly, pay attention to the Leader and go home with a glow of achievement and an eagerness to come to the next rehearsal!
We have recorded some of our tunes (check out our Audio files page) and we have also devised a written form for quite a few tunes in our repertoire, if you prefer to learn from the printed page.
Bring your drum along if you already have one. We use marching drums (usually pillaged from a kit), but we can lend you drums and harnesses to start with.
Mostly, our new members start by drumming on a medium sized ‘Tom’, as this group usually plays the main tune, whereas the Snares and Bass Drums provide the beat, off-beats and other embellishments and once in a while the tune as well!
Once you are ready to buy your own drum, you can usually do this quite cheaply via eBay, car boot sales and the like. We can help and advise you if you need it.
All our tunes are self-arranged and self-taught. They are usually based on music we like. One person proposes a tune and if we all like the sound of it, the arrangements evolve from there. We have a committee that co-ordinates our selection and our more musically adept members are always ready to pitch in with the arrangements if needed. However, the proposer of the tune gets final say on how it should sound!
Performances and gigs
In the Spring/Summer these are mostly fairs, carnivals and steam rallies, but our busiest season is during September-December for the Bonfire Season. We drum at most of the East Sussex Village Bonfires and within the ranks of Cliffe Bonfire Society on the Fifth in Lewes, of course. This is probably the most important event in our drumming year and probably the most demanding!
For all our events we like to perform as well and as professionally as possible. For this reason, everyone who wants to perform needs to demonstrate that they can play our repertoire and has attended the majority of the rehearsals leading up to the event.
We drew this up in 2010 to try and formalise what we are about and what wed like to do as a group. It covers our aims as a drumming group and our basic principles. Ask us for a copy when you join us.
We have a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and several Committee Members who are elected annually to support the group and keep us moving forward.
What are you waiting for ..?!
If you’ve read this far then we want to hear from YOU! Get in touch with our Membership Secretary via our Contact Us page and we’ll see you at the next rehearsal!