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I have listed a number of questions that I am frequently asked by both students and teachers and hope that you will find them useful. If your question is not listed, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I will put up an answer on the site.

Yours, Nigel.

What is total percussion?

It is the approach to playing which encapsulates all, or as many of the percussive instruments as possible in the learning process, in as many styles as possible, in combination with the highest levels of musicianship and musical expertise as possible.

Do you teach Drum Set?

Yes, but preferably as part of the total percussion picture, as this offers the best prospects for playing/career longevity.

Do you teach Moeller Technique?

Yes, but as one technique amongst many. There are several schools of thought about the best technical approach to playing. Moeller on its own is in some respects too narrow. A discipline for the well rounded player. It is far more effective to have a broader view of all the various schools of thought, such as Bower, Straight, Rudimental, free hand techniques, etc. They all have their place and usages for the informed and expert player.

Do you teach general musicianship?

Yes: you can't teach any musiclal instrument without giving meaningful instruction about harmony, aural training and other matters relating to music. To avoid this is like giving someone a job as a mechanic without teaching them how an engine works.

Is it necessary to read music?

Yes, absolutely: if Shakespeare had been illiterate, then his plays couldn't have survived to the present day. In order that students know what they are doing, it is essential that they read.

How do I get started?

As I see it, the important factor is that you get started, wherever and whenever you can. Don't worry about whether you are travelling up a blind alley, sooner or later you will realise this and correct things. As the old saying goes, "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single foot-step". What is important is that you do what you can, or indeed, what you must and keep a sense of proportion in what you do.

Is it difficult to become a percussionist?

Well, yes and no: it is a truism that success is more driven by perspiration than inspiration and as one of my students recently observed... "the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get!". The truth about succeeding at anything in life is that, firstly, you have to commit yourself to the task in hand; secondly, you have to take responsibility for yourself and your actions and thirdly; never give up the struggle.x

Simple, really!

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