Paul Jones has toured all over the world as a professional live drummer for some of the UK’s biggest acts, including chart-topping drum & bass duo, Sigma, and hit-making singer-songwriter, Labyrinth. We’ve been following Paul’s career for a while now, so we were extremely excited to welcome him to BIMM Bristol recently for an exciting drum masterclass.
Friendly and knowledgeable, the talented drummer talked our students through his unique – and advanced – live setup, which combines electronic drums with a pristine acoustic Sakai kit to achieve a more hybrid sound – perfect setup for live drum & bass shows.
Paul sat down with BIMM alumnus and Rhythm magazine writer, Tom Bradley, and spoke enthusiastically about adopting technology as a drummer, before demonstrating some of his self-produced tracks with lightning speed.
So, what does it take to be a live drummer for two major international acts? Aside from a lot of skill, timing is everything – Tom uses the software Ableton Live to create samples, which he then mixes live using his sound module.
Keen to get our students involved, Paul later invited the class up on stage to try their hand at his drum setup, although admittedly he makes it looks a lot easier on stage. Nevertheless, the experience was a real thrill and great fun too!
Reflecting on the session, Paul said: “The day has been really cool, and everyone has been really nice and friendly. Obviously, I love playing, myself but the highlight has to be when people come up to play – that’s the coolest part.”
Our host Tom also praised Paul’s inspiring and highly interactive masterclass. “It was a pleasure to host Paul’s masterclass, and I left feeling equally as inspired as the students! Paul had some refreshing ideas and communicated them well during his masterclass,” he added.
In the audience was BA1 Drums student, Ed Fox. “It was very interesting. He’s got a lot of gear down here. The sounds, all the different outputs, cables and particularly the manipulation of sounds is the best thing about it.”
Our drum masterclass with Paul was fascinating and gave students an in-depth look into the world of a live drummer, working in the electronic music sphere. As a result, a few of our drummers – particularly those who work mainly with acoustic drums – may have just been converted to the other side.