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 £5 for Adults, £1 for under 16s, payable to our Treasurer. Our membership year runs from 1 November every 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 usually charge £1 per person per week. Under 10s are free.
We meet at 6.30pm on Tuesday evenings in Lewes and, during the warmer months, down in the field off Ham Lane on Saturday mornings. Apparently, you can hear us practising from the Golf Course! Please give us a ring on 07792 774999 if you’d like to attend and well take it from there. Please 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 a Rehearsal Leader who helps with tuition, but usually we think its best if you dive in at the deep end and join in as best you can. There are plenty of us willing to be drum buddies if you need any help. All we ask is that you’re willing to give it your best shot and enjoy the process.
We have recorded some of our tunes (check out our Audio 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. We ask for a 10 deposit on these drums, which is repayable when you return the drum to us.
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
You can see what sort of events we attend from our website pages many and varied probably sums it up!
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.
We hope this give you a flavour of whats to come as a member of SKULL DRUMMERY!