Yamaha Drumfest Weekend

This past weekend, 21st-23rd October, saw the second Yamaha Drumfest take place in Drummers Only. The event consisted of 3 days of Yamaha goodness coupled with some amazing performances from the #FUTUREBEAT competition and a masterclass with Andrew Small.

Friday saw the arrival of team Yamaha who brought a whole host of Yamaha goodness with them, however the main event was the AWESOME hybrid masterclass presented by Andrew Small. Andrew’s credits include Kylie Minogue, Il Divo, Anastasia, Massive Attack and Moloko as well as being a student of the late, great Bob Armstrong.

Small presented a magic masterclass detailing his approach to hybrid playing, very much in the pro world. He talked about using smaller loops in order for them to not trigger out of time. He detailed his set up, including electronic pedals linked to his DTX Multi 12, as well as how to blend triggers and additional pads in order for them to have the correct impact and be balanced with Acoustic drums.

His set up included the coveted Yamaha Recording Custom kit in Real Wood, along with a Yamaha DTX Multi, XP120SD snare pad, XP80 3 zone pad, DT50S and DT50K triggers, KU100 kick pads and an HH65 hi hat trigger/pedal. He linked the pads and triggers to the Multi and used the on board sounds in a fantastically creative way – whether it was a sub dropped bass sound or hand clap or chopped up loops. Really, really inspiring.

Saturday saw the showing of some righteous Yamaha gear, including the only Tour Custom in the country, with examples of all the finishes. The Virtual Gadd technology which lets you see Steve Gadd playing on the new Recording Custom was also present and lots of fun.

Other great gear included a full Hybrid set up with a Manu Katche Jr. kit triggered off a DTX 502 module and using mesh heads – a big hit throughout the 3 days. Finally there was a great collection of Yamaha snare drums also on display.

Sunday brought us the 2nd annual #FUTUREBEAT competition which is Yamaha’s 18 and under competition and this year did not disappoint. The 10 Regional finalists played their hearts out and proved that the drumming scene is in fine form!

From all across Scotland, 10 young drummers gathered to play in front of judges and friends and family. Ali Richardson of Bleed From Within was a guest judge and was blown away by the talent on show. The judges worked hard in order to pick a winner and in the end there could only be one. Daniel Gordon (16) played his heart out and impressed the judges with his ability and was crowned victorious. He won a Yamaha 14×5.5 Recording Custom Brass snare and a place in the Futurebeat final in Milton Keynes where he’ll receive mentoring from top industry pros and be in the running for a free Yamaha Drum Kit worth around £2000.

A brilliant weekend provided by Yamaha and a pleasure to host in Drummers Only. Let’s hope it continues for next year!

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