As a drum clinician, Paul has performed extensively as an independent artist and has also shared the stage alongside various legendary drummers; including Steve Smith, Manu Katche, Simon Phillips, Akira Jimbo, Sonny Emory, Mark Mondesir, Gary Husband, Neal Wilkinson, Richard Bailey, Erik Smith, Gary Chaffee & Steve Houghton.
At the forefront of UK drum tuition and Popular Music Education for over 25 years, Paul’s innovative teaching methods and practice systems have inspired countless drummers, including; Phil Selway (Radiohead), Jason Cooper (The Cure), Mick Avory (The Kinks), Steve Kemp (Hard Fi), Ashley Soan (Adele), Tom Meadows (Kylie Minogue), Carlos Hercules (George Michael) Mark Heaney (Gang of Four), Bid Beresford (Leftfield), Luke Bullen (KT Tunstall), Laurie Jenkins (Kasabian), Nathan Curran (Basement Jaxx), Richard Beasley (Gary Numan), Dom Greensmith (Reef), Laura Fares (Ricky Martin) and Yola (Adam Ant).
Paul has been involved with DIME ONLINE right from the very start in 2014, contributing to the excellent Rhythm Studies module for the BA(Hons) Creative Music Performance – (drums specialism) degree.
What is your role with DIME & DIME ONLINE?
I have been involved with DIME ONLINE since 2014 when Mike Sturgis invited me to write and record the video lessons for the Rhythm Studies course. I have since written and recorded for the Applied Techniques and Advanced Improvisation modules, together with various short courses. I am currently involved with student supervision on various modules.
Who were some of your influences as you progressed as a musician?
I was very influenced by artists such as David Bowie, Genesis, Yes, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Camel and Led Zeppelin…. And all the related drummers! As well as being partial to a little bit of glam rock – Slade and The Sweet being particular favourites J Later I was very influenced by the jazz/funk/fusion artists in the late 80’s and beyond, with drummers such as Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers and Vinnie Colaiuta, among others, having a positive influence on my development as a musician.
How did you establish yourself in music education?
I became Principal Instructor at Drumtech, London, in 1989 – so nearly 30 years ago, though of course I was still at school then….. J Drumtech grew and became affiliated with the London College of Music, where I was Head of Drums and, as a team of young teachers, we went from teaching private lessons to writing and delivering FE/HE programmes. I have since taught at ACM and the Academy of Music & Sound, as well as working as a consultant for ABRSM, Rock School, Music Gurus… and, of course, DIME ONLINE!
What was the first record you ever bought?
I believe my first album was David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust – still have that original vinyl copy. My sister bought it for me for Christmas.
Best experience in music?
Difficult to say which has been best – I really enjoyed playing with Frank Gambale and many years gigging and recording with Shaun Baxter; lots of gigs all over the world with different artists – all great fun – clinics with Steve Smith, Manu Katche and Akira Jimbo were lovely occasions; clinic tours in Finland and Norway (with Erik Smith) also great fun – most recently a clinic tour of China was a great experience.
What gear and equipment are you using?
I’m very fortunate to be endorsed by Liberty Drums, Istanbul Mehmet cymbals, Remo heads, Regal Tip sticks and ACS custom ear plugs, so use assorted equipment from those brands in the studio and on clinics or gigs. I thoroughly recommend these products!
What projects / bands are you involved with at the moment?
At this moment in time I am doing an extensive video project for Music Gurus, in association with Rockschool and also working as a consultant on the new Rockschool syllabus. There’s also talk of a Shaun Baxter Band reunion tour, which I hope will happen – that would be a lot of fun! Also, another visit to China is on the cards for later in the year – yet to be confirmed. In the meantime, if Sting is reading this, please call me!
What’s your top tip for being a professional musician in the modern age?
Be versatile. Be creative. Be professional. Have the courage of your convictions. Aim high. Say what you mean and mean what you say…..
Any last words?
My very best wishes to all the students at DIME ONLINE and, if anyone is interested, for further information about myself, please visit www.paulelliottdrums.com
Check Out Paul nailing a polyrhythmic improvisation in this video!