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Student Testimonials

I love turning up to Live Performance Workshops just because I know Darren will be demonstrating and that means an amazing performance! This guy makes everything seem so simple and importantly makes performing fun!

Jack Carroll
Bishop’s Stortford, UK

I have known Darren for a few years now and am a big fan of his tasteful, musical drumming and professional attitude. I currently work around the world playing drums on cruise ships and sought Darren’s help whilst preparing for the gig. Every time I have visited Darren for lessons I have come away with more confidence, knowledge and motivation. He has helped my playing in many different ways including technique, styles, time playing, awareness of song form, reading and co-ordination. Darren has also helped me by offering invaluable advice on how to conduct myself in a professional environment.
I have benefited greatly from Darren’s lessons and recommend him to anyone looking to improve.

Oli Baxendale
Aylesbury, UK

Darren is one of the most interesting, intelligent, and passionate teachers I have come across in over 10 years of studying.

He never fails to deliver lessons/lectures that are not only informative but also inspiring and really make you want to go and play. This, for me, set Darren above previous tutors I’ve had because he goes the extra mile and breathes life into topics that could be dull.

Henry Appleby
London, UK

I’ve been playing drums for the past 13 years, and in that time no one has pushed my playing boundaries more than Darren. In his lessons and through watching him play, I’ve learnt some of the most important things about playing drums both in live and studio situations and have gained invaluable knowledge which will no doubt be vital in my future career in the music industry. Darren is, in both my and other tutee’s opinion, one of the best tutors that this country has to offer.

Huw Beynon
London, England

One of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! Darren’s lessons fundamentally improved my technique, gave me a much broader perspective on drumming and music in general as well as addressing various professional skills for the working musician.
If you have the opportunity to get lessons with Darren take it, you won’t regret it!

Ewan McDonald
London, England

Concise, clear and practical. Darren is an accomplished drummer and a great teacher. He makes things very clear and is able to get the best out of each student regardless of their current level. Beyond his musical abilities, he has an infectiously positive attitude
I have thoroughly enjoyed any time Darren Ashford has taught me. Not only is he an inspiring drummer who can easily describe concepts to students using an eclectic vocabulary but he is also a genuine and funny guy!

Kyle Parke
St Albans, United Kingdom

Being self-taught and having played for almost 30 years, I decided I needed to think about learning to play the drums from first principles.

Darren, probably unwisely, agreed to the challenge of deconstructing and rebuilding my approach to drumming on every level and we’ve been working together for six years now with remarkable results.

If you want to get the most from your technique, build a foundation for greater creativity on the set and become a better musician, then Darren’s your man.

A great teacher, a great mentor, a great drummer and a damned fine chap.

Andy Hill
Burbage, London

Darren is for sure the best drum teacher I’ve ever had. His way of teaching is straight and clear, he’s never boring. He’s a great motivator and has always pushed me to the next level! He’s got great technique and is a fabulous drummer, able to play any style! His knowledge of all aspects of drumming make him the perfect teacher! Legend!

Emanuele Amatruda
London, England

The best lessons I’ve ever had! Darren really is an all round teacher, concentrating highly on technique and ‘real world’ playing.
The best drummer/teacher I’ve ever had!

Callum Sharp
Buckingham, UK

I have taken lessons from Darren at the Institute and also privately and have found his teaching both hugely informative, beneficial and very inspiring! After having just a few private lessons I found my playing improved very quickly. I would recommend his teaching to anyone looking to improve!
Thanks a lot Daz!

Tom Needham
London, England

I’ve been taught by Darren for two years during a three year music degree at The Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance.
He has been a fantastic teacher! I would definitely rate him as the best drum teacher I’ve had yet throughout my 13 year career as a drummer.
He delivers material in a manner that makes you feel concentrated but relaxed and challenged but able. Not only this but through the experience and knowledge he has gained during his career, he is able to give brilliant advice on being a pro drummer in the music industry and I found him to be very supportive to all his students, whatever their ability.
I have no doubt that I will be calling Darren to receive one to one tuition outside of my degree as I know I can learn so much more!

Reuben Harsant
London, UK

I had the pleasure of having Darren as a teacher for two years and the knowledge and skills I gained from him are priceless. His delivery is always clear, the content of the lessons is detailed and deeply prepared and his drumming is impeccable; there’s always something to learn from him. I would suggest him to anyone looking to take their drumming to “the next level”.

Alberto Voglino
London, England

Darren is an enthusiastic, patient and supportive instructor. He has excellent communication skills with a friendly easy going attitude.  He’s helped me considerably with my reading skills and enabled me to develop and improve my technique. I would not hesitate in recommending him to anyone wishing to take their playing to “the next level”.

Pete Wright
Tring, Herts, England

Darren is a great teacher with easy to learn steps and great ideas. He’s inspiring and motivating.

Dee Biberian
London, England

I first met Darren at the Institute where he was teaching a part time drum course I was attending.
At that point, I found his playing abilities outstanding. I was also impressed by the way he could convey complex information to students irrespective of their current level.
Since then, Darren has been giving me private tuition that has provided me with a new perspective and a framework to improve my skills.

Thanks Daz and keep up the good work!

Matt Wilkosz
London, England

I began having lessons with Darren when I decided that my reading needed improvement. Since working regularly with Darren, I have now secured a big band gig every Thursday and my reading has improved dramatically. Now Darren is dragging me kicking and screaming through the Moeller technique, it goes to show that you can teach an old dog (50) new tricks.

Tom Goddard
Iver, England

Darren taught me throughout my degree. He was a fantastic teacher being able to analyse and breakdown all facets of my playing, honing in on the technical and musical aspects I didn’t realise were holding me back.

He has undoubtedly helped me to excel as a player. I shall also never have my open hi hats with a 1cm gap again!!!

Cheers Darren :)

Dejaar Fard
London, England

Darren is fantastic. Obviously very passionate about drumming, he oozes experience, enthusiasm and support.  As an absolute never-paradiddled-in-my-life beginner, I really appreciated Darren’s extreme patience and willingness to break things down to the bare fundamentals, making sure that you “get it”.
Thank you drumming Yoda!

Dita Tantang
London, England