Jake Bradford-Sharp: Hackney musician and Bang Drum teacher drops ninth album
- Credit: Archant
Multi-instrumentalist, dedicated music teacher and now a man with nine albums to his name; Jake Bradford-Sharp introduces his eclectic new single and speaks of the joy of sharing his craft with fledgling drummers.
There's plenty to admire about Jake Bradford-Sharp's musical dexterity. I started by asking exactly how many instruments he can play. "Quite a few," came the response, including "drums, guitar, bass, keyboards... I do a bit of backing vocals, and I'm really in to the production side of things. I also play tabla and various percussion. I'm only classically trained in drums - I learnt everything else by ear."
Bradford-Sharp took up the drums at the age of 8, and his first heroes were classic rock icons like Led Zeppelin's John Bonham and Keith Moon of The Who. Prog magazine clocked his talents early - he was aged just 18 when he was named their "5th Best Drummer of 2010" - and he's since carved out a career as a musician; teaching, gigging, turning his hand to session work and recording music for TV and film.
There was nothing subtle about the reason he was first drawn to the drums. "It was the loudest instrument to play. It's a very, very expressive instrument. The majority [of people] say you just sit down and hit things - which is true of course - but you can start to experiment with different textures and sounds. A lot of my students are getting in to that, and that's what I love about it."
You'll likely find Bradford-Sharp sharing his passion for the drum kit at London Fields' Bang Drum School, where he spends a lot of time teaching. "I find it so rewarding; that back-and-forth with someone who is absolutely loving the instrument, [and] loving to learn about it," he says.
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"We've got quite a mix of ages, probably more younger students, [although] I have Tuesdays where it's all adult lessons. We've got quite a few older students who come in and are super dedicated. Some come in for half-an-hour, or an hour, and enjoy playing along to their favourite songs.
"A lot of people use it like other people use the gym. It's different to their day-to-day stuff. I'm not a gym-goer myself, [but] I find that for drums, to sit down behind a kit and play for however long: I come out and feel that my head is clear."
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The Mare Street resident is also a prolific creator of his own music. Latest album Remix the Orchestra is his ninth, released on Friday of last week after lead single This Is It had offered a taste of what was to come.
"It's quite experimental," he says of This Is It, a track on which he plays all of the instruments himself. "To describe it, I'd probably say 'eclectic' - I used to search for other musicians to join me, but it's a completely different thing when you know the parts, [and] you can play them exactly how you want!"
The 26-year-old is currently working on a 'teaching method and drumming concept book' called The Alphabet of Drums (more on this via his YouTube channel) and urges any aspiring drummers to "just go out and try it! The main thing is just to sit down and play a couple of tunes that you enjoy. It's half-an-hour completely out of your world and your comfort zone."