Student: Nathan Wallington

Finalist of Young Drummer of the Year 2012 & 2013

I first met Danny through a friend who recommended him. From the very first lesson we got on really well and I started having regular lessons starting in March 2009.

Danny is patient and always willing to run through rudiments, timing and anything else if you struggle to get to grips with it. He teaches in an order that keeps building more on to what you've already learnt, and he always has superb amounts of sheet music to give to you to read. A lot of the time Danny writes all the notes out for you if you are learning something new or tricky, this I find helps a great deal.

Another thing that I find great is that he doesn't just teach you grades, in fact he started by teaching me a lot of the basics like a paradiddle and simple rhythms, then eventually after I was able to play around the kit we started to learn grade 2. I went on to complete grade 4 with a score of 99%, and then grade 8 with 91%.

For me the most exciting thing that has happened so far is the Young Drummer of the Year competition. Following on from Ben Clark’s success in 2010, Danny convinced me to work with him to put a solo together and enter. I had only been drumming for 2 years at that point and so our aim was to try and reach the top 40 by 2013 which would be at my second attempt. To my surprise I actually made the top 10 at my first attempt! It was a brilliant experience and pushed me on much faster in my understanding and technical ability in playing the drums.

I entered again the following year (2013) and once again made the Top 10. Although I did not win, it did not matter at all as I had made lots of like-minded new friends, experienced playing in front of a large audience which has helped massively with my confidence and my drumming skill level had taken some great leaps forward over those 2 years. I could have only done this with Danny's excellent guidance & training, I cannot 'big' him up enough!

Thanks to Danny’s expert guidance, I now regularly enjoy playing in a few different bands and have a few students of my own that I teach at my home studio. Teaching is something I find immensely enjoyable and has only reinforced my knowledge and love of the instrument.

All I can say is, if you are looking for a skilled, experienced, friendly tutor then look no further. Thanks Danny, I couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Student: Ben Clark

Winner of Young Drummer of the Year 2010

I’m Ben Clark and I have been one of Danny’s pupils since 2008. Looking back to when I first started, I realise the vast improvement compared with the relatively short time I have been visiting Danny for lessons. The reason being is that Danny has always been and has continued to inspire me to play the drums, every lesson, since the first time I met him I feel that I have only just picked up a pair of sticks, as I learn about new styles and patterns every week. I look forward to every lesson hugely.

Learning with Danny is exciting; I want to play the drums even more! As well as this, combined with him being genuinely a very nice guy, and now a great friend, lessons are a treat!

Just over a year ago (January 2010), I won the 2010 Young Drummer of the Year award. This is why I was searching for a teacher, I knew I wanted to enter this competition and I had heard great things about Danny. In the first couple of months we worked on some new ideas, including: Rock, Latin and Jazz. We then linked the things I had learned and put together a 2 minute video to be sent off for the judges to watch for the competition. After getting into the finals we were both ecstatic, we had more work to do! We then worked on yet further ideas from even more styles, now including deeper, more complex Latin ideas, and New Orleans front line patterns! We then fixed together a second solo for the finals, as well as working out the drums for the set pieces that the judges sent for each finalist to play. It felt like an absolute dream when I won, and half of the award should have gone to Danny. Without him I would still be in my bedroom. He helped me to realise what the judges were looking for and to become a more tight, musical and dynamic player.

The year to follow this was one of the best years a drummer could have asked for. I have played at many prestigious drumming events such as: London Drum show, National Drum Fair, touring with Benny Greb and clinics up and down the country! Supporting a whole variety of players! Another thing Danny and I worked towards was the Mapex Drummer of Tomorrow World Finals, a competition held in Frankfurt, Germany which gathered drummers from around the world to compete. I travelled out to Germany and was lucky enough to be placed 3rd!

I owe a huge amount to Danny, without his help I would have had none of what I achieved last year. His lessons are a delight and I highly recommend! He is not only a great player, but a person whom I feel I can get along with, and therefore why I think we have progressed over the last year and a half.

Student: Zeke Skinner

Top 40 - Young Drummer of the Year 2015

Danny is a fantastic teacher and a great guy who has made sure that every lesson I’ve had has been hugely enjoyable and rewarding, pushing my playing further than I ever thought possible and enhancing my passion for the instrument.

In just under a year and a half of lessons, his teaching has allowed me to complete my grade 8 with a distinction as well as reach the top 40 of the YDOTY competition.

Furthermore I believe the affiliation to Mike Dolbear has helped cement Danny’s position as one of the UK’s top drum teachers and it is a great privilege to learn under his guidance and expertise.

Student: Emilio Casalicchio

I had drum lessons for approximately two years with Dan, right from when I was a complete beginner. He was the perfect teacher! Very patient and understanding, always willing to demonstrate and explain again and again. He very much centred the lessons around what I wanted to learn.

I would come to the lesson with particular songs and drum parts, and Dan would take them away, break them down meticulously, write it all out in notation then come back and teach me not only the relevant parts, but any specific techniques that would better enable the playing and which were applicable to whole new areas of drumming, so that he was giving me the building blocks to keep learning by myself at a rapid rate and to feel comfortable to improvise and apply the techniques all around the kit at will. His balance between logical technique based learning and the more creative application of technique for expression and song-writing was perfect, keeping me interested and excited about playing whilst still learning rigid techniques for efficiency.

Most of all, I was continually inspired by his passion for drums and his relentless commitment to sharing that passion, not to mention that he's a lovely guy and quickly became a friend as well as a teacher. He had no problem communicating with a fourteen year old kid, and made me feel valued and respected and very much a peer of his own. Now I'm twenty four and still playing drums. I am in a band who are releasing records and touring in the UK and Europe, and I feel that so much of this success is indebted to Dan for first showing me what drumming can be and how it can be an exciting and creative interest that can be sustained for a lifetime!

Dan is an amazing drummer, competent in a massive breadth of styles from rock to jazz to Latin and beyond, and he's an amazing teacher who I couldn't recommend enough.

Illness (band) >

Student: Tony Born

I fulfilled a life long ambition by getting my first drum kit at the tender age of 60! I really expected to be able to just sit there and play an awesome drum solo,  what a shock to discover that it wasn't that simple! I struggled on my own for a while, then enlisted the help of Danny. He is such an accomplished drummer that I wondered if he would have the patience to teach such an old dummy as myself!

It really was vital to me that I would feel comfortable with my new teacher. I have now had many lessons with Danny, and count him as much a friend as a teacher. His patience seems limitless and I have never once felt stupid during my struggle to master the art,  even though at my age I have probably been a lot slower to learn than his younger proteges!

From starting out showing me how to hold drum sticks correctly,  he has encouraged me through the learning process - also given me the ability to understand and read drum music - and also the ability (vital, as the drummer in a covers band)  to analyse and repeat drum grooves. But most importantly, he has given me the skills and confidence to fulfil my ambition to play in a rock band, which I have now done for about 3 years. (www.thesilverhorses.com).

I invariably get complimented by someone after a gig, which perhaps demonstrates how successful Danny has been.

I strongly believe that drumming, very similar to golf, is a skill that you must have a teacher for - to show you the techniques of playing and how to break down and learn difficult patterns.  I would highly recommend Danny to anyone who wants to learn to play the drums,  he is simply an excellent teacher and also one of the few genuine nice guys I have met.

Student: Alex Grey

I'm Alex Grey and I've been having lessons with him for about 2 years now. Before I had Danny I had a drum teacher at my school. I was going nowhere with him, so I changed to Danny, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. When I left my teacher I was bearly at grade 4. But Danny soon changed that, within half a year, Danny had trained me and my confidence, and got me through grade 7 with distinction.

I am now halfway through grade 8. Danny’s lessons are great fun and not a lesson has gone by where I haven't learnt something new and creative. He has influenced and inspired me strongly to do and play more. My successes as a drummer has been greatly down to Danny, and I would strongly suggest getting lessons.

Student: Andy Milwain

I started taking lessons with Dan after auditioning for BIMM, I needed to work on shuffles and reading to get me into the more advanced classes in the college. After only a few weeks Dan’s lessons helped me progress quickly, with clear explanations, demonstrations, and a relaxed attitude when teaching, I was able to read and play various styles including jazz and latin music.

After having lessons with Dan for a year I was confident and well set up for my course and it had given me grounding in various styles and improved my playing in general.

After completing the course we still keep in touch and keep up to date with what we are both doing and I can still ask for advice with anything drum related.

If your looking to progress with your drumming but keep the enjoyment of playing your instrument, which can easily be lost when taking lessons, I thoroughly recommend you contact Dan.

Student: Terry Wallington

I have always had a desire to play the drums but coming from a large family (6 sisters and 1 brother) we never had the money to even think about lessons or buying any equipment.

A couple of years ago I convinced my wife that I should have an electronic kit to satisfy my need to always tap my fingers on the table or mimic drummers by slapping my hands on my legs, drove her mad sometimes! I also thought my son might enjoy it as I guess a lot of boys don’t mind banging drums and making a noise.

It was obvious from the start that my son showed much more promise of being able to make a reasonable sound come out of the kit than I could, so we decided to try him with some lessons to see how he took to them.

Best thing we ever did was to get Danny’s number off the web. He works so well with my son (Nathan) and gets the very best out of him. He has encouraged him to work through the Trinity Guildhall Grades and he is about to take his Grade 4 after getting a distinction in his last grading.

Nathan has been inspired enough to work towards entering the Young Drummer of the Year competition and he is now working with Danny to put together a solo as part of his submission.

At 48 I have also been inspired to take my Grade 2 which Danny has very patiently coached me through and I too achieved a Distinction. Too late for Young Drummer for me but I am very much looking forward to my son achieving his ambitions and I can’t think of a more competent or nicer chap than Danny to work with him to realise his dreams.

Thanks Danny.

Student: Max Doohan

Danny is positive, versatile and incredibly skilled. He took me through Grades 7 and 8 with high grades. I had a really great time learning from Danny.

Jenni Doohan, Max's Mum: "Danny taught my son Max from when he was 9 until he was 16. Danny always made the lessons fun but focused, bringing out the best in Max. At first they did a lot of jamming which improved Max's improvisational skills. When they started working on Grade 7 then Grade 8, the lessons emphasized perfecting the set pieces. Danny was always punctual and professional. I can highly recommend him as a drum teacher."

Student: Nadia Rhodes

My name is Nadia and I am 11 years old. Danny is a kind, helpful teacher and an amazing drummer. He is always really welcoming and friendly when I arrive and when I am struggling with something he is always understanding and willing to listen.

I always look forward to my lesson and having Danny as a teacher is a delight. We always have a complete blast and he is caring and funny. Danny is like a role model to me and he gives me determination and inspiration. I admire him a lot‚ I am now working towards my grade one and with Danny's help I think I'll do well.

Student: Paul Davies

About 10 years ago I heard of Dan through a friend of mine who recommended him highly. One of the best things about Dan's lessons was he wasn't bound by time limitations of set structures in his teachings... basically he'd teach me rudiments, fundamental techniques and introduce me to different styles of music through the interesting drum beats.

Once I had earned my merit on these each lesson he'd do what I wanted and that was to learn the beats of some amazing drummer from some amazing band, so he split the lesson into 2/3 standard lesson structure and 1/3 rewarding fun. Another quality is he'd always push me as well as constantly and patiently guide.

With the help of Dan's teachings I have managed to tour nationwide a number of times performing to thousands of people a night, Work with major record labels in bands and session work, and generally be alright at drums...but never as good as him, he keeps a couple of tricks up his sleeve for himself.

Danny teaching Nathan Wallington

• Danny teaching Nathan Wallington