Jim's grandfather played jazz drum kit around Manchester and occasionally played percussion with the Halle Orchestra, his grandmother played ragtime piano. At the age of 8, Jim took keyboard lessons, completed his grade 1 exam and decided it wasn't for him. Seven years later, after much badgering from his mother and with frustration at all of his friends being in heavy metal and punk bands, Jim took the plunge and asked his Mother to find him a drum teacher - an idea she had been pushing for years. Enter Dave Williams who referred Jim's mother to Ken Hall, long-time local drum teacher and the local "go to" guy. Jim studied with Ken almost every week for 2 years and a solid foundation was laid.

Skip several years, plenty of lessons, stints studying with Bobby Arechiga, Andy Cammiss and David Fletcher and 3 years in Liverpool to complete a Biochemistry degree (whilst still playing and teaching) and it is 2006. Jim started teaching (although he was offered the job 6 years earlier at the age of 17) for the Nottingham Drum Centre and took lessons with Steve Barwell with a focus on jazz kit, orchestral snare, hand technique and vibraphone. In 2007 Jim was invited to teach at MLC-Academy under the supervision of owner Paul Hose and world renowned educator Dom Famularo. From 2007 until 2010 Jim studied with Dom, Paul and regularly with Jack Atherton with a focus on hand technique (Moeller and Gladstone, all three mentors had studied with Jim Chapin, renowned student of Sanford Moeller), expanding stylistic knowledge and live and studio performance skills. Jim and Paul's book, Drumset For Beginners, was written during this period and was published in March 2010 by Alfred Publishing UK, with its main launch event taking place at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in Germany. Paul also featured Jim on his Mapex video lesson podcasts which were downloaded by well over 450,000 users: Jim and Paul are currently working on a video companion to the Drumset For Beginners book. Since 2007 Jim has been involved with various institutions ranging from schools and Beaver clubs to Council run family days delivering educational performance workshops to children and adults of all ages both alone and as part of a group of facilitators.

Although Jim has been playing with originals and covers bands at everything from pub gigs to festivals and weddings for many years, it was in 2010 that he began to focus the world of freelance performing and stylistic development in both live and studio environments. Following is a non-exhaustive list of groups which Jim has performed with, either as a dep (sub) or regular member, with in the last few years: El Cielo (progressive metal), Reverend Ribble & The Ginger Nuts (50s rock n roll covers), To Be Frank (touring Frank Sinatra tribute), Carlton Brass Band, Nottingham Jazz Workshop, Mansfield Amateur Dramatics Society (Oklahoma! 2011), The Mat Andasun Band (progressive Latin pop), Sabar Soundsystem (formerly Bass Tone Slap, Afro-British percussion band who scored a deal on TV's Dragon's Den, and who also performed dates at a festival in Egypt with Jim in the summer of 2012), Stop Eject (playing Nirvana covers for a charity show), Detour Ahead (modern jazz standards), The Houseband (Riverbank, Nottingham), Evenflow (Pearl Jam tribute), Rollo Markee & The Tailshakers (traditional Chicago blues at festivals), Nottingham Women in The Arts/Vibes and Scribes 2011 & 2012 (backing for charity event, band manager), Jump! (nationwide entertainers and a 13 week cruise around the Caribbean playing pop standards from 1940s onwards), Giles Rivers (singer songwriter, recording project), Vampires Rock (touring theatre show featuring stage play and popular rock classics), Nottingham School of Samba, Paraíso School of Samba (London, the UK's only Rio affiliated samba school), and most recently Royston Duxford (originals mixing rock n roll, country and blues).

From November 2010 until November 2011 Jim set up and ran Nottingham Drummers' Forum. The idea of the forum was for drummers of all levels - teachers, students, professionals, percussionists - to come together and share ideas on a not-for-profit basis. This monthly event went well and received excellent reviews from attendees and speakers and attracted people from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Birmingham, Yorkshire and even London. Jim hopes to restart the forum at a later date with a venue and format to be announced.

In 2011 Jim got the chance to present a series of master classes with Paul Hose at Rob Hiron's WizDom Drumschool in Marseille, France. Soon after Jim took a detour around a trip to PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) in the USA to present master classes and lectures on playing and teaching at both New York School of Music (thanks to Donna Hall, owner) and at McNally Smith College of Music in Minneapolis (thanks to David Stanoch, author of Mastering The Tables of Time).

As part of Jim's thirst for musical development he has attended several PASIC events in the USA as well as various master classes around the UK. Some drummers Jim has studied with, either one on one or in a group class room setting, include Steve Smith (Journey), Geoff Dugmore (Blondie and many others), Ralph Salmins (UK session great), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Jojo Mayer (Nerve), Geoff Dunn (Van Morrison), Craig Blundell (Dr oKtopUs), Neal Wilkinson (session), Jeff Davenport (tuning genius), Bobby Arechiga (Strongheart), Allen Herman (New York Broadway drummer, student of Joe Morello) Mike Dolbear (London theatre and mentor to industry stars), Dom Famularo, Mike Sorrentino, John Favicchia, Pat Petrillo and others.

In March 2012, after returning from a Caribbean cruise job, Jim set up a new studio a few minutes walk from Nottingham City centre at The Octave Rooms. The goal of the studio was to give Jim somewhere to develop his art without distraction, host rehearsals with the wide range of bands he works with and importantly to teach his students in a quality environment. The studio is kitted out with lots of percussion and other instruments plus a full PA, please see the lessons page for more information on Jim's teaching instruments and equipment.

For the latest on Jim's musical adventures, please see his blog.


"Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind." - Mick Jagger

"Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is." - Miles Davis

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." - Plato