The official web site of session drummer and teacher Lewis Partridge.
Name: Lewis Partridge
Location: Luton, UK
Occupation: Session Drummer / Teacher
Qualifications: Grade 8 Drum Kit (High Honours) - Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Religion: Christian - Pentecostal
My name is Lewis, some people call me the Ninja Drummist. Music is my life and I've been playing since I was 3 years old. My first instrument is Drums and I was taught by Freddie Wells. I also play Bass, Guitar and Piano.
I teach drums at Greenbank and Lea Manor High School. I also play in a few bands: New Groove Formation, The Jazz Allstars and a currently nameless Drum n Bass project.
I've also been working on a solo project featuring my other instruments called The Cloud9 Mission. Other bands I've worked with include Headfly, The Wellington Bootles, Magic Rising and Farouche.
I play a Tama Starclassic Performer B/B kit with Sabian Cymbals, Remo Heads and Vic Firth Sticks. If any drum companies want to talk sponsorship, please get in contact!
I have been playing the drums for 30 years (since I was 3 years old). You can view a full list of the artists I have played with as well as my dicography on My Bands and Artists page.
I have been teaching for 15 years (since July 2001). Please visit my Private Lessons page for more information on my teaching style.
I am blessed to have been born into a very musical family. My Father and most of my uncles are all musicians and I often wonder if my musical career would have happened at all if it were not for the constant inspiration and encouragement I have received from an early age.
One of my earliest memories is going to see my Dad play with his band The Wellington Bootles. I remember watching my Dad sing and play bass and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen and still do. From that moment on, I wanted to be a musician just like my Dad.
My parents bought me a Ukulele (the only guitar small enough for my hands at the time) and I would stand on stage at my Dad's gigs with my little Ukulele and a small microphone stand. I did not realise that my Ukulele was not amplified or that the mic was not switched on but I thought I was in the band and that was enough for me.
I remember once being asked at school, "what does your Dad do for a living?" to which my answer was "He's a Rock Star"!
I cannot remember exactly what attracted me to the drums but I know I asked my parents for a toy drum kit for my third birthday. My Dad taught me to play a few basic rhythms and I swapped my Ukulele for the Drum Kit. He would set my little kit up next to his drummer's at his gigs and I would copy everything I saw, again not realising that the audience could not really hear me.
I later sat in with The Wellington Bootles for many years and still do when I get the opportunity. It was the best musical education a young, up and coming musician could hope for in that I was constantly surrounded by professional musicians and encouragement.
At the age of seven, my parents bought me a junior sized kit and noticed I was still very serious about drumming. My Dad had received many recommendations for my teacher – Freddie Wells and I started taking lessons with him that year. Freddie has taught me so many things that I have found to be invaluable throughout my career in both music and life. He improved my technique in ways I'd never thought possible, taught me to learn from and respect all styles of music, taught me to read and so much more. He is a fountain of knowledge and history of drumming and I am still taking lessons with him to this day. I don't think the day will ever come when I cannot learn something from him!
Freddie also taught Gilson Lavis who currently plays drums with Jools Holland's band!
My first instrument will always be the drums but I began to develop an interest in other instruments. I started playing the Piano at around seven or eight years old and my Dad started teaching me Guitar and Bass when I was about nine. I have never had formal lessons on these instruments as my passion has always been with the drums. But it enabled me to write my own music and gain a valuable insight into what other instrumentalists require from a drummer.
I formed my first band when I was about ten years old with musicians I had met in school. We called ourselves "Anonymous" because we could not think of a name and started playing gigs at school, local youth clubs and occasionally supported my Dad's band. Later on, at Northfields Upper School, I joined a rock band called Farouche and also played for the school band who toured in Holland, Italy and Spain. It was also at Northfields that I met the best music teacher I have ever seen in a school – Steve Merriman. He taught me a lot about driving a band and music theory. I now work for him teaching drums at Lea Manor High School.
I found God in my early teens and later discovered Gospel Music through following awesome drummer – Gerald Heyward. Gospel Music has always been such an inspiration to me both spiritually and musically and I feel that it has really helped me to develop my own style on the kit. I am also very thankful that I discovered it at an early age as it gave me a head start in this awesome style of drumming before it finally received the popularity it deserves recently, through great web sites such as www.gospelchops.com.
I had a pretty bad experience in college. The teachers there seemed more concerned with putting me off music than encouraging me and it was the closest I have ever been to losing my passion. Music very nearly became nothing more than a hobby to me until I was asked to join my good friend's band – Headfly, where I would be replacing an amazing drummer - Beanie Bhebhe (who now plays drums for Gabriella Cilmi). Beanie is still the most innovative and inspiring drummer I have ever met and the learning curve I experienced trying to learn his beats and fills helped to quickly reignite my passion for drumming and music.
Around this time, I was also working with a band called Magic Rising, who later would become my current band New Groove Formation. We practiced at a local music studio called Greenbank Music Village where Doog Moody (owner and creator of Greenbank) asked me if I was interested in teaching drums there. I had honestly not thought about teaching before, mainly because I didn't think I was good enough yet, but I accepted the job and I am still teaching there to this day.
I feel very much indebted to Doog for not only giving me my first teaching position but also for showing me that it was possible to make a regular income with my drumming through teaching. At the time I had just left school and didn't know what to do with this thing that I was apparently good at. I found a sense of purpose through passing on the knowledge that I have been so lucky to receive and also another aspect to music that I really enjoy. I feel I have a responsibility to "keep the flame" and make sure the knowledge / history of drumming does not become lost in the modern world where so few drummers receive an education in their instrument.
In 2004, I decided I wanted to study for my Grade 8 examination. In 2005, after 6 months of constant practice and preparation, I passed the exam with High Honours (238 / 250 points!).
In 2007, legendary Jazz Guitarist and father of one of my childhood friends – Jim Douglas invited me to come and play with him and the Brian Jones Dixieland Allstars. I had always been very interested in Jazz music but had not really had much experience playing it. This was probably my greatest playing experience to date as I have been fortunate enough to play on a regular basis with some of the best Jazz musicians in the UK including Jim Douglas, John Bridge, Brian Jones, Roy Williams, Mike Cotton, Nigel Carter and many more! I have learned so much about Jazz and music from these amazing musicians and I could listen to these guys tell stories all day!
In 2008 - 2009, I became frustrated with both the lack of good educational material for the drums available online and my lack of students due the recession. I decided it was time I put myself on the drumming map and began to create this web site. A few years before, I had acquired the nickname "Ninja Drummist" due to my use of the occasional stick trick in my playing. I thought this name was both funny and memorable enough to be the title of my new web site.
I am currently playing with New Groove Formation, an 8 piece Ska, Funk and Reggae band playing our own original material. I am also still teaching and I design web sites like this one in my spare time.
Copyright © 2001 - 2017 Lewis Partridge. A member of The Cloud9 Mission Network.
4524543 drummers have visited since 19th February 2009.