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Luke Holland Drum Workshop at Guitar Center Hollywood

Luke Holland Drum Workshop at Guitar Center Hollywood

Drumming sensation Luke Holland shared his experiences, demonstrated some techniques and exercises, and played through some tracks he recorded with guitarists Jason Richardson and Ichika Nito in front of a packed house at Guitar Center Hollywood.

The four tracks—“Upside Down” and “Sparrow” by Richardson, and “Awakening” and “The World Is Still Beautiful” by Nito—really showcase Holland’s versatility and meticulous attention to nuances and details.

“The two projects couldn’t be more different,” says Holland. “Jason is powerful, in your face and very busy, while the songs I played on for Ichika were very short with really wide dynamics.”

Holland portrayed his drum workshop as a “full-circle moment,” as he had visited a Guitar Center when he was 10 years old, dreaming of playing drums for a living. He actually bought his first drum kit soon thereafter, using money he had saved from mowing lawns in his Peoria, Arizona neighborhood.

Largely self-taught at first, Holland would run over and ask for casual lessons from a drum-playing neighbor whenever he opened his garage door to practice. “Eventually, he stopped opening the garage door,” remembers Holland. “I can imagine him saying, ‘This kid is so annoying.’ Looking back, I don’t blame him.”

Happily, Holland’s pre-teen dream came true. His YouTube channel—LukeHollandDrums—kicked off in 2009. He currently has 705,000 subscribers and his videos have been viewed more than 120 million times. He continues to tour, play on recording sessions, teach drums, and compose and produce music.

Here are some takeaways from the Luke Holland Drum Workshop …

Luke Holland Walking into In-Store Event at Guitar Center Hollywood

Holland Details His DW Collector's Series Kit

“This is the first DW Collector’s Series kit I ever had. I think it’s 10 years old this year. It’s a Twisted Rainbow wood kit with 24K gold-plated hardware and an Edge snare. It was originally built as a 5-piece kit, but as I toured more and more, I started taking things off. I wanted less drums and less stuff to pack up. My pedal is a DW 9000 XF series. It has an extended footboard, which feels better to me.”

Luke Holland's DW Collector's Kit

Why Holland Plays MEINL Cymbal Stacks

“I love stacks. I use three of them—which is kind of insane. But I write very melodically, so I love that the contrast between the three stacks is that they go up in pitch. I’m able to use them to accompany a vocal melody that’s rising up. I can also do buzz rolls on them. I actually have more cymbals than drums, because I can accent different melodies more thoroughly with cymbals.

My cymbals are all MEINL. I have a Artist Concept Luke Holland Signature Baby Stack, Artist Concept Luke Holland Bullet Stack, 20" Byzance Dual Trash Crash, Byzance Chris Coleman Signature Ride Cymbal, 19" Byzance Medium Thin Crash, 18" Byzance Dual Trash China and 14" Pure Alloy Traditional Hi-Hat Cymbals. I also use MEINL Stick & Brush Luke Holland Signature Drum Sticks.

Luke Holland's DW Collector's Drum Kit and MEINL Cymbals

How Holland Developed His Chops

“I was on the snare drumline for three semesters at Peoria High School. It wasn’t my thing, but if I didn’t do drumline, I would not be where I am today. I practice a lot for technique, dynamics and absolute consistency. I want to know exactly what volume to play at exactly which time. Every note must be intentional. I also learned all of the music from my favorite drummers. That’s a really quick way to get a lot of ideas, and you start to become a hybrid of your favorites.

Luke Holland Drumming at In-Store Event at Guitar Center Hollywood

There’s no cheat code. The question is simply, ‘How much time do you want to put into it, and are you actually observing your weaknesses and correcting them?’”

Holland's Warning for Playing Live

“The second you start thinking about your performance is when you mess up.”

Luke Holland Signing Autographs at Guitar Center Hollywood

Holland's Number One Rule for Creating Drum Parts

“First and foremost is, ‘Always serve the song.’ I cringe so hard now when I watch videos of myself at 16 years old playing all of this insane stuff that makes no sense over a hip-hop or pop song. Of course, being young is having inspiration and fire that you need to get out. However, part of getting older is maturing as a person and as a player, and you realize a song doesn’t need all of that stuff.”

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