Busting out beats with Philly Drum Project

Arts / Article

Rhythm is the backbone of music. Without keeping time in a song, everything else would fall apart. But this begs the question – who supports the drummer? In Philadelphia, the answer is the Philly Drum Project (PDP).

This relatively new group in town was established around the beginning of 2012 by Ryan Crump as a way for drummers to share their resources with one another. A specific exchange for percussionists was notably absent from the musical community, and so PDP was born. As a member of the collective, there is no cost. The whole idea is an open exchange of four things: gear, lessons, beats and gigs.

Anyone who plays the drums knows that a kit can be extremely pricey, so having a hookup for cheap equipment or trades is a huge benefit to those with tight budgets. The same goes for lessons. Every first Monday of the month at Roosevelt’s Pub, PDP offers a free meet-up and workshop called “Beats, Brews and Banter.” The night includes much of what you’d expect: some great beats, some tasty beers and a chance to network with fellow percussionists.

With each session, PDP employs the help of some talented musicians to kick off the evening. The first gathering highlighted the skills of Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick, and last month featured Marc Dicciani, the director of the School of Music from the University of the Arts. Next month on June 4, “Beats, Brews and Banter” has Kyle Pulley, engineer at The Headroom and guitarist for the Dangerous Ponies, to discuss the studio experience and home recording techniques. Afterward, the instructor of marching percussion at the University of Delaware, Mike Windish, will be on hand for a chops workout. Don’t forget a practice pad and some sticks!

Are you new to the world of beats or want to start playing drums? Well no worries, because PDP is open to everyone, and friends are always welcome. Whether you are a professional drummer, a self-taught hobbyist or have no experience whatsoever, there is something you can take away from the community at PDP.

Philadelphia has a long history of amazing and skilled musicians, especially drummers. From everyone who’s ever been part of a drum line in school, to buskers on the street, from Philly Joe Jones to Questlove of The Roots, there is plenty of talent in the city’s past and present. So come out and share the wealth withPhiladelphia’s newest musical outlet, the Philly Drum Project.

Beats, Brews and Banter takes place every first Monday of the month from 7-9 p.m. at Roosevelt’s Pub, 2222 Walnut St, Philadelphia.