Q&A: Bryan Hargreaves – BIMM Manchester’s head of Drums

4th April 2018

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In order to give potential new students an idea of what to expect whilst studying a performance course at BIMM, we decided to interview some of our heads of department to help give a glimpse of the people behind the courses. We spoke with Bryan Hargreaves – Head of Drums at BIMM Manchester – to hear all about his favourite masterclasses, his favourite BIMM facilities and which elements of his career he’s most proud of.

What’ve been the standout Masterclasses we’ve had at BIMM Manchester?

Steve White stood out because he is a British legend who has immense technical skill behind the instrument. Jamiroquai’s rhythm section were amazing, because a third year drum student got the opportunity to play with them (as the drummer Derrick McKenzie could not make the masterclass).

Yolanda Charles‘ Bass and Drums masterclass was great because she talked about listening, which is an incredibly important skill for all musicians. Also, Ben Thompson of Two Door Cinema Club. Ben brought youth and a sense that all students can achieve their aims if they focus on working with their skill set. His class was part-focussed and he demonstrated how a graduate practitioner can make a career in popular music.

Lastly, Kylie Minogue‘s rhythm section. This was good because it got students thinking about the drum set from an electronic and synthetic sounding perspective which is an essential component of so many popular musics.

What would you say are the best facilities at BIMM?

The staff. These are the people that deal with students and help them to improve whilst helping them deal with some difficult challenges. For me, the front line staff ARE the BIMM experience and all other aspects of the establishment compliment that frontline experience.

What have been the proudest moments of your career so far?

Playing with people like Bryan May, Huey Lewis, Glen Campbell, plus Beverley Knight on a weekly live Radio 2 broadcast called ‘Weekend Wogan’. This period in my life was a time when I was living a session players dream with a new legendary artist to perform with on a weekly basis – massive pressure with a massive pay off.

What’s your #1 piece of advice for students?

Have high standards in all aspects of your career, because they ARE achievable with the right choices and focus.

Thinking about signing up to study a course in Drums? We have degree-level courses in Professional Musicianship across all of our campuses! Check out a detailed description of what to expect from the course, here. 



James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.