On Monday 12th September 2016, students flooded into ACM London for the very first time. Having delivered an unparalleled student experience in Guildford for over 21 years, The Academy Of Contemporary Music (ACM) proudly announced earlier this year that it would be bringing its unique style of music industry education to the heart of the industry – London.
Having visited ACM for the first time during Freshers’ Week in 2015, Rudimental drummer Beanie Bhebhe was blown away by the facilities, and jumped at the chance to open ACM London with his masterclass session.
“I think that ACM is a wonderful establishment. It’s really good that recently you’ve been stocking up with these brilliant TAMA kits and great Zildjian cymbals because it’s really important to have decent gear. Often you go into a music room at it has really low budget equipment, so essentially your first exposure to jamming with someone could sound really bad, even though you’re playing a really good piece… so having great gear is really good – I rate this. The staff are all lovely and it’s just generally a good vibe, so I really do like ACM. It’s my first time at ACM London and I like what they’re doing.”
Beanie, Drummer, Rudimental
Hosted by ACM’s Head of Creative Development, Ace (also known as the guitarist in British rock band Skunk Anansie), the session included Beanie’s back story, tips for drummers and some amazing performances. During the class, the drummer actively encouraged students to get involved – he even got some of them up on stage playing his pro-TAMA kit and welcomed students to come and look more closely during his performances.
The session kicked off with a performance of the Rudimental hit ‘Never Let You Go’. Beanie performed the track impeccably and students were stunned by the way the drummer married both his acoustic kit and electronic triggers to create such a unique and complex sound.
During the class Beanie told students that Rudimental were currently taking a break to focus on the third album, which he revealed will be out before the end of the year. When asked what the new album will be like, Beanie teased that it will be a surprise and the masterclass attendees will have to wait and see.
Beanie also shared tips based on his experience in the industry. He told the room that networking is key and discussed the need to be approachable. He also spoke to students about the importance of thinking about what’s needed in a session and advised them to not just “play their best chops”, but to perform what the song needs – even if it’s very basic, which in the pop world it often is.
When asked about warm-ups, he told students that ten minutes should be enough, and advised that in order to build up their left and their right equally, students should practice their singles.
Towards the end of the session, one student asked about performance anxiety. Beanie shared that the last time he felt nervous was at Rudimental’s O2 show. He was performing in front of 16,000 people and his click track dropped out of his in-ear monitors. He said he took from this the need to take things in your stride and not worry about events beyond your control. He also advised that if students have practiced to the best of their ability, then this should help to comfort them ahead of live performances and alleviate any pressure.
As the masterclass drew to a close, students queued up for selfies with the famous drummer and Beanie was more than happy to stay back and answer further student questions.