Forum Member Profile
Forum Member Profile
Name: Jonathan Godsall
Tell us about yourself
I''m 23 years old, originally from Worcestershire, and currently in life I''m doing my best to remain forever in education and collect as many letters after my name as possible. From school I went to the University of Bristol to do a degree in music, and after finishing that I stayed on to do another one. And then after that I stayed on again, and am now in the second year of a research degree in musicology, which is, broadly, the study of music. My first degree involved performance and composition too, but since then I''ve specialised in writing about the stuff rather than doing it.
Studying music is my work, and then playing it is my main hobby, so music is very much my life. I wouldn''t have it any other way; I''m incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do. At the moment I think that I''d like to continue on my current path and go into academia (easier said than done), but whatever happens I can''t imagine myself having a career that doesn''t involve music in some way.
How and when did you get into drumming?
I started playing piano from a young age, and then when I was about 10 my music teacher asked me if I wanted to play some percussion in the school orchestra (as there wasn''t a place for a pianist, and I didn''t play anything else). After a year or so of that I started having lessons, and gradually I lost interest in piano and the hitting-stuff side of things took over.
Looking back it''s funny to think how much of a chance situation it was, given how big a part drums and percussion have played in my life since. I can''t say whether I would ever have even considered taking drumming up had I not been asked, so I''m very grateful that I was.
What are you doing musically at present?
Until recently I had been in a funk-rock originals band (Dr Mojito), which was great fun, but sadly I''ve had to move a bit too far away to be able to continue with it. I was only with them for about nine months, but we did some good gigs and it all tied up nicely with recording an EP on my final weekend.
Being ''in a band'' was actually a new experience for me. Otherwise it''s bits and pieces, nothing particularly regular: theatre work, jazz gigs, orchestras, brass bands – whatever comes along, on drum kit or percussion. I quite like it that way: doing a variety of things, having new challenges, meeting new people. A lot of the joy for me definitely comes from the contrast of, say, playing tuned percussion or timpani in an orchestra one day, and then doing panto on kit the next; I wouldn''t say that I necessarily prefer doing one to the other.
Most memorable drumming experience?
A highlight has to be playing with a big band and taking a solo in front of about 2000 people in Birmingham''s Symphony Hall, when I was 18. I''m not sure about ''memorable'', though, as I''m certain I couldn''t remember a thing about it even directly afterwards...
Otherwise it''s hard to single particular events out; I''ve been extremely fortunate to have had some great experiences. I''m fairly sure that occasions like the one above won''t ever be topped, which is sad in a way. But all of the best ones so far have come down mostly to chance and circumstance, so I guess you never know, and I''m glad to have had these opportunities at all.
One more I''ll mention just because it was recent: a few weeks ago I played as part of a local arts showcase for Prince Edward, who then asked me for a drumroll as he unveiled a plaque. Cue mad fumbling at the snare throw that I''d previously deactivated, but I got there in the end, and the words ''By Royal Appointment'' now sit proudly at the top of my CV.
Kit set up?
Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute (mostly I play 22” 10” 14”, though I do have 12” and 16” toms lying around somewhere), Ludwig 400 supraphonic snare (60s Keystone badge), various cymbals.
I have one kit, one snare, and essentially one set of cymbals. Alternatives might be nice in some or all of those categories, but the setup I have seems to work well enough for anything I use it for, so it''d definitely be a ''want'' rather than a ''need''.
I also have a Roland TD-9, which I use only for practice at home, and which probably represents the best money I''ve ever spent on anything music-related. Being able to practice pretty much as and when was something of a revelation.
Favourite drummers and why?
I practically worship Steve Gadd; I will never tire of listening to anything he plays on. The way he plays even the simplest of grooves would be enough for me, but then you have those unique, spectacular moments of brilliance as well: ''50 Ways'', ''Aja'', ''Chuck E''s in Love'' (if I had to choose two seconds of music as the only music I could ever listen to again...), and so on. He''s not only my favourite drummer, but my favourite musician full stop.
The other name that springs to mind is Keith Carlock. For me he''s the most complete drummer around. Technique, power, feel, musicality – he''s got everything.
Favourite drum DVD?
I have a couple but I''ve never really watched them. Generally I prefer to learn from books, but obviously there are things a DVD can show you that a book can''t, so I''m not sure what the real reason is.
That said, I do spend quite a lot of time watching drum-related videos online (all above board of course); mostly performance footage rather than anything specifically educational.
Favourite bit of kit?
I''ve used my 400 for absolutely all sorts and it''s never let me down, so maybe that. In terms of a personal attachment to something, though, I''d probably say my A Custom 16” crash, as it was the first bit of kit I properly selected for myself – probably about 10 years ago – and I still love the sound of it.
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks to all of the forum members for much invaluable advice and a whole lot more over the years. I hope I''ve been able (and will be able in future) to return the favour occasionally. And the guy behind it all, what''s his name again...?
Please log in below if you wish to add your comments on this item. If you are commenting for the first time, you will need to register for security reasons.
|SHARE||PRINT THIS PAGE|