Celtic Percussion with Matthew Bell(Interview)

Matthew Bell

Attention drummers. It’s time to play Celtic Percussion with Matthew Bell! 

As we move into our drum-centric posts in the coming weeks, this interview with Matthew Bell is a good opener. I subscribed to his Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/mattbellmusic) several months ago and enjoy every update. He brings something different to the world of Celtic percussion. His teaching method has that Zen approach and he talks in that easy, friendly way. So it is really an honor to feature him in this site and to get insights regarding music and theory in general.

1. You must be enjoying your project Celtic Percussion Collective as I am seeing new video tutorials coming out.

Yes, indeed I am enjoying what we have going at the CPC at the moment. We’ve had a really positive response to our educational and performance projects so far and we have a bunch of new things in the works for the coming year!

2. Where do you get your ideas for your video shoots?

Great question! My ideas come from my teaching and performing experiences as well as having a music school background. I approach the teaching of the bodhran in exactly the same way as I teach pipe band drumming, or any other percussion instrument for that matter. I have found over the years that technique and a musical approach are often glazed over or not really taught at all to beginning students. Learning of the bodhran is just as fun, and playing the instrument is just as addictive if you learn proper technique from the start.

3. Can you tell us more about your other projects?

Sure! I have more free videos in the works for my Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/mattbellmusic). I’m also working on a subscription-based bodhran educational website called the Contemporary Bodhran. The site will feature over 150 video tutorials, a chat room, bodhran-related merchandise for sale, and a host of other things. I’m also working on a signature bodhran tipper with the legendary tipper maker, Stevie Moises (www.tippermaker.eu). At the CPC, we’re expanding our clinic offerings to more universities, and we’re also working on a course for pipe band drumming.

4. Can you tell us about this new book you have and what can readers benefit from getting this book.

The Contemporary Bodhran book is a great supplement to my online bodhran videos, and is a good reference for new players of the instrument or people looking to expand their style and technique who have been playing for a while.

5. What’s your advice to those who are just starting to pick up their bodhran in terms of improvement?

Work on your fundamental technique as much as possible. Don’t be in a rush to get out playing sessions too quickly. If you really get the fundamentals down the first time, you’ll have a really solid base to then expand from. Practice a little bit every day- spaced repetition is key.

6. You play other kinds of drums. Why percussion?

Why not percussion!?!?! 🙂 Drums are cool, everyone knows that! Seriously though, I was drawn to percussion from a really young age. I love the sound of the instruments, I love what it feels like to play, and I love accompanying other musicians!

7. Where can people get in touch with you for tutorials?

The CPC website: www.celticpercussion.com

The Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/mattbellmusic

The CPC YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/celticpercussion

The CPC is also on Facebook and Twitter! www.facebook.com/celticpercussioncollective, @celtpercussion

8. Your message to music enthusiasts and lovers of Celtic percussion?

It’s never too late to get started playing Celtic music or Celtic percussion! My life is what it is because I was lucky enough to grow up in the Celtic music community, and I feel privileged to be able to pass on what I’ve learned to students from all over the world!


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