Gerald Myles is a professional drummer who owns a highly sought after teaching andrecording studio in Norwalk, Connecticut. He stays equally busy freelancing with numerous bands week to week.
Born and raised in Norwalk, Gerald is the third generation of professional drummers. By the age of 15, he began winning numerous regional and national awards for his playing abilities. His training includes attending the prestigious Hartt School of Music and University Of Massachusetts as a Jazz Performance major. He was named the United States’ best up and coming “Blues, Pop, and Rock” drummer and “Studio Jazz Orchestra” drummer by the world renowned DownBeat Magazine at age 21. Gerald spent several years in the Orlando, Florida area drumming for Walt Disney World and Cirque Du Soliel, while playing and recording for countless bands and artists. From 2005 to 2009 Gerald became a member of The Volunteers; the official touring how band of the United States Army. With the Volunteers he toured the United States playing high profile shows such as NFL games, the closing of Yankee Stadium and President Obama's inauguration, all while regularly recording in their multi-million dollar recording facility.
Before leaving the life of a nationally touring musician, Gerald founded a home recording company, MylesOfDrums.com in 2007. Since then, he has recorded numerous projects for individual singers, songwriters, bands, and producers from around the globe. His drumming can heard on albums, singles, commercials, films, and websites.
Since moving back to Norwalk in 2009, Gerald devotes much of his time to passing what he has learned to others. In addition to giving clinics and master classes throughout the region, he teaches private music lessons from the same home studio used for Myles Of Drums. Over the years Gerald has helped aspiring drummers win scholarships to the best music schools in the nation, land national touring gigs, and build thriving careers as pro musicians. Gerald is a proud endorser of Mapex drums, Vic Firth drumsticks, Remo drumheads, and Samson audio. To get more info about Gerald please visit his site at GeraldMyles.com.
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Check out the below interview with Myles!
Where did you grow up and what got you into playing the drums?
I was born in Norwalk, CT and spent my first 6 years there until my family moved to Stratford before I began the first grade. While in Stratford I took up playing the trombone in school as my first instrument. I ultimately gave up the trombone because the case was almost as big as me and proved too much of a burden to lug to and from school. My father was a professional drummer so most people assume I began playing as soon as I could hold a pair of sticks. That’s actually pretty far from reality. I was mainly into sports for most of my childhood (baseball, football, and skateboarding). It wasn’t until 7th grade that I showed any interest in playing drums. I asked my father how to use brushes and after a quick demonstration on our living room coffee table, he signed me up for drum lessons at the local music store. My father was an excellent drummer but never learned to read or write music and he thought I could go much further with a proper musical education. So began my career as a drummer.
How has playing multiple instruments helped you overall as a musician?
I’ve been playing bass and piano as secondary instruments for decades and have had a lot of musical success as a direct result. I’ve gotten such a deeper understanding of music theory, chord progressions, and song forms than the average drummer who simply plays a drum beat during a song and only worries about putting a fill every 8 bars. I feel reassured when musicians tell me during a break or after a gig that they appreciate how I play more musically than the drummers with whom they usually work. Playing other instruments has helped me grow into a well-rounded musician instead of being stuck as a one-dimensional timekeeper for the band. Knowing the role of other instruments allows me to craft drum parts to highlight what they play and push the song in more musical directions. This leads to more gigs and more fun playing those gigs. Being a multi-instrumentalist also allows me to expand what I can affectively teach to private students.
What advice do you have to any upcoming drummer?
That’s a tough question to consolidate into one answer. As a professional educator, I spend about a thousand hours each year giving advice to upcoming drummers. I guess my most important message is to put in the work. Just about every drummer you idolize has gotten to where they are with years of hard work and dedication to getting better. Dreaming about playing arenas and binge watching phenomenal drummers on YouTube is great for setting goals but you’ll never get there without focused time in the woodshed. If drumming really is your passion, those years of practice will be a privilege and not a chore.