Jonathan Curtis

About Me

Jonathan Curtis Snare Drum Pearl Philharmonic
Jonathan Curtis 2.JPG

My name is Jonathan. I work as a drummer (drum kit and snare drum), instrument tutor, composer, author, and publisher. Everything in my professional life is linked to playing and creating music, predominantly based around the drum kit and, more recently, the snare drum as a solo instrument.

I began studying the piano aged around six or seven, and switched to the drum kit at secondary school. I seemed to take to music well, enjoying the relationship between numbers and rhythms, and the mixture of precision and improvisational expression.

I did not study music through school, instead taking all of my music lessons privately. This meant that, unlike many professional musicians, I did not go to college or university in music-related subjects. I did, however, earn a bachelor's degree in philosophy and Japanese anthropology and language, and a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Nottingham. Whilst this may not seem immediately related to my musical work, the analytical nature of philosophy, the process of investigation, has directly influenced my approach to drumming, especially in my compositions and teaching methods.

Having spent over a decade as a freelance drum kit player, working with bands and artists all over the world, I now work predominantly as a player, composer, and educator specialising in the snare drum as a solo instrument. This was somewhat influenced by an Arts Council England grant I received to research the snare drum, through which I found a love that was previously overshadowed by my work on the drum kit.

As a player and teacher, I enjoy exploring the conceptual basis of the instrument, often asking "why?" as much as showing how. I teach the way I learn; from the bottom up, allowing the student to uncover for themselves the further implications of fundamental concepts.

Throughout my career to date, I have written five published books about drumming (three method books and two collections of original compositions), written and released five studio albums of original music, built a YouTube channel with over one millions lifetime views, and worked with an array of fantastic artists, bands, and musical acts.

I teach from my purpose-built studio in Newton, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, whilst also working with students all over the world through online lessons. I continue to write original snare drum repertoire, method books, and also expanding my publishing portfolio by working with some fantastic authors.

Away from music, I am a learning Buddhist, a father of a little firecracker of a daughter, and a lover of curry, Belgian beer, and reading.