Instrument Talk Levelling up with Todd Turner - NZ Music Month Feature
Levelling up with Todd Turner - NZ Music Month Feature
New Zealand Music Month is an amazing annual event that celebrates local music and musicians. For KBB Music we see this as the perfect time to celebrate making music and encouraging Kiwis to take their music to the next level!
Through this month we are profiling friends of KBB Music. These are incredible homegrown artists who have achieved amazing success in their respective musical fields. Through the process of a quick-fire interview, we were interested in finding out how they levelled up their music journey and the instruments that they recommend to budding Kiwi musicians.
Starting his journey 41 years ago for a brass band in Palmerston North, Todd Turner is now the percussionist for Christchurch’s iconic Woolston Brass, who have just celebrated their 130th anniversary.
Check out this taster of Woolston Brass in action!
Throughout his playing career Todd has been a part of various brass bands, including territorial bands in both the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the New Zealand Army! In 1995, he embarked on a tour of duty with the New Zealand Army Band to Washington DC for the Korean War Commemorations and for the VJ Day Celebrations.
Not only this, Todd was selected for the National Brass Band of New Zealand in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014 & 2016. These days you can find him as the Drum Major of Woolston Brass and has won seven national Champion Drum Major awards. What a champion!
Thinking back on your musical journey, what were the breakthrough moments that made you the musician you are today?
When I first started learning I didn’t like my lessons or practising. My teacher drilled me on technique for a long time and I didn’t play on anything apart from a practice pad. This was great as it’s given me great technique and the ability to be more expressive on instruments that sound amazing when played delicately as well as when played loud.
With drums and percussion, there is nowhere to hide so my advice is to be brave and go for it. If you are going to make a mistake, at least be confident and keep the poker face, people may not even notice!
Now thinking about your gear: what is the one instrument that you will never part with?
I think the team in Christchurch KBB Music & Rockshop know that I’m addicted to buying percussion gear!
Woolston Brass is fortunate to have a lot of great percussion instruments and I suppose if I had to pick one, it would be our Pearl Reference Pure drum kit. It is stunning to look at, sit behind and sounds fantastic!
What instrument would you recommend to other drummers?
For a beginner - I would highly recommend a Pearl Midtown Drum kit with Pearl lightweight hardware. Woolston Brass have just purchased one of these for gigs in small venues, it sounds fantastic and is easy to move and set up. A serious kit at a great price!
At an intermediate level - Once you know that playing drums is something that you are going to do for a long time, invest in an electronic drum kit to keep your family and your neighbours on your side. Once you are at the stage where you want to practice and play for hours on end, get the kit and a quality set of headphones. I would invest in the TDK25KVX to get the electronic drum kit with the most realistic feel.
For the pros – For brass bands, a quality snare drum is a must, and a variety of shell materials is required for different effects. Woolston Brass currently have snare drums from the Pearl Philharmonic series, but I would recommend the Black Swamp and Majestic snares that are currently available from KBB Music and Rockshop!