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Former soldier used drumming to battle PTSD and now marches to a different beat

Daily Record logo Daily Record 13/07/2021 Gregor Farquharson

A former soldier from Motherwell has found solace and joy through teaching drums.

Neil Drumguy used drums as a coping mechanism for minor PTSD that he suffered when he returned from conflict and has since toured all over the UK playing in various bands.

He conducted different types of tour in Eastern Europe in the 2000s, when his roles in the army were in combat operations and later, reconnaissance.

After leaving the military, Neil looked for ways of coping with minor PTSD. These included playing cricket and rugby.

However, he found his groove when he rediscovered his love for drumming and has now made a career out of his passion.

Neil told Lanarkshire Live: "I first played drums for a short while in school and then I left for the army at a young age.

a man sitting at a table: Having toured all around the UK, Neil is now happy to be in his studio teaching the next generation of drummers © Stuart Vance/ReachPlc Having toured all around the UK, Neil is now happy to be in his studio teaching the next generation of drummers

"When I came back and told my psychiatrist that I used to play the drums she persuaded me to take it back up and I haven't looked back.

"I have toured as a session drummer all over the UK, mainly in metal bands, but also jazz, funk, and drum and bass.

"I toured and played up until 2017 and then I took a job with a Wishaw music school which was my first experience in teaching.

"I decided I wanted my own place and built my own studio in Netherton called The Drumpad."

Neil built the studio in a unit in Netherdale Park over the course of 2018 and 2019 and was open for a few months before he was forced to close because of coronavirus.

This left Neil in a tough position and he nearly lost the studio twice because of financial difficulties.

a person sitting at a table: Neil has said that helping young people improve is a huge boost for him © Stuart Vance/ReachPlc Neil has said that helping young people improve is a huge boost for him

But now, with 17 students and a number of bands practicing at the studio, he is back to doing what he loves most.

"I never fully realised how important teaching was until I started.

"Seeing these young drummers progress in both skill and as people is really amazing.

"I have seen kids really grow confidence and beat anxiety due to the skills and life lessons I am teaching them."

Neil is always on the lookout for more students to teach drums and has space for lessons now.

For more information visit The Drumpad NL.

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