MUSIC

Glasvegas

November 2019

Drum lessons with Jonna Löfgren with Glasgow’s finest, Glasvegas.

Back in 2010 I heard that Glasvegas was looking for a new drummer, a standing up one. I applied for the job and got it.

Fast forward a month: I left north of Sweden where I’m from, all of a sudden living in a hotel in Glasgow, a new member of the band, trying to understand what everybody was saying and practicing for my first world tour with the boys. I’d never played standing up before but straight away I was so happy that they asked me to stand up. It’s so much fun to be able to move around the kit when I feel like it and also get a wee dance on when the mood is right. I usually play very open grooves with Glasvegas so I almost never cross my hands, which is ‘the normal’ way for me when I play sitting down. Playing open gives me the space to be totally free in moving my arms as big or as small as I want and I love using my full body playing the drums. It’s a win win for me.

This is my setup. I use a left footed double kick pedal, but I only use ‘the extra’ pedal which you can find under my floor tom. I’m only using the double pedal for space, ‘cause it’s not ideal to try and get my foot inbetween the snare and floor tom straight on the kick.Other than that, it’s pretty basic. I play a lot of grooves with the floor tom as my ‘kick’. Usually a lot of verses are just played with my hands and then swap it with kick for the choruses. It’s quite good in that way as I don’t have to stand on one leg for a full set playing the kick drum all the time.

Here’s an example of how I play our song Euphoria, Take My Hand when we play it live

Warmups for me always alter. I go through stages of different ways to go about it. Usually I come up with a new warmup for a different tour, and it’s not something that I plan for, it’s just what I feel like doing in the moment.

For example, I’ve had times where I always started my warmup 1 hour before showtime, I put my headphones in, playing tunes really loud in my ears. I find myself somewhere like a corridor or set of stairs to do some running. Just to get the blood pumping. After that I did some push-ups and sit-ups, to get the full body warmed up. When I felt I was warm I started using the sticks to get my hands and wrists warm. I don’t really carry around a practice pad, so it’s always a hit when you find the perfect bounce on a couch in a dressing room to warm up on, instead of piling up towels that keep on falling down every 20 seconds. Couch drumming is probably making the rest of the gang in the band go crazy, but they’re too supportive and nice with me, so 9 years in and they’ve never said anything about it, haha.

My favourite warmup exercise is inverted double strokes. I feel like it’s the best and fastest way to get my hands warm. And I try and do the second of the doubles as loud as I can. Like this: Rllr Rllr Rllr Rllr and then swap the accent to the left LrrlLrrlLrrlLrrl.

I just do a bunch of different rudiments, most of the time with my headphones in listening to songs and playing whatever rudiments just to get loose wrists. Some tours my warmup is just do a plank and dance a wee bit to some tunes to get into it, or maybe do some sun salutations yoga style warmup. I’ve just stopped caring if people look at me thinking I'm weird, I’m just in it for the rock ‘n roll.

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