Haven Grove Studio – Mural

So its finally finished. After the eradication of the pink, it was time to put up some rock and roll stencils of some famous guitarists.

Heres the final result!

Collide, 2011

On a photoshoot with Al Ronberg I managed to capture this single moment in the sand, where the waves of the Wainui coast hit this small rock. Whilst there is a bit of hand shake due to the fact I was trying to not get my feet wet, the final result has some how captured the moment, but also the movement.

Collide, 2011

Still, 2011

Yesterday, whilst paying a visit, my brother noticed a dead silvereye on the workbench. Ever since Form 5 (Year 11) at school, where our teacher used to find dead birds and bring them in for us to draw, I have had a inkling to photograph them.
This photo was taken on my iPhone 4S, which goes to show just how crisp this phone camera is.

Still, 2011

The Studio: Decor

So the first major project in our new home has begun, a year after we moved in.
The studio as it has come to be known, has been in regular use, and every time it is used, I have a regular urge deep, deep down, to curl up and die. It is the most hideous salmon pink.

So, the holidays have come, and with a bit of extra time before Christmas, Ive bit the bullet, forked out for some spanish white paint, and within a day, the first coat is on.

Im looking forward to working with my sister in law on painting on a silhouette of a few guitarists to liven up the space and give it a rockstar finish.


A Few tips on playing at church

Playing in a church team is different then playing in a band at a gig. Mainly because at a gig you practice how the song goes, start to finish. A band gig is a performance for a crowd, your church team is for a congregation to worship our God. In a church team you should be able and ready to go anywhere the Holy Spirit or worship leader takes you. The songs wont necessarily have a set start and finish. This will take a lot of practice to be able to do, you will have to learn songs off by heart so that each part (verse, chorus, bridge etc) comes naturally at any point in the song.

Stop? What stop?

Try not to make any sudden surprise hits. There are a lot of songs that might come to a stop and crash into the chorus or bridge. Most people will be prepared for this and therefore not a surprise hit, that type of stop is all good. On the note of those stops, make sure everyone knows its coming and what beat its on too! Be careful that you dont make that stop loud in comparisson with the rest of your playing. There’s nothing worse when you are in a zone of worshipping and all of a sudden the drummer whacks the floor tom and snare really hard and BANG there goes the moment! The main thing is to make sure that the sound level doesn’t suddenly increase and then suddenly decrease right afterwards. Your volume and quantity levels and should be a smooth curve rather then a jaggered mountain. Most songs will flow from verse to chorus to bridge etc, so make sure your fills flow too.

Keep it solid

Don’t make too many changes while playing. If you start playing one way in a verse, stick at it, keep it the same all the way through the verse. And for subsequent verses. Most importantly never change halfway through a line in the verse!! Obviously there are those songs which do change, but they will be at a spot in the verse where there can be a change. Maybe with a extra bass drum or open hi-hat or something but the underlying beat will be the same. Don’t change your beat halfway through a line because this will most likely be a distraction to the congregation. Make your changes in obvious places, eg going from verse to chorus. When you build into a chorus, keep that energy up through the chorus. Again your volume and quantity levels should be a smooth curve. This all comes back to knowing the songs and knowing how the different parts go! Practice in your own time, or at least listen to them!! This will help the rest of the team to lock in with you and keep things tight. More on this later…


Worship: Creating Space [Video]

This is my very first VideoBlog. Today I take a look at creating space within worship songs, and in between songs of a set. I will take you through some simple, practical ways to do this on a very basic level.

I hope you enjoy it.


Everlasting God

G                                           C
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint, You wont grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

How He Loves

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of
His wind and mercy…
This is Our God – Hillsong (2008)


Drumming: Breaking Free

There is (or used to be) a separate stereotype for ‘Church Drummers’. Quiet and simple beats with not a lot of confidence being shown. Don’t fall into that trap. You can still play assertively but quietly. Just about all the drum tutors I had could tell I was a ‘typical church drummer’ when I played with them. My last tutor helped me break out of that and taught me how to be a drummer who could also play at church. He said you can still play and sound solid and be quiet at the same time. This doesn’t mean playing louder or hitting the drums harder, this just means that every stroke you play has a purpose and you mean to put it there. It is all done with confidence. Make sure of every stroke you play so it doesn’t look like you are unsure of what you are doing. Solid doesn’t mean loud! Be confident!


In saying that, some churches just aren’t designed to have drums. This still doesn’t mean you have avoid the cymbals or play something simple as to keep it quiet. There are lots of things you can do to help. Using lighter sticks, those 7a’s might make all the difference. If you need something quieter try multi-rod drum sticks, or even use brushes. Maybe you could build a perspex screen to help! Experiment with different ideas at practices and if the sound people have some know how, get them to help with ideas. If you know experienced drummers, talk to them and see what they do or have done. If none of this works or is available then you will have to practice playing quietly. But still play assertively! Be confident in the way you play! And remember to keep practicing!! Practice will build your confidence.

Too Loud?

On the other hand, you still need to realise that you can be too loud! Shocking I know, a drummer? Too loud? Never! But it is important to know how loud you are playing. Listen to the sound people and other experienced team members, if they think you are too loud then you should probably tone it down a tad! You don’t want to get in the way of people worshipping because you are too loud. It’s not a gig, it’s worship. More on this later…