Cairo Guide: Drum & Percussion Lessons in the Capital
No matter how deep you are into adulthood, it’s never too late to grasp the complexities of a musical instrument. Most of us have dabbled in one form of musicality or another as children, but few persist. As we grow older and wiser, however, we come to appreciate the craft of music and even have a daydream or two about being the next big star. But if there’s one thing that Cairo teaches you, it’s that you’re never too old to do, well, anything. But even when the passion is there, the problems lie in where, what, who and how.
Following our guide to the best guitar courses and instructors in the city, we’ve humbly moved onto the percussion family. If you have aspirations to be the next Ringo Starr, Cairo 360 will help you achieve that dream. Or maybe you just want to be a tabla master? That’s ok, too; there’s plenty of money to be made playing at weddings.
Keep in mind that since drums require a studio space for practice, fees for the instructor do not always include the amount required to rent studio space – be sure to ask.
Considered one of the best drummers in Cairo, Ahmed Hesham plays in bands such as Eftekasat and Sahara, and is also a long-time member of the Percussion Show. You can take classes with him at Wave Studio in Dokki for 100LE an hour, studio space included. Call 01004765157 to get in touch.
Magd El Soury
If you live in or around Heliopolis, then Magd El Soury is your man. Syrian by birth, Syrian by name, El Soury (which literally translates to the Syrian) is professional drummer who has experience in a variety of musical genres. Classes come as a package of seven lessons (700LE) or 14 lessons (1400LE), and will teach you the basics across several types of percussion instruments. Call Frequency Studio on 01006019964 for more information, or contact him directly on 01061363495.
Amr El Zanaty
For a more alternative approach to percussion, Amr El Zanaty offers lessons in more obscure instruments such as the bongo and the djembe, as well as traditional drumming. Call him on either 01110620950 or 01006152283 to decide on a time and a place. Rates are negotiable.
Members of popular Egyptian band Wust El Balad, Bob and Mizo’s classes take place at the Downtown Studio in Garden City. The duo offer basic drums lessons as well as lessons in the aforementioned bongo, djembe, et al. Lessons are available from 2PM till midnight; call 01112727973 for more information.
Based out of El Mesa7a Art and Culture Center in Dokki, Galal has played in some of the most prominent local bands and offers a package of classes as opposed to single lessons. Courses start at beginner, and move up to advanced, before finally reaching expert over five curriculums. Get in touch with the centre on 01111899998.
Of course, as with any instrument, it’s important to practice. Percussionists have it harder than most, considering the racket they make; late-night bedroom jamming isn’t always an option, unfortunately. Alternatively, you can always teach yourself via the many weird YouTube tutorials.
Translated and edited from Cairo 360 Arabic