IDRUM2U owner Northal Gaddy, of Martinez, plays a traditional African song called Soko at his business in Augusta. Gaddy performs at his church and local clubs and restaurants.
Photo by Chris Thelen
Even when he's not playing the drums, Martinez resident Northal "Not" Gaddy is in motion to the rhythm of a beat.
"Everybody has a beat on the inside, and we take it for granted," said Gaddy, owner of IDRUM2U-The Not Gaddy Drum and Piano Studio, located on Damascus Road in Augusta. "It's called a heartbeat. Without it, you don't exist."
Gaddy teaches simple lessons to a gamut of students, ages 4 to 62 years old, to demonstrate that anyone can play the drums.
Garey Cromwell, 15, of North Augusta, is one of those students who has taken drum lessons from Gaddy for five years.
"I enjoy taking classes here because I learn something new every week," Garey said, adding that he also plays drums at his church and is a member of Do Right Unto Mankind- a nonprofit group, which provides team building workshops and seminars in the community. "We just have fun."
For the past seven years, Gaddy, who used to give lessons in his Martinez home before he opened up his shop, said IDRUM2U has offered an array of classes such as piano, drum, guitar, bass guitar, group lessons, drum circles and recreational health drumming, voice coaching and music business workshops.
"It's a full rhythm school with a five-member staff," he said.
Gaddy said he allows his cultural influences to steer him in teaching different drum rhythms. He also uses ethnic instruments, including the djembe, tubano and conga.
Growing up listening to rhythm and blues and gospel music, Gaddy said he first fell in love with playing drums as a young child.
Garey Cromwell (left), 15, and Northal "Not" Gaddy, the owner of IDRUM2U, demonstrate a traditional African song called Soko at Gaddy's business in Augusta. Gaddy, a Martinez resident, offers classes such as piano, drum, guitar, group lessons, drum circles, voice coaching and music business workshops.
Photo by Chris Thelen
"Drumming was all in my heart," he said. "I saw that if I could drum, people would be happy."
Reminiscing on the past, Gaddy said he remembers when his mother would take him to homecoming and Christmas parades in his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., where he would pound his drum to the marching band's beat.
Realizing his gift at an early age, Gaddy said, he was committed to polishing his craft. Every Saturday, after delivering newspapers, Gaddy said, he would go to the music store and teach himself how to read music. From there, he continued his training at Winston-Salem State University, earning a degree in performance. Gaddy then joined the military and served as an Army bandsman, traveling throughout the world, performing music in Europe, Japan and Australia.
After retiring from the military, Gaddy began teaching music in public schools in North Augusta, Augusta and in continuing education courses at then Augusta College.
When he's not giving music lessons, Gaddy said, his weekend is filled with performances at his church, the Partridge Inn and Le Cafe du Teau.
"This has been in my heart since I was a little kid," he said.
"This is what I have always done."
Gaddy can be contacted for lessons at 729-1776 or for more information, visit www.notgaddydrums.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.