The Blue Devils alumni base is packed with talented and successful individuals who have built incredible careers from their experiences in drum corps. Today we are highlighting recording artist, composer, and drum instructor Shawn Glyde who just released his 3rd Solo Album “The Pyramid Factor” earlier this summer!
“I don’t remember ever making the decision to start playing the drums. It was just something we all did,” said Glyde. “Growing up we had a drum room in our house with a drum set, practice pads, some stereo equipment, and a bunch of drum method books. My dad was a drummer and a working musician, so our home was always filled with music and drumming.”
Through informal lessons and jam sessions with his father, Shawn quickly picked up on the basics and really began to appreciate the importance of technique. His older brother, Dave Glyde (another Blue Devils alumni and BD Music Coordinator), was also a great role model in encouraging Shawn to practice and even sparked an early interest for music composition.
"I used to stand over my brother’s shoulder at a young age, watching him write drum solos for his high school drumline,” said Glyde. “The thought process involved in constructing music totally energized me and fascinated me at the time and continues to this day! Each tune is a new journey through a universe of musical possibilities.”
From that point on, with the support of his family, Shawn was immersed in concert band at school, orchestra, jazz combos, marching band, and eventually drum corps. He first came to The Blue Devils in 1984 as a member of the percussion section and marched with the corps until 1988. Soon after, Shawn joined on staff for the 1992 and 1993 seasons and he credits his time with the corps as what solidified his love for music and arranging.
“Being in The Blue Devils really opened my senses up to how music was constructed. I remember being in mixed ensemble rehearsals at Mars, laughing to myself and thinking ‘Whoa! Our parts line up with their parts!’ and I really tuned into that,” said Glyde. “I’m just as fascinated with music orchestration and arranging now as I was then. When I’m coming up with an idea for one of my albums – although the tunes, style, and instrumentation is different – I can conceptualize and visualize its structure the same way.”
Later in 2009, Shawn returned to The Blue Devils staff as drum set arranger and consultant – a position he has now held for over a decade! And aside from his work within drum corps and the marching arts, Shawn has built an impressive career for himself. He’s recorded 3 solo albums, written his own series of Drum Method books, performed at the NAMM show, composed music for a few movies, and continues to teach lessons at his own drum studio.
What are Shawn’s secrets to success? Pave your own way forward and follow your intuition.
“Listen to yourself, know what you want to do, and stay true to your instincts,” said Glyde. “I believe life ultimately leads you towards the things you are after. They show up in unexpected ways sometimes – so just go with it!”
Shawn’s latest album, "The Pyramid Factor" is out now and features three-time Grammy Award Winner Jimmy Haslip (who also produced the album), prominent Jazz artist John Patitucci, and many other talented musicians. You can download and listen on Spotify, Apple Music, and many other music platforms including the record company website at www.bluecanoerecords.com.
You can learn more about Shawn and his career on his website – www.shawnglyde.com
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