David Jones Drums

Go next level with David

David Jones Drums on SoundBetter

It’s all about the Song, the Groove, the Vibe ... Let’s take your music to the next Level. From solid backbeat pocket to open ambient soundscapes and everything in between - whatever you want, I can provide. Listening and responding creatively to your music is my superpower. My aim is to make your vision a reality ... beyond your expectations.

I am a first-call session drummer in Melbourne Australia, and tour globally.
I’ve won Awards and had 2 Solo Drumkit concertos with Symphony Orchestra written especially for me.
I am described as a very musical, world-class drummer.

Pop songs, fusion, funk, country, jazz and hybrid styles. Soundscapes, instrumental or vocal projects - I love it all.

I am an expert in playing on the grid, and off the grid, creating the groove that serves the music.

I record in my fantastic-sounding, large professional studio pod.

After your first briefing, I’ll record a first approach and send you a rough mix of the drums in your track - we can discuss and revise, then I’ll play down a final. You are welcome to revise once more, before signing off. I will provide individual stems without EQ or FX, so you can go to town on your mix.

I’ll come back to you ASAP with every part of the process.

If you want, I can also provide a 3 camera edited video while I play your tracks … handy for promos and documentation of your project. I can make it all affordable for you.

We are going to have a great time together!
Looking forward to meeting you through the ether.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.


Interview with David Jones Drums

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I played layers of drums for a project with singer/composer Julia Messenger. It’s like a huge Bond theme. Epic and powerful. Lots of dynamics and I was able to put a hihat track down, then melodic toms as an overdub and even some militaristic snare and huge back beat deep snare, all separately so that Julia could mix exactly as she would like. And then cymbals swells and some deep groaning sounds from the floor tom, achieved with a large super ball rubbed across the surface - think whale song or fast approaching motorbike. Julia sent me her programmed drums and percussion, then I played parts to complement her programming. She was going to take the program drums out later but it sounded pretty amazing together so she is keeping both. With some high quality reverb send, and a small amount of compression it will sound huge. That project is still being mixed and I can’t wait to hear how it all ends up. It will be used for film music and film themes. I’m so happy to be working with such high-quality singers, composers, instrumentalists and songwriters. I hope you don’t mind if I also mention the library recording that I co-composed with Leon Gaer - the wonderful bass player originally from LA who’s been living in Sydney over 30 years. As you may be aware, Library music is commissioned by companies that store all manner of music tracks for multiple use. It could be for documentaries, film, advertisements etc. The brief on the recording with Leon was to create ethnic soundscapes. Right up my alley! I could provide 2.5 minute tracks with cut downs for Leon to compose over. And he did the same for me, sending me tracks that he built up with his bass and other layers of sounds - I would play to a chart that he put together. What what a great way to work. That one is still in production through Music 101. To be mixed, mastered and released sometime 2023.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I’ve just completed an album with Guy Strazz, an incredible acoustic guitarist/composer in Sydney. We played the whole album down together from a distance. He sent me his beautiful layer of guitars with click and I played gentle percussion and sometimes whole drum kit whilst being aware that the bottom end would be sometimes too strong for acoustic guitar without bass guitar. I was guided by Guy’s approach and sound world, to blend in with that and also enhance the groove and the width of frequencies. I’ve also been working on a long-term project which is a Drum solo album. I’m slowly sculpting away at some layered concepts and pieces. I’m very pleased with how it’s going. ABC music here in Australia (like the BBC in London) released my triple package “Colours of the Drum” nationally in 2008. It's two discs of my solo drum music and a DVD disc with some of the outtakes in the studio. I’ve also completed a whole range of tracks for different songwriters in the last few months. It's enjoyable doing so many different things!

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: I’m very sure that there are many great people here on Soundbetter in all genres and all facets of music. I don’t know anyone personally, although I know two musician friends who have used this site and been so delighted with being able to hook up with musicians internationally and have them play on their tracks .

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I work with digital recording gear which is expedient, clean and sounds fantastic. But I do love the organic nature of analog. I recorded a concept album in 2002 with many of my world class improvising musician friends. Once it was all recorded and mixed, I was amazed with the mastering process. I took it to the famous Studios 301 in Sydney to master the whole project with Don Bartley, who is considered one of the greatest mastering engineers in the world. He ran everything back through 2 inch tape to give it warmth and organic ambience (even in the spaces between the tracks) and I was absolutely thrilled with the result.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: My promise is to provide drum tracks that will exceed your expectations. I aim to bring my A game to everything. And I promise that I will get everything to you within a reasonable amount of time; usually 3–5 working days.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I love the creativity of my job and I love exploring multiple possibilities. Sometimes I use pitched instruments such as the thumb piano or tuned singing bowls or bells for extra colours. I enjoy going deep into the groove and providing colours and textures in and around that. I feel very lucky to be playing music.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: I'm often asked how to proceed, so that there’s not a long wait in between sending the track and receiving the final. Clients also ask whether I can come up with something very different to the usual drum part. I’m always excited by this! I’ll send you two different approaches and see which suits your concept and feeling of the music and song. Everyone wants something different and unique for their sound and their song. I do too. Sometimes people ask me if I can provide multiple snare drum sounds. And of course the answer is Yes! I have some great sounding snares for all different types of music, tuned beautifully and ready to go.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: Over the years, I’ve been in much-loved touring rock and funk bands i.e. John Farnham and Dragon, as well as profile Jazz artists such as the internationally known James Morrison. I am equally at home in all styles. So possibly a misconception is that I’m just a jazz player or just a rock player. In fact I feel I am a musician, who happens to play the drums. Over the years, I’ve become more interested in production, recording and mixing techniques and producing my own music. I’ve created multiple projects and releases; from very structured song-based material, to improvised fusion, to Meditation Soundbath music. I don't fit in one box, and I'm very happy with that.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: I always ask prospective clients what their concept is in terms of the drums and percussion. For example, sometimes the track can be quite ambient and yet have an epic huge-sounding drum part mixed into the ambience. Or it could be the other way around; where it’s actually a very powerful track and yet brushes and subtle sounds could work very well in contrast. I like to ask the client whether they want very simple open playing perhaps with some layers that they can use or not, at their discretion. Or I can play down a whole drum track with everything all at once to get a more live feeling. It’s really up to the client. Sometimes I provide both, so they have a choice.

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: I would like to advise an artist seeking a Drummer to contact me and see what’s possible. No need to be shy! Even though I have a high-profile, I’m always open to anyone’s music. I would advise to have recorded a very good sounding guide track with the tempo map (BPM/ tempo of the click already recorded as well). Two bars of click to start into the music. It would be great to provide a very basic chart if possible. It could be just a chord chart map, so I can mark various stops or changes of groove etc. NB a chart is not essential. I can learn it by ear very quickly. Also my suggestion is to have a general concept in mind or reference material that can be sent for me to listen to; if you are wanting to cover a particular artist or land a particular drum sound.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: My style is open, warm, musical, engaging, playful and very dynamic. My dynamic range has been described as “whisper to roar”.

  23. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  24. A: I’d love to work with Sting, as he is a powerfully evocative songwriter and also great bass player. He has a vision that’s much larger than a particular style or particular communication. I love the universal nature of his music.

  25. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  26. A: Here are two things that I have found very valuable with production. Firstly, to monitor at a medium to soft level so you can get true balances and an indication of how full some of the sounds are. (It’s quite deceiving monitoring loudly because everything sounds great and every vocal part and instrumental appear to be as loud as each other. Secondly, it’s best to move into simplicity rather than huge layers of sounds. The clarity can be lost in over-production, creating a wall of sound, so nothing has any impact. Also in this technological age we have an option crisis, where effects and treatments of the sound are unlimited and can hold up the creative process. That's for later. It's best to use sounds that are going to serve the song or the piece of music. Best to have minimal amount of instruments to begin with, and then carefully consider over many listens what can enhance rather than take away from what is already there. The main thing is that it's sounding and feeling great with less parts, and then layer things carefully later to enhance. Unless it’s entirely electronic music, it’s best to move towards more and more organic and dynamic sounds created by soulful human beings. The bed could be electronic and then layered with organic beautifully played and sung parts. Or it could go the other way; that the foundation is organic instruments and then spiced up with electronics. But of course it’s entirely up to the taste of the creator!

  27. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  28. A: I work on Singer-Songwriter material as well as instrumental music. From improvised fusion to ambient soundscapes, to filmic epic worlds. I really do love it all!

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: My strongest skill is in responding spontaneously to things that I hear, based on my 50 years of immersion in the industry. I have a balance of very tight structured playing, as well as a very open playful approach.

  31. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  32. A: I bring years of experience but also an openness to approaching things in a fresh way. I'm a musical drummer. I play with soulful feeling. I love hearing the story of how a song has developed, so that I’m right inside the intention and vibe of the song.

  33. Q: What's your typical work process?

  34. A: Firstly, I love to completely take on board the concept and feeling the client has for their music. I listen multiple times and play down different approaches before I send a take to the client. Any push and pull in the tempo is fine by me, as long as we have a click to play to. Then I can lay down a very tight set of tracks and that becomes the foundation. I’m also fine with working with a guide track (not a final take of vocals and backing). I’m enjoying sculpting tracks, which means sometimes playing just bass drum and snare and later overdubbing hihats and tom fills or other layers of cymbal swells. It gives so much clarity and mix potential. Then it’s up to you which effects or reverbs you might want to put on individual parts of the drum kit and percussion. Maximum possibilities. It’s all about the song! Solid backbeat pocket grooves, open resonant ambient drum scapes or percussion scapes... I can give you exactly what you need for your tracks. With decades of experience in all genres and producing my own projects, I’m always enthusiastic to play new music, no matter how simple or complex. Absorbing your music vibe, I create awesome drum tracks for you. I love to make clients ecstatic and they tell me that the drums are even better than they ever imagined. It makes me so satisfied to make you happy with the outcome; groove, sounds and approach. I like thinking outside the box. And whatever you have in mind and heart, I’m there for you!

  35. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  36. A: Five pieces of gear for a desert island. 1 - Floor tom with sticks, brushes and mallets (it's the most versatile drum in the kit). With that one Drum you can pitch bend and use all different parts of the drum to sound like an entire kit. 2 - Kalimba (thumb piano) so I can walk around the island making music, and soothing any living creatures who might be following me. I might need that! 3 - CD/cassette player/radio (yes I know old school!) with a generator. And some favourite CDs and cassettes to play. 4 - Zoom H4N to record nature sounds and music compositions. I think I’ll need a batch of solar rechargeable batteries. 5 - My awesome sounding Tibetan singing bowl which when rubbed with soft leather coated stick is the note A. So soothing and powerful. I’ve used this instrument multiple times and it was even written into the 3rd movement of the Chindamo Drumkit Concerto written especially for me. The first Drumkit concerto in Japan in 2006 started with this bowl and me walking onto the stage playing it.

  37. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  38. A: I started my career at the age of 14 playing 3 nights a week at The Bridge Hotel, Richmond, around the corner from the Channel 9 TV studio. From the age of 11 I had already been filling in for professional drummers, so my reputation grew very quickly and I became the drummer of choice for TV shows, jingles, recording artists and live bands. From early on I knew I wanted to play all types of musical styles, so I chose the path of a freelance musician, rather than committing myself to one band. It's been very rewarding. I have loved bringing drums front and centre through my many solo shows, recordings and even bringing drum kit into the world of classical music - there are now 2 concerto's composed especially for me in front of full symphony orchestra. I’m known for being able to read very well and also my reputation is “first or second take in the bag.” I’ve definitely grown in so many different areas of performing and recording over five decades. I also love passing on my experience and valuable tips to up and coming musicians. And now, I’m even more enthusiastic than I’ve ever been! I love experimenting with different ways of playing and discovering new sounds. It feels like “childlike wonder”. My experience is the joy of discovery balanced with my broad experience over many years.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have a wonderful sounding studio pod, built into a large shed at the back of my property in countryside Malmsbury, Victoria, Australia. It’s very quiet out here in the country. Yet there can still be bird sounds and motor mowers etc so a soundproof pod is still essential. I call it The Sanctuary. I have the fantastic DK7 Earthworks drumkit microphones - they are very transparent and don’t colour the sound. So what you’ll hear is very clear, warm and totally true to the sound and richness of the kit. The instruments can be muted according to your taste or left completely open with maximum resonance. My studio is a purpose built 5 x 4 metre recording pod with 2.3 metre ceiling. It’s acoustically designed and sounds absolutely beautiful. It can handle anything from whisper soft brushes and ambience to extremely powerful heavy rock. I’m also putting everything through very warm preamps and I’m sure the sounds will speak for themselves. Any necessary editing and tweaking is done on Cubase with my partner Carmen. I have an extensive range of DW Collectors Series drums from 26” open bass drum to 20” tight focused bass drum, multiple metal and wood snare drums and tuned toms (which I can tune to your track). I also have a rack of roto toms which can be tuned to the track and also have a “tubular” quality that is quite special. I chose my Meinl Cymbals at the German factory in 2017. They are extraordinary cymbals, ranging from 22" rides, multiple dark and bright crashes to tiny splashes and specialty cymbals. I also use the electronic Oriental Wavedrum, which can provide unique soundscapes and powerful sounds and overlaid grooves. I have a shed-load of tuned and untuned percussion, to create hybrid sounds, grooves and vibe in your tracks. I have a full set of Crystal singing bowls and Tibetan and Japanese singing bowls, all hand chosen for their true pitch in western tuning. I also have exotic woods and metals; all manner of percussion... scraped, shaken or rubbed. I acknowledge my endorsements with DW Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Evans drum heads, Vic Firth sticks, brushes and mallets (I have a signature stick) and Earthworks microphones.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: I’m very inspired by film music of all kinds and love the layering of vocals, horn sections and rhythm sections in groups like Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago and Tower of Power. I love all genres of music. Anything played from the heart with soulfullness. I love the openness in Stevie Wonder’s music, and Chaka Khan is another favourite. The production is organic, with lots of dynamics and breathing space. I also love the very dynamic fusion of Weather Report and Pat Metheny and particularly Lyle Mays.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: I provide great sounding, grooving drum tracks and percussion for songs and instrumentals. I’m called upon to create standalone, unique, trademark, signature grooves as well as layers of interesting soundscapes. I’m known for thinking outside the box and coming up with very evocative drum sounds and exotic percussion.

David Jones Drums Compilation

I was the drummer in this production

Terms Of Service

Typical turnaround time is 3–5 business days.
One revision per song, free of charge.
Percussion overdubs at no extra charge.
One alternative take (different approach) available on request, free

GenresSounds Like
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Weather Report
  • Sting
Gear Highlights
  • Awesome and extensive range of DW Drums (Collectors Kit)
  • Meinl Cymbals
  • Earthworks drumkit microphones
  • I have a shed-load of roto-toms
  • exotic percussion (untuned)
  • Cubase Pro 10.5
More Photos
SoundBetter Deal

First time clients receive special price of USD $200 per song. BONUS - I can provide a 3 camera edited video of my performance...if that’s helpful. We are going to have a great time together! Looking forward to meeting you through the ether.