About Number One Drummer

Hello, I’m Fred.

I’ve been playing drums for twenty-five years, and teaching drums for fifteen.

On tour with Bright Light Bright Light, supporting Sir Elton John.

Here on Number One Drummer it is my hope that I can share some of my knowledge and passion with you by looking at the grooves from chart hits, primarily from number ones, past and present. I present these tutorial videos in two parts: the first video is a performance, the second a lesson breaking down the grooves involved in each song.

22nd September 2014. Rhum & Clay present 64 Squares at the New Diorama Theatre
Performing in “64 Squares” with the Rhum and Clay Theatre Company.

A Little About Me.

During my career I’ve worked as a session drummer for major record labels (Sony, EMI, Atlantic), and have played some incredible venues such as the London and Dublin O2 Arenas, Manchester MEN Arena, Brixton Academy, and Shepherds Bush Empire. I have toured supporting artists including Elton John, Mumford & Sons, White Lies, The Naked & Famous, Marina & The Diamonds and Late Of The Pier, and I’ve played shows and festivals, big and small, all over the world.

Performing at the O2 Arena with Post War Years, supporting Mumford & Sons.
Performing at the O2 Arena with Post War Years, supporting Mumford & Sons.

My main output has been with Post War Years. Together for nearly ten years, we put out two albums, four EPs and a handful of singles. Our music can be found on iTunes and Spotify, and we have various videos on YouTube – my favourites being the 360 Sessions.

Supporting Marina & The Diamonds with RIVRS.

Currently I’m involved in a number of projects, including Future Gold, Bastien Keb, Wayne Snow, and Iain Woods (formerly Psychologist).

Performing with The Invisible & Friends Prince/Bowie tribute at In The Woods festival.

I am available for lessons, sessions and live work.

For all enquiries please get in touch

You can also find me on Facebook

Thanks for watching!






  1. Kevin Short · January 20, 2015

    Loving it mate. Keep up the good work and let me know when you is back in Leam and we will hook up for a beer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave · January 29, 2015

    I’m new to the drums and to learning music in general. Your breakdowns are great and easy to follow. Keep it up. Also the transcription of uptown funk helped me heaps with both practicing my reading and my playing. Thanks so much. I am looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fred McLaren · January 29, 2015

      Thanks Dave! Means a lot, really glad it’s helped. There will be plenty more coming soon as well as some basic groove and techniques lessons, watch this space and please stay in touch, if you have any requests please don’t hesitate to ask!


  3. Oliver · March 12, 2015

    Can u plz do demons for your next song plz because I’m doing that for a school song thanks you rock


    • Fred McLaren · March 15, 2015

      Hey Oliver, thanks for getting in touch. I’m currently moving house so unable to film anything for a while I’m afraid, but good luck! I’m sure you can smash it. Perhaps you could film your version?


  4. Deo · April 27, 2015

    Hi please do a tutorial of Demi Lovato-Skyscraper


  5. Sam · April 29, 2015

    Do u email sheet music to people who really won’t to lean to play lots of songs on the drums because I epreally do love the drums but there is never a video that shows you how to Play a song it is all just drum covers yours is the only video that I have seen that shows people how to play but I prefer to read drum sheet music to play a really good song like up town funk I really love and music so I was wondering if you would be kind to send me the sheet music for it, I would be evry thankful for it p,z replay back as soon as you get this thanks.


    • Fred McLaren · May 6, 2015

      Hi Sam,
      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry for the delayed reply, I have just moved house and don’t have internet yet!
      There are links to transcriptions of whole songs or in some cases just the beats on the videos page – https://numberonedrummer.com/videos/
      Let me know if you have any problem downloading!
      Thanks for watching 🙂


  6. pratama · August 26, 2015

    please make tutorial again, i miss u


  7. pratama · August 26, 2015

    Hi please do a tutorial of man on wire – the script, thanks


  8. Rhonda · September 3, 2015

    Loved the Uptown Funk tutorial. I am just playing the heck out of that! I have a very nostalgic attachment to the drums because my father was an amazing drummer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the instrument I learned to play as a child, but my husband bought me a set as a gift and I just started a couple of months ago. After your tutorial, I sound like I’ve been playing my whole life!! Thank you


  9. Rob · March 3, 2016

    Hey Fred, REALLY appreciate the Uptown Funk tutorial! At 53 with no real musical experience I’ve taken up the drums, yikes! Believe it or not I had never seen Bruno Mars but saw him on the SuperBowl half time show and thought WOW awesome performer and awesome song, I’d love to play that one day! Your tutorial is superb,they way you’ve broken it down etc. a really great job. Just wanted to say thanks very much and I hope you get the recognition and following you deserve. P.S. Really liked the Volcano video and song too. Best of luck you guys.


  10. leandro jacques · May 10, 2017

    Is this site inactive? I really liked your breakdowns explaining the songs, I’d like to see more of it.


    • Fred McLaren · May 10, 2017

      Hi Leandro, thanks for getting in touch! I have been inactive for a couple of years as I haven’t had a space to record and film, however I am in a new studio now so you can expect to see new material coming in the future… Not sure how long as I still need to finish set up of the studio but I promise there will be more! 🙂


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