Drummer boys with a bright future

Sergio Rodríguez and David García both train at the Rock Factory.
Sergio Rodríguez and David García both train at the Rock Factory. / JOSELE

  • They may be children, but they play the drums like professionals. Sergio Rodríguez, 11, and David García, 7, both from Marbella, have won places in the final of a global competition

David's mother says that when he was little - even more than he is now - he used to play at making noise with his toys, "but what he was doing was actually music". When he was three years old he was already singing Queen's We Will Rock You and drumming the rhythm on buckets in his bedroom. He is seven now.

Sergio, when he was three, picked up the drumsticks at home as if they were a toy like any other and, after a period of training, officially became the world's youngest drummer in 2019 with the highest marks at the London Trinity Music School. He is now 11.

The percussionists of the future already exist, and they are in Marbella. David García and Sergio Rodríguez, both of whom trained at the Rock Factory school in San Pedro Alcántara, will be representing Spain in the international Drum Off Global competition in the Super Junior and Junior categories respectively.

These two young musicians won their places in the final with a drum solo which was recorded and then evaluated by a panel of experts. The Tam Tam Percusión shop, one of the biggest in the sector, is responsible for organising this in Spain. Their performance will now compete with those chosen in each country (more than 90 are participating) in a selection process with several filters which will end on 15 January with the announcement of the winner.

A surprise

"It was a big surprise," says Sergio Rodríguez, who for just over three years has been marking the rhythm for the teenage band DITS (Devils in the Sky). His drum solo included gospel, funky, rock and metal, "two of the things I can do best," he says. It was, he admits, the result of "team work" with his teacher at the school, Teo González.

Teo is also behind David García's success, with his heavy metal solo. "I'm very pleased," says the seven-year-old. When he is older he too wants to be in a rock group. "Playing the drums makes me feel powerful" he says. During the lockdown, David used to play a song every evening after the applause for the frontline workers. "Everybody cheered him and clapped," says his mother, Maribel Román. However, this year David asked the Three Kings to bring him an electronic drum set, so he can practise more freely. Nearly every day, he sits down to play for a while. "He has talent and a good ear, but he also makes an effort and spends time on it," says his mother, who admits that she and her husband have been surprised by how keen he is.

"We couldn't believe it. He really likes it, it's like a game for him and he has fun doing it. He isn't really aware of how well he has done, but bit by bit he is achieving things," says Maribel. And he is still only a boy. As his father, who is also called David, says, "he listens to everything from Baby Shark to heavy metal."


Sergio also spends hours behind his drums, in the classroom, at home and with the band DITS. He is the youngest member of a group formed at the Rock Factory school which has also played in concerts at festivals, recorded a single in the legendary Abbey Road studios and produced other singles. At the moment they are taking part in the Canal Sur talent show 'Tierra de talento' and in December they took part in a streamed concert in Marbella.

From his own experience, Sergio can now recognise talent in others. "David plays really well, incredible for someone his age. When I was that age I played well too, but I wasn't as good as he is," he says, modestly. Sergio scored 87 per cent at Trinity Music College with his performance of Fire by Jimi Hendrix, That Golden Rule by Biffy Clyro and Spirit of a Radio by Rush.

Rafael Reyes, director of Rock Factory, says both these boys are unusual. David started at the school when he was little more than two years old, "in nappies and not yet able to talk properly". It only took a couple of months to realise how talented he was. He says he will never forget his surprise when Sergio played an AC/DC number when he was only six.

These are two of nearly 70 pupils at the school, "and the fact that of four Spanish finalists in the Drum Off Global, two were from here shows that we are doing very well. We have a fantastic teaching programme which enables us to keep the pupils motivated," says Rafael, with obvious satisfaction.