A TEENAGER has made it into the finals of a national drumming competition – just four years after he started playing.

Nathan Wallington, 16, is one of the final 10 competitors in the Young Drummer of the Year awards for the second year in a row.

His dad Terry said he is very proud of the QE School student, who is currently in the first year of his A-levels.

He said: “They get around 500 entries, which are whittled down to 40, and then again to ten.

“It’s the second year he’s made it to the finals, which is just brilliant. He only started playing four years ago, so he’s come on so far. It’s pretty amazing.”

Nathan will perform in the final of the competition on February 3 in Leamington Spa.

He said: “I don’t feel as nervous as I did last year.

“As I’ve been once before, it’ll be a bit more familiar, and so it shouldn’t faze me as much. What does make me feel a bit more nervous is that it’s my last shot at this. This is the last year I can take part.”

Nathan, from Verwood, who counts Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Buddy Rich among his inspirations, studies music technology, psychology, biology and chemistry at sixth form.

In his spare time, he plays with local band Rough Colour, as well as heavy metal band Dead Trail, who are based in Salisbury.

He said: “I wasn’t a metal head in particular, but I saw an advert for the audition on the web and went along.

“We have a great time, and it has changed my music tastes a bit. I’ve got more of that kind of music on my iPod than I had before.”

Nathan began playing the drums after his dad brought an electric kit home.

Mr Wallington said: “I had always liked the drums, but never did anything about it.

“Four years ago I bought an electric kit and Nathan just took to it. He’s just got better and better.”

“We’ve sound-proofed the garage and turned it into a studio, so he can play as loudly as he wants to now.”