Tam first started drumming at the age of nine, when he joined his local pipe band City of Newcastle in the North-East of England and was taught by Jimmy Regan. He then progressed in 2012 to playing in grade 2 with Dumfried and Galloway Constabulary Pipe Band under Lead Drummer Gordon Smiles and started learning with Alex Cruikshanks. He moved to Glasgow in 2016 where he joined ScottishPower Pipe Band in grade 1 with whom he currently plays with, under lead drummer Jake Jørgensen. During his time in ScottishPower they have featured as a regular top six band, as well as winning the British Championships as a band back in 2018 and winning the Scottish Championships as a drum corps in 2019.
During his time competing with pipe bands he was also a member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland from 2012 to 2016. Through this Tam played in many events including several major concerts and the Christmas Tattoo in Basel, Switzerland as well as leading the drum corps at Buckingham Palace where they played for HRH Duke of Rothesay, Prince Charles.
Over the past six years Tam has taught in excess of 300 students and many adults. He currently teaches in North Ayrshire Council across 3 different projects alongside doing private tuition. Tam also teaches and writes scores for many different bands across the world.
Alongside his teaching business Tam Barnes Drumming, Tam has also worked in Rhythm Monster, an online drumming platform since late 2019 in which he holds the position as a Monster Instructor and also a video editor in which he edits videos of many different styles of drumming including pipe band, fife and drum, Swiss Basel drumming and also concert snare drum.