Learning Drums

6+ Ways to Find a Drum Teacher as a Beginner Drummer

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A good instructor is essential to success and enjoyment in all aspects of life. The same applies to drumming. Finding a drum teacher is now simpler than ever, thanks to the internet. In your city or town, there are many excellent drum instructors. Additionally, you can locate a drum instructor from anywhere worldwide if you look for online courses. 

Here are some things to look for when looking for a drum teacher:

Experience

This can appear obvious, but the teacher must be an excellent drummer to qualify as a good drum teacher. What most individuals consider to be important are practice and learning opportunities. They’ve been playing the drums for how long? Do they perform in different genres? Can they teach you the fundamentals of rhythm theory and drum musical notation?

Remember that a drummer doesn’t need to be the quickest or most skilled to be a great instructor. When selecting a drum teacher that can provide a solid foundation, you should consider many additional traits. It goes beyond only their instrument-playing prowess.

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Musical Ability

Musical experience is another factor that is important when it comes to learning about drumming. That is what takes place outside of the practice space. Therefore, questions may arise: does this drum instructor have any prior group performance experience? Have they performed professionally with experience working in a band and recording studio? Do they have previous theatre pit band experience?

Sometimes an instructor will have a lot of solo practice expertise on the drums but minimal practical music experience. This does not automatically equate to a lousy teacher. Depending on what you’re looking for, if your goal is to learn the drums to perform music with others, you should find a teacher who can give you the right advice.

Even if someone checks off all these boxes, they may not be your ideal teacher. Numerous brilliant drummers with superb technical ability, extensive knowledge, and a fantastic performance career are awful teachers. However, there is more to seek than just that experience.

Young student learning drums with a teacher

Reputation

What are others saying about this drum instructor? Do you know anyone who has previously taken lessons from them? Do they have any testimonials or reviews on their website? Are they grinning and enjoying themselves in the pictures? 

When looking for a drum teacher, referrals, testimonials, and word of mouth play a significant role. If you’re a parent looking for a drum teacher for your kid, check out reviews or talk to other parents about how their kid likes drum lessons. Are they having fun and learning simultaneously? 

Teaching Style

Matching your objectives with the teaching philosophy of any potential instructor is crucial. Find a drum instructor by asking questions and looking for one with a lesson plan and explaining concepts. Has their approach been practical for other learners?

When you intend to play songs right away, a drum teacher with a more conventional background willing to teach rudiments on a pad during the initial months won’t be the best choice. These are the sorts of things you should enquire about in advance.

Music Type 

The type of drum you choose will depend on the music you want to perform. It is crucial to consider this when selecting a drum teacher because not everyone can play every style. For example, ethnic music may playing hand drums, whereas jazz requires a full drum kit.

Here are some examples of music that require different drum setups:

  • Drummers interested in jazz, rock, or pop music will primarily learn on a typical five-piece drum set
  • Students more interested in band and orchestra will learn the snare drum followed by cymbals, bass drum, triangle, and other percussion instruments
  • Hand drums are great for beginners and young drummers and are primarily used in Latin and African music styles

Personality 

Additionally, even if a teacher has a solid reputation, that doesn’t necessarily indicate they’re the ideal fit for your unique learning style. For example, do they exude a warm welcome? While being encouraging and supportive? Are they capable listeners? When you’re feeling insecure while learning anything new, these factors are essential, especially if you spend a lot of time with the person.

Although it is crucial to building a student-teacher relationship, the arts require it more than other subjects. For example, a lot of drumming involves feeling in addition to knowledge and talent. 

A skilled drum instructor knows how to explore your strengths and most remarkable qualities while advancing your drumming.

How to Find a Drum Instructor

There are several platforms where you can look for a drumming teacher that suits your requirements. These include: 

1. Look Online for a Drum Teacher

The options range from free online videos provided by different drummers or private instructors’ courses offered by music schools and subscription services. Online drum lesson platforms, like Drumeo, offer a fantastic way to learn the drums on your own terms. If you don’t want to spend any money, there’s plenty of YouTube drum teachers to check out.

You may also explore the internet and check your favorite drummers’ websites to find out who is accepting new pupils. Instagram is also a fantastic resource for finding drummers who teach online.

In addition to offering private, paid lessons over Skype or Zoom, many professionals also provide free classes on other social media platforms (such as Anika Nilles, Tommy Igoe, and Stephen Taylor).

2. Search Locally for a Private Tutor

Most urban locations have at least a few music stores that provide classes at their place, frequently with a range of instructors to pick from if you’d prefer to learn drums from a local drum teacher in person. 

You can phone or look at their websites for information on costs, schedules, and occasionally teacher profiles after conducting a Google search to find nearby music schools and retailers.

Private tutoring offers face-to-face training, which is a benefit. To fit your needs and ability level, your drum instructor can modify it. They will be able to accommodate your schedule and availability while encouraging you along the way. This implies that you will be allowed a specific period if your work week varies. Additionally, you can cover up your missed lessons also. 

You can schedule drum lessons with a private instructor by arranging them in two ways: either they come to your home to teach you drums, or you go to their place. 

When you first start, your instructor may ask you to come over to teach you to play drums on their drum set; but if you’re learning an instrument like the bongo or bodhran, they might bring those instruments with them to your initial music classes. After that, they will likely visit your home so you can use your drums once you have progressed to an advanced level.

3. Ask Your Band Director at School

Your band director at school will most likely have a list of contacts they know, either from around the area or colleagues they studied with back at university. Use their resources to your advantage! I’m certain your band director would love to help you out, especially if you’re trying to learn more about your instrument and are considering taking private lessons (they want the band to sound better!)

4. Drum Camps for Girls Only

What began as a single organization in Portland in 2001 has grown into a worldwide movement with hundreds of camps. 

Although most programs do not frequently happen around the years, if you or your child are willing to learn to play this instrument in a friendly, encouraging setting and connect with a nearby group of musicians who identify as female, this may be the perfect place.

However, in a group setting, the teacher will not be able to give you their attention if you are taking drum lessons in a group, which is an additional hassle. Nevertheless, learning percussion with other artists who share your interest is beneficial in and of itself.

5. School Of Rock Franchise

There’s probably one near you with 260 franchisees spread throughout nine countries. Private instruction, group rehearsals, live performance recital opportunities, and even participating in a band are all provided by the School of Rock.

6. Try Drum Camps and Clinics

Numerous drummers, including Thomas Lang and Mike Johnston, offer camps and clinics either at their facilities or at various sites around the US and Europe (Anika Nilles, Benny Greb). These camps and clinics provide an intimate atmosphere with one of your favorite drummers to help you learn to play drums on your favorite songs.

Back when I was about 15, I got the chance to see Thomas Lang’s clinic at my local music shop, Interstate Music. It was an incredible experience and I got to connect with lots of local drummers and even got Lang’s signature on a big poster. Even if you don’t participate at a clinic, you will learn a lot.

I also had the chance to attend a drum camp at Birch Creek Music Performance Center during the summer after graduating high school. It was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had. My private drum instructor recommended I attend, since I was intending on going to school for music performance. At the camp, I learned the basics of many world percussion instruments I never had the chance to play.

Conclusion

The ideal time to start drum lessons is right now because many excellent drum teachers are available. Remember that it takes time to locate the right drum instructor for you. You might have to check out many instructors to find the best one. You will eventually find the ideal drum tutor if you are persistent and patient.

By reading this article, we hope that this makes it easy for you to decide and helps you choose the ideal drum instructor. Furthermore, you’ll learn to play the drums more quickly than you might imagine if you look for a tutor with these crucial characteristics.

Nick Cesarz

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.

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