No Longer In Denial- I NEED A TEACHER!

fixxxer

Senior Member
I've been playing for a total of about 8 years- self taught. I've played with many people and currently in the praise band at church and then another classic rock style band. I've recently realized that I have hit a wall and my playing seems to be getting worse than it used to be. I feel limited and constrained with nothing new to give. This is much more than just the average "block" that we all go through from time to time. I used to get a lot of compliments on my playing, but now, I seem to get more weird looks than compliments.

I have never had anything against taking lessons. I just have always seemed to "get by" without it but I believe it is catching up with me now. I know I have taught myself bad habits along the way which may be the reason for my regression.

What can I expect from a teacher at this stage in my playing?
Will they evaluate where I am or just start with the basic rudiments? (I'm afraid this would bore me to tears and turn me off of the lessons, however, I am willing to be dedicated to the discipline).
What can I expect to pay for lessons?
How will I know if I have a good teacher or a bad one?

Thanks in advance for your replies. I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my playing.
 
T

TFITTING942

Guest
There are different types of teachers out there. Try to find out which type would suit you best. If you want to learn to read, they all start with rudiments. If you think you are advanced enough and don't need to actually read music, there are teachers who will just train you on the drumset. Usaually sitting side by side trading off riffs and fills, checking technique etc.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i have a teacher even though i'm pretty far along with my playing and i've been in a bunch of original and cover bands.

my teacher has done a lot to fix my technique. i had no idea i was so screwed up! i could play a lot of beats and songs, but my technique was so bad i was literally injuring myself. because of his teaching i no longer have problems with pain and i can play a lot more smoothly and get a better sound out of my drums with a lot less effort.

also because of his teaching, i've vastly broadened my musical sphere and my ability to play different styles and genres. i used to only be able to play rock and a little jazz. now i'm a passable jazz/blues player and i can even play a lot of afro cuban and samba type stuff.

my teacher has also helped me with my timing, which used to be very shaky. at the time we started i had no idea there was a problem! he's helped me improve my sight reading ability, which was very poor.

so those are just a few examples of what you can expect to learn from a good drum teacher at this stage in your drumming life. good luck!
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
i have a teacher even though i'm pretty far along with my playing and i've been in a bunch of original and cover bands.

my teacher has done a lot to fix my technique. i had no idea i was so screwed up! i could play a lot of beats and songs, but my technique was so bad i was literally injuring myself. because of his teaching i no longer have problems with pain and i can play a lot more smoothly and get a better sound out of my drums with a lot less effort.

also because of his teaching, i've vastly broadened my musical sphere and my ability to play different styles and genres. i used to only be able to play rock and a little jazz. now i'm a passable jazz/blues player and i can even play a lot of afro cuban and samba type stuff.

my teacher has also helped me with my timing, which used to be very shaky. at the time we started i had no idea there was a problem! he's helped me improve my sight reading ability, which was very poor.

so those are just a few examples of what you can expect to learn from a good drum teacher at this stage in your drumming life. good luck!
You mentioned pain. I, too, have experienced some pain recently. I am concerned about numbness in my right hand that I have noticed lately. I am looking forward to broadening my horizens as far as genres as well.
Thanks!
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I am largely self-taught and had a one-off lesson recently with a teacher recommended by someone on here (Pat Garvey, if you're reading this Kev). I got loads of useful pointers for all sorts of things, analogous to being shown how to open a door after having been bashing my head against it for months. I still have to walk to my destination, but the way has been made much easier. Maybe it would be a good idea to have one-off lessons with several teachers, then you can get an idea for what works for you and see who you'd get on best with.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
About your other questions:

Will they evaluate where I am or just start with the basic rudiments? (I'm afraid this would bore me to tears and turn me off of the lessons, however, I am willing to be dedicated to the discipline).
I'm sure they'll evaluate you when you start out. In fact, if they don't, then that would be a sign of a bad teacher. They should also ask you what your goals are. They shouldn't try to make you to work on things you don't care about if you make it clear that's not what you want to work on.

What can I expect to pay for lessons?
I don't know, but i pay $20 for a half hour once a week.

How will I know if I have a good teacher or a bad one?
That's a little tougher, but if it seems like they aren't very much better than you, then that would be a sign. And you don't want a teacher who takes a very random approach to teaching, or who doesn't seem to care, or cancels lessons all the time, etc, You should find a teacher who is good at the type of drumming you're most interested in. For example, if you want to get better at metal playing you probably don't want to hire a jazz expert.
 

Witterings

Silver Member
What can I expect from a teacher at this stage in my playing?

If you're totally self taught over a period of time they can probably teach you an awful lot, it was having lessons thay made me realise how much I wasn't aware of and how much there is to learn

Will they evaluate where I am or just start with the basic rudiments? (I'm afraid this would bore me to tears and turn me off of the lessons, however, I am willing to be dedicated to the discipline).

Certainly they should evaluate where you are otherwise they won't know what you don't know and what you need to learn. They may make you go back to fairly basic rudiments but again it'll be evaluation and if you're kicking butt they should move away from them fairly quickly or do more advanced rudiments - if not you know they need brining up to speed before moving on.

What can I expect to pay for lessons?

I pay £26 per hour and go to them, the previous person came to me and was £30 including his travel time

How will I know if I have a good teacher or a bad one?

This can be hard to tell, I was using someone for a year and they couldn't seem to get me over a couple of hurdles but taught me loads of other stuff which was all useful. I've recently changed teacher and they seem better at analysing where I've been stuck in some area's and have devised many different approaches to tackle the problems although a lot of what I learnt with the other teacher was valuable, if you feel as though you're learning then it's all good stuff if you don't try someone else

If you do decide to have lessons give it at least a few weeks as part of it will be their evaluation, I ask my teacher to cover both area's ie the hard work bits that need to be done with the bits I really want to do as well so at least the lessons split and I do the same with my practices. It really is worth having lessons but it may take a few for you to actually realise it yourself.
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies. Very useful information.
I am looking for somene that I am "capatable" with as far as a teacher. Again, I'm just looking forward to someone that can take me to another leve in my playing.
I'd like to hear from others that are self- taught and have considered a teacher and have put it off for whatever reason. What are your concerns or set backs (if any)?
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
MAKE SURE YOUR TEACHER PLAYS OUT!!! I think the best drum teachers play in bands. Then you will know at least the guy can groove and not just teach you a bunch of chops. Seriously, I find the best drum teachers play in bands.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
You must want to embrace the basics if you really want to improve in my opinion. If it is technique that you feel you lack, nothing will do as much good as sitting with a teacher and simply working with the simplest of rudiments until you understand what is going on.

I took lessons with Tommy Igoe and I was actually disappointed that he wanted to get me off the pad as quickly as he did. In fact, I would have stayed there the whole time. After a few lessons with Tommy, I realized what I was really looking for at the moment he didn't want to purely focus on. Understandable consider what is best for most students, but I in turn found a former leader of the Blue Cadets and worked strictly on pad rudiments for an entire summer and found great improvement.
 

last man to bat

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies. Very useful information.
I am looking for somene that I am "capatable" with as far as a teacher. Again, I'm just looking forward to someone that can take me to another leve in my playing.
I'd like to hear from others that are self- taught and have considered a teacher and have put it off for whatever reason. What are your concerns or set backs (if any)?
Hi, I was self taught for about 25 years and never went to a teacher because I thought I knew enough stuff. Also it never really occurred to me to go to a teacher... It turned out that I knew quite a bit but there was a whole lot of stuff that I hadn't thought about or considered before. For example, I had never used a double stroke in any of my playing, I never really knew how to apply basic rudiments around the kit, that sort of stuff.

I decided that I would go to a series of 10 lessons to start with. What was so good about the lessons was seeing my teacher do stuff and asking what on earth it was he just did!

It also started me reading which means I can try anything that is written down now. I'm not sure if you already read, but it is a lot less hard than I thought it would be. I was always put off reading because I thought that it would be something that I couldn't do, but kids can do it right... and reading music opened so many drumming doors.

How did I pick a drum teacher? Luckily for me there is someone fairly close who has a drum studio and is fairly well known. He puts on lots of clinics and I have learnt an awful lot from these alone. But another way is if you see some drummer doing some stuff you would like to learn, ask him if he will give you lessons.

I think that there is nothing to lose from having lessons as long as you are prepared to accept that there is room for improvement in you drumming. Lessons can only make you a better drummer.

I must say that all the above posts are very good advice
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
You're gonna love what having a teacher will do for your playing. Within a couple lessons, after 20some odd years without, I wanted to kick myself for not doing it earlier.

Teachers are used to being evaluated for fit, so feel free to call a few and try them out for a lesson or two to see if it gels. At your level, I would recommend pros only, people of good repute in your area. For my son, we were paying $26/half hour lesson with a high school teacher with a strong jazz background. Now he's studying with an Eastman grad student and great player for $40/hr every two weeks. The next step is with the top Eastman guy, at $80/hour. So costs can be all over the map.
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Thanks, again! Everyone has given great advice and made me feel more comfortable about getting a teacher. I can only get better by having one. No one has ever said, "My teacher has ruined me!" :>)
I am going today to find someone to take my first leson from. I'll keep you all posted!
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
I think I have found a teacher! I went to a local music store this afternoon and picked up a flyer for a guy that has over 30 years experience playing and teaching. I gave him a call and he sounds like a good fit. He asked me what my experience and issues were and said that he "thinks" he could help me out. I asked what could be expected from the first lesson and he said that he would need to listen to me to see where I was to ascertain what he could do to help.
Oddly enough, I found some comfort in the fact that he said that he "thinks" that he could help me. Kinda let me know that he is real about his own his own abilities without knowing mine. He told me that he has years of experience with the same kind of musical genre that I am into and mentioned maybe looking into some other genres that could help (of, course, we'll have to see). I was also empressed with the fact that he told me that, "If you want to be a Neil Peart, I'm not your guy." Again, being realistic is impressive to me.
We are looking to start my first lesson next Thursday!
Wish me luck!
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Thanks, again! Everyone has given great advice and made me feel more comfortable about getting a teacher. I can only get better by having one. No one has ever said, "My teacher has ruined me!" :>)
I am going today to find someone to take my first leson from. I'll keep you all posted!
Oh I can tell you stories of that, but I blame the student more than the teacher. It is usually a student who is blind that doesn't know when to say when. They end up being a clone of that teacher or the school itself and end up lacking any individuality. I found this to be the case with about 75% of the players at Berklee when I went there in the mid 90's.
 
Thanks, again! Everyone has given great advice and made me feel more comfortable about getting a teacher. I can only get better by having one. No one has ever said, "My teacher has ruined me!" :>)
I am going today to find someone to take my first leson from. I'll keep you all posted!
Finding a good teacher is worth its weight in gold. When I was first learning my first drum teacher made it hell for me and actually made me want to quit playing the drums as it wasn't fun at all. The guy had credentials though and wrote for some of the better drum magazines and this was his living. He had to be good right? I ended up quitting for months.

Anyways many months later I decided to pick it up again and had a 2nd teacher. He was ok and could play but his teaching skills consisted of learning certain parts of songs but not any fundamentals, or reading or anything. Basically he was a drummer who wanted to make a few bucks on the side but wasn't a teacher.

My current drum teacher is awesome! I have nothing but good things to say about him and the skills he has taught me and how to apply them. This guy is amazing and I feel like I'm taking advantage of him with what I get for my money each week. So finding a teacher is hard but worth it in the end.

By the way I pay 30.00 per hour lesson weekly and he comes to my place.

Good luck with finding a great teacher!
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
By the way I pay 30.00 per hour lesson weekly and he comes to my place.
He/She must be your friend or desperate. I kid, but at the same time I cannot see how that is worth anyone's time and talent. Simply driving to & from the student's house has to take at least an hour plus the gas and wear & tear on the vehicle alone makes the teacher making less than $15/hr.
 

Old Doc Yak

Senior Member
I know the feeling. I was self taught but I haven't played in 50 years. I've started to practice again but I've lost much of what I used to know. It looks like it's teacher time for me too.
 
He/She must be your friend or desperate. I kid, but at the same time I cannot see how that is worth anyone's time and talent. Simply driving to & from the student's house has to take at least an hour plus the gas and wear & tear on the vehicle alone makes the teacher making less than $15/hr.
I hear you and totally agree. He charges 20.00/hour at his place or 35.00/hour at the students place now. I still pay 30.00 though since those were his rates when I started with him. Like I said, I feel like I'm taking advantage of him, especially with everything he's taught me over the last 8 months. I asked him once why he didn't charge more and he said he makes more doing this for that amount of money than he would working some crappy job and he was doing what he loved. I'd also think he doesn't claim that extra income with regards to taxes which is over and above his normal income teaching drums at a music school so that counts for a little more unless he does claim it but I don't know.

Like I said, I love what I pay, I love what I get taught, I love the skills I've developed with him and I couldn't fathom getting a nicer guy with skills in the genre I like playing (metal). Above all he has fostered my love of playing drums tremendously which is awesome!
 
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