Sensible questions to ask a prospective teacher


I have to admit, I feel like all I'm doing here at the moment is asking questions. I sense this might get annoying.

Long story short - after losing my job just before I was planning to start taking lessons last summer, I'm now in a position where I can start again and I'm in luck because I've got a tutor who's within biking distance. However, I obviously don't know how good a teacher he is and what I wanted to ask was whether there was any questions you guys would recommend I ask him or if there are any things I should pay attention to in order to judge whether he's a good guy to learn from.

I appreciate this is rather an open-ended question, but anything I can get would be helpful. I'm a bit thick, y'know.


Platinum Member
I would ask how many different styles he is comfortable with teaching.I know everybody has their favorite but you can't just study heavy metal and expect to be a well rounded drummer.You need to at least listen to different genres,and have a basic knowledge of what a samba is or a jazz waltz,or a texas half time shuffle.I'm not saying you have to be proficent in all styles but just having an understanding of different styles will help with your understanding of groove and creativity.

As an example,if you listen to some of the great rock drummers,these guys were at least familiar with different styles,which helped them create such great drum parts.Listen to "Break on Through"by the Doors or" Fool in the Rain" by Zepplin..Just my opinion.

Steve B

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Is he "just a drummer" teaching a bit, or is he a serious dedicated teacher (and drummer,
of course)?
If so, I'd simply test him out half a year or so. Or set up one lesson to check one another

Nowadays we have a tendency to consult the internet, compare everything, wanting everything quick
and cheap, wanting the best of the best, and the possibility to step back if it's no fun anymore.

But I think if an instrumental teacher as a reputation and a serious dedication, there's no
need to check everything twice and wonder if the teacher is just the right and best for us.
He will be perfectly fine. Depending on your level of drumming that is. If you had lessons
for 10 years already, you'll probably searching for certain information, stylistics etc, which
not necessarily every teacher will be able to provide equally. But if you're more or less a
beginner, don't worry.

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
By the way, to say the obvious though: Check (what I already implied) his reputation
as a teacher, check his education, and what he does and already has achieved as a
Personally I wouldn't take lessons from an instrumental teacher who isn't an active and
to a certain degree successful musician himself.

And very obvious: His room should include 2 drumsets! Otherwise it's gonna be annoying
and not making too much sense. It's also very recommended to have the possibility to
play to music during lessons. He should be equipped for that.


Platinum Member
Here are a few questions which will give you some info on a teacher.

1. How long have you been playing? What has your performing experience been?

2. How long have you been teaching?

3. What is the lesson environment - store, private studio, etc...?

4. How is a lesson structured?

5. Do you teach reading?

6. Do you teach technique? What is your philosophy on technique?

7. What styles do you teach?

8. What books do you use?

Most of those questions should be answered on the teacher's website, but you may have to ask a few questions anyway. I would look for a teacher that focuses on hand technique and reading on snare drum and styles, coordination and musicality on drum set.