Should I get lessons or continue self-teaching


Junior Member
So here's my situation. I've been drumming for 5 years (since I was 11 I think) when I got my first (crappy) drum set. It's on and off, sometimes I'd go a month without playing. But I got a new set last year in January, and I think my playing skill has increased although I still don't practice frequently. Recently it's been every other day or so for like 15 minutes, so I'm getting not a lot of practice. But the thing is, I'm 100% self-taught aside from a couple of videos from YouTube. I drum open-handed and while I know one or two fancy beats and fills, my playing skill is quite narrow. And I'm pretty sure I've acquired some bad habits as well.

I got my first gig today, I played at my church in the youth band in front of like 30 teens with quite positive feedback. And I'd really like to get serious about drumming, as I really enjoy playing on stage, and I think it will help a lot because I have a lot of social anxiety. So I'm wondering if I should opt for drum lessons, or continue self-teaching myself.

I can include one of my song covers I've uploaded to YouTube to give you an idea of my playing level, if requested.

But anyway, any advice is much obliged.


Pioneer Member

If you intend to take drumming seriously and possibly make a career of it, you should invest in lesons. Why? A good teacher's job is to point you in a direction or, say, to a hill and once you make it to the top of that hill, point to another hill for you to ascend. A good teacher is also going to point out your deficiencies and help you eliminate them so that you become a better player. Such obstacles in your path are reading ability of many different types of notation including rhythm charts as well as number charts, your time which means learning to play to a metronome and click track a well as eventuallty learning another musical instrument such as piano so that you coudl possibly become a musical director for a band. By learning another musical instrument, you can then know when everyone is playing legit.

I know that it is a tendency with the Guitar Center crowd to just try to get the best gear you can get and then say, "Mom, I think I have it down" when lessons ae mentioned. Most of the great players have taken lessons - like Neil Peart who went to study with Fred Gruber! If he can admit that he has some deficiencies he wanted to eliminate through lessons, then you can too!



Pioneer Member
I had another quick thought on this:

Most people refrain from taking lessons as a matter of pride - they don't want to admit they might need some help or that, by taking lessons, it means that they are rank amatuers or a no-talent. It may mean that but the only way to get better at something is by finding someone who stuggled just like you are struggling and they found a good path to cut through that struggle.

Back to Neil Peart with a quote - There are no failures of talent; only failures of character.


Rock Drummer

Senior Member
I take lessons and I love them, and I'm really progressing. Anyways, I know a guy who has been with my teacher for 11 years now. He is very very good(You tell him to play a Rush song and he says which one, He can play ALL of them lol) And he just comes so he can just improve. There is ALWAYS room for improvement


Senior Member
Lessons are always the way to go IMO. Expensive, but worth it. I have absolutely no doubt that I would not be at my current level without lessons.


Platinum Member
Would you quit school and teach yourself math, English, science, etc.? If you did, how would you know what to teach yourself next? How would you be able to correct your mistakes? Would you even know when you were making mistakes? Who would you go to if you had a question? Do you think your peers at school who actually have experienced teachers would progress at a faster rate? Why would it be any different with a musical instrument? Just some food for thought.

Also - do you read music? If not - then what will you be able to teach yourself? You can have access to the best libraries, but if you can't read, those books will just be paper weights.

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Senior Member
Based on my experience lessons will:

  1. Offer objective evaluation and constructive criticism of your drumming.
  2. Keep you accountable and will provide motivation to practice. The work you put in on your latest assignment will be very apparent when you show up for the next lesson. Nothing worse than wasting time and money on having to repeat the same lesson.
  3. Accelerate your drumming ability far more quickly than practicing on your own.
  4. Allow you to benefit from the experience of someone who [presumably] is a better drummer than you. You would never get much of that practicing on your own.
  5. May provide drumming opportunities due to the instructor's contacts.

If you want to improve as a drummer I'd highly recommend lessons from a competent instructor.


Silver Member
not even going to read the post


but find a good teacher.....they are not all good...nor will they all fit you.....

find a teacher that you feel comfortable with and you will have no regrets

Kevin Picone

Junior Member
Yeah, finding a teacher is most certainly worth it, you'll not only progress faster, but it'll opens up horizons you might never have dared look into.


Platinum Member
If you can get lessons, go for it, lessons are more important than fancy gear or shiny new cymbals, the rewards you'll get from good lessons will outlast all of those things. Do it!