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  #1  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:55 PM
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Default 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Total beginner here. I'm hoping for some advice on choosing one of three instructors I worked with over a couple months. Lets call them Ginger, Hal, and Thelonius.
Age wise they are around 48, 72, and 60 respectively, so they are all experienced drummers. Obviously, the choice of an instructor involves various factors personal to the student. On the other hand, there's probably factors that perhaps only experienced drummers are aware of. I would appreciate any of your thoughts.

The four lessons with Ginger took place at his home. The lessons progressed from counting 16th notes on the snare as: 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a. We then progressed to include the ride, then bass, then all three together with different sequences.

The four lessons with Hal involved learning 6 basic rock patterns. Hal taught me that snare is normally on two and four with bass and hi-hat on three and four. (weird thing was, even though I had been playing it, I never noticed the corresponding numbers until he told me.)

I only had two lessons with Thelonius. He's a jazz drummer and music teacher. He was fast, tight and technically amazing. He barely moved while executing amazing sounds over the entire kit.

The first lesson with Thelonius was chit-chat and grip. The second lesson was simply right-left-right-left while keeping sticks at same height and an explanation of an "accent". He is clearly focused on technique, but at my age I'm concerned about too slow of a progression with him.

So at 60 yoa, my dilemma is do I choose Thelonius who is clearly the most talented, but a stickler for fine points? Or do I choose between Ginger and Hal, who seem less focused on detail and more on getting me playing along to some rock?

Yeah, it's fun playing along to music, but on the other hand I also want to be technically sound as well.

Last edited by Vinny; 03-26-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

My vote is for Hal, because his focus seems to be on imparting directly applicable knowledge
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Assuming they are all decent guys, I'd go with Hal. There is a huge difference between rock and jazz playing. There are many drummers on this site who can play anything, but some simply don't play jazz. I consider myself a very good drummer, but I don't typically play jazz, and I don't play metal. So if I wanted to brush up on rock techniques, I wouldn't go to a jazz or metal drummer for assistance.

If you want to learn everything the correct way including reading, rudiments, and jazz drumming, than #3 is clearly your guy. If your attitude is I'm 60, I want to try and play while I'm still young and I want to play rock n roll, than Hal is probably your guy. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I'd go with Hal because he's played on more hit records than the other two put together.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I'm not wild about any of those lessons as you've described them, but it sounds like either Hal or Ginger-- whichever one you like more, communicated best with, got better results with, in that short time. But if you think Thelonious is clearly the best player, he might be able to adapt to your needs better than the others.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Depends on why you are going for lessons. To learn a new genre, overcome problems, stuck in a learning rut, posture issues, general technique, or because you simply think you should be having lessons?

If we, and more to the point you, knew why you were looking for a teacher the answers would be easier, and the best teacher would be apparent.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I would do both Hal AND Thelonius. If money is an issue, just take lessons half as often with each one of them. Otherwise, do both as much as you can. Drumming is about getting really good at the boring stuff so you can have fun jamming. A little bit like life. LOL
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Ginger. Starting simply and progressing forward.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
My vote is for Hal, because his focus seems to be on imparting directly applicable knowledge
Thanks James - Yeah, with Hal I hit the drums by following the music notation of the rock pattern. I noticed after just one or two measures I could pick up the pattern/beat and continue without looking at the notes.
With Ginger, I had no idea what he had me playing. In other words, I couldn't perceive any discernible rhythm (if that's the correct word). I just figured he had a reason for all the counting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman View Post
If you want to learn everything the correct way including reading, rudiments, and jazz drumming, than #3 is clearly your guy. If your attitude is I'm 60, I want to try and play while I'm still young and I want to play rock n roll, than Hal is probably your guy. Good luck.
Yep thatís the dilemma. If I was a kid with years ahead of me, I would go with the the perfectionist. But at 60, who knows how much time you got.

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
I'd go with Hal because he's played on more hit records than the other two put together.
Good one! Have you seen the film, "The Wrecking Crew"?
I found DVD at my local library. I think it's on Netflix too.

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
I'm not wild about any of those lessons as you've described them, but it sounds like either Hal or Ginger-- whichever one you like more, communicated best with, got better results with, in that short time. But if you think Thelonious is clearly the best player, he might be able to adapt to your needs better than the others.
Interesting point. Thelonious is clearly the better player, IMO. He also teaches percussion at one of the Universities in the area.
It can get a little expensive screening instructors because many require an advance payment for a series of four lessons.
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If we, and more to the point you, knew why you were looking for a teacher the answers would be easier, and the best teacher would be apparent.
Sorry, I edited my post to add that Iím a beginner. Thanks mikel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
I would do both Hal AND Thelonius. If money is an issue, just take lessons half as often with each one of them. Otherwise, do both as much as you can. Drumming is about getting really good at the boring stuff so you can have fun jamming. A little bit like life. LOL
Yeah, that did cross my mind. Then I started to stress about how to explain to them why I wanted to use both.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I would look for someone who will give you the tools so you can follow your own interests. The basic tools (in my opinion) are reading, technique, coordination, and knowledge of styles.

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Old 03-26-2017, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

This would offend some of the "teachers" around here, but being a stellar player does not at all translate to a good teacher.

Conversely, some of the best teachers of the art aren't at the top levels of the art. Make sense?

I'd echo the "Hal" remarks because he seemed focused and had a pretty good plan to get you playing.

Maybe after a year or so, you might want to go back to Thel.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
This would offend some of the "teachers" around here, but being a stellar player does not at all translate to a good teacher.

Conversely, some of the best teachers of the art aren't at the top levels of the art. Make sense?

I'd echo the "Hal" remarks because he seemed focused and had a pretty good plan to get you playing.

Maybe after a year or so, you might want to go back to Thel.
Makes total sense to me. Being able to teach a complex skill, and make it easily understood and accessible, is a gift not too many people have. If a teacher makes you say to yourself "Ahh.... I see" more than once every lesson, stick with them.
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I'd kill for any of them. Closest teacher I could find from where I live is 75 miles away.
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Thank you. I really appreciate all your thoughts on this.

I tried to post a reply to each of you (in one post) but it's not appearing.

So again thanks to all of you!
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Sorry Vinny, not sure why some of your posts appear, and others are automatically moderated (which means only the mods can see them and then determine what to do.) I 'approved' your previous more complete post.

Bermuda
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

IDK Thelonius appeals to me the most because he started on technique, which I think is great to learn right away. You said he's clearly the best player, that carries a lot of weight with me. I like to understand "how" things are properly done before actually "doing" anything. He is the more long term plan in my mind, while the other 2 are just to get you hitting the ground running....without the proper prep work, JMO. The hard part...and the part that moves me ahead the fastest...is the prep work. I like to do the hardest thing first, but you might not, so follow what you feel is right. Listen to that little voice.

Oh and nice going running this by us here. You're a smart guy.
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Old 03-27-2017, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
Total beginner here. I'm hoping for some advice on choosing one of three instructors I worked with over a couple months.

Why not keep going to all three? Rotate, different instructor every two weeks.
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Old 03-27-2017, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

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So if I wanted to brush up on rock techniques, I wouldn't go to a jazz or metal drummer for assistance.
Actually, going to a jazz drummer would be the best thing you could do. It really is the root of all drumming.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I'd go with Carmine. Just sayin'.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

go with jazz it is the root of all drumming but i find either rock/metal drumming fun or jazz as they both have their hidden complexities, but honestly chooses something your going to have fun with but also help become a better drummer
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Old 03-27-2017, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I vote Hal. He seems to be focused on technique which as I mentioned to you in another post, doing it wrong can cause injury.
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I guess my question is this: what are YOUR goals?
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I guess my question is this: what are YOUR goals?
At 60 yoa, my goals are to become the best drummer possible in the shortest amount of time.

However, to some extent doesn't a 60 year old beginner need to confront the reality that there's simply not enough time to develop the necessary skills?
I must admit to feeling some anxiety in that regard.

Last edited by Vinny; 03-28-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
At 60 yoa, my goals are to become the best drummer possible in the shortest amount of time.

However, to some extent doesn't a 60 year old beginner need to confront the reality that there's simply not enough time to develop the necessary skills?
I must admit to feeling some anxiety in that regard.
Alter your goal to "have fun and learn as much as I can about something cool and appealing at a very basic level" then I don't think you can lose.

I'm pretty realistic about the fact that I'm not going to gain anything by comparing myself to the best drummers out there. I just try to pay attention, work on what I'm not good at and people seem to want to play music with me.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Alter your goal to "have fun and learn as much as I can about something cool and appealing at a very basic level" then I don't think you can lose.

I'm pretty realistic about the fact that I'm not going to gain anything by comparing myself to the best drummers out there. I just try to pay attention, work on what I'm not good at and people seem to want to play music with me.
Thank you for your perspective. That's a great reminder!

Too bad there are no drum clubs where drummers could meet up to share techniques and play together.

Last edited by Vinny; 03-28-2017 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Well, kids can screw around with a drumset for a couple of years and then join a band, so there's no reason you can't, too. I know one woman in her 50s who joined a country band playing bass-- I don't think she even played before she was in the band. She plays more gigs than I do now, probably.

So, the necessary skills can be pretty minimal. I would be looking to get a strong understanding of reading and rhythm, and acquire a functional vocabulary, with very basic technique. A lot of teachers do not automatically prioritize those things.

I would also get off the internet and into your local scene-- situations like with my friend above happen through socializing. If you go out and see some different people play, and do some playing yourself, with people, you'll be able to tell better what you need to learn. A lot of what is talked about online are totally unnecessary distractions.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
Well, kids can screw around with a drumset for a couple of years and then join a band, so there's no reason you can't, too. I know one woman in her 50s who joined a country band playing bass-- I don't think she even played before she was in the band. She plays more gigs than I do now, probably.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

My vote would be Thelonius but just tell him your goal is to get doing something practical ASAP. Who says it has to be mutually exclusive,

Just a half hour a day can make huge strides with the finer points,

Disclaimer, this is coming from a guy who did it wrong for years then ultimately had to start over. Bad technique will lead you to a frustrating place take it from me!
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
Well, kids can screw around with a drumset for a couple of years and then join a band, so there's no reason you can't, too. I know one woman in her 50s who joined a country band playing bass-- I don't think she even played before she was in the band. She plays more gigs than I do now, probably....
FWIW, I had my first jam about 6 weeks after taking up drumming (then in my late 40's).

The bass player who joined what turned into a dreadful garage band hadn't ever played bass, and joined because she thought it might be fun to try.

Since then, after a few guitarist changes, we have a list of around 50 songs to call on and are paying occasional gigs, and have morphed into a respectable and far from dreadful covers band.

The great thing about drumming is that once you can play a basic rock beat, you can play music with a band. Focus on keeping time (and having fun, and being pleasant to be around) and you will never be short of opportunities to play music with people.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
FWIW, I had my first jam about 6 weeks after taking up drumming (then in my late 40's).

The bass player who joined what turned into a dreadful garage band hadn't ever played bass, and joined because she thought it might be fun to try.

Since then, after a few guitarist changes, we have a list of around 50 songs to call on and are paying occasional gigs, and have morphed into a respectable and far from dreadful covers band.
That's great-- that's the way it's supposed to be done. It's fine if people want to just make a hobby of messing around with drum stuff at home-- drum techniques, covers, and whatnot-- but anyone who wants to take a crack at being a musician should do that.

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Yeah.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

I started playing at 59...now I am 60 also

I had an instructor that taught the rock beats...but he wasn't concerned with playing it tight (although at the time I didn't know any better)

Second instructor was a snare expert...sticks at perfect height...etc.

Next was the internet (was actually doing this the whole time)...no critical instruction with internet stuff

Finally I went to the Owner of the drum shop (Jeff Rider) and told him I wanted to study jazz...I would give Thelonius the nod...to me it seems like Jazz and Hip Hop have the more complicated sticking/syncopation/feel and if you learn that you can probably translate it to any genre

Jeff wants everything to be clean...dynamics are important...likes slow practice that leads to quick practice...he works my ass off and keeps me there until I get it right. Been working on Dave Brubecks "Take Five" for the last three lessons and thought I had it until I went Monday. I finally got the swing down etc. and found out the left foot was off just a hair...too soon to too late...and the dynamics were off...he's killing me but I am learning much more. I needed to play the left foot straight while swinging the rest...independence! Gonna stick with Jeff...
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
Thank you for your perspective. That's a great reminder!

Too bad there are no drum clubs where drummers could meet up to share techniques and play together.
Look for local bars and venues that have middle of the week organized jams or "open mics". Quite often you can find one where there's already a drum kit provided and lots of other people to watch, learn from, talk drums and whenever you feel ready, dip into playing with the group.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
At 60 yoa, my goals are to become the best drummer possible in the shortest amount of time.

However, to some extent doesn't a 60 year old beginner need to confront the reality that there's simply not enough time to develop the necessary skills?
I must admit to feeling some anxiety in that regard.
Maybe, but who gives a shit :) It's the journey, not the destination. I don't inow when you retire but once retired you can beat any 10-yrs old in terms of hours per day practice while they're at school. Your hands may be stiffer but you have 60 years of developing your musical taste behind you. With all that nothing will stop you from becoming great at least if you can keep a tempo.
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Old 03-29-2017, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Look for local bars and venues that have middle of the week organized jams or "open mics". Quite often you can find one where there's already a drum kit provided and lots of other people to watch, learn from, talk drums and whenever you feel ready, dip into playing with the group.
I had been searching terms like "drum club" and got nowhere.

Thanks to your post I changed my search to "st louis jam open mic" and found this. http://www.stlblues.net/jam_sessions.htm

Let me know if the above link is what you're suggesting.

Thanks Watso!
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
I had been searching terms like "drum club" and got nowhere.

Thanks to your post I changed my search to "st louis jam open mic" and found this. http://www.stlblues.net/jam_sessions.htm

Let me know if the above link is what you're suggesting.

Thanks Watso!
Wow dude... I'm jealous of all the listings for your area! Those are great options; exactly what I'm talking about. Trick now with so many options is to find the one where you feel welcome and included and comfortable. Try several, and don't be a wallflower! When a drummer comes down from playing his turn, compliment and chat with them! Tell them you're new and looking for a jam to call home and frequent!
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: 3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

The good Dr. gives good advice. I sent you a private message so I can get an idea where you live in St. Louis area and maybe I can suggest a particular jam. I might even know the drummer hosting the jam.
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