3 Instructors -- Help me choose.

Vinny

Member
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:

Superman

Gold Member
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.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
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.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
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.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
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
 

Vinny

Member
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.

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 that’s 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.

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.

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.
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 I’m a beginner. Thanks mikel.

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.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
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.

Jeff
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
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.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
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.
 

Vinny

Member
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!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
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
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
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.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
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.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
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.
 

Draxilis

Junior Member
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
 
Top