4 1/2 hour lessons or 2 1-hour lessons, that is the question...


Platinum Member
Hey everyone, just wondering what you think about lesson time, especially interested in hearing from the drum instructors out there.

My normal lessons are once a week for 30 minutes. There have been a few times that because of conflicts, etc I've had to skip a week and we make up for it by doing an hour lesson the next week. This way the teacher doesn't lose out on pay and I don't lose any instruction time. I find that I really enjoy the one hour lessons. 30 minutes goes by so fast I barely have time to have what he's trying to teach me sink in, especially if we're starting something totally new. So here's my question...

I was thinking of asking my teacher about going to a 1 hour lesson every other week. It's the same amount of instruction time, just with more time to get things done and we both won't feel so rushed. I would love to do an hour a week but I just can't afford it, I'm already paying $100/month and to double that would be too much.

So what do you think, 30 minutes per week or 60 minutes every two weeks...is one more beneficial than the other? And if you're a drum teacher, how would you prefer to teach? (And, yes, I'll be asking my instructor directly. Just curious on what others think and how they work their own lessons.)



And Happy 4th of July!

David Floegel

Silver Member
I would prefer 30mins every week... I guess it's the same as practice time.. better practice short periods every day then long periods ever 3 days (or so)...

Maybe that's stupid but it's my opinion :)


Platinum Member
Probably at this point you have enough knowledge and stuff to work on to self-supervise more, so going every two weeks should be fine. Probably for as long as you've been playing a single hour lesson is more valuable than two half hour lessons. He should give you a price break to encourage you to switch to hour lessons-- with my pricing structure you could do three hour lessons for not too much more than 4 half hour ones.


Platinum Member
For me, usually what happens in an hour lesson is simply a half-hour lesson, plus "practice time". I don't really get to delve deeper into the material, but the student gets more time to try out the new stuff. Which is fine, but shouldn't that be happening at home anyway? Right now, you might feel that hour lessons are better, but there may come a time no too far off where you don't.

One thing that has helped me to keep my students from feeling as though they haven't digested the new material enough is to write a "practice list" for them. Sometimes one of the items on the list is to simply play a new exercise, groove, fill, along with music or by itself, whatever. Often, the students answer many of their own questions as they get experience with the new thing, whatever it is, or, better yet, they come back with better questions the next week. Deep thinking about brand new material can sometimes make it seem overwhelming.

And you should also understand that hour lessons every other week, while being financially identical to your pocketbook, take up two weekly spaces in the instructor's schedule for would-be students who want weekly lessons. So it's financially OK for him as long as he doesn't have weekly opportunities during your lesson time. If not, then he's losing money (so it wouldn't be fair of you to ask for hour lessons).

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Lengths of lessons depends on a lot of things. As an instructor I feel I generally feel the more time the better. There is a level with longer lessons where I can impart more general knowledge and inspiration as well as getting into the habbit of warming up and so on, that's hard to fit in to shorter lessons. For this reason and since in public music schools the time resources are very limited I even go between individual set lessons and technique and fundamentals lessons two and two students together.

Ideally I like to have time to warm up, go through a new concept and work on it in a musical way. With one hour I can also make up a bit for what's missing with many students today as they don't seem to be able to just call a friend and start a band these days. I can also find time to teach them other skills.

With younger students just learning the basics of rhythm and on the snare 30 mins is usually, enough.


Silver Member
I pay for an hour lesson and get between 2 and 3 hours for each lesson for my son. It's a marathon. You may want to go to an hour if you can. Do you just work on drumset or is there snare drum time also?


Senior Member
I feel like this really depends on the teacher and the student. I do hour lessons every week and really understand the value of that extra time. I would say that if the student can be trusted to work hard and practice then an hour lesson every other week would be best. If the student would get lost or not practice enough then I would say a half hour every week would be best.

How do you do between lessons? Do you have enough to work on? Do you build up a lot of questions? Is your teacher available if you have questions?

This is all very personal and I don't expect you to answer it here. Just something for you to sit and think on.

P.S. Glad you are this worried about it... Definitively a good sign. :)


Platinum Member
I just did exactly what you're describing! I'm at a level where we're talking about and working on some more advanced concepts than in the past... For me, I felt a bit frustrated when we'd just barely get into a concept and time would be over. Now that I'm doing an hour every other week, I have both more time to practice on my own, and we have more time to get into things at the lesson.

So I'd say it depends on where you are in the quest for drumming knowledge.

Also keep in mind that it can be a bit of a disruption to your teacher if they have a tight schedule of students... So be respectful of their time when you ask.


If you feel you can get more out of a longer lesson -- try it.


Silver Member
I I have found from both the instructor and student prespective(advance) 2 hour lesson work well! Denis


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would say 30 every week. If you are practicing something wrong you will do it for two weeks before it is corrected. 2 weeks is a long wait


Platinum Member
Thanks everyone. You've given me a lot to think about. I will discuss it with my teacher and see how it would fit into his schedule.

I'm very disciplined when it comes to my drumming and I would have no problem keeping practice up over a two week period (one of the advantages of being an older student!). My teacher is also VERY accessible so if I had questions in between, that wouldn't be a problem either. It just seems that we currently keep running out of time and he tries to squeeze something in at the end of a lesson that I barely get to see and by the time I get home, I've almost forgotten what he showed me so quickly. I think the hour-long sessions would alleviate some of that.

Someone asked if we work on both kit and snare and yes, we try to do both each lesson. That's part of the problem, by the time we finish on one, we don't get to what we intended on the other.

I'll let you know what we decide to do. Thanks, again! As always, your input has been invaluable.


Alain Rieder

Silver Member
I think 45 minute lessons are a good length for most people's attention span, and that's what I do (I give appointments every 50 minutes).
I do half-lessons (25-30 min.) for small kids.
I also do double lessons (1h40) with advanced students that don't come on a regular weekly basis.
I don't do lessons every two weeks, not only because that takes a space every week, but also because I think weekly lessons work best with most people.
If someone asks for this, I tell them to come every week for six month instead of one year. And I do think they'll learn more that way.
Fees are degressive, so for example two half lessons are more expensive than a full one.

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Also I'll add that 45min + 5min break lessons are standard where I live, at the conservatory, but also in secondary and high schools.
Also when I was 6 and studying the cello, I had two 25 min. lessons a week.

Stitch Kaboodle

Senior Member
I think if the lesson is of a high enough standard then 1/2 hour sessions should be enough. In some cases students are given too much to learn and whilst it can be awe-inspiring it can also confuse and distract them from the hard graft required to develope a good grasp of the instrument.

1 hour sessions can really become a chore for both instructor and student. But I wouldn't completely rule it out.


Platinum Member
If you have not been playing too long, I would suggest weekly lessons. If all you can afford is half hour weekly lessons, do that. You may want to see if your teacher offers 45 min. weekly lessons. Many of my students enjoy having that option.


Anon La Ply

For me, usually what happens in an hour lesson is simply a half-hour lesson, plus "practice time".
I'd imagine supervised practice would be helpful in getting the student better prepared for reinforcing the the exercises at home. Watch the student's work closely and, if the pinky sticks out, whack it with a ruler. A clip over the ear would be appropriate when a lack of focus and commitment is apparent ... or, of course, you could just point out any issues the student is having with the mechanics :)


Silver Member
I currently do 1 hour every 2 weeks. In fact it is the only way my teacher works - plus he's very far away from me so 30 minutes every week would not be feasable.

I prefer it this way as an hour gives enough time to look at how I got on since the previous lesson, and then gives us time to work on something for long enough that I understand it and can go away and practise it. Plus I don't think a week would be long enough for my muscle memory to learn the new stuff (mostly rudimental at the minute, stuff I should of learnt from the beginning..).

On the other hand, I have a local teacher who teaches me 2 other instruments (1 hour per week, but split into 30 minutes per instrument), which also seems to work out fine, but I'm more of a beginner on those instruments so need the supervision and it's a different style of teaching.

As with a lot of things, it depends ;-)