Drum Pad & Drum Lessons (How much is too much!)

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I agree. No hard feelings! Yes. I did learn a lot. He meant well. He turned me on to some great instruction books. I learned the difference between real practice and just jamming…
I wish him well…I agree with you. I’m just trying to improve…When your not in a band and play alone, sometimes a teacher seems like your best friend…Im saddened it didn’t work out!
 

nicholasBR

Well-known member
Id like to hear your thoughts or advice!
Find someone new. It's difficult enough learning to play even with an experienced, quality teacher - never mind a guy who doesn't really know what he's doing.

If there are red flags then drop him. Don’t be like me and waste your time and money on a teacher who’s teaching style isn’t working for you or giving you the results you need.
(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
It’s hard to find a good teacher. But that’s the journey of learning.
I've had a few that I wondered how they got the job of "drum teacher". I hope you can find what you need.
 

drummom

Member
I agree. No hard feelings! Yes. I did learn a lot. He meant well. He turned me on to some great instruction books. I learned the difference between real practice and just jamming…
I wish him well…I agree with you. I’m just trying to improve…When your not in a band and play alone, sometimes a teacher seems like your best friend…Im saddened it didn’t work out!
He sounds like he's a general music teacher and not a drum/percussion. We've had that a lot in school and its very frustrating. I have two drum instructors we used in the past who are fantastic I can send you the name of. Both do online. We switched from the first one as he moved and the second was his old instructor. We just switched from the old instructor as he's fantastic with kit but we wanted our kid in a youth orchestra was he wasn't getting what he needed at school and needed someone who does percussion and not just kit (he does both). But, really happy with both of them and they have been wonderful to my son. What you are describing is what they do in school/youth orchestra. Listen to the advice here. They are where I first turned and they asked me through it all and I have a pretty good drummer now (and a very loud house). And, he just got into a really good youth orchestra! A good teacher makes a world of difference. Good luck.
 

danondrums

Drum Expert
How long is the lesson? I assume 60 minutes? If it was only 30 I could see time constraints being a limitation. But if 60, yeah, if you want to learn more drum set material I could see feeling like you're missing something...

But, it sounds like you're working from stick control, syncopation and Chapin's independence/modern techniques book which is a decent amount of material. Are you coming to the lesson fully rehearsed where you can play all the exercises at tempo without making mistakes? While a teacher can be invaluable, self-determination is large component of the process as well and in reality we could all go through the books on our own effectively without the need of a teacher in the most ideal situation. I, like most, do need that scheduled lesson to keep me accountable and help inspire me to practice on those days where I just don't feel like it, so a great teacher is helpful. And, until you can sight read pretty well they are invaluable to help you interpret transcriptions that you can't figure out on your own so I definitely believe that having someone show and teach you is much more efficient than going on your own.

But, I must add that when I read from someone who feels they are getting "nothing" from a set of lessons then I have to question if they are putting "nothing" in themselves because as you are ultimately your own guide. On the other side of the coin though, I must add that a teacher who has a teaching studio that has only one kit is not taking their task seriously enough.
 

TOMANO

Senior Member
I've been teaching for a decade and have found it is crucial to apply curriculum to individuals. That said, my sessions include review, technique, new piece to work on and the last 5 minutes are pure creativity: "Let's jam!" That allows my student to play and create. We might play along to some recorded music or I might grab a bell or bass or wood block. The teacher's goals must build on the student goals, as well.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
How long is the lesson? I assume 60 minutes? If it was only 30 I could see time constraints being a limitation. But if 60, yeah, if you want to learn more drum set material I could see feeling like you're missing something...

But, it sounds like you're working from stick control, syncopation and Chapin's independence/modern techniques book which is a decent amount of material. Are you coming to the lesson fully rehearsed where you can play all the exercises at tempo without making mistakes? While a teacher can be invaluable, self-determination is large component of the process as well and in reality we could all go through the books on our own effectively without the need of a teacher in the most ideal situation. I, like most, do need that scheduled lesson to keep me accountable and help inspire me to practice on those days where I just don't feel like it, so a great teacher is helpful. And, until you can sight read pretty well they are invaluable to help you interpret transcriptions that you can't figure out on your own so I definitely believe that having someone show and teach you is much more efficient than going on your own.

But, I must add that when I read from someone who feels they are getting "nothing" from a set of lessons then I have to question if they are putting "nothing" in themselves because as you are ultimately your own guide. On the other side of the coin though, I must add that a teacher who has a teaching studio that has only one kit is not taking their task seriously enough.
Hi.
The lesson was 60 minutes . We just dove into Stick Control and Syncopation.
After a couple months I asked him where we were going with the lessons ,etc.? When we would start focusing on drum set and apply what he was teaching to the kit. He said at the time that he wanted to get my hands real fast!
I DID ask if we can work out of a drum book or two geared toward the set…
He picked Chapins book, and a Led Zeppelin play along book.
So. 90 percent of the lesson was pad and then we would go to the set and go over the assignments. The beginning of Chapins book gave me no major problems. He only focused on my mistakes. So out of 12 grooves, if the first or second wasn’t good he would play it for me. The other 10 that I was proficient at, he only listened to see if I could do them.
I felt nervous with him at times , and got the impression that though he was teaching me he was trying to impress me?
That’s in my head. I could be totally wrong but I felt that especially when I sat at the kit.
I lost trust in him and wasn’t enjoying the lessons after a while. I do consider it a positive experience and have no hard feelings. But I feel cheated that he did not let me apply rudiments and lesson plans to the set. He said he would periodically film my progress but didn’t.
He’s a good guy that wears his heart on his sleeve. He felt comfortable around me and would curse, talk politics, talk about his wife, his life…Lol!
I really didn’t mind. He was the first teacher I had who acted in this manner. He was unpretentious to say the least.
I like having a teacher also. They motivate me more and I like doing assignments. On my own I feel overwhelmed. Honestly, considering everything, I’m still happy I worked with him. He sold me great books. I got a taste for how to work out of them and did learn some things!
My intuition told me it was time to go…he’s a good guy ,but it wasn’t the right fit!
I’m going solo for a month then find someone else. I really appreciate you insight and advice.
Thank you!
 
Last edited:

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I've been teaching for a decade and have found it is crucial to apply curriculum to individuals. That said, my sessions include review, technique, new piece to work on and the last 5 minutes are pure creativity: "Let's jam!" That allows my student to play and create. We might play along to some recorded music or I might grab a bell or bass or wood block. The teacher's goals must build on the student goals, as well.
That sounds like a solid enjoyable lesson. I will look for that down the road. Yes. I think the teacher should be in sync with the student related to his ability and goals. Because I don’t play with people or an audience- he get a little anxiety when playing with a teacher. I need to relax more.. I appreciate your response and wish you well!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I don't think it's necessary to do endless snare drum technique work before getting to the drum set. Kind of odd to have a non-jazz student working out of Chapin, especially as the first drum set book. It sounds like he didn't really know what to teach on the drum set.

Some of the other things-- that's just the way it goes. Teachers will focus on what needs fixing, may be distracted for a moment, may not comment everything that seems like a big deal to you. It takes a creative leap on your part to turn lessons stuff into your own drumming-- you've got to be figuring out what to do with things on your own, too.

But who knows? Maybe you really needed to do all the tedious stuff he was having you do. I just finished beating a student's brains out for over a year correcting a lot of egregious fundamental problems, that he didn't understand the need for. It's finally coming together so we can play through a page of drum set exercises and have it be about the exercises-- not the fundamentals preventing him from doing it.
 

MG1127

Well-known member
There are 10X more bad instructors than good ones.

Anyone who played in a garage band in their teens thinks they can teach.

Find a new teacher who customizes lessons built around your desires with your best interest in mind ... not his.

A proper teacher hides the vitamins in the ice cream so to speak.

It is very old school to force feed the vitamins and vegetables and dangle the ice cream like some sort of reward ... horrible way to get results.

An instructors real job is less about teaching you how to play the instrument and more about sparking curiosity and desire

Find someone new.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I don't think it's necessary to do endless snare drum technique work before getting to the drum set. Kind of odd to have a non-jazz student working out of Chapin, especially as the first drum set book. It sounds like he didn't really know what to teach on the drum set.

Some of the other things-- that's just the way it goes. Teachers will focus on what needs fixing, may be distracted for a moment, may not comment everything that seems like a big deal to you. It takes a creative leap on your part to turn lessons stuff into your own drumming-- you've got to be figuring out what to do with things on your own, too.

But who knows? Maybe you really needed to do all the tedious stuff he was having you do. I just finished beating a student's brains out for over a year correcting a lot of egregious fundamental problems, that he didn't understand the need for. It's finally coming together so we can play through a page of drum set exercises and have it be about the exercises-- not the fundamentals preventing him from doing it.
To be fair, he asked me about my background when I broached the subject of drum set. I had prior experience playing basic jazz from another teacher- ride cymbal,bass drum on quarter notes, 2/4 on the hi hat, triplets on the snare. He thought I could handle the Chapin book and simultaneously work on four way. It can be challenging but I’m doing well with it. It’s a great book. Perhaps he did want to go heavy on the snare drum at first, but I don’t feel he wanted to do drum set since he only had one set and didn’t spend any time on it. I think he wanted me to use my imagination on the set at home, but he didn’t check it. Like I said, he mostly taught high school kids drumming as an elective. I feel I learned a lot but wanted more drum set and he wasn’t the guy for that.
 
Last edited:

DrumNut!

Well-known member
To be fair, he asked me about my background when I broached the subject of drum set. I had prior experience playing basic jazz from another teacher- ride cymbal, triplets on snare. He thought I could handle the Chapin book and simultaneously work on four way. It can be challenging but I’m doing well with it. It’s a great book. Perhaps he did want to go heavy on the snare drum at first, but I don’t feel he wanted to do drum set since he only had one set and didn’t spend any time on it. I think he wanted me to use my imagination on the set at home, but he didn’t check it. Like I said, he mostly taught high school kids drumming as an elective. I feel I learned a lot but wanted more drum set and he wasn’t the guy for that. I agree with what you said about incorporating the lessons in my drumming- I need to do more of that. I appreciate your insight.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
There are 10X more bad instructors than good ones.

Anyone who played in a garage band in their teens thinks they can teach.

Find a new teacher who customizes lessons built around your desires with your best interest in mind ... not his.

A proper teacher hides the vitamins in the ice cream so to speak.

It is very old school to force feed the vitamins and vegetables and dangle the ice cream like some sort of reward ... horrible way to get results.

An instructors real job is less about teaching you how to play the instrument and more about sparking curiosity and desire

Find someone new.
I like your metaphors. A lot of veggies, wanted more Ice cream. I agree a teacher should spark curiosity and desire..I appreciate your kind response! Thank you!
 

danondrums

Drum Expert
Hi.
The lesson was 60 minutes . We just dove into Stick Control and Syncopation.
After a couple months I asked him where we were going with the lessons ,etc.? When we would start focusing on drum set and apply what he was teaching to the kit. He said at the time that he wanted to get my hands real fast!
I DID ask if we can work out of a drum book or two geared toward the set…
He picked Chapins book, and a Led Zeppelin play along book.
So. 90 percent of the lesson was pad and then we would go to the set and go over the assignments. The beginning of Chapins book gave me no major problems. He only focused on my mistakes. So out of 12 grooves, if the first or second wasn’t good he would play it for me. The other 10 that I was proficient at, he only listened to see if I could do them.
I felt nervous with him at times , and got the impression that though he was teaching me he was trying to impress me?
That’s in my head. I could be totally wrong but I felt that especially when I sat at the kit.
I lost trust in him and wasn’t enjoying the lessons after a while. I do consider it a positive experience and have no hard feelings. But I feel cheated that he did not let me apply rudiments and lesson plans to the set. He said he would periodically film my progress but didn’t.
He’s a good guy that wears his heart on his sleeve. He felt comfortable around me and would curse, talk politics, talk about his wife, his life…Lol!
I really didn’t mind. He was the first teacher I had who acted in this manner. He was unpretentious to say the least.
I like having a teacher also. They motivate me more and I like doing assignments. On my own I feel overwhelmed. Honestly, considering everything, I’m still happy I worked with him. He sold me great books. I got a taste for how to work out of them and did learn some things!
My intuition told me it was time to go…he’s a good guy ,but it wasn’t the right fit!
I’m going solo for a month then find someone else. I really appreciate you insight and advice.
Thank you!
Sounds like you're on a path, and that's all that matters. :)
I do believe the most important part of my learning with a teacher was 100% the work on the pad/single drum. Learning free stroke, then Moeller as well as reading proved to be the most important foundation that absolutely needed to happen in order to have constant growth and make all the other learning happen so much more quickly. Knocking all of that out quickly, while tedious, opened up the doors to be able to self-study more efficiently at times when having a teacher wasn't possible. Also lessons become much more efficient when you don't the teacher to play the exercise as an example since you can just read it. The progress is about developing muscle memory and groove on those exercises and not about learning to read. My teacher had a very strong reputation, so I very much bought into his approach and completely let go of what I thought I wanted to learn and let him guide me and I'm glad I did that. But, it will take a built up resume behind a teacher to have that amount of faith going in of course.
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
Sounds like you're on a path, and that's all that matters. :)
I do believe the most important part of my learning with a teacher was 100% the work on the pad/single drum. Learning free stroke, then Moeller as well as reading proved to be the most important foundation that absolutely needed to happen in order to have constant growth and make all the other learning happen so much more quickly. Knocking all of that out quickly, while tedious, opened up the doors to be able to self-study more efficiently at times when having a teacher wasn't possible. Also lessons become much more efficient when you don't the teacher to play the exercise as an example since you can just read it. The progress is about developing muscle memory and groove on those exercises and not about learning to read. My teacher had a very strong reputation, so I very much bought into his approach and completely let go of what I thought I wanted to learn and let him guide me and I'm glad I did that. But, it will take a built up resume behind a teacher to have that amount of faith going in of course.
 
Last edited:

DrumNut!

Well-known member
I think it comes down to personality and communication- I’m just looking for someone who tailors the lesson based on my skill set and where I want go…and enjoy the lesson!
When I started taking lessons with this teacher he never assigned a drum set book. I don’t think that was part of his curriculum? If I was having big trouble with singles and doubles and paradiddles, etc., I can see just working the pad, and I’m sure my teacher would tell me this is why we’re doing this the whole lesson. But that wasn’t the case. It was just his approach and it wasn’t for me. Appreciate your insight!
 

TOMANO

Senior Member
That sounds like a solid enjoyable lesson. I will look for that down the road. Yes. I think the teacher should be in sync with the student related to his ability and goals. Because I don’t play with people or an audience- he get a little anxiety when playing with a teacher. I need to relax more.. I appreciate your response and wish you well!
No reason to be nervous. Your job is to be the best you can be where you are in your development. If you practice slowly and diligently you will master the exercises from the lessons. If you are having difficulty, then tell the teacher you need a couple different ways to approach the particular piece. Have fun!!!
 

DrumNut!

Well-known member
No reason to be nervous. Your job is to be the best you can be where you are in your development. If you practice slowly and diligently you will master the exercises from the lessons. If you are having difficulty, then tell the teacher you need a couple different ways to approach the particular piece. Have fun!!!
It took me a while to realize the importance of working very slowly- I’m starting to play much better, in the pocket, smooth…
Agreed. No reason to be nervous. That’s just added pressure from trying to gets things right all the time! Appreciate your advice! Thanks.
 
Top