Good or bad drum teacher?

aznbennet

Junior Member
My drum teacher didn't teach me how to read music and he just teach me how to play some beat.

So is this a good teacher or bad teacher?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
That depends on a lot of things.

How many lessons have you had?
Your age and interests?
Does he know how to read and does he intend to teach you?

Nothing wrong with showing someone a basic rock beat on their first lesson if it seems to work, but for the normal student learning good basic technique and reading rhythms along with other things is important as the hole in knowledge will stop your progress very quickly. To make use of all the great material out there and also have a visual way to relate to musical understanding, reading is essentia IMO.


As an educated guitar and drum teacher with a lot of experience I sometimes get to take over students from previous teachers with no real education. Some rock guys with a local reputation. Offcourse entertaining kids and actually teaching them something are two very different things. 90% of the students can study with these guys for years without really learning anything at all, instead of getting a good foundation and feeling constant progress in skills and knowledge, which is the real motivator. They simply don't know what they're doing. Sometimes I also have to have this discussion with a boss who has no appreciation for these difficulties as they have the impression that everything has worked fine when in actuality it's a complete mess both socially and there seems to have been no thread, no methodology or even an attempt to understand how to actually relate information to a student or inspire them to work. I'm a bit biased because I've seen this too many times.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think the most successful way to start someone playing any instrument is by rote. Learning to read is a good thing, but it isn't where I start someone. The idea is to get someone playing, get the point where the feel of the basic movements and the sound they create is comfortable and natural before moving on to bigger concepts.

How fast those "bigger concepts" come depends on how quickly and easily the basics are grasped.

It is also important for the student to be an equal partner in whatever education you're looking for. Discuss goals and expected outcomes with the teacher so they know what is expected and can develop a curriculum to suit those expectations.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
You should find out what his general teaching philosophy is. If it doesn't include reading and technique as well as drum set, I would find another instructor.

Would anyone go to a piano teacher who doesn't read music? Why would someone find that acceptable with drums?

Jeff
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Learning to read is a good thing, but it isn't where I start someone.
couldnt disagree with this more

the understanding of notation acts as a line of communication between my students and I

it takes very very little time to understand the concept of quarters, 8ths, and 16ths...and is extremely simple if you can count to 4 ........for someone of any age .....and the means of musical communication it provides is invaluable when conveying information
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Of course entertaining kids and actually teaching them something are two very different things. 90% of the students can study with these guys for years without really learning anything at all, instead of getting a good foundation and feeling constant progress in skills and knowledge, which is the real motivator. They simply don't know what they're doing. Sometimes I also have to have this discussion with a boss who has no appreciation for these difficulties as they have the impression that everything has worked fine when in actuality it's a complete mess both socially and there seems to have been no thread, no methodology or even an attempt to understand how to actually relate information to a student or inspire them to work. I'm a bit biased because I've seen this too many times.
Yes, it is sad to see students come to me after they have spent hundreds of dollars with other "teachers". Many times, the students can't read music at all. Even on drum set, they have no concept of technique or musical form. Why people don't see this is beyond me.

As I said, if someone played piano for a year and could not read music or play scales correctly, that teacher would not stay in business long. But sometimes, the drum teachers who teach by ear have the most amount of students. It borders on fraud - the students often don't know any better. They think that they are getting a service. It is like that TV show, Holmes on Homes, where people hire a contractor to renovate their house. Then Mike Holmes has to tear it all apart and do it the right way after the homeowners wasted all that money.

Jeff
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
couldnt disagree with this more

the understanding of notation acts as a line of communication between my students and I

it takes very very little time to understand the concept of quarters, 8ths, and 16ths...and is extremely simple if you can count to 4 ........for someone of any age .....and the means of musical communication it provides is invaluable when conveying information
So at the first lesson, do you give a student sticks and a pad, or a book?

I'd go so far as to say that everything you know, from how to speak to tying your shoes, you learned by doing them first, and learning how the concepts connect to the physical act after the fact.

Theory is easier to understand if the student already has a foundation of actually playing the instrument you can draw from and make connections to. I agree having the ability to use a common language of notes and rhythms is important, but I think having the understanding of how those rhythms fit together and the reading of them are two different things.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
So at the first lesson, do you give a student sticks and a pad, or a book?

I'd go so far as to say that everything you know, from how to speak to tying your shoes, you learned by doing them first, and learning how the concepts connect to the physical act after the fact.

Theory is easier to understand if the student already has a foundation of actually playing the instrument you can draw from and make connections to. I agree having the ability to use a common language of notes and rhythms is important, but I think having the understanding of how those rhythms fit together and the reading of them are two different things.
if it is a student who has never played before
they learn how to hold the sticks ......which takes minutes ...everyone of course has their own way of teaching this using any variety of the common analogies

and they get a copy of Syncopation because it is something they will use for the rest of their drumming life

we open to page 1

and they begin to work on 4 things

their stroke
counting
reading
and time

and they dont even know it ....and they ARE doing it

if you can count ....you can read.....

I teach kids the basics of reading in less than one lesson all the time

lets not make this more complex than it really is

thats why some kids fear reading.... because people make it all complex sounding by calling it "theory"

as soon as they understand note value....which literally takes minutes...... applying it to the kit is cake

sounds to me like you are asking them to run before they can crawl

of course a kid can bang on a kit...they will do it all day if you let them ....thats not understanding the instrument........ they need to understand the stroke and the value of a note before that banging on the drums takes on any sort of musical context

I get extremely fast results using this method every single day

I have 60 students....everyone of them learned to understand the value of quarters, and 8ths and to understand basic strokes before they sat down at the kit
 
Last edited:

alparrott

Platinum Member
My drum teacher didn't teach me how to read music and he just teach me how to play some beat.

So is this a good teacher or bad teacher?
While I agree with all the responses on this thread so far... a little more info is probably a good idea for a better answer. How many lessons have you had with this teacher? Are you getting the lessons at your house or at his studio and/or location? What's his background (been teaching for years with dozens of students, or just some guy who plays in cover bands on the weekends)?
 

groove1

Silver Member
Like others have said...ask him what he plans to do overall.

For me, when I used to teach, the first lesson included sticks, pad, and a book.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
I'm not qualified to say if you have a good teacher or not but what I will say is that I can't tell you how many posts I've seen on this forum from experienced players saying they had wished they had learned to read music when they first learned to play and have gone back later to learn it. Of course, there are also those out there who will tell you it's not necessary and they do fine without that skill.

However, for me, the fact that you are even asking this question shows that you are concerned about it and probably want to learn. maybe it's not a question of whether the teacher is good or bad but if he's the right one for you. If he's not matched to your style of learning or unwilling to teach skills you want to learn, maybe it's time to look for someone new. Either way, you should sit and have this conversation with him and tell him your concerns. He may have a reason for not teaching you certain things right now. Until you have this conversation with him instead of us, you'll never get your answer.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
When I was teaching we started reading on day 1. It's important. Better to get them understanding it when they're young. I didn't read til much later and I regret it.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
How a first lesson, even if someone is really is a beginner, depends a lot on the person and what equipment they have at home. I always try to sell the traditional method though and I have many ways to do that with minimal resistance.


For beginners, given my choice I use "Virvel1" by Lage Thune Myrhrberget, It's a Norwegian book, similar to "Syncopation, but much much better for a young beginner as it is updated for our times, includes lots of extra material and has really great and engaging play-a-longs that really gets the young kids into feeling the music as they play the etudes. It's made for school band so it includes press rolls and double stroke rolls. Book 2 deals with dynamics, accents and flams.

For drumset play-a-longs I mostly use Ultimate Beginner Vol.1. Level 1. by Dave Weckl and bits and pieces from Groove Essentials 1.0.

I love using written pieces and charts for young students because they get really into and it really works. Lots of teachers try to break the mold on this, mostly because they don't know better. I have only gotten good results with this and what I've seen of other methods is usually so bad that it just breaks my heart.

Young children are blank canvases that accept what you give them as the norm. Take responsibilty and teach them right from the get go. There must be a plan, a feeling of mastery and accomplishment when they do their homework. Kids live for that. It builds a self motivated student who trust their teacher. A perfect learning situation that makes working hard just fun.

When I take over someone who has too many holes in their knowledge, I take the time to explain and let them experience the benefits right away so they understand why we practice drums the way we do. They must understand that it is for their benefit and their ability to play and understand the music they want to play.
 
Last edited:

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I started reading music before I started taking drum lessons.

I’d say that for most people, reading is absolutely crucial to developing more than the basics on any instrument.

If you just want to be able to jam along to a few rock songs or whatever, then I guess there’s no need to read, but if you want to really expand and grow as a drummer, then reading is pretty much essential.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
As I see it, it's not about reading but about having a conceptual understanding of music. You don't necessarily need to be able to read music to be able to hold the abstract concepts in your head that it represents. Musical notation appeared at a time when it was routine for people to learn and maintain memory of vast amounts of repertoire (although this was an immense challenge), the notation appeared only to allow this to be standardised across the whole of Europe. Everyone has their own academic pace, and for some people focusing on developing reading skills too early could be detrimental to the development of holistic drumming and musical skills.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
. Everyone has their own academic pace, and for some people focusing on developing reading skills too early could be detrimental to the development of holistic drumming and musical skills.
thats just it....you dont focus on developing reading skills

they learn basics...which takes minutes...then you transfer it to the kit and now you and the student have lines of musical communication

all of which they are required to know in school anyway

every young student I have is required to understand at least quarter and 8th notes and the related rests for school
 
Last edited:
Top