Having doubts about my drum teacher


Platinum Member
The teacher you start with is rarely the teacher you end with.

Your time hasn't been wasted getting started, but I believe it's time to move along.


Well-known member
wow...I have been teaching for 30+ years, both private and as a high school percussion instructor/middle school band director, and I can say that you all have had some rough luck...

a good teacher needs to have a "long term plan" for each student first, and an effective and flexible teaching system to root the lesson system in. For me, all of my students start with fundamental technique regardless of what their "target instrument" will be. So we start with pad, sticks, Stone Stick Control, and the PAS 40 Rudiments, and a myriad of handouts I have created covering rhythmic theory and counting. It is 4 weeks of this first.

Then we start sprinkling in their "Target instrument": drum set, marimba, marching drums, orchestral...whatever. We talk about the basics of the specific instrument as they relate to the technique fundamentals we have started.

After a month or two of this system, I add in the "opposite" target instrument, because I require all of my students to be proficient in both the melodic percussion instruments, as well as the membranophones. So my drummers learn boards, and my board players learn snare

After this step, we just continue to learn at whatever pace they need.

The cell phone thing just blows me away. I don't even have my cell phone in the room with me, and I do not allow them to have theirs either. I am from the pre-cell phone era though, so my cell phone is always an after thought in my world.

I do get a lot of complaints from people who have come from a "Drum set only" guy that the lessons with those types were very undirected, boring, and inconsistent. On the same token, I have a few students not continue with me when they find out that we not just going to sit and "learn beatz man"

Just do some research, and ask other people at the local places where lessons are taught. When I was young, I had to jump 4 teachers before I found someone who was prepared and interested in helping me.


Platinum Member
@brentcn yeah, I understand, but thats kinda my point. If I try to bring it up he doesnt seem to listen, or have any concern about what I'm saying. Like I said above, I think from typing it out I know the answer to my question,...I am a loyal guy, and I hate to cut things short like this, just want to get some advice from you all.
What else are involved in, music-wise? You can have the best teacher on earth, but if you don't have a band to go and apply the stuff you learn, it's impossible to make serious improvement. And I'm not talking about you and your friends writing your own stuff. You need to spend time playing other peoples music, i.e. covers, jazz/swing band, marching band. Becoming a good drummer doesn't happen in lessons alone, no matter how amazing your teacher is or isn't. You need real-world application: time spent playing in bands.

A better teacher might be in order. But even he/she will be of greater help to you, when your goals are more clearly defined.
He doesn't seem to listen very much, is constantly on his phone
If I was caught on my cellphone at work, I'd get my arse dragged across the coals. He's at work while "teaching" in my opinion.

I wouldn't pay money for someone to be on their phone. That's YOUR time, not his.


Well-known member
A person who reaches for their phone while getting paid is good enough reason to drop them.
Other reasons:
- No focus on hand technique.
- Only book opened is a double bass book? That will help you in about 0.5% of the music that's out there

Time to move on!
I'll mention that I love Skype lessons as you can really pinpoint a teacher who will understand your goals and may come from a similar music background. It's tough to find someone perfect when you're limited to just your area.