Lots of new Happenings! (first drum lesson!!)


Senior Member
OK so it's been a while since I posted anything here. Still lurk everyday! So as some people may know I've been playing drums for 8 years now and never had a lesson. There were a lot of lesson related posts and it convinced me that its NEVER a bad idea to take some lessons. After many months of procrastination and shifting schedules, I managed to book 4 drum lessons!

I was super duper excited! First lesson was a trial lesson so I used that to see whether or not the instructor was a good fit for me. His education consisted of Berkeley in Boston and Drummer's Collective. I met him and he instantly loves that I'm not a new beginner and is excited to teach me. Our first lesson he was trying to figure out where to even start with me. We ended up going over the free half hour because we just kept talking and getting excited about favorite drummers and styles.

The second lesson we got down to business. He had me try the Songo, Mozambique and a Sextuplet fill that was three 7 note lick and a triplet at the end. All of those I was already exposed to so it only took me a few tries to get. I left the second lesson having second thoughts.

While I enjoyed the lessons I felt that it wasn't challenging enough or that I can easily check online on how to play these different latin styles. I remember reading on this forum about how nothing beats the live feedback from an instructor. I want that so bad, but its mostly been jamming and trying new ideas in our jams and improvisations. Maybe what I'm seeking is a curriculum? A linear course with an end goal? Not just me coming in the room and just jamming, then if I falter he would stop and go over what idea needed to be smoothed out. I'm guessing that patience on my end is needed.

My issue boils down to "am I willing to pay for just a jam buddy?"

What are your thoughts DW community? What should I be asking myself/looking for when deciding to stick with an instructor? My goal is to take my drumming up a notch.
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"Uncle Larry"
If he feels like a jam buddy, that doesn't sound like a teacher/student relationship. Maybe he's just taking his time? Hard to tell from only 2 lessons. But it doesn't sound right.


sounds like a terrible teacher

lose him faster than a dress on prom night.... unless you like just taking a zippo lighter to your cash

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I'd lose him. You're in NYC, lots of talent to be found there. I'll bet you could throw a drumstick out your window and hit a good drum teacher. Keep looking!


Senior Member
Thanks guys for the response! Been pretty busy.

What I mean by taking my playing up a notch, basically making my ideas much more smoother when playing, and learning to count in my head. Those are my biggest weak spots.

I've already paid for 4 lessons. Guess I'll keep looking. For those that take lessons, what do you work on? How does your instructor make the lessons? DO you get to pick what to work on?


Junior Member
I'm a beginner but my instructor sets out goals for me every week. Every once in awhile we reevaluate. He knows my first goal is to develop good technique as a baseline and my second goal is to play in the worship band at church. He knows more than I do at this point so he keeps adding rudiments, or giving me homework so I can learn to read music. For example last week he taught me triplets for the first time. My homework for the week was:

  • Practice Triplets with a metronome
  • Continue to improve my double stroke roll
  • Write repeating 8 measure marches for the snare drum in 10 different time signatures (3/4, 4/4, 5/8, 12/8, etc)

He always gives me plenty to work on but focuses on what he thinks will move me forward the most.

That said, I went in one week and he started to tell me what we were going to work on and I interrupted him and said "Can we work on my grip? It's driving me crazy" so we worked on my grip for the whole lesson and it helped a lot.

I would think a good teacher evaluates you, leads you, and listens to you.