nervous about the first drum lesson

Paul Blood

Junior Member
Look for someone that can help you with your hand technique and basic fundamentals. I’m sure their lots of very good teachers in Germany but they might not be in your area. Be ready to travel a bit if necessary or maybe you could do some sort of combination of in person and remote ( Zoom , Skype….) lessons. If you can’t find anyone in Germany, you can do fully remote lesson. You’re lucky to have these options. In my day, I’d drive a couple of hours for lessons.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Now after a longer time I can start to play again (at least on my Practice Pad) and tomorrow I have my fourth first lesson with a teacher and despite being all online due to local music schools being occupied by too many students, I feel so nervous, I can’t enjoy anything I do, as all I can do is to think about the lesson and how my new teacher will be like, the worry to drop a stick during the lesson or even worse to have him see how I kind of hit myself somewhere accidentally and I can’t even say one thing making sense in conversations already.
I wish I could offer some help but I had completely different experience. I was fortunate in that I was able to get lessons from someone who I first saw playing in a live gig in front of hundreds of people. Then I attended the same high school and saw him playing in the pep rallies. That's when I asked for lessons. He was just a couple years older than me so it felt more like a hangout than lessons.

I think a student should choose someone whose playing they admire. You should be given a free consultation and demo of his or her playing abilities and teaching style.

The next level of discussion would be for adults only, so you'll need to disclose your age before we go forward. Your entire OP could be a comedic skit in certain bars LOL.

(Chuck Tilley was a student at Eastwood Middle School and performed with a jazz ensemble for a concert given at Arcadia Elementary where I was attending)
 
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PaisteDrummer95

Well-known member
I wish I could offer some help but I had completely different experience. I was fortunate in that I was able to get lessons from someone who I first saw playing in a live gig in front of hundreds of people. Then I attended the same high school and saw him playing in the pep rallies. That's when I asked for lessons. He was just a couple years older than me so it felt more like a hangout than lessons.

I think a student should choose someone whose playing they admire. You should be given a free consultation and demo of his or her playing abilities and teaching style.

The next level of discussion would be for adults only, so you'll need to disclose your age before we go forward. Your entire OP could be a comedic skit in certain bars LOL.
Whoa, you were fortunate indeed. I‘m turning 26 next month so I think this can be considered adult in most of the countries here. Anyway, I’m curious what kind of discussion this will be. 🤣

Do you guys really have samples given to you in your Country?
Well, as for playing he’s definitely very skilled and he also play huge festivals with a very well known german rapper.
 

PaisteDrummer95

Well-known member
Look for someone that can help you with your hand technique and basic fundamentals. I’m sure their lots of very good teachers in Germany but they might not be in your area. Be ready to travel a bit if necessary or maybe you could do some sort of combination of in person and remote ( Zoom , Skype….) lessons. If you can’t find anyone in Germany, you can do fully remote lesson. You’re lucky to have these options. In my day, I’d drive a couple of hours for lessons.
Yes, the lessons will be on Skype, so fully remote, as no one in my area is available and he is living far away.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
You are learning. Now you know what to avoid.

You might mention to any prospective instructors that you are nervous in teaching situations.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"What can I do to be less nervous? Please help me!"

I think it's unproductive to try to be "less nervous." That expectation will only augment your angst. Instead, use your nerves to your advantage. They're a source of energy when properly directed. The trick is to transform fear into enthusiasm. The only difference between dread and excitement is the way you interpret the two. It's all about shaping your perception of reality instead of stressing over outcomes you can't control. Roll with life, and it won't roll over you.
 
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jazzerooty

Junior Member
American Saying or even version of the German saying:“ Leg and Head break!“?

You’re absolutely right. I live in Germany in a rather small town, there arent many schools / drum teachers in the whole area. What do you mean by „give him The Bird“? Sounds funny but don’t get it.
The Bird is the middle finger. Dig? "F&%k off" is what it means.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
John Ramsey, who teaches at Berklee College of Music used to drive 60 miles to his drum lessons. You Germans have terrific train systems. Get out there and find a new teacher. Actung!
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Have fun buddy!
If this one fails go online.
Teaching yourself nowadays is completely different than say over a decade ago thanks to the interweb.
No shortage of vauable resources online both free and for pay.
 

RVN

Member
I had three main teachers for drum lessons. Two of them were percussionist/band directors and one was for drum set rock'n'roll. It was never the first lesson that made me nervous. It was subsequent lessons especially when I didn't do my homework and put in enough practice time that made me nervous. I feared being told that I didn't practice enough.
 

PaisteDrummer95

Well-known member
"What can I do to be less nervous? Please help me!"

I think it's unproductive to try to be "less nervous." That expectation will only augment your angst. Instead, use your nerves to your advantage. They're a source of energy when properly directed. The trick is to transform fear into enthusiasm. The only difference between dread and excitement is the way you interpret the two. It's all about shaping your perception of reality instead of stressing over outcomes you can't control. Roll with life, and it won't roll over you.
Such a wise and deep explanation! I just wish it would be so easy.
The Bird is the middle finger. Dig? "F&%k off" is what it means.
Now yes. I just was confused as I thought that it would mean to throw a cymbal at him like Jo Jones once did with Charlie Parker. :D


John Ramsey, who teaches at Berklee College of Music used to drive 60 miles to his drum lessons. You Germans have terrific train systems. Get out there and find a new teacher. Actung!
Even if I would drive 60 kilometers there would be still no music school, that’s the real issue in the whole area.
Nerves are fine! Don't sweat it! Enjoy the experience!
I did! Whole story at the end of this post.
Have fun buddy!
If this one fails go online.
Teaching yourself nowadays is completely different than say over a decade ago thanks to the interweb.
No shortage of vauable resources online both free and for pay.
You’d laugh, it is online lessons, all music schools are occupied.


I had three main teachers for drum lessons. Two of them were percussionist/band directors and one was for drum set rock'n'roll. It was never the first lesson that made me nervous. It was subsequent lessons especially when I didn't do my homework and put in enough practice time that made me nervous. I feared being told that I didn't practice enough.
Thats interesting. And have you been told to?

_
Thanks for all your helpful replies, sharing your experiences with me and being there.
Yesterday was the big day - new teacher, first lesson.
My emotions were a true rollercoaster, I was that nervous that I literally was about to run up my walls and found dozens of things in my apartment that needed to be cleaned, sorted and… How are my hairs today?

My lesson was scheduled for 3:00 pm local time and 15 minutes before my potential new teacher wrote me that he’d Skype call me then. Oh no! What’s that? I installed Skype the Day before and had to do a firmware update on my MacBook and now the App was gone. What if I’d have to reinstall everything with a lesson being only 15 Minutes away?
Luckily I just needed to reinstall the App and all Settings remained.

I plugged in my Headset but weirdly enough it always slipped my head and I decided to go on without it. When I waited the last few minutes something strange happened. All my anxiety and nervousness disappeared and was replaced by excitement.

3:00 pm. Man, that guy was as precise as a Swiss clock!
He called me and waved into the camera I waved back but he couldn’t see me first so I had to search the Camera icon.

„How are you?“
„Good.“

„Where are you getting called from?“ he asked.

„XY.“ I said.

„Where’s that?“ he asked.

Then I explained where my village lays.
„Maybe you know that I’m calling from Berlin.“

„yes, I do.“
„Your name is XY, right?“
„Yes.“
„Beautiful name.“
„Thank you.“
„Have you played before?“

While having this smalltalk I felt some ice breaking and so I told him about my bad experiences with drum lessons before.

„I can’t express how sorry I am for you. Really, that hurts my soul as a teacher! How can someone yell at a student for not putting in enough for his/her hobby? Hearing this really makes me sorry for you and I can also imagine that playing the drums now has to do with something worse. I never put myself upon my students. If they want to get great on the Practice Pad. Cool. If they want to just play one Song for a Year. Cool. I don’t have a set curriculum I need to finish, I can adjust to what the Student needs and they should have fun. I’m sorry what happened to you, but I think your journey could over if you decide to learn from me.“

More ice broke.
He then told me about the downsides of Skype Lessons and how to adjust it, the Fees, still seemed to be very shocked about my experiences and we continued talking about it.

„How old were your teachers?“
„Uhm, I think 60, 40-45 and 50 years old.“
„I can imagine what kind of people they were. These id***, sorry that I have to say so, are failed and frustrated careers of musicians which became teachers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine if someone just decides to teach and their lessons can be absolutely fine but what you went through… they were just frustrated old men who spit their frustrations on their students. To hear that makes me really upset.“
We then talked about Game of Thrones and Gaming and then he wanted to know if I’d have questions. Well, maybe my Head was in Recovery Mode as I couldn’t find any question I had to ask.

„Alright. Then we can end for today. Next week there’s no Online lessons as I have to take a fellow teachers local students next Thursday. We then meet again at 12th of August.“

This lesson was so different from all others I had although I wasn’t told to play anything and we just talked. I just wished my head wouldn’t have been in recovery mode, because then I’d have asked for something to practice during the break. But what I can say is, that my new teacher seemed to be exactly what I need. I never felt ice breaking during a first lesson and I never met someone who showed so much comfort and empathy to me, I think I even felt some bits of trust already which I also never felt before.

Because Anxiety is really exhausting I was very tired and had a very long and tight sleep last night.

Thinking about future lessons doesn’t make me nervous, I just can’t wait for this two weeks to be over.
 

J-W

Well-known member
This is great news!

I'm curious though, did he charge you for this first meeting? I mean, it's great that he sounds like he's sympathetic to your past, but I feel like you shouldn't have to pay a teacher to interview them.

Even so, it's a step in the right direction, and I hope he works out for you. Best of luck, and welcome back to the world of drumming. It's all about the journey and not the destination.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I’m honestly shocked at you experiences-sounds like the “teachers” watched Whiplash and took it to heart. You know when people yell at you that’s unprofessional so you can be too and yell back . I’ve always wanted to take lessons but if this is a possible outcome I’m glad I haven’t . I don’t understand why some people are such a-holes. I always thought the incidence of an a- hole is less for drummers but the longer I stay here I’m suspect of that belief ROFL. Anxiety and nervousness are all under your control-most everyone gets it to a degree. Your drumming will continue but I’d seek strategies to help you deal with anxiety because it will work against you.
 

PaisteDrummer95

Well-known member
This is great news!

I'm curious though, did he charge you for this first meeting? I mean, it's great that he sounds like he's sympathetic to your past, but I feel like you shouldn't have to pay a teacher to interview them.

Even so, it's a step in the right direction, and I hope he works out for you. Best of luck, and welcome back to the world of drumming. It's all about the journey and not the destination.
Of course not. In Germany first lessons or even first meetings are always free of charge.
thank you!


I’m honestly shocked at you experiences-sounds like the “teachers” watched Whiplash and took it to heart. You know when people yell at you that’s unprofessional so you can be too and yell back . I’ve always wanted to take lessons but if this is a possible outcome I’m glad I haven’t . I don’t understand why some people are such a-holes. I always thought the incidence of an a- hole is less for drummers but the longer I stay here I’m suspect of that belief ROFL. Anxiety and nervousness are all under your control-most everyone gets it to a degree. Your drumming will continue but I’d seek strategies to help you deal with anxiety because it will work against you.
I can totally imagine that you’re shocked to hear that, I was too and it left me with these higher anxiety level. I can imagine if I’d ever have in-person lessons again, that I’d kind of dunk when I’d have to share a kit with a teacher because I couldn’t trust that he’d not accidentally hit me while showing something.

Really not sure if this typically happens sometimes or if it was just a very bad random thing to happen. Just out of curiosity, maybe here are some teachers who can say something about it?

But my advice for you:
I can tell it costs a lot of bravery to take lessons after having experiences like that or even hearing that this can happen, but trying and getting lessons can be something you are glad you did when you get a good teacher. I’m glad that I did despite I was afraid.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Sounds like everything's working out. If nothing else, I think you'll find that having an outside observer analyzing your playing on a regular interval will be helpful. If anything, having weekly goals will keep you practicing daily which is what makes a good drummer.

I'm 55 with a career in aerospace and I've been playing most of my life on the side. I still take lessons when I can. I sometimes tell the teacher I'm not interested in changing my technique. It depends on where I'm at and what I'm trying to get from him or her. But in the end, just having person X there to talk about drumming is all the motivation to keep me wanting to play.

Most obstacles prior to the pandemic were finding the time to take on weekly lessons - it seems it's difficult to find instructors willing to have bi-weekly or monthly lessons. Since the pandemic and loss of cash flow, it's been the cost.

Anyway, congratulations on overcoming your fear and best wishes on your next goals!
 

PaisteDrummer95

Well-known member
Sounds like everything's working out. If nothing else, I think you'll find that having an outside observer analyzing your playing on a regular interval will be helpful. If anything, having weekly goals will keep you practicing daily which is what makes a good drummer.

I'm 55 with a career in aerospace and I've been playing most of my life on the side. I still take lessons when I can. I sometimes tell the teacher I'm not interested in changing my technique. It depends on where I'm at and what I'm trying to get from him or her. But in the end, just having person X there to talk about drumming is all the motivation to keep me wanting to play.

Most obstacles prior to the pandemic were finding the time to take on weekly lessons - it seems it's difficult to find instructors willing to have bi-weekly or monthly lessons. Since the pandemic and loss of cash flow, it's been the cost.

Anyway, congratulations on overcoming your fear and best wishes on your next goals!
That’s true. The only downside yet is my last two weeks as self taught drummer. If you want lessons weekly or monthly then 1-on-1 Skype lessons could be for you. There are a lot of teachers who offer it.
 
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