Self teaching advice.


Junior Member
In my current position I can't get drum lessons from a teacher due to: a) no teachers in my area, b) being a student means it's hard to actually pay for the lessons. But I would really like to as seeing Queens of the Stoneage a while back made me want to ditch my trusty battered guitar for the sticks a while.

But hey! We are now living in the 21st century, surely we don't have to depend on teachings to learn the drums. There must be other ways...

So my question is to you guys: if I were to self teach myself at home, what books would you recommend me buy or any other essential equipment you know of that would help me. I can read drum notation already but I would just want to be able to practice and get better without a teacher.


Senior Member
An Mp3 player and earphones for starters.

That's what I use now but I started out back in the late 60s with a stereo phonograph and all my 45s and albums.....that I still have.

I can't help you with books as I don't read drum notation.....well...just very basic beats is all.

Someone else will come on here with advice about what books to use but for now, an Mp3 player and earphones.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I used to play along to CD's. I don't do it anymore but it was a great way to start.

I can read too but I always preferred using my ears. There are alot of great drum instructional and performance videos out there, you could get it all from youtube if you really wanted but I would definitely go out and buy a few of them, they are great value.

The most helpful one I've seen in a while is Benny Greb's Language of drumming, I say go out and get that one right now. Before that it was Chad Smith's VHS, but everything else I've seen has given me many hours of enjoyment + education. You might not be able to imitate everything you see in these videos but as the years go by you'll get better, and you'll remember cool fills and beats that eventually you'll be able to pull off, they stay with you.

I think the biggest pitfall for you will be learning technique on your own, so I will suggest you go and get Tommy Igoe's "great hands for a lifetime". There is also a Jojo Mayer technique video but I think the Tommy Igoe one is better because it has some practice routines and you can sit there in front of the tv/computer with a practice pad everyday and you won't be confused about what you need to do.

Those two dvds and playing along to music should keep you busy enough for a year.


Platinum Member
Although I am a drum teacher, I am speaking as a student - a piano student.

I thought that with my knowledge of music theory and overall music experience I would be able to teach myself jazz piano. I already had some piano skills from piano class in college. And of course there is so much out there - books, youtube, etc...

Well, after trying to teach myself for months I found a teacher and signed up for lessons. I learned more in the first few lessons than in all the months of "trying it myself." And of course without a teacher it is really difficult to develop an appropriate technique.

One on one lessons are best, but if there is no one in your area, try Skype lessons. You can also try your local colleges to find out who the percussion instructor is. If he/she does not teach private lessons or drumset, he may be able to provide a few leads. You can also try contacting the local high school band directors. They often employ a percussion instructor to work with their marching band. That instructor may also offer private lessons.