Should i teach drums at my age and level

porky

Member
I just wanna describe myself as a drummer first, because honestly, i do not know how good i am compared to the world and i don't bother to, i play drums because i love drums.

I'm age 15.

Anyways, songs i can currently play smoothly for example are

-Smells like teen spirit
-The pretender
-Bohemian Rhapsody
-Some groovy Bossa Novas

I can basically play rock some times with no issues, at most so far iv'e needed to check a video/see a music sheet to learn the beat

I'm not good enough to play something like whiplash (hank levy), in the sense that ill probably need to take 2 to 3 weeks to learn the song smoothly, like 2 3 days a week? I don't really play jazz either, unless the drum groove is very groovy like Bossa Nova, which i play some Bossa Novas here and there

Iv'e performed roughly 3 times over the course of a year,having to study as well in singapore.. I have to prioritise studies first, therefore i didn't perform often,but iv'e no issues in performance.

For my music theory side, I have not taken grades, but im in concert band percussion, and we play roughly grade 3 to 5 scores. In my concert band theres no actual side reading kinda fiasco,so im not so sure about my side reading capabilities

Im asked to perform regularly after exams, at a church, a prom, in school, and so on.


So basically, i want to teach drums for a few reasons:

1.) I'm looking to venture into this industry
2.) I'm also looking to have a job in the holidays, and i wanna make use of my skills first, therefore i'm going with teaching drums as my first option.
3.) I've impromptu teach drums to my friends, and i'm a senior in concert band, so i'm supposed to help my juniors, in which i teach them and i don't find it boring or anything


Should i go for it? Music is definitely my career path, i'm just not very sure which specific path to go with.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You mention a lot of negatives about your own thoughts as to where you stand and based on that I would not suggest it at this time. I have certain skills and would love to teach others but at some point they are going to want to read music and that is my weakness. I would suggest waiting until you are better at reading, and better at. "I can basically play rock some times with no issues", and "im not so sure about my side reading capabilities". I think you mean sight reading. Love the ambition but would reccommend waiting at this time.
 
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Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Sounds like you could teach a total beginner.

I have done a bit of teaching, it helped me to teach myself but I make sure I give the right advice. Maybe you should get lessons from a great teacher simultaneously and they will be a model of perfection for you to mimmick.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Agree with Duck Tape and have one more question. How are you with the basic rudiments? When I was in school 14 people started drum lessons thinking they were going to sit down behind a set of drums and go crazy. We spent half of the year just doing rudiments which are the starting point, in my opinion, for any drummer. We then starting reading music charts. We saw a drum for the first time after about 6 months. So I guess my main question is, Do you want to teach drums, or how to play a set of drums?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
A few thoughts:

I would focus more on learning rather than teaching right now. Do seek out other drummers, talk to them, and help them if they need help, but your main job now is to learn, and develop your abilities. There is a lot to learn to be a professional musician. You won't be able to do it if you just learn the music your school gives you.

You should performing, seeing professional drummers perform, playing music with people, and practicing as much as you can. Get lessons if you can afford them-- there should be some American drummers working in Singapore (like, playing at the big hotels)-- seek them out for that. If you can't afford lessons, seek them out anyway, see them play, and talk to them.

If you want to be a musician, time spent playing and practicing is as important as anything else you do. Do your school work, but music is your number one priority.

Finally, about playing: Your job as a professional drummer is very different from what you're doing right now. Mainly, you will have to sound good playing things you've never heard before, without music, the first time you play them. Try to figure out how you do that.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I'm afraid I'm going to have to say 'no, not yet'.

I work alongside a number of professional instrumental teachers on a daily basis and every single one of them is a monster player. Most of them, particularly the two drum teachers, play regular well-paying gigs to high-profile artists and at theatres. The singing teachers sing opera around the country. The piano teacher teaches 8 hours a day, five days a week in a variety of contexts. One of our violin teachers played with an internationally touring orchestra. That's for starters.

These guys make a living playing their instrument. They have no other income and they are playing every single day. I'm a 'decent' drummer, I can play the guitar and I can play the bass. There is no way that I would even consider teaching, knowing what skills these guys have - I would be a total hack.

In fact, we have one student who has lessons outside of where I work and his teacher has taught him incredibly badly, scraping through exams and with no theory. As a result, he's hit a brick wall. Sure, he can play a bit but he doesn't know any theory, can't sightread and can't play with others - that's a real problem.

It's not even all about the ability. Teaching is a separate set of skills independent of your ability to play the instrument.

There are some great teachers out there and there are some terrible teachers out there that give other teachers a bad name. If you want to make a full-time living out of it, work on your playing first and then look at teaching. Being able to play at a basic level is not enough to make a living and you will not attract students.

You're 15 - so you have plenty of time to get there. I wish you the best of luck.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Adding to Todds' great advice, if there are any clinics in the area music stores where pros are presenting, GO. At your age the number of venues you can attend to see live bands may be limited, buy watch any live performances you can.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Difficult to say. Some people know almost everything there is to know about a given subject, but dont have the skill set needed to pass it on to others. That is a gift in itself. You may not know a great deal about drumming, yet, but you may be a natural at inspiring others and helping overcome sticking points.

As long as you are honest when describing the level of instruction you can offer I dont see a problem with you having a go. Anyway, you may not like the experience, doing is different to teaching. Give it a go, even free of charge and see if you can make it work. Lots of beginners just want to know if they can master a basic beat and have the aptitude for limb separation. Things like reading etc can be left till much later, assuming students want to keep there drumming going. At that point you could pass them on to a more experienced teacher while you get your skills up to speed.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm going to have to join in with the "no" crowd here.

While teaching is a different skill than playing, I don't think it's time to teach when you still have basic questions about your own playing.
 

porky

Member
Agree with Duck Tape and have one more question. How are you with the basic rudiments? When I was in school 14 people started drum lessons thinking they were going to sit down behind a set of drums and go crazy. We spent half of the year just doing rudiments which are the starting point, in my opinion, for any drummer. We then starting reading music charts. We saw a drum for the first time after about 6 months. So I guess my main question is, Do you want to teach drums, or how to play a set of drums?
I definitely can teach basic rudiments if thats what you're asking? I plan to use the rudiments to show fill ins, for example lets say a paradiddle, i want to show how you can incorporate a paradiddle into a fill, and you can make a paradiddle groove as well.

Im very enthusiastic about music, I love to see people learn play drums, not necessarily the process,but when they can play, its rewarding,so in some ways i want to teach drums, but i know that teaching takes alot of patience and care as well and teaching isn't a light work whatsoever.

Im very likely gonna go for pure beginners if i ever decide to teach, because im teaching in the holidays only and im not sure if im gonna continue after the holidays, because i got O lvls :'(
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
That is great. Again I love the enthusiasm. But you bring another point to the table. I'm thinking students will want to have their instruction or tuition to be a scheduled thing like once a week and not just when you are on holiday or breaks from school. For most student s that would be saturdays or evenings on a recurring basis. Just food for thought.
 

porky

Member
That is great. Again I love the enthusiasm. But you bring another point to the table. I'm thinking students will want to have their instruction or tuition to be a scheduled thing like once a week and not just when you are on holiday or breaks from school. For most student s that would be saturdays or evenings on a recurring basis. Just food for thought.
Definitely, that is the biggest problem hah, would it be a good idea if i were to start with just 1/2 students? Or i can have something like a beginners course such that people will know that i'm committing only a month or 2 worth of teaching?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
if I may be frank ...

if you do end up "teaching" someone I would't take any money for it

I don't believe anyone should pay to be taught by someone who should be in the beginning stages of learning themselves

why not spend time studying the craft yourself so that you actually have something to offer down the road ?

showing someone how to play a drum beat is not teaching ... it is showing them to play a drum beat

teaching is sharing years of experience & knowledge and helping someone understand what they need to improve in specific areas ... helping them get the best out of their abilities ... and helping them to eventually become self sufficient .
sometimes it also means being a mentor and unlicensed therapist.

not sure you are ready for that just yet by what you describe

but I have no doubt that you could show someone how to play a few drum beats out of the kindness of your heart ... go for it
+100 X 1000. ....................
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
if I may be frank ...

if you do end up "teaching" someone I would't take any money for it

I don't believe anyone should pay to be taught by someone who should be in the beginning stages of learning themselves

why not spend time studying the craft yourself so that you actually have something to offer down the road ?

showing someone how to play a drum beat is not teaching ... it is showing them to play a drum beat

teaching is sharing years of experience & knowledge and helping someone understand what they need to improve in specific areas ...having an answer for every question .... helping them get the best out of their abilities ... and helping them to eventually become self sufficient .
sometimes it also means being a mentor and unlicensed therapist.

not sure you are ready for that just yet by what you describe

but I have no doubt that you could show someone how to play a few drum beats out of the kindness of your heart and that will be great experience for when you are ready to share your craft with others ... ... go for it
This is precisely it, apart from one small thing.

Teaching is also having the humility to sometimes turn around and say 'I don't know, I will look into that'.

Showing someone a few things on the kit is fine - but it's not 'teaching' the drums.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I don't mean this in a mean way, but it sounds like you are probably a beginner yourself. If you can only lst about 4 songs that you are able to play smoothly, and you can't really read music, it would be tough to teach someone, as most students would probably be at the same level you are.

I'd focus a little bit more on learning at this time. Learning to read/write music is critical is you want to be a working drummer, and music theory is going to be very important if you want to play any styles that aren't rock/pop.

Again, I'm not trying to be mean, but it sounds like you should be focusing on learning the drums right now, not teaching them to others.
 

Brian

Gold Member
I say go for it. Look at some of these online drum "teachers" out there doing videos and etc...no need to mention names...if they are teachers, anyone can be.
 
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