To lesson, or not to lesson


Silver Member
Ok folks, strange dilemma here.

Some of you may know I've been really getting into DCI style snare drumming over the past year, and being British, I've not had any proper education in it.

With a little help from my friends in America, I'm doing well, and feel I'm on the right path technically.

I recently learned that a local drummer has studied this style of snare drumming in America, and has been winning pipe drum snare championships for decades, and is still a regular competitor. How he did in this in the UK, I don't know, but he is very local and a friend of mine.

I had asked him for lessons in the snare drum, but I recently saw some work by him where he states, very emphatically, that he is not big on technique, and will adjust his grip, motions and strokes to make things easier to play.

Now, I am VERY big on correct technique, so this is a big turn off, yet he has been winning this DCI-style championships for years. Should I follow my gut feeling and stay away, or go in with an open mind and see what he has to offer? He's obviously talented, but as I say, I'm very big on correct technique, and all my snare practice has been getting my heights, strokes and articulation correct. I don't want to undo all of that.




Senior Member
I thought for competition that form was a huge part of the whole thing?

Basically, if you don't like how he plays, don't get him to teach you. You seem to be on the right track already, just keep at it and maybe watch some DCI comp videos online and source some more material so you keep learning properly.


Silver Member
Yes, that's what I thought. I don't think he has bad technique... he can't if he's won competitions, but... I don't know, it's like it's slackened slightly.


Silver Member
Correct Technique? I can tell you from studying myself with several very compitent and professional teachers, one having placed second in the DCI snare drum compettition 2 years in a row. And also having paid for my son to have lessons with some very high level teachers, including several top professional orchestral players. No two people think the same about snare technique. They are similar in most ways, but they often have subtle differences. So, don't go thinking you wouldn't learn something. Most great players will change the grip to get what they want. If you play timpani then you'd be changing your grip a lot to accomodate the sound you need on a particular note. The guy's doing something right if he's winning. Get in there and learn something!!!!!!!!



Platinum Member
Imagine you're an accomplished snare drummer who regularly wins competitions -- do you spend your time worrying about technique? Probably not, you already have good technique, so you refine other areas of your playing. And if your technique needs a minor tweak here and there to make a particular skill happen more easily, so be it. From this standpoint, there isn't one "correct" technique, there are only musical things that need to happen, and technique is derived from those musical demands, and not someone's idea of "correct".

Of course, this approach wouldn't be good for a beginner or even an intermediate. Rules and proper technique develop the muscles and reflexes. Once the development is in place, however, it's time for a more conceptual approach.


Platinum Member
I think you should get at least one lesson, you can check out what he has to offer and there's no harm to your progress. Worst case is you don't learn aything new and you move on, best case you could have a revelation that could change your playing for the best!


Junior Member
I doubt he has bad technique. You seem to have a great opportunity to learn from a great player, take it! If your technique is good already (and you know what good technique is), then you shouldn't fear falling into bad habits or anything because of this guy.


Silver Member
Thanks all. He has been in touch and does offer marching snare lessons, so I think I'll got and have a try and see how I get on.

I'll report back here and let you know.