Learning to Play the Drums
Drums represent the driving force behind the band, and the fire underneath the group that propels the forward motion of a song. Time, meter, pulse, and groove are critical elements in any song, and the drums are a cornerstone piece of any ensemble. Today, students have many options for learning drums—including in-home lessons, group lessons, and online drums lessons.
As music making becomes easier and more commonplace with all the apps and technology available, online drum lessons are an effective way to learn the instrument and get started playing immediately. Demand for online drum lessons has increased dramatically recently, and many virtual options exist to avoid in-person interactions. With various technology enhancements to improve the lesson experience, teachers have been able to adapt by delivering virtual drums lessons that exceed expectations. With Forbes Music, drum teachers have resources to utilize new engagement techniques and communicate challenging concepts easily, improving the efficacy in private drum lessons.
The virtual marketplace gives potential students so many choices when it comes to finding drum teachers. Whether searching for in-home drum lessons or lessons online, it can be tough for someone at any level to know what they are looking for. At Forbes Music, we do the hard part for you as we work closely with our teaching partners to pair each student with the online drums teacher that best suits their personal music learning needs.
Here is a brief overview of what potential students should expect, as well as a guide to help you decide if online drum lessons are right for you.
Online Drum Lessons Vs. In-Home
There are advantages and disadvantages to in-home drum lessons and drum lessons online. In addition to obvious things like personal interaction, physical demonstration, detailed technique explanations, and putting the drums together, consider time, scheduling flexibility and policies to help make the best choice. With drum lessons in your home, a student can have a teacher travel to them and work on material that may be perfect for the student’s personal drum set. Online drum lessons can offer much the same, but lack some physical presence that can often help overcome certain obstacles.
Can you teach yourself drums with online videos?
Attempting to learn drums online without a teacher or professional assistance can be precarious and certainly comes with its own unique set of challenges. Without guidance and oversight, it’s easy to develop bad habits and fail to develop strong technical fundamentals without even realizing it. And with poor technique, it will be difficult to play certain passages, beats, and rudiments that are important to overall musicianship. Therefore, learning from pre-recorded videos is not a great way for most to learn how to play drums. Drums are a very physical instrument and can be difficult to learn without live teacher interaction in private lessons.
Private online drum lessons can be critical to building the solid foundation needed to excel, and help with things like posture, sight-reading, learning grooves and stick rudiments. Even easy concepts, without having in-depth explanations from an experienced drum teacher, may leave students confused and stunt growth. A great drum instructor has the ability and experience to overcome any challenges relating to drums lessons online. Needless to say, both virtual drum lessons and in-home drum lessons offer incredible results that can not be matched by using pre-recorded videos.
A key benefit of online drum lessons, as opposed to drum lessons in-home, is that the student is not limited to a single local teacher available in their area. Sometimes the best drum teacher for a student is in a different city or even region. In this case, the student will benefit from specifically online lessons.
How do online drum lessons work?
There are many things that go into a successful online music lesson, including technique exercises like rudiments, hand and foot independence practice, sight-reading, repertoire and songs, creating basic beats and learning fills. While in-home lessons have many benefits, learning how to play drums online has significant upsides. A drum teacher can work with students on understanding the parts and pieces of the set, how it fits together, and dive into simple concepts to get started. Beyond caring for the drum set, beginner drum lessons will likely focus on posture, holding the sticks, using a drum pad, striking the drum heads and cymbals, using pedals, and making sounds. Beginners may often focus solely on practicing with a drum pad or snare when just starting until some basic skills develop. It’s important for teachers to focus on musical concepts early on, like dynamics, phrasing, and articulation. And much like any music lesson, a teacher will work with students through a variety of stages within the lesson time including warm ups, sight-reading, technical exercises, repertoire, and performance attributes.
Preparation is one of the most important things in virtual drum lessons, so a student can really get the most out of it. Having the drums set up and ready to play with the camera in place will help make the lesson more efficient. Students should have goals to discuss with their instructor, so the drum teacher can tailor the lessons specifically to those preferences. An experienced drum teacher will likely send a follow up with notes covering the lesson content, helpful tips to remember and homework assignments to work on before the next lesson.
Is an online or in-home drum teacher worth it?
A private drum teacher is definitely worth it and beginner drums lessons are the perfect way to learn how to play drums. Trying to master concepts using easily accessible online videos is not likely to give custom tailored instructional content that is specific to a student’s needs. Every person learns differently and a good music teacher understands this. Therefore having that personal interaction with a teacher is what can help students overcome their unique challenges and thrive. The greatest drummers make it look easy, but learning the drums took years of practice with expert guidance. Personalized feedback is important in the early stages of learning, so all the nuances can be addressed thoroughly before issues and bad habits develop. Often those just starting out lack the knowledge or foundation to benefit from pre-recorded videos. If something is misunderstood, it can send the student down a dangerous path that could lead to extremely poor mechanics. Until a significant amount of skills are developed, videos can lack subtle elements that would be important for beginners just getting started. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so a private drum teacher will be able to navigate the unique learning path of a particular student, ensuring positive progress every step of the way.
Finding a teacher can be easy. At Forbes Music, we work with exceptional drum instructors committed to providing a world class experience that makes online music lessons fun and engaging. We work with beginners and young children, as well as older adults and professionals. Whether it’s online lessons with a teacher outside your area or a local teacher for in-home lessons, we’re equipped to make sure the right teacher is available at the time you need.
Meet a Few Of Our Teachers
How Skill And Age Relate To Drum Lessons
Anyone can learn to play drums at any age and online lessons are a great way to get started. Forbes Music works with incredible instructors who deliver both online drum lessons for kids and drums lessons for adults. Learning to play drums comes with so many benefits, including those beyond simply playing songs. Drum lessons can help kids build confidence and improve fine motor skills and coordination. Drum lessons can also positively affect many aspects of learning and brain development. Generally speaking, those involved in music lessons will often enjoy better problem solving skills, and better overall test scores and school performance.
Learning drums as an adult will strengthen coordination and balance, while also sharpening reasoning skills and cognition. Drums lessons for adults have shown to also improve problem solving skills leading to better work performance overall.
What age should a child start taking drum lessons?
All children can benefit from starting drums lessons at an early age. Success can depend on the child’s personal development, fine motor skills, and interest overall. Because of that, there is no concrete rule regarding how old a child must be. Studies have proven that drum lessons for kids have benefits that extend throughout adulthood, so starting drums as a child is the perfect way to build a foundational relationship with music that will develop over the course of their lives.
What should a beginner drummer learn?
Drums lessons for beginners will often focus on rudiments and technique. It’s common for teachers to often have their students use a drum pad or practice bad early on to develop these skills before moving to a drum set and studying hand and foot independence. With a practice pad, drum students can focus on simple concepts without the distraction of all the parts of a larger drum set.
Basic mechanics are an important first step to learning drums. Everything from how to hold a stick, pressure and force when striking the drum head, controlling the bounce or rebound, and using both hands and feet are concepts a student should expect to cover as a beginner. More experienced students will learn phrasing, more complex patterns, drums fills, cymbal work, and repertoire.
Beyond basic fundamentals, students will learn how to listen to drum beats and identify patterns and phrasing. Teachers will also focus on core music concepts like key centers, time signatures and reading music. As students progress, they will learn songs and develop repertoire that they can perform in a variety of contexts.
Can adults learn to play the drums?
Learning to play drums can be achieved at any age, young or old. Adult drum students will often find accelerated success early on simply because of matured fine motor skills. Learning the drums is a lifelong endeavor, but learning the songs you love could happen as early as your first lesson. At Forbes Music, we believe that any time is the right time to begin drums lessons.
Drums lessons for adults have significant benefits to overall health and well being. Studies have proven drums to strengthen coordination and balance, while music in general can improve memory capacity and processing speed, as well as delay cognitive decline. Adult drum students will find lessons to be a great help to their mental health and confidence. Regardless of age or motivation, at Forbes, we can help find a drum lesson plan that aligns with your schedule and skill level.
Cost And Time Investment for Drum Lessons
The cost of drum lessons can vary significantly depending on the types of lessons and equipment involved. Learning drums takes time, consistency, and requires patience. Questions often arise that ask how long it takes to learn drums or how often lessons should be scheduled. Commitment is the key ingredient. Consider how much time can be dedicated to perfecting the craft and those questions will be easily answered.
What is the cost of taking drum lessons?
The cost of drum lessons may depend on the amount of time scheduled, whether the lessons are in-home or online, and the commitment level or scheduling plan of the student. A longer lesson may be incrementally more expensive than a shorter one. But the value will often be greater as well. Additionally, making a commitment for a month, a semester, or a year, could likely reduce the cost per lesson. Definitely consider a longer commitment to reduce the cost burden. Online lessons may also come at a lower cost, since the teacher may not need to factor in transportation and hauling equipment.
How much does a drum set cost?
The cost of the drums depends on several factors, whether it’s rented or purchased, the items and pieces included, the brand, and materials. Beginner drum sets, intermediate sets, and professional sets will differ significantly in quality, materials, included items, and cost.
Purchasing a drum kit can seem like a daunting task, but a little research can go a long way. Beginner drum sets can cost anywhere from $250-500, and generally contain all the hardware and cymbals needed for a beginner to begin playing immediately. Intermediate drum sets will generally cost from $500-1500 and are likely made of better materials and higher quality wood. These kits come in what is referred to as shell packs, meaning they do not include hardware or cymbals. Professional drum kits also come in shell packs, are constructed of the highest quality woods and metals for optimal sound, and stay in tune much longer than beginner or intermediate drum sets. These drum sets will cost $1500+ but will last a lifetime.
Hardware and cymbals will need to be purchased for both intermediate and professional kits and can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the brand and quality of the parts.
Are online or in-home drum lessons worth it?
Drums lessons with a private teacher are absolutely worth it. Lessons are generally scheduled once per week, although often students choose to schedule private lessons multiple times weekly or every other week. Auditions, performances, and recitals are good reasons to schedule extra lessons when needed.
The most important thing to remember is that in order to get the most out of your lessons, it is important to set aside practice time during the week. Without repetition, it will be difficult to develop muscle memory and the skills necessary to play drums. Improvement is directly correlated with the amount of time a student practices outside of a lesson. Taking time each week to practice drums will inevitably help accelerate learning, and by extension, the amount of time it takes to play the music you love.