Today, the Internet abounds with tons of free online tutorials on how to play drums. So why would you be interested in private, one-on-one lessons? If you choose private drum lessons, you not only have to pay a teacher, but also to attend every single lesson. Although these two things may determine you to opt for a free online drum course, taking private lessons is actually the one thing you can’t ignore if you’re serious about playing drums.
Why? Well, simply because learning how to play drums correctly is more difficult than it seems. Chances are you’ll misinterpret something or develop a bad habit you may not even be aware of. Thus, to learn drums correctly, it’s imperative to correctly learn everything you need to know about playing the drums, without necessarily limiting yourself. This is where a qualified teacher can step in.
Private Drum Lessons: Are They for Everyone?
The unfortunate truth is that some drummers make little progress after years of studying drums on their own. And some of them are playing far below their potential. The reason? They’ve never had a qualified teacher to explain to them how to play with proper technique or how to read drum music – both necessary skills to help you elevate your skills as a drummer.
Max Weinberg, Dave Weckl, and Neil Peart – three top-notch drummers who have taken private lessons well into their professional years -prove that drummers of all levels should always be working to improve their skills!
Private lessons are a good choice because you get one-one-one guidance from a professional who can show you exactly what you need to work on. Since everyone learns (and teaches!) differently, finding the right teacher for you is key. Your teacher should be experienced and qualified but also know how to communicate, explain techniques well, and be patient. With a supportive teacher on your side, you’ll not only learn drums correctly, but also gain confidence, which is so important in achieving your goals!
Learn to Relax
Feet, hands, and passion – you may think that this is all you need to play drums like a pro. However, no matter what your goals in drumming are, you have to learn drums the right way if you want to make them sound alive. Learning proper foot and hand techniques is a key element that will dictate your success as a drummer. A good drum teacher can show you these techniques, as well as teach you how to relax while playing the drum set. Relaxation is critical because it can help you avoid many problems, such as getting out of sync with your band or speeding up without noticing.
When Feet and Hands Don’t Want to Work Together…
Many newbies have this problem. Could it be because most of them focus on their hands and ignore their feet when they first start to learn drums? You can easily avoid this issue if you work with a qualified teacher, who can identify where you’re stumbling, and assign you specific exercises that can help you improve.
Additionally, your teacher can teach you specific tips and tricks, such as playing the bass drum with your right heel up and the ball of your foot on the foot board, while lifting and lowering your leg when you need to get more power. If you intend to play soft music like jazz, your teacher may advise you to play with your right heel down and your foot flat on the pedal, pivoting from the ankle.
For perfect coordination, you need to also improve your hand technique. According to the best teachers, the only way to learn drums correctly is to know the basics very well. A solid foundation is the key to becoming a true professional.
Practice, Practice, and Practice Again
Many newbies are confident that they can learn how to play drums by themselves. However, most of them fail because they don’t set a regular practice schedule. Even if you create such a schedule, daily tasks can easily get in the way.
On the other hand, if you’re paying for your drum lessons, you’ll most probably do everything you can to attend all of them. Establishing a regular practice schedule is very important because it gives you the chance to learn exciting things and gain new skills, which can keep you interested and motivated. Further, a consistent drum practice routine will help you stay in great drumming shape.
Finally, a drum teacher can show you how to choose the best drum sticks, how to improve your posture and balance, how to practice at home without annoying your family and neighbors, how to continue improving your hand and foot techniques, and many other things. Above all these, a teacher can provide encouragement and support when you’re struggling.
Simply put, working with a qualified teacher to learn drums is one of the best decisions you can make. Not only can a professional direct you toward the best learning methods, but he or she can also help you achieve your musical goals without facing the hardships of self-learning. Good luck!
Photo by Seth Anderson