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10 Important Qualities to Look For in a Drum Teacher

February 9, 2023

10 Important Qualities to Look For in a Drum Teacher


Want to learn to play the drums? Signing up for private lessons — and finding a qualified teacher to guide you along the way — is key to your success. Here, Virginia Beach, VA teacher Jeff Z. shares a few things you should keep your eye out for as you look for a teacher for either you or your child…

Finding the right drum teacher is important. You want someone who can help you improve your skills and who has the same musical vision as you. Here are 10 qualities to look for in a drum teacher.

Do You Need a Teacher to Learn Drums?

The simple answer is no, you don’t need a teacher to learn drums – but it might make the process a whole lot easier (and more fun). There are many benefits of hiring a drum teacher, such as that a drum teacher:

  • Can help you learn good technique
  • Will demonstrate proper form
  • Can give you feedback on the process
  • Will show you new concepts
  • Can challenge you to push yourself
  • May introduce  you to new songs and styles of playing

In short, a drum teacher can be a valuable asset in your musical journey. So if you’re serious about learning drums, why not consider finding a qualified instructor to help you along the way? 

And check out the video below to get an even better idea of everything you can learn in drum lessons: 

Looking for Drum Teacher? Follow These Tips

Looking for a qualified and engaging drum teacher isn’t always easy. If this is your first time looking for a drum instructor, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I start?” How do I find the perfect person to help me learn to play the drums? The following guide will help you identify the unique qualities to look for in a drum teacher.

1. You like the way they play

You or your child should enjoy listening to the way your teacher plays. Even though a good teacher doesn’t try to impart his or her style into students, as an artist their fundamental playing style needs to be approachable, enjoyable, and engaging. Look for someone who sounds like a professional.

2. Performance experience

Music is a communal experience. As such, the ability to play complicated patterns, mind-blowing fills, and crunching beats doesn’t mean much if the drummer can’t work with a band or an ensemble. Try to find an instructor who knows what it means to be part of a larger musical experience. Especially for a beginner, there is no more fun way to learn how to play the drums than by playing with others.

3. Patience

Learning any new skill is a journey. You need an instructor who is willing to have your back for the long haul. As your instructor develops a learning relationship with you and/or your child, expect there to be ebbs and flows. There will be weeks when life gets in the way of practice. There will also be weeks when it may seem like progress is stalling. A good instructor is one who can go with the flow and find ways to make the most out of every session. Patience is the key to taking the time and effort to understanding the needs and abilities of his or her student.

4. Other musical interests

Music doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Drums are but one part of the rich spectrum of ways to experience music in our lives. Expect your teacher to have other interests than playing their drum set. The best instructors are often those who also know fundamental music theory, another instrument, or are songwriters. Having that additional skill set affords the instructor the ability to expose you to what being a well-versed musician means.

5. Ability to infuse excitement

You should always walk away from a lesson thinking, “I can DO this!” Good teachers infuse excitement into their students’ every session, encouraging them to work on their skills and providing positive feedback that promotes practice and dedication. Keeping the fire alive is a critical element to sustained improvement (and happier students).

6. Makes practice fun

Ah, the classic dreaded practice time. Who likes to sit alone in a room and work on hand and feet patterns? MY students! The ability to make practice fun is an especially vital skill for teachers with young students. Look for an instructor that implements games and reward systems into the weekly ‘homework.’ Finding ways to make practice fun guarantees your child will actually want to work on his or her improvement.

7. Knows current trends

Forward thinking drum teachers are here in the now. They are aware of the current trends in music, what artist is #1 on the charts, and who their students admire. Any genuinely tuned-in musician is interested in all music; your teacher should be tuned in to what gets their student excited. They should be able to demonstrate how what they are teaching sounds like songs on the radio.

8. Responsibility

The student-teacher relationship is a social contract. As a student, you will put in the work: you’ll show up for lessons, practice at home, and apply what you’ve learned. As your teacher, I will always be on time, I will provide a safe and clean studio, and I will dedicate my effort to ensure you are reaching your goals. Your drum teacher should have excellent communication, organization, and people skills. You are their client — expect a professional.

9. Flexibility

Flexibility is nothing more than listening to the student to understand their goals and dreams. Too many drum teachers follow a method book with blinders on, leading to bored students who aren’t understanding how learning ‘paradiddles’ leads to rocking grooves. A great drum teacher follows a method but tailors it for each student’s unique needs and wants.

10. Shows you the path

How many times have we wondered in school, “WHY am I learning this?” It’s asked so many times by frustrated students because, well, it’s a GREAT question! The WHY is as important as the HOW. I always show my students the path — why are we learning ‘flams’ on the snare drum today? Because in a month I’ll show you how to translate that into some really complicated fills on the toms. Give the student a map to their learning, and they’ll want to follow.

Can You Teach Yourself Drums?

Can’t find the perfect drum teacher? And is a drum teacher needed, really, or can you just teach yourself? There are various pros and cons associated with teaching yourself drums rather than working with a drum teacher.

Learning to play the drums is a complex and challenging task, requiring years of practice and dedication. However, some people are determined to take matters into their own hands and teach themselves how to play, regardless of the challenges that come with doing so. 


While self-taught drummers may not achieve the same degree of mastery as those who study under professional instructors, there are numerous benefits to teaching yourself how to play this intricate and fascinating instrument. 

For one thing, you gain the freedom to practice at your own pace, without having to adhere to the schedules and requirements of an instructor. You can also devote more time and attention to certain areas that may be challenging or lacking in your playing abilities. 


One of the biggest disadvantages of learning to play drums without a teacher is that it can be difficult to develop good technique. A novice drummer may not have access to the necessary tools, such as drum sticks or drum pads, and may not know how to set up their drums in an effective way. Additionally, they may lack guidance on how to interpret the rhythms and beats commonly used in different styles of music. Without this knowledge, it can be challenging for a beginner to make progress and become proficient at playing their chosen instrument.

Another potential drawback of relying solely on self-study when learning drums is that it can take longer to achieve the same level of mastery as someone who has access to expert instruction. 

Due to their lack of experience and knowledge, novice players are often slower at developing new skills, which means they may spend much more time practicing individual techniques than an experienced player would need. 

While tenacity and practice certainly go a long way in improving one’s drumming abilities, having professional guidance from an experienced instructor can also help speed up the learning process.

In conclusion, there are many potential downsides associated with teaching yourself how to play drums instead of seeking formal instruction from a qualified teacher. Ultimately, whether or not one chooses this method

Overall, while it is certainly not easy, self-taught drumming has its own unique rewards that make it a worthwhile pursuit for anyone with a passion for music.

How Much is a Drum Teacher?

A drum teacher can be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning to play drums. Not only do they have years of experience and expertise when it comes to drums, but they also have extensive knowledge of music theory and technique that can help you to improve your skills. 

The cost of a drum teacher varies depending on things like their level of expertise and the type of lessons you are looking for. For example, if you are just starting out and would like some basic instruction on how to hold the drum sticks and hit the drums properly, then a beginner lesson package might be all you need. 

On the other hand, if you are an experienced drummer looking for guidance on advanced techniques or tips for improving your performances, then you might need a more specialized or customized lesson plan from an experienced pro. 

Ultimately, the cost of a drum teacher will depend on what exactly you are looking for from your lessons, so it’s important to consider your goals before starting your search. But with so many options available today, there is sure to be a drum teacher out there that can help you achieve your musical goals, whatever they may be.

How Do I Become a Drum Teacher? 

Are you interested in teaching kids drums? If so, you might be curious about how to teach drums and make some money for it. 

To become a drum teacher, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some key steps you can take to increase your chances of success. 

First, it is important to have a strong understanding of the instrument you will be teaching. 

Not only do you need to know how to play the drums, but you also need to have a thorough knowledge of music theory. 

In addition, it is helpful to have experience performing in a band or orchestra. This will give you a better sense of how to teach students who are working towards becoming professional musicians. 

Finally, it is also important to be patient and good at communicating with people of all ages. 

After all, learning how to play the drums can be a challenging process, and it is your job as a teacher to help your students overcome any obstacles they may face. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of becoming a successful drum teacher.

 Drum Teacher Needed! How to Find the Best One

If you’re looking for a drum teacher, it can be tough to know where to start. There are so many things to consider! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These were ten important qualities to look for in a drum teacher. We hope this helps make your decision easier and leads to finding the perfect instructor for you and your family. 

Look for these essential qualities in a teacher and you’ll learn to play the drums quicker than you can imagine.

Have you tried drum lessons yet? Let us know how it goes in the comments below!


Jeff Z. teaches drums, ear training, music performance, music theory, and songwriting in Virginia Beach, VA. He received his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory. Jeff has been teaching private lessons for 15 years. Learn more about Jeff Z. here!



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