Excited to learn the drums? If you’ve opted for in-home lessons, check out these pointers from teacher Lauren P. to make the most of your time…
If you are nervous about how to prepare for your first drum lesson, relax — your lack of experience makes you the perfect student. Remember that teachers get nervous as well. They don’t want you to be an expert who doesn’t need their help. They want you to be friendly, interested, and willing to listen to their advice.
When you sign up for lessons, you may notice that some teachers offer the option of in-home lessons. Follow these simple steps to prepare for your first drum lesson in your home.
1. Come prepared with questions and new material
Use your lack of experience and knowledge to your advantage. No teacher wants a student who knows everything already. Be upfront about your shortcomings and goals, and your teacher will be relieved to have such a great student. If you have an “assignment” you want to learn, show your teacher a song link or piece of sheet music you want to learn. If possible, email or text him or her ahead of time with your ideas. This may allow him or her to come prepared with some engaging and helpful materials. During your school, band, or independent practice, take note of any questions or challenges you face. Write them down so you remember to ask for tips during your lesson.
2. Ask for a homework assignment
The best preparation is proactive preparation. If you speak with your teacher before your first lesson, consider asking the following questions:
- “Should I buy any specific book(s)?”
- “Should I practice specific pages or techniques ahead of time?”
- “Do I need a drum pad, snare drum, or drum set?”
- “Do I need any specific accessories like a metronome or drum brush?”
- “Are there websites or YouTube links I should use to preview any skills or techniques ahead of time?”
Write down any instructions, materials, tips, tricks, song links, and page numbers you will need for practicing purposes. Keep these written assignments with your drum and workbooks so you don’t waste valuable practice time looking for materials.
If your tutor suggests pages from a book, practice them and strive to move on to the next skill or difficulty level. By mastering or at least introducing yourself to the piece of music, you will learn at a much faster pace. Showing this extra commitment will encourage your teacher to expect more from you, push you further, and help you learn the drums in less time.
3. Make a daily schedule: commitment over quantity
Do not wait until 10 minutes before your first lesson to warm up. The best way to prepare for your first drum lesson is to practice 10 or 20 minutes every day instead of one hour the day before your first lesson. You should schedule this practice time into your day just like you would schedule an appointment or class. Scheduling means you do not waste time making excuses or thinking about when or how long you will practice. Instead you simply practice when it is time for practice!
If you already have some experience playing the drums, practicing every day builds muscle memory and eliminates the threat of forgetting a skill. If you are completely new to drumming, search for YouTube videos of basic drum techniques, or simply pay attention to drum beats when listening to music. Spending 10 minutes a day attempting to replicate what you heard or saw will definitely help you as you learn the drums.
4. Have materials ready
When taking drum lessons in your home, the last thing you want to do is waste time or money. Now that you are mentally prepared for your lesson, it is time to get physically prepared! Don’t waste your valuable lesson time finding sheet music, song links, or other materials. Keep your drum set and supplies organized and in their appropriate places to avoid any wasted time looking for what you need. If you bring materials back and forth from home to school, make a habit of putting your drum sticks and sheet music back where they belong the moment you get home. When your drum teacher arrives, you should be ready to take a seat at your drum and get started immediately.
Good luck with your drum lessons! Don’t have a teacher yet? Search for a drum teacher in your area here!
Lauren played concert snare drum and the drum set for five years and acted as a private teacher for the snare drum and drum set for three years. Currently she tutors various subjects in New York, NY. Learn more about Lauren here!
Photo by cbamber85