FIND AN INSTRUCTOR
Private, professional in-person drum lessons are a great way to fine tune your unique skills, develop your practice regimen and gauge your overall interest in various drumming styles. A watchful eye can help you get the most out of your practice sessions and prevent you from developing bad habits. Use these tips to find a credible drum instructor:
- The Sabian Education Network is a worldwide network of drum teachers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your location (city, country), and someone will respond with a list of private teachers in your area!
- Word of mouth: ask other drummers who they would recommend.
- At local gigs, ask drummers you like if they teach private lessons or who they recommend for drum lessons.
- Tweet your favorite drummers living in, or touring through, your area and ask if they are offering drum lessons.
- Write instructors at music colleges like Los Angeles College of Music and Berklee College of Music. Many instructors can be reached through the school or their contact information is listed on the school website. Many offer private lessons when they are not teaching classes.
- Rehearsal studios often have message boards with local instructors. Identify someone with similar musical tastes and contact them.
- Search for drum lessons online and find recommendations through drumming magazines like DRUM! or Modern Drummer.
Reverb.com offers a vetted drum instructor directory with location based results including instructor profile, picture, pricing and availability. After answering a few brief questions, "Lesson Match" aims to find an instructor that's right for you with a click of the button. You can book your lessons directly though the website.
DRUMEO's teacher directory is also robust with complete teacher listings showing photo, pricing and availability. Search by name or look for instructors by city or zip code. Search by specialty, online/in-person or both, and see if your instructor has passed a background check!
Over the last decade, drum education apps and websites have grown in popularity as students can learn to play drums from anywhere in the world, anytime. Via live streams or pre-recorded content, students can pick and choose lessons a la carte or via monthly and annual subscriptions. Beware -- online lessons leave you open for distraction, require more self-discipline and its easy to misinterpret or misunderstand information presented. Playdrums.com recommends exploring free trials for the following sites to see if online lessons is a good fit for you.
Don Lombardi, Founder of Drum Workshop, Inc. (DW Drums), launched Drum Channel so the top professional drummers can teach lessons to drummers of all skill levels. More than 800 hours of content is available to subscribers including Lessons, "Secrets from the Pros" and Master Classes featuring Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, Chad Smith, Mike Clark, Dave Elitch and more.
Celebrating its 5th Anniversary and voted best educational website by DRUM! Magazine in 2014, 2015 and 2016, DRUMEO offers an organized, step-by-step curriculum, progress tracking and daily live lessons. Drumeo's "Rudiment King" app "gamifies" drumming for a new way to learn the fundamentals. Tony Royster Jr. is a guest instructor.
VIC FIRTH EDUCATION RESOURCE LIBRARY
Vic Firth's website offers video lessons, play-along audio files, charts and articles from top Vic Firth artists and educators. Videos are free to watch. From essential techniques to drum, cymbal and stick selection, the world's biggest drumstick manufacturer has you covered with Drumset 101.
Mike Johnston left a major label deal with his global touring band to pursue music education as a private lesson instructor. Today, MikesLessons.com is one of the most popular and trusted sources for lessons online. He offers live and pre-recorded lessons as well as an archived "lesson library" for a la carte purchases. He also hosts ten international drum camps each year at the Mikeslessons.com studio facility.
Watch a short documentary about Mike here.
Drum Guru is an app for iOS and Android featuring dedicated lesson packs from the pros including Tommy Igoe, Chad Smith, Mike Mangini, Peter Erskine, Mike Portnoy, Steve Smith, Steve Gadd and many more. They offer tips and insights and demonstrate fills, grooves and licks one-on-one!