Real life versus online
So you’ve finally decided to get some drum lessons. There are lots of online courses, webinars and You Tube videos out there – and many of them are free – but there is no substitute for personal one on one drum lessons. Let’s be honest – you wouldn’t try to learn karate, soccer or hang-gliding online, why would music lessons be any different? A set of videos cannot give you personal advice like a drum teacher can, based on observation of your playing and knowing exactly what you want to learn, at your own pace.
Talk to your drum teacher
Sit down with your teacher during your lesson and tell him or her how you want to progress with the drums. They can tell you if your ideas are realistic or if you need to rethink your ambitions. Together you can set your goals, agree a teaching plan, and work towards those goals each week. A good drum teacher will understand what you want to achieve, and their teaching methods and advice will adapt to your specific needs. They can watch you play and see where you are going wrong and what you need to do to fix it.
With a real drummer acting as your teacher you can ask questions, focus on the things that really interest you or challenge you, and also learn from their experiences as a musician – after all there should be more to your drum lessons than just learning rudiments and beats. Their stories about the bands they’ve played in, or advice about equipment, will all help you to grow and develop as a drummer and increase your understanding.
You gotta practise
And don’t forget, your drum teacher will still send you home each week with things you can use to continue your practise and learning between lessons, which may include links to online videos or other resources that can act as reminders.
The practise you do at home each week is essential if you are going to progress – it doesn’t matter how many drum lessons you have, nobody can learn to play an instrument in 30 minutes or an hour each week, no matter how good the teacher is. The secret to learning is repetition – this means you should practice each day between your lessons, for at least 15 – 20 minutes.
Tips for successful practise
- Space, man. Find somewhere to set up your drum kit where you can practice without disturbing people. This is easier with electronic kits than with acoustic drums. Maybe you can clear some space in the garage or shed, maybe its in your bedroom using drum pads, but you need to be able to practice when you want to, not just when everybody else is out of the house.
- Warm up. Successful drumming requires good co-ordination and your hands and feet won’t work properly if your muscles are cold or lazy. Ask your teacher to give you some good warm up exercises, and do these for the first five minutes of every practice session.
- Good times. Playing in time is crucial to making good music, and when we are learning new things it is tempting to slow down for the hard bits and speed up for the easy bits. Use a metronome and set it at a slow pace until you can play your song or exercise all the way through without mistakes, then crank it up a notch. Every time we can play the part at the new tempo, let’s turn it up again. This is the fastest way to learn how to play quickly.
- Make notes. Things you are struggling with, things you enjoy, things you’d like to understand more or better. When you think of them write them down so you don’t forget to talk to your teacher about them in your next drum lesson.
- Have fun. If you’re not enjoying it you might as well join the chess club.
Looking for Perth drum lessons? Contact Rock Scholars today to learn more or to make a booking and we will find you the perfect tutor and set you off on the road to greatness.