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Do You Even Need A Drum Teacher?

- December 11, 2018

drum teacher

Beginner drummers nowadays often ask, “Is it worth the money to pay a drum teacher?”

In the information age, this is a fair question. Can’t you just learn how to play drums by using YouTube or other video tutorials? Can you teach yourself?

Well, yes. But should you?

What Does A Drum Teacher Do?

So, what are you getting for the $30-60 per hour you pay a drum teacher?

The main thing a drum teacher (or any type of instrument instructor) does is give you feedback. They can observe your technique and give you direct, personalized, immediate feedback. The fact that they can give you tips and guidance that’s specific to you is invaluable.

The other side of that coin is that you can ask direct questions of the teacher about your technique and get a direct answer. Every student is different and each has their own questions.

A teacher also holds you accountable. If you know you’re meeting with your teacher next Tuesday, that should give you the motivation to practice. To do on your homework.

What Are Alternatives To A Drum Teacher?

The two biggest alternatives to a drum teacher are online courses and teaching yourself.

Online drumming courses can either be paid or free, like YouTube tutorials. Teaching yourself usually involves playing along with your favorite songs, reading articles or books, and watching some YouTube videos.

Heck, some of the best drummers taught themselves, like Phil Collins and John Bonham.

While many people do well by taking a course or teaching themselves, there are some downsides to them.

Online courses are not specific to you, you can’t usually get answers to your questions, and you don’t have a real person in the room literally showing how to play something. And if you teach yourself, you may be doing something wrong (or doing something the hard way) and no one would be there to tell you.

Should You Work With A Drum Teacher?

It depends. Can you afford a teacher? Are you available during the hours that an instructor would be available? Or are you a very independent person who likes to do things by yourself, on your own time?

The safest bet is to get a drum teacher. If it were guitar, I’d say just teach yourself. But playing the drums involves all four limbs working together and other complicated techniques you need to learn to be a good drummer.

But if you can’t afford a teacher, don’t give up. You can still become a drummer.

Taking an online course, watching YouTube videos, and reading helpful resources are good places to start. At some point, you may want to hire a teacher to help you get to the next level. But until then, you can learn on your own and save up the money for lessons.

Resources For Learning Drums

Whatever direction you take, here are some options for helping you learn how to drum:

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Caleb J. Murphy is a songwriter and producer based in Austin, TX. He’s also the founder of Musician With A Day Job, a blog that helps part-time musicians succeed.