I’ve been playing drums over half my life now, and I took private lessons for about 7 years, but now I realize that private lessons aren’t really the best method for everyone. I found that I learn better outside of private lessons. So, maybe you’ve thought at some point: “Why aren’t these lessons helping?” or “How else can I learn to play the drums?” Well, read on and find out more.
First, let me say that I am not against private lessons entirely. As I mentioned above, I took about 7 years of private lessons from middle school all the way through college. I learned quite a bit from those 7 years and got a lot out of most of my lessons. If you are currently taking private lessons and love it and are learning a lot, then, by all means, continue what you are doing. Private lessons don’t work for everyone, though.
My main problem with private lessons is the cost of the lessons. When I was taking lessons, I paid anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour for lessons, but the cost can go even higher than that. If you have an awesome teacher, it may be worth that much, but oftentimes it can become a huge waste of money.
As I have already mentioned, the most important element to getting the most out of your drum lessons is a good teacher. It is essential to have someone who is both skilled and is able to teach well. Having a teacher who is an awesome drummer, but can’t teach a thing won’t help you. Often times it can be very hard to find a good teacher. Some people are limited to “the drum guy” who works at the local music store or maybe a high school or college instructor in the area who teaches lessons on the side. These can be great resources or a terrible waste of time. It just depends on the area you live in.
So you may be wondering what other options you have now. After all, what else is there besides private drum lessons? My personal favorite method for learning new drumming techniques is through learn-at-home DVD courses. There are a lot of different courses out there that offer you the comfort of learning from your own home.
My favorite part about these courses is that you can save a ton of money. Private drum lessons can cost you over $1,500 a year, but many of these DVD courses can be purchased for less than $200! I also love that you get to work through the material on your own schedule. You aren’t working around whatever lesson times your teacher had left open. If you feel like jamming through a couple of lessons at 2:00 AM, you can (as long as you don’t wake the neighbors!) You also get a lot of content with these lesson courses and aren’t limited to what a private teacher wants to teach you.
Overall, I think private lessons can be valuable to some, but I encourage you to at least look into DVD drum courses before you commit to paying $30 an hour to that “drum guy” at your local music store.