Learning to drum can be an exciting time for any musician. Whether a brand new love of rhythm or a need to learn more complex rhythms and techniques, the advice, insight and instruction provided by a drum teacher can make a huge difference in a drummer’s skill and foster a lifelong love of drumming.
Choosing an instructor can be a challenging process for any musician, and drumming teachers are no exception to this rule. As with any style of music, there are teachers better suited to Reggae over Rock, for example, or Djembe and hand drums over a drum set, and even the best drum teacher can be a wrong fit for the style, type or level of drumming desired by the student. Drumming instructors, at least, should be able to provide the basics of drumming and rhythm, as well as have basic information about different styles and types of drums and drumming. A good music teacher, no matter the instrument, should also have experience with the history of music, reading music, and other music theory, in addition to the ability to teach.
Finding a drum instructor may require some footwork on the part of the student. One way to find an instructor is to simply ask for recommendations from friends, band mates, neighbors, etc. These word-of-mouth referrals can be great resources for all levels of students, especially providing insight into the reputation of the teacher and any other information relevant to the pursuit of drumming mastery. If there are no referrals through personal contacts, local music stores usually have lists of instructors available, and possibly some insight into local djembe lessons. Community bulletin boards may have flyers or business cards for drum teachers, or online classified ads and websites can provide the names of local instructors, as well. If all else fails, or if a student is looking for a new, modern way to learn to drum, there are several drum instructors who teach online, either through videos and websites, or even live through video chat applications. Also, check the X8 Drums Instructors and Facilitators map to find teachers near you!
Using these various channels, a student can expect to have more than one choice for a drumming teacher, and should be proactive in discovering the best teacher to suit the student’s needs. Inquiring about experience with various styles and types of drums or drumming, as well as the length of time the teacher has been working can provide a good basis for the potential student to choose the right teacher. Also, speaking directly with the instructors can help a student decide if the teacher "feels" right.
Through the process of finding a drumming instructor, a student can learn more than how to start playing drums, or grow as a drummer. By taking the time to carefully research teachers, styles and even the types of drums, a drummer can be assured of an education in rhythm that goes well beyond the beat of a drum, and one that can last throughout a drumming career.