DRUM LESSON FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much are drum lessons?
This depends on how long you want the lesson to be? I currently offer 30 minutes for £18, 40 Minutes for £24 and 60 minutes for £36. I tend to find the 30 minute lessons work better for younger students as their attention can drop off after a while. 40 & 60 minute lessons suit any ability, the longer the lesson, the more time you'll have to practice and the more we can get through.
Do I need to bring anything?
Just bring yourself! I'll provide all the materials for the lesson; books & sticks etc.
You might have a preference for for a particular type of stick, so feel free to bring your own. Eventually, especially if we're studying from a particular book, you might want to get your own copy, but for the first few lessons, just turn up!
What do we cover in lesson?
That all depends on what we're studying and what you want to learn!
I start every lesson with some warm up rudiments. We start out with just 3 basic ones at a slow tempo, but depending on your ability, we can find ourselves spending the first 10 -15 minutes of each lesson going through these at various tempos.
Depending on how long your lesson is, I like to cover at least 2 different areas each lesson. I've found spending too long on one thing can be counter-productive.
What is your teaching approach?
First things first, I like all my lessons to be fun, relaxed and informal. I believe this creates a calm atmosphere and leads to much better results.
My teaching approach will vary slightly from student to student. I wouldn't present a lesson to a primary school student the same way as I would to a thirty-something business owner. That is not to say though that the content of the drum lesson will change though, I will just vary my presentation style and pace a little. I've taught thousands of hours of drum lessons, so I'll be able to find the right approach to help you get the most out of each lesson.
How much should I practice?
This is all down to you. I probably get asked this question more than any other. In an ideal world, you'd practice at least every other day, but unfortunately life doesn't always allow this. Most of my students have full time jobs so it can prove tricky to fit drums around everything else going on. What I would say though, is do as much as you can on a practice pad, even a few minutes a day while the kettle is boiling. Any time you can fit it in is going to help you improve.
Everybody has different circumstances, but as long as you're doing enough to see a weekly improvement yourself, then that's good enough.
Which payment methods do you accept?
Bank transfer or cash work perfectly. You can also pay me directly via Monzo if you have that facility.
Missed lessons and cancellation policy
If you need to cancel or reschedule your drum lesson, it's not a problem.
Please give at least 24 hours notice before the start of your booked lesson, otherwise I'll need to take payment in full.
How long is a trial lesson and what does it cover?
A trial lesson usually lasts around half an hour, sometimes a bit longer if time permits.
If you've never played drums before, it's a perfect opportunity to come down and give it a try and see whether you like it. It's also really beneficial for us to meet face to face and for me to answer any questions you might have.
If you've been playing for years and you're looking for a drum teacher, it's also great for me to hear you play, so I can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and we can discuss how you'd like to move you playing forward.
What lesson durations do you offer?
Lessons last for either 30, 40 or 60 minutes.
I would recommend for children under 13, booking either 30 or 40 minute lessons. We cover quite a lot during the drum lesson and they tend to lose focus if it's any longer, especially after a full day at school.
For anybody else, regardless of ability, I suggest either 40 or 60 minutes.
There's always lots to cover so this gives us enough time to dedicate to each different aspect of the lesson.
How often should I have a lesson?
Again, this is largely down to you and how much time you have.
Weekly always works best. It gives you enough time to go away and practice the things we will have covered in your previous drum lesson.
Some students prefer to come on a bi-weekly basis, which also works fine, but there is a danger of losing some of the consistency of your practice, especially if you don't own a kit yet.
Do you offer group lessons?
I do offer drum lessons for groups of 2.
Learning drums with a friend can be great fun and a good way to begin.
I have 2 kits set up in the studio, so you can play along simultaneously.
Contact me to find out more.
*There is a £10 extra charge for group lessons
What's your availability?
The studio is currently open 7 days a week and drum lessons are available anytime between 10am & 10 pm.
I can do earlier or later by special request, so if these times don't quite suit you, get in touch and I'll try my best to arrange a time slot for you.
I want to learn a particular style, can you teach me?
I've spent thousands of hours studying different styles of music, as well as listening to a wide range of different genres, so I'm able to teach you pretty much whatever style you want to learn.
That being said, if you're a complete beginner, we'll be starting off with the basics , so don't be disappointed if we don't get to that super fast punk or traditional jazz groove just yet. By laying down the foundations in the correct way, you'll be well equipped to tackle your favourite track in no time.
What levels do you teach?
I teach all levels of drum lessons.
I've worked with countless beginners and developed my own syllabus to help people who are just starting out to get the best from each lesson.
If you're an intermediate player or hobbyist, we'll focus on some more specialised areas of your playing to really hone the skills you need to take your playing to a whole new level.
If you've been playing for years and have a really good grasp of the drum kit, there's still always something to learn, that's the beauty of learning to play an instrument. Contact me to discuss the areas in your playing you'd most like to improve upon and I'll pick some great pieces to really help you push yourself as drummer and musician.
How long will it take me?
Like anything worth doing, learning to play the drums will take time and practice. It is however, one of the most rewarding things you can do.
If you're a complete beginner, I can guarantee that within the first 1-2 lessons you'll walk away being able to play a few basic beats and fills.
How quickly you progress from there is completely down to you. The more practice you put in outside lessons, to how regularly you attend a drum lesson will have a massive impact on how rapidly you'll see an improvement in your playing.
Am I too old to start Drum Lessons?
I get asked this question a lot, and the answer is you're never too old.
Some of my most successful students of recent years have been newly retired, or their children have just left home and they're looking for a new interest or hobby to fill the free time that they didn't have before.
It's a great way of developing new skills, keeping fit and active. The oldest student I've taught was 75, and he progressed just as quickly, if not faster than 90% of all my students.
I want drum lessons for my 4 year old, is he or she too young to start?
This is a tricky one to answer for me. I started learning at 4, I don't even really remember that far back, so if I think back to my earliest memories, I could already play the drums by then. However, I would say that I was in a tiny minority of young children that this applies to.
One thing I have found however, is most children under the age of 9 or 10, have not developed the motor skills and mental focus to make the same progress as teenagers and adults.
Do you teach actual songs?
Yes. One of the most rewarding things for students is to finally be able to play along with their favourite tracks. Before approaching the song that you want to learn, we'll first make sure that you have the skills to tackle your chosen track, or maybe simplify some of the harder parts to begin with. We can write the drum chart together, which is excellent practice for you sight reading, and then tackle the song from there. This is great fun and gives a brilliant sense of achievement.
Do you teach grades?
Yes. I would definitely encourage my students to take their grades. It is an excellent and concise way of taking your drumming to the next step. I highly recommend and teach from the RSL Rockschool syllabus. It's brilliantly laid out, the backing tracks are very well done and it has a more contemporary feel than some of the other grades on offer.
Don't be put off by this though, some people really don't want to take an exam, and I'm totally fine with that. As always in your first lesson with me, we'll discuss the approach you'd like to take and I'll build the drum lessons to suit you.
Will I be your only girl student?
Absolutely not. I get asked this question loads and to be truthful, over half of my current students are female. Girls are just as good at guys when it comes to playing the drums, so don't be put off by any stigma you might think is attached to it. Come and give it a go yourself, I can guarantee you'll love it.
What if I've never played before?
No need to worry at all, there's no better time than now to start learning.
I'm sure most people at some point will have thought they'd love a go at playing the drums. A large percentage of people who come to me do so without ever having picked up a pair of drumsticks before. Don't let this put you off.
There was a time when you couldn't walk, couldn't ride a bike or eat with a knife and fork, but I'm sure you're pretty proficient at all those things now. Drumming isn't any different, with a bit of practice and encouragement you'll be playing in no time. Book a free trial to see how surprisingly easy it is.
I've been playing for years, will you make me start from scratch?
Absolutely not. There may be a few bad habits that you've picked up along the way, especially if you're self taught. We'll initially work to correct these areas in your playing. Following that, the first lesson will be mostly spent going over some pieces so I can assess your current playing level. From there we'll carry on just as any other lesson, focusing on making you the best drummer you can be.
Will you come to my house/studio to teach me?
This can be arranged. Although I prefer to teach from my drum studio, which is set up perfectly with everything we'll need for a drum lesson, I can offer my services at your home or studio aswell, within a reasonable travel time from Hackney Wick.
I currently charge £10 extra per lesson for this to cover my travel time and costs.
What music do you like?
Funnily enough, a lot of people seem interested in this!
I've got quite a varied taste in music but my one favourite genre is modern punk. I find it fun to listen to and its a great stress reliever. I'm also massively into soul and funk, we'll probably cover a lot of these grooves in the lessons at some point. Most modern RnB and hip hop contains samples of these famous grooves, so they're great to gain an understanding of.
I'm also really into my sixties music. That's pretty much the root of all modern pop, so again, these songs are good practice to play along with.
Do you play in a band?
Yes I do.
I've done countless UK tours, gigged all over Europe and visited some very exotic places all over the world whilst playing on cruise ships.
While it all sounds very glamorous, there are as many downsides as there are ups, but playing live music is what it's all about, and hopefully these drum lessons will give you the tools you need to go out and start playing in your own band!
Do you offer online lessons?
Yes I do. Obviously offering Drum lessons in London provides me with a great catchment area, but with technology the way it is these days, being able to offer drum lessons via Skype or Zoom is a great help. If you like what you see, now you can have a lesson at HWDS from anywhere in the world.
Do drummers really read music and is it difficult?
We absolutely do read music yes. At first sight of a drum chart, it can look a little daunting. A bunch of alien notation written on the page certainly had me looking puzzled the first time but it's a whole lot easier than you might think.
If you're a complete beginner, we'll learn to read music alongside learning to play the drums, so you'll develop both skills simultaneously.
I also get students come to me who can already play the drums but have never approached the reading side of things. It certainly helps them when they can see what they're playing mapped out on the page in front of them and making the connections between the two is a really useful tool to have.
Do you offer a discount for block bookings?
This is something I was initially against but quickly came to realise that this does suit some people better than others. The best thing to do is get in touch to find out more about this. One thing I can't stress enough however is, block booked lessons are NON REFUNDABLE.
If you've paid upfront and suddenly you realise its not for you, then any cancelled lessons you've paid for will be lost.