Four Hands Drumming - Carter McLean

DWFunk

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
43
Reaction score
13
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I know this has been kicked around quite a bit on this forum, but I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has actually subscribed to the Four Hands courses. Looks very intriguing and I really dig Carter's playing and approach. Thanks
 

PerfectImposter

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Messages
470
Reaction score
33
Location
Canada
I'm a member of Four Hands and I honestly would not recommend it. I don't find the videos to be good from an instructional point of view, and there's not a lot of content. There's a lot of, "here's how you do this" and then Carter just plays with no instruction whatsoever. There was another one with him basically just talking to a guitarist. If you're looking for good teaching I'd recommend Mikes Lessons, or get the Hudson music membership so you can watch any of the DVDs in their library at any time.
 

zenghost

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
173
Location
Ohio
Had been wondering this myself after spending some time viewing various instructional sites and trying to assess their possible value to my needs as a student.
 

DWFunk

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
43
Reaction score
13
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
PerfectImposter - Thanks for your input. That's disappointing. I wasn't really looking for a good teaching course, let's face it, there are gazillions out there. I just like the way he plays and his attitude. I heard him on a podcast recently talking about basics. I'm aware of Mike Johnston, I listen to his podcast with Mike Dawson of MD a lot. Seems to be a genuine guy but his courses seem to focus on the technical side/ chops and licks. Seems Carter McLean is more groove based. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
32
Reaction score
53
Location
CT
PerfectImposter....I am really sorry you are not getting anything out of it. There are A LOT of other sites that are..... DO THIS.......PLAY THIS....... HERE IS A LICK OF THE WEEK.
I am trying to get EACH STUDENT to find his or her own path in MUSIC. There is A LOT of info in each video if you watch carefully. I am not spoon feeding licks but I am trying to get you on your OWN path. That "GUITARIST" is CHARLIE HUNTER he is a genius and grammy nominated. TOM BARNEY is also a world class bass player who I talk with giving drummers another perspective from actual professionals.

Cheers
Carter
 

organicdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
548
Reaction score
33
I've found 4HD to be an incredibly worthwhile experience. My initial subscription just ended but I'm certainly going to renew.

I will say this - at first glance, 4HD looks more geared toward the intermediate/advanced player. However, everything that Carter demonstrates could be used and absorbed by a player of any skill level. What I like most about his lessons are that they mostly shy away from simple "here's a lick and this is how you play it"

My experience has been more like Carter is a guide suggesting ways to scale a mountain. Each lesson is a mountain, and he suggests ways for getting to the top, musically.

I'm a semi-professional, and I gig about 80 times a year and probably cut one or two albums a year in actual recording studios. I'm nowhere near a consummate pro, but I have enough skill that people call me. 4HD changed my playing and my approach for the better.

So, that has been my experience.

If anyone is on the fence about 4HD, check out Carter's YouTube or Instagram channels. The recent stuff is characteristic of the 4HD content.
 

PerfectImposter

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Messages
470
Reaction score
33
Location
Canada
Cartermclean said:
PerfectImposter....I am really sorry you are not getting anything out of it. There are A LOT of other sites that are..... DO THIS.......PLAY THIS....... HERE IS A LICK OF THE WEEK.
I am trying to get EACH STUDENT to find his or her own path in MUSIC. There is A LOT of info in each video if you watch carefully. I am not spoon feeding licks but I am trying to get you on your OWN path. That "GUITARIST" is CHARLIE HUNTER he is a genius and grammy nominated. TOM BARNEY is also a world class bass player who I talk with giving drummers another perspective from actual professionals.

Cheers
Carter
Carter,

I have a lot of admiration for you, so this is tough for me. But it seems like you're accusing me of not looking deep enough in to the content, and that it's basically my fault that I didn't get what I was looking for out of your site. I understand you feel the need to defend your product, and that's ok. So I'll expand on my critique, because maybe it sounded more harsh because it was so brief.

What I meant by "not good from an instructional point of view" is that I feel that there was many times during the course of the videos where if I was taking a lesson in person from you I would have stopped you to have a discussion on where your head was at that particular moment. I'm very much in a phase in my playing where I want to understand how other players are coming up with the grooves and the fills they are playing. The technical stuff is not important to me, because as you said I can get that anywhere, and I've also been playing for 30 years so I know exactly what technical stuff I need to improve on. There is definitely some of this kind of thing in your videos, but maybe what I'm searching for is too hard to do in video form. Maybe influencing drummers to find their path via prerecorded video is too hard in general, or maybe it's highly dependent on the teacher and the student.

As far as my comment about the guitarist is concerned, I apologize for being flippant. I realize he is an accomplished musician and obviously someone you have a great deal of admiration for, and deservedly so. My point on this though, is that I regularly have discussions like those with guitarists I greatly admire as well. Musicians who I feel have a very unique approach to their craft and who I think can influence me greatly. And if I wanted to hear a discussion with a more well known grammy winning guitarist, that is not something I expect to pay for. I can get that in many free podcasts.

If what someone wants is "more Carter", then you're definitely going to get "more Carter". I would say I agree with what organicdrummer said, that 4HD is very similar to Carter's instagram and youtube content.
 

MC5

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Late to the game here, and new to the site, but kind of wish I'd found these comments earlier.

I decided not to continue my 4HD membership, pretty much for the reasons stated above. There is 0 doubt that Carter is one of the most active and talented drummers on youtube/IG. As he mentions, he plays with Charlie Hunter which automatically gives him cred in my book.

That said, as an intermediate/advanced drummer myself, I found the site to be less of a true "lesson" experience, and more of a "gain more access to Carter" kind of experience. He clearly prides himself in his work, including his aesthetics, down to what he wears, how he shoots the videos, etc. It's very well put together. Pedagogically, I have to say it's a little flawed because the whole point of subscribing to something like this is to LEARN HOW TO PLAY certain chops/licks/styles. Otherwise, one could get the same experience by simply watching his already active IG or any number of youtube videos/drumeo/ etc. Or just watching concert footage/interview footage of your favorite drummer.

I've since switched to Stanton Moore's site, which has a 7 day free trial. There's not a TON of content on their either, but at least it's more of a traditional "Here's me playing some cool stuff, and now let me break it down for you piece by piece and help you practice it and apply it to your own style."

I think Carter's an amazing drummer. Gifted, tasteful, etc. But IMHO not really a teacher yet.
 

kzoosteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
92
Reaction score
67
I will say that I signed up about 2 months ago and have been very pleased. I agree if you're looking for straight instructional, fills, speed techniques, etc.....it's probably not for you. Youtube has a lifetime of content with pro level instruction for that. I've been playing roughly 20 years and found that the content on 4H provided for a lot of inspiration relating to my approach to drumming. I get in ruts playing with the same band, same practice techniques, etc.. and think the approach Carter takes is more thought driven then anything. His videos on Musical Expression and Phrasing I particularly liked as it really helped me rethink how I'm approaching the song/music. In summary, I was looking for help in building myself as a better musician on the drums vs a technique driven approach, so this was spot on and was worth the money.

I followed up with Carter and took a Facetime lesson as well which was equally valuable. I look forward to future lessons as well.

Steve
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC5

MC5

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I agree completely. I think Carter's a smart, sensible player. I just felt I was paying for his opinion on an "approach" to drumming or drums. And while I admire and respect his approach, it wasn't really something I wanted to pay that much money for. I can glean people's approach from interviews and simply watching live footage. I guess I'm just not the audience for this type of product. It seems somewhat counter-intuitive to me to advertise a drum lesson platform that doesn't really teach you beyond a philosophical appreciation for the drums. For that, I'd simply read Woman is a Drum, or watch old Tony Allen or Bernard Purdie videos :)

You know what I have found to be very useful? Mark Guilliana's book/videos "Exploring Creativity on the Drumset." That's kind of a happy medium between techniques and philosophy, and for the same price as 4HD you get a ton more content.

Anyway, none of this is to bash 4HD. I just don't think it's a broadly targeted product. Like others have said, you're kind of paying to pick Carter's brain, and to apply that to your skills, rather than to learn techniques to add to your bag. To each his/her own. But it's cool to see so many options out there nowadays!
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
32
Reaction score
53
Location
CT
Late to the game here, and new to the site, but kind of wish I'd found these comments earlier.

I decided not to continue my 4HD membership, pretty much for the reasons stated above. There is 0 doubt that Carter is one of the most active and talented drummers on youtube/IG. As he mentions, he plays with Charlie Hunter which automatically gives him cred in my book.

That said, as an intermediate/advanced drummer myself, I found the site to be less of a true "lesson" experience, and more of a "gain more access to Carter" kind of experience. He clearly prides himself in his work, including his aesthetics, down to what he wears, how he shoots the videos, etc. It's very well put together. Pedagogically, I have to say it's a little flawed because the whole point of subscribing to something like this is to LEARN HOW TO PLAY certain chops/licks/styles. Otherwise, one could get the same experience by simply watching his already active IG or any number of youtube videos/drumeo/ etc. Or just watching concert footage/interview footage of your favorite drummer.

I've since switched to Stanton Moore's site, which has a 7 day free trial. There's not a TON of content on their either, but at least it's more of a traditional "Here's me playing some cool stuff, and now let me break it down for you piece by piece and help you practice it and apply it to your own style."

I think Carter's an amazing drummer. Gifted, tasteful, etc. But IMHO not really a teacher yet.
Sorry you were not into it. You have it for a year and I feel can grow a lot as a player from what info is there. I dont expect people to re subscribe unless they feel they have not grasped all the content in that year. I have had LOTS of positive feedback from students saying "this is exactly what I needed" Its not a copy/paste type lesson. That I feel is already over saturated in the market. I think having me explain where I am coming from is the lesson. If you can play everything I do on IG then yes.... why would you subscribe? IT also clearly says "FOUR HANDS DRUMMING is an educational site devoted to improving your ideas and finding YOUR unique voice on the drum set"
I do have a book coming out with Hal Leonard called "concepts & creativity" this spring that is all written out exercises that you may find more helpful for your playing. All the best
Carter
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC5

wayne

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
118
Location
canada
Kudos trying to teach anything via cyber space, esp drumming. Since drumming is a physical expression for the most part, it would be impossible for any instructor to know "where you're at". All you can do is try to digest what is offered, and see if you are ready to comprehend it. So much of what we do is established right from day one. Either you have it or you don't, and if you don't, you may want to try the bass guitar..:dontknow:.......CM...good luck with your projects, and welcome to Ludwig. It seems a perfect fit for you, and you know they will have your back!
 

JazzyJeff

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
630
Reaction score
67
Location
US
There is a lot of content out there with different styles of teaching, and truly one size does not fit all. It's a drag that many of them are quite expensive before finding out something is not your cup of tea, but there is not likely a better way than to get into it and see what happens. I've been a member of 3 online instructional courses and found 2/3 helpful and worthwhile. One didn't quite provide me with what I was looking for and so, I canceled that subscription as early as I could. I don't subscribe to any as of right now, and have gotten back into into a few DVDs that I've owned.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MC5

MC5

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Sorry you were not into it. You have it for a year and I feel can grow a lot as a player from what info is there. I dont expect people to re subscribe unless they feel they have not grasped all the content in that year. I have had LOTS of positive feedback from students saying "this is exactly what I needed" Its not a copy/paste type lesson. That I feel is already over saturated in the market. I think having me explain where I am coming from is the lesson. If you can play everything I do on IG then yes.... why would you subscribe? IT also clearly says "FOUR HANDS DRUMMING is an educational site devoted to improving your ideas and finding YOUR unique voice on the drum set"
I do have a book coming out with Hal Leonard called "concepts & creativity" this spring that is all written out exercises that you may find more helpful for your playing. All the best
Carter
Hi Carter,

I appreciate you taking the time to seek out people's feedback, and I applaud you for coming back to me with a cooler head, after erasing your initial reply -- I'm going to be blunt: I was surprised to see such a smug, defensive response (as you did with an earlier poster too). You belittled my concern, as well as cast aspersions as to how I was seeking to learn, making it seem as though my approach or interests were kind of lame or dime-a-dozen.

But -- I do understand how passionate you are about your product, which happens to be your life's work! So I would be proud and ready to defend myself too. However, I think you'll find that I didn't attack you in any way. You literally sell a product, and I literally bought said product and had genuine, considered thoughts about it. So while I am happy to take your suggestions about playing and musicality (and I'll be first in line to buy your book!), please allow me to make a suggestion to you...I am a filmmaker. I have had work in the public sphere, which has been analyzed, criticized, and broken apart by people who didn't spend two years writing the script, or six months shooting and a year editing. It's hard to put yourself out there. But I'll tell you this, I'm always gracious, and more than anything, I LISTEN. Several people on this forum have made comments about how they admire you, but had things they missed from your instruction. I've seem similar types of comments on your instagram or livecasts that you also summarily dismissed by belittling them or their approach. Perhaps you don't mean to. Again, chalk it up to being passionate and proud of your work.

To the site-- I think it's very well made. I think you're an incredible drummer and musician. People admire you for that. So I think people coming to your site are in part looking to learn more about what makes you tick, the same way we play and learn by listening to our favorite records. It's not a criticism, but a suggestion from your customers (several on this thread) that we'd simply love to see a little more of an opportunity to break down some of your signature sound. It's not "copy paste" as you put it somewhat derisively. It's understanding how you've applied your technique, so that we can understand the process and intrinsic link between technique and art, because I would humbly submit that one doesn't exist without the other...Thank you for your generosity, time, and dedication to music. I'm one of many who appreciate you.

To learning. To growing.

Peace and love, brother.
 

Mcjnic

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
2,024
Reaction score
594
OK...Well, it was nice having CM here, even if it was only for a day.
Agree.
This kind of stuff is annoying as heck.

Oh well ... ... ... it was nice having him here.
Danged filmmakers ... just like actors ... can't trust a one of 'em.










* hint to those that are new here ... it's sarcasm ... I'm a filmmaker and actor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC5

MC5

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Agree.
This kind of stuff is annoying as heck.

Oh well ... ... ... it was nice having him here.
Danged filmmakers ... just like actors ... can't trust a one of 'em.










* hint to those that are new here ... it's sarcasm ... I'm a filmmaker and actor.
Actors are the worst! I can't wait for AI to replace you! ;-)
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
32
Reaction score
53
Location
CT
I think if you ask anyone that has actually had a lesson with me in person or ACTUALLY knows me will tell you I do listen.....very carefully. A lot is lost in translation on a forum via text. I do CARE about anyone interested in my playing. I feel very lucky that anyone really cares. I take hours a day to reply to PM and questions on social media. Do you know how many times a day I answer "how do you tune your bottom snare head" "What gram weight is that cymbal" In reality its fun to know those things but end of the day its THE PERSON playing that makes it sound that way. I try my best to get back to everyone that gets in touch. I also have life outside of music and cant be around 24/7 to talk about drum head choices. Im sorry if people feel belittled on this forum. Doing my best. There will always be people that want to hold you down and thats cool. I just keep moving forward and treat people with kindness. I dont need to prove anything to anyone here. I just thought it would be nice to interact. oh well.......... good luck to everyone!
Cheers yall
C
 


Top