How do you know when it’s time for a new drum teacher?

distantplanet

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This is really interesting. If someone had a lot of money, paying some good musicians to "rehearse" with you could really pay off musically. I once heard a tip from an engineer for drummers who want to gain studio experience. He said go make a record and pay session guys to play on it with you. That's money, but there are far more expensive ways to receive an education.
This IS an interesting idea.
 

distantplanet

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The most important thing is to find someone you want to play like, and the ask them really good questions if they don't do a good job of spoonfeeding the info at the right time. I took lessons from a supremely talented percussionist. Some others griped that he wasn't a good teacher, but being a good student allowed me to get the most out of our lessons. Granted, he was able to expain things--I just had to prompt effectively.
Stuff like:
"Could you watch my right hand here and diagnose the inaccuracy?"
"Your elbow is collapsing in."
Fixed.
"I'm hitting wrong notes on the descending white key pentatonic run in the Porgy & Bess excerpt. What do you think about when you're playing it?"
"My right hand is simply following the left/"
Fixed.
I suspect there were issues he thought were no-brainers that I had to ask about. Like it never occurred to him that information would need to be volunteered.

As for learning a song, that's the most important aspect of kit study, and I always try to get to that as soon as possible, even if it's something as simple as playing a 2-beat along with Love Me Do.
This is the kind of instruction I was hoping for.
 

JimmyM

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I would never take lessons from anyone on any instrument unless they had a jazz background and taught the academic side. Reading is super important to me, and so is technique that doesn't hurt. Songs I can figure out on my own once I get everything else into place.
 

JazzAcolyte

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The most important thing is to find someone you want to play like, and the ask them really good questions if they don't do a good job of spoonfeeding the info at the right time.

I do the same thing. I keep track of things that I have trouble with while practicing and ask about them at lessons.

“My brush groove has all the swing and finesse of an elephant tromping through the underbrush. Can you help me get some swing in my swing?”

“I’m having a hard time evening out my rolls, there’s still a clear transition from hand to hand.”

The latter led to one of those Miyagi moments - my teacher looked me in the eye and said, “It’s a concept. You have to have a concept of ‘even.’” :) He’s great and he gives specific guidance, but he also has a spiritual/conceptual side that I’m trying to wrap my concrete, literal, Wall Street-trained brain around. It’s a growth experience.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I would never take lessons from anyone on any instrument unless they had a jazz background and taught the academic side. Reading is super important to me, and so is technique that doesn't hurt. Songs I can figure out on my own once I get everything else into place.
I can see that. I've had mountains of classical/drumline instruction but almost no formal kit instruction and those few lessons were just grinding through books, which I could've done on my own. All my reading and non-foot technique were developed away from the kit, and drumset practice has always just been songs and foot work for me. Very few of my students are ever kit-only, so I'm usually able to teach them the way I learned.
 

JimmyM

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I can see that. I've had mountains of classical/drumline instruction but almost no formal kit instruction and those few lessons were just grinding through books, which I could've done on my own. All my reading and non-foot technique were developed away from the kit, and drumset practice has always just been songs and foot work for me. Very few of my students are ever kit-only, so I'm usually able to teach them the way I learned.
Oh yeah, man, marching and classical drumming were a good part of my upbringing as well, although for those bands I mostly played trumpet. And we didn't have to use Kevlar heads, either! Might as well just use Remo practice pads and save yourself some weight and joint wear and tear.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Oh yeah, man, marching and classical drumming were a good part of my upbringing as well, although for those bands I mostly played trumpet. And we didn't have to use Kevlar heads, either! Might as well just use Remo practice pads and save yourself some weight and joint wear and tear.
The aramid heads they use now are way easier on the hands. Pretty bouncy actually.
 

distantplanet

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UPDATE: I am going to take advantage of a free session through another instructor(s). In the meantime, I will see how this month goes. I spoke to my teacher and it seems clearer to me now that he's not as proactive with each individual student as he can be with regard to making sure the lessons align with the student's goals. He kept mentioning that he's been teaching for decades and he's taken many students on the same path... that raised a flag with me because I believe the path should be similar and not necessarily be the same for each student. While I feel like I'd do alright staying with him, my gut tells me to switch it up with a different person.
 

distantplanet

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I do the same thing. I keep track of things that I have trouble with while practicing and ask about them at lessons.

“My brush groove has all the swing and finesse of an elephant tromping through the underbrush. Can you help me get some swing in my swing?”

“I’m having a hard time evening out my rolls, there’s still a clear transition from hand to hand.”

The latter led to one of those Miyagi moments - my teacher looked me in the eye and said, “It’s a concept. You have to have a concept of ‘even.’” :) He’s great and he gives specific guidance, but he also has a spiritual/conceptual side that I’m trying to wrap my concrete, literal, Wall Street-trained brain around. It’s a growth experience.
Great somments... these are the first music lessons for me EVER. I enjoy music and have grown up with it and people who play different instruments, but wrapping my head around music concepts isn't first nature to me. My commitment is solid and I put in the work. I would like more specific guidance about execution.
 


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