Why Private Lessons Might Not Work for You

I've been playing drums and percussion for about 12 years now, and while I have taken private lessons for about 7 of those years, I realize that private lessons may not be the best method for everyone.  In fact, I have found that I learn better outside of private lessons, myself.  So, maybe you're wondering: "What's wrong with private lessons?" or "What else can I do?"  Well, read on and find out more.

First of all, I am not going to completely bash on private lessons.  As I mentioned above, I've taken about 7 years of private lessons from the time I was in middle school all the way through college.  And I have definitely learned and a lot and got a lot out of those 7 years.  This article is not intended to steer anyone away from private lessons.  If you are taking private lessons and have a good teacher and are learning a lot, that's awesome and you should definitely continue with that.  But, for some people, private lessons aren't the best method.

The first issue I had and continue to have with private lessons is simply the cost of the lessons.  I paid anywhere from $15-$30 an hour for drum lessons, but the rate can go even higher.  When I first started I took a 30 minute lesson every week.  After a few years, I was taking an hour lesson every week. At $30 an hour, those lessons were adding up quickly.  That added up to $1,560 per year.  That's a lot of money flowing into private lessons.  If you have a great teacher, it can be worth that much, but sometimes it can feel like wasted money.

As I mentioned above, a good teacher is essential to help you get the most out of private lessons.  However, often it can be quite a challenge to find a good teacher.  I took the majority of lessons through my high school and university studies, so I was basically limited to the teachers and instructors who worked at my high school and university.  In my case, this wasn't terrible; my high school had a great music department and two very intelligent percussion instructors.  However, I know this is not the case with a lot of high schools around the globe.  Some people are limited to just the people that teach lessons out of the local music store.  The one time I took lessons from my local music store, I was left very disappointed.  I had a teacher who taught what he wanted to, not necessarily what I wanted or needed to learn.  If you find yourself frustrated at the lack of qualified teachers in your area, or you are taking lessons and you find yourself not learning anything or not learning what you want or need to, then private lessons might not be your thing.

So at this point you may be wondering, "What else can I do?"  My personal favorite method of learning new techniques on the drums is through DVD courses.  These can often save you a ton of money in the long run and provide you with a lot more content than you can get through private lessons. 

My favorite part about these courses (besides saving money, of course) is that you can work through the material on your own schedule.  If you get up in the middle of the night and want to work through a lesson or two, you are free to do that.  If you get busy with work or school and can't find the time to practice for a week, you don't have to worry about showing up the next week at your lesson unprepared, wasting your teacher's time and your money.

My favorite DVD course is the Drumming System, put together by Jared Falk.  This course is the most complete system available right now.  It offers the most content anywhere and is a great value. For more information: check out my Drumming System Review.


Top 4 Drum Lessons

#1 - Drumming System
#2 - Learn and Master Drums
#3 - Rock Drumming System
#4 - Drum Play Along System