If you are looking at taking online drum lessons or improving your game without breaking the bank, online tutorials are a great alternative to paying a teacher $25-$75 per hour.
Here are five sites that are worth looking into.
You really can’t talk about online drumming teachers without mentioning Drumeo. They post a lot of bite size instructional videos, as well as some full, hour long master classes and lessons for free on their Youtube channel, but they also have a subscription-based lessons service, complete with custom built apps and enough functionality to shake a Vic Firth, Nylon tipped 7A at (a stick).
A one month subscription costs $24, while the annual plan offers a bit of a discount on that daily rate, coming in at $197 per year. All the plans offer a 90 day money-back guarantee, though I’m not sure how loose they are with refunds, like if you can just ask for your money back because you don’t use it or if you have to have found a flaw with the service.
Drumeo promote their one month subscription as “cheaper than one private lesson,” which I don’t necessarily agree with, but I suppose it’s close enough.
I don’t subscribe to this site anymore, but I do make use of their free videos on Youtube from time to time, which I would recommend if you’re not intending to put yourself on a strict lesson plan, but instead, you just decide you want to learn the “Funky Drummer” groove on a whim.
This site boasts lessons from a lot of big names in the world of drumming, such as Neil Peart and Taylor Hawkins, as well as talk show hosted by Chad Smith in which he interviews and drums with some of his friends and influences.
Similar to Drumeo, Drum Channel hosts livestream Q&As with it’s instructors, with the intention of bridging the gap between a cyber and real world tutor.
These guys post 2 free video lessons per week, as well as a bunch of transcribed grooves.
You can also purchase one-on-one 30 minute Skype lessons for about $40, which is a bit of a weighty price tag.
A lot of their focus is on selling ebooks and transcribed sheet music, which I’m not sure of the legality of – for example, if they’re selling the sheet music for Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer for $3.99, should some of that money be reaching the band? And if so, is it? They give fragment of each song away for free as a taster, like a verse or whichever groove is likely to pique your interest the most.
Run by Mike Johnston, this site offers a somewhat alternative approach to online tuition. Essentially, you pay for every video or course, which tend to be 6 videos, and in that way, you’re not paying a blanket fee for a bunch of stuff you’re not interested in and Johnston is a great teacher, which is a bonus. This is a good idea for people who know what they want or have little intention of trying new things.
You’re looking at $10 for 6 video lessons, admittedly, is less than you would pay for 6 real-life drum lessons. Alternatively, you can pay $30 a month a go the full subscription route, like most of the other sites.
Mike also has a great free tool called Groove Scribe which you may want to check out. It’s really handy.
As I mentioned in the intro to this article, I don’t know whether online lessons are the right place for drummers to begin their education, however, aiming to trump my theory, Drum Ambition is focussed solely on lessons for beginners.
A one month membership costs $14.99, while an annual subscription will cost you $169.99 (a saving of about $10 for a year long commitment). The website does heavily market their “First 4 lessons are free” model, which is a nice offer, as it should help you determine whether Drum Ambition, or drumming at all, is for you.
Which Online Drum Lesson Website Do I Recommend?
You should watch each video and get a feel for the format and/or person who will be providing the lessons because you may or may not like their style and approach to teaching and drumming. If you twisted my arm I would say go with Drumeo.com if you are a beginner or intermediate drummer and you can afford the monthly fee and you are going to take practicing seriously.
Otherwise, if you are an advanced drummer, I would go with DrumChannel.com because it’s really inexpensive and they have a lot of videos you can pick and choose from. I’ve been a member for three years.
But that’s just me. You may like MikesLessons.com or the other sites listed above. So watch the videos and see which one feels the best for you. Now go practice!