If you’re all up and eager to learn to play the drums, your best bet is to take drum lessons. But of course, you don’t want to go into it blind. You will need to know how much a drum lesson costs.
Music School Vs. Private Drum Lessons
Before you start looking up bass drum rudiments online or clicking on the first link to teach you to play drums, consider taking drumming lessons.
The advantages of being taught by an actual human being are that you will have continuous feedback on your progress. There will be someone there to teach you all the drum beats and fills. There will be someone there to answer your questions on how to get a flam just right or correct your stick control.
But the main question is whether you want to take percussion lessons at a music school or take private drum lessons with a tutor.
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The advantages of learning drums at a music school
Learning to play drums in a drum school has certain advantages. Let’s go through some of them:
- Music schools generally have a stock of instruments that students can use during class. Some even allow you to rent them out and take them home. This is ideal if you’re not quite sure if you want to become a drummer, or are still considering whether you would rather learn to play the Djembe or conga drum.
- Music schools usually have practice rooms for their students. You will be expected to schedule in advance, but you will have a place to practise your paradiddle when the neighbours complain.
- Depending on the school, they will either offer rooms for private lessons or fixed lesson times. If your drumming teacher is unavailable, either the school will arrange a substitute or you can organise one easily from the rest of the staff.
- You will meet like-minded people all learning a musical instrument. You can get to learn other percussionists and exchange grievances on how to install the snares on your snare drum.
- You can take part in a recital, learning to play before an audience before you have your first performance in a rock band.
As a disadvantage, you will be one among many students. Even if your classes are one-to-one, chances are a drum tutor at a big school will have a lot of clients eager to learn how to play, and you may get a little lost in the mix. You will also have to go there yourself, and scheduling will depend not only on your teacher’s schedule but on the availability of rooms.
Such schools regularly have open-door days. We suggest you take the first lesson to decide whether or not drums are the instrument for you.
You can also read more about drum lessons for beginners...
The advantages of having a private drum teacher at home
A private tutor for your beginner drum lessons is not a bad idea. It has various advantages over going to a music school and taking classes there:
- You can learn on your own drum set at home. This saves time in adjusting a school drum kit to your arm length and general preferences or carting, unloading and setting up your drumset with its snare, toms, double bass, hi-hat etc. at another location.
- You can learn on your own schedule. You won’t be tied to fixed classes or the availability of a room at the music school. With only yourself and your tutor to please, finding time for a lesson in triplets or the finer points of jazz drumming will be a lot easier, and you won’t have to structure your life around your drum lessons.
- If you are living in a rural area, you can take online drum lessons with a private tutor. Online lessons are never quite as good as live ones, especially if you are learning on a drum kit, because your tutor can’t move around to see what you are doing. But it’s better than no lessons at all, and often costs less than private lessons where the teacher has to come to your house.
- A private teacher will better be able to judge what your problems are and how to take your drumming to the next level. Some schools have courses with a fixed curriculum that encourage teachers to hurry things along. If you need to practice counting eighth notes with a metronome for another session or two before moving on to sixteenth notes, are having problems learning how to read a drum tab or haven’t quite mastered the use of brushes, a private tutor can take the time to help you come to grips with your problems.
- Find out more about how to find your ideal drum teacher...
- In the same way, he or she will be better at divining your abilities and skills and how to make the most of them.
- A tutor is also more likely to be able to motivate you if you fall into a funk. Everyone experiences setbacks and learning drums is a challenging pastime. The more relaxed atmosphere of learning at home makes it easier to establish a comfortable relationship that will help your instructor keep you motivated.
Superprof drum tutors work wonders with younger players! If you are looking for such lessons for your child, why not check out our drum lessons for kids?
Cost of Drumming Classes at a Music School
There are many music schools in the UK; some of them even specialise in teaching beginner and advanced drum. We will be focusing on these to give you an idea of how much it costs to learn how to play the drums. Some even offer free drum lessons as taster lessons; other will at least give you a discount, or have occasional open days where you can explore their courses.
|School||Taster lessons||Children's courses||Adult courses||Practice room|
|Planet Drum, London (www.theplanetdrum.co.uk)||£45 for adults (45min), £25 for children (20 min)||£80 for 4x 45 minutes and free practice||£160 for 4 x 50 minutes in a month and free practice||£7/hour|
|Elephant Drums, London (www.elephantdrums.co.uk/)||15% off regular drum lesson||N/A||beginner: £30, intermediate £45, advanced £45||N/A|
|Halifax Drum School (www.halifaxdrumschool.co.uk)||free||N/A||4x 1 hour £116; 4x 30 min £60 (£15/30min)||N/A|
|Slater Drum School in Malborough (www.slaterdrumschool.co.uk)||free||£12/20 min||£16/30 min; £24 / 45 min; £32/hour||N/A|
|Crash Drum School in Castleford (www.crashdrumschool.co.uk)||N/A||£15/30 min||£20/45 min||N/A|
|Repercussion Drum School in Surrey (www.repercussiondrumschool.co.uk)||N/A||N/A||£20/30 min; £40/60 min||N/A|
As you can see, prices range from £12 to £20 pounds for a half-hour session, with the most expensive hourly rate going at £40. It will all depend on how much demand there is in the area, how much the cost of living might be, and whether there are other competing institutions.
Check for drum lessons Sydney here.
Cost of a Bachelor of Music in Drumming
If you want to go into drumming professionally, you should consider getting a degree at one of the UK’s music academies. This will generally be a BA in Music Performance (specialising in Drums) taking 3-4 years to complete. Some offer postgraduate degrees.
The advantage of going for a diploma is that you will not only be learning to play the drums, you will also be getting a solid foundation in music theory, history of drum music, composition, rhythm and drum notation. Some will encourage you to master several percussion instruments, increasing your range, though others will let you specialise in a specific type of drum.
You will also be practising more intensely. While you might otherwise take a lesson with a drum instructor once or twice a week, here you will have classes every day, in a classroom and one-to-one with a drum teacher, as well as daily practice. It’s the best way to learn advanced techniques such as polyrhythm and get the theoretical grounding to help you compose your own drum solos; however, they are only worth the time and money if you want to play the drums professionally.
Tuition is usually somewhere around £9,000 a year.
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A few music colleges offering percussion as an undergraduate degree are:
- Academy of Contemporary Music BA Professional Music Performance, Drums (London and Birmingham) 3 year, 2 year accelerated
- University of West London Percussion exams (including Drum Kit, Percussion, Snare Drum, Timpani and Tuned Percussion)
- Royal College of Music London, Bachelor of Music, Percussion 4 years, with various postgraduate degrees
- Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, BA Music Performance 3-year course (only £6700!) (MA program available)
Find out also what equipment you need to play the drums...
Cost of Drum Lessons With a Private Tutor
Again, prices will vary depending on location, availability and - something not as much of a factor in drum schools - experience. Many music students make some extra money offering beginner drum lessons. They don’t have the experience of professional drummers, but their learning years are not as far behind them.
Here are some examples of the cost of drum classes with a Superprof tutor near you:
- London and Greater London Area: generally around £25-30
- Bristol: £25-30
- Manchester: £20
- Birmingham: £20
- Glasgow: £15-25
More important than what drum lessons cost, though, is that you find just the right drum teacher for you, so that your beginner drum lessons are fun!
Now discover all you need to know about drum lessons for beginners...