It's wonderful to see more and more hobbyists leveraging modern technology to get access to drum lessons. Video lessons and online instruction have solved some of the biggest obstacles for students, particularly in terms of cost, availability and the logistics of attending lessons. Video instruction is fast evolving as a practical alternative to visiting a teacher, and many students are using Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, and an ever growing number of other conferencing platforms to interact with teachers. It seems a viable way forward, but how effective are Skype one-to-one lessons as a practical and thorough way of teaching drums?

In our opinion, nothing beats working directly with a credible drum teacher - and by that, we mean being in the same room with a trained and knowledgeable teaching professional. In fact, we have written extensively on the benefits of working with professional educators. But we cannot escape the realities of modern day life. People are busy, there are multiple drains on our time and disposable income, there may not be a credible local teacher to visit, or we may simply want to try something for ourselves, on our own terms, before we seek further guidance. These are all great reasons to consider the online alternative - video lessons, or Skype lessons.

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Let's first define the differences between video lessons and Skype instruction. Video lessons are pre-recorded instructional videos that the viewer can watch at leisure, while Skype instruction is a one-to-one drum lesson between a teacher and a student, conducted over the internet in real time. At Drum Ambition, we offer video lessons, based on over 20 years of teaching experience, centered around a structured curriculum for beginner drummers. Our lessons are recorded in a world class recording studio for great sound, and our videos are recorded and edited using multiple camera angles so that the viewer has a great audio, visual, and instructional experience - and this is what sets video lessons aside from Skype instruction.

To conduct a truly mutually beneficial Skype lesson, a teacher needs to have access to the same level of audio and visual capability, so the student can get a real feel for the messages and practical demonstrations that are being imparted. But as importantly, the teacher also needs to be able to see the student (hands, feet, and overall posture). Unless the student has a multi angle camera set up and really good audio capability, the whole process can get lost in translation. To be clear, there are many teachers that have covered some of these objections very well in their individual set up, but it still doesn't address the biggest concern of needing to clearly see and hear what the student is doing, in order to offer guidance, feedback, and constructive critique. However, if you are able to work with these possible limitations and manage your expectations, then Skype lessons could be a good option for you. At the very least, they provide a great opportunity to discuss your progress and goals with someone that can guide you in the right direction.

There is a valid counter argument that watching video lessons will not give you the feedback you need either, but by having the ability to watch, re-watch, and fine tune your progress in your own time, along with the benefit of some self appraisal and consultation with our Founder and Presenter, you will start to see results. Then, if you can, it's a great idea to check-in with a local teacher for progress updates - hopefully while sat in the same room.

In addition to our video curriculum, Drum Ambition offers Skype consultations where we routinely check-in with our subscribers, to answer questions on progress and discuss goals and objectives. We don't use them as a lesson medium, for the reasons outlined above. Our critically acclaimed videos will give you everything you need to start learning the fundamentals of drumming, and we can offer tailored guidance to you along the way. Try our free drum lessons to see if we are a good fit for you, and please let us know how we can best help you achieve your goals. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Simon DasGupta.

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