Whether taking online video drum lessons with Drum Ambition, or attending my personal teaching studio in San Diego; your first drum lesson will be a lot of fun, and set you off on the right track.
What should be the goal of my first drum lesson?
To have fun! The first thing I want students to experience is how much fun playing a basic drum beat can be. My assumption is that you have come to your drum lesson because you want to have fun, learn an instrument, and play along to your favorite music, or perhaps even with your musician friends. My job is to help you achieve your goals.
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When learning any musical instrument, there are a number of basic foundational skills, mostly technique and music theory based, that need to be developed. We talk a lot about them in our videos, and even in our blog content. But there is plenty of time to cover this, and we don't bring these elements into your first few lessons. In the beginning, it is most important to have fun and build self-confidence on the instrument. That way, you can make an informed decision on whether the drums are the right fit for you.
What does Drum Ambition teach in the first lesson?
My aim is to deliver an entertaining experience that is both structured and methodical. I walk you step by step through the fun process of crafting your first drum beat - making it comfortable, manageable and attainable. If you watch Drum Ambition Lesson 1, which is one of our free videos, you will get a good idea of my personal teaching style. In this lesson, we put together your first basic drum beat, which is best described as a popular, and very common pop/rock beat. Since this beat forms the foundation of literally thousands of hit records, and is quite achievable with a small amount of practice, this is always a good place to start. In my teaching studio in San Diego, I approach this lesson much the same as you will see in this video. Once my student feels comfortable playing this beat, I show them how it looks written down in music notation. On Drum Ambition, you have the music notation on the screen in real-time, and also in a downloadable PDF file. Most people see the value in learning to read music very quickly, especially when they see how accessible it is. You might find this article useful if you want to discover the many benefits of reading music.
Do we cover holding sticks and posture straight away?
You will notice in Video 1 that I don't talk about how to hold the sticks, how to use the bass drum pedal efficiently, and how to sit correctly. There is a reason for this - it is distracting. You will have enough to focus on just counting and coordinating, and we can only focus on so many things at once. I want you to have fun, and show you that you can do this. I don't overload you with details and techniques. When you are happy playing the basic beat, you can watch accompanying Special Feature Videos that expand on these more technical areas. Don't worry, you won't develop any bad habits in this short time period.
How does this approach differ from other teachers?
At Drum Ambition, your first lesson is all about getting involved - getting behind the drum set, and playing a beat. If you don't have a drum set, you can still be actively involved. All music teachers have different approaches. Some like to play beats on the drum set straight away, and some like to develop your technique and understanding of the rudiments before you even sit behind a drum set. Where most other instruments have scales, we have rudiments, which are essentially the mechanics, if you will, of how we play certain patterns. They are hugely important, and will ultimately bring great musicality to your drumming. They also take a lot of time, practice and repetition, and should not, in my opinion, be the primary focus of a beginner drummer. This is where my approach differs from many other teachers that I know, and teachers I have had myself. Primarily, I want you to have fun, and show you how to become competent on drum beats, drum fills, be musical in the process - and then show you how the rudiments can further enhance this foundation. I do not make them the foundation itself. You will have a better understanding of how to apply these rudiments if you have a basic comprehension of drum beats and fills - and that is exactly what we give you over a series of structured lessons.
What if Drum Ambition differs from my Teacher's approach?
If you are using Drum Ambition as a supplement for one-to-one lessons (as many of our subscribers do), you may find that your teacher has other views on some of our content. That's ok. Music is very subjective, and the reality is you can ask five teachers a question and come away with five different answers. There is rarely a "right or wrong" situation, just different views, opinion, and personal preference. There will always be areas in which a teacher may want to fine tune a subject, or go off on a different route based on your needs and goals. This is one of the many benefits of combining online drum lessons with a local drum teacher. If you are not working with a drum teacher and using Drum Ambition as your main resource, you can still be assured of a solid foundation, based on engaging, complete, fun and entertaining content, tailored specifically towards the beginner drummer.