Drum Set

Drum Set

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There are three main reasons to learn Drum Set:

1) Self-Expression

Percussion, along with music in general, has a unique ability to communicate not only ideas in words but also in pitch, tone, and rhythm.  While it can be dry and academic to discuss music theory, actually using it is quite the opposite.  Students who pursue music find themselves experiencing a whole new dimension of human nature, and it really is something special.  When words alone fail, music can often express (and even soothe) the soul – even when that music is simple rhythm and accent.

2) Social Enterprise

Music, while it can be done alone, is often a group activity.  Friendships are easily formed when two people have guitars (or other instruments) and have the ability combine their unique skills together.  Even if the student never partakes of an organized collection of musicians (in school or in the garage), he or she will doubtless find times to play with friends.  Young drummers are often hard to find, which always serves to create demand!

3) Cognitive Development

Music theory, while certainly understandable with proper work ethic, is a rigorous discipline.  Drum theory is in many ways even more rigorous – not only tracking advanced rhythms but also manipulating endlessly complex variations to match and support the entire band.   It involves memorization, logic, and the development of a good “ear” for music (which, happily, normally develops quite naturally through study).  The same tools that students learn pursuing a knowledge of music theory will serve them well in every other area of study they may pursue.

Language is made up of three parts: pitch, tone, and rhythm.

The Overall Goal

My goal in teaching music is to teach all three of these parts in a synthetic and comprehensive manner.  I leave no stone unturned, and my students learn to approach music in a way as to not merely play but to actually understand.  Indeed, depending on the student, I usually load the first few lessons relatively heavily with theory, as they can quickly get to the point of understanding basic rhythm and therefore can help find the very patterns that most teachers would spoon-feed them.

Going Deep

My goal in teaching music is to enable the student to learn on his/her own.  To this end, I avoid merely teaching them set rhythm.  It would be impossible to teach them every kind of rhythm that they may want to play in any case, once you include the different time signatures, accents, and fills.  But I teach students how to understand the basic idea behind each of those things and then explore how to apply and learn from within them.

Having Fun

However, I do not confuse comprehensive with boring.  Quite the opposite, in fact – I intentionally aim to make lessons fun! We laugh, we make jokes, we make fun of our mistakes.  Music is easy to inspire with- and drums (a.k.a., hitting things in time) is just plain fun to begin with!

I currently teach Music with a variety of means:

Using Traditional Tools

Drum lessons, historically, are focused on precision and certain patterns on the snare drum called rudiments.  I do teach these (or, at least, some of these) because they truly are helpful in getting students to internalize a sense of counting and rhythm.  They are also the basis for fills and many of the normal drum patterns, so they are well worth learning on their own.

Using Their Music

Most students are interested in learning music because of the music styles that they are used to listening to.  Therefore, especially in the beginning lessons, I try to move them from basic theory to playing music that they already know as soon as possible.  Sticking primarily with music they know – and love – usually means that they are much more likely to actually practice!

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No Strings Attached

After experiencing the first free lesson, you are under no obligation to continue. Though, of course, I hope you’ll want to do so!

What We Will Accomplish

In the first hour, I generally introduce two main concepts – first, rudiments on the snare drum; and second, basic play on the drum set (assuming there is one available).  We will focus on hand control especially, as this is very important and difficult to change if learned incorrectly.  However, I always try to end the lesson by giving them some examples of more advanced patterns in various styles – this serves to encourage and inspire them to hit the ground running.

The Bottom Line

I would love to hear from you and see how I can help your student(s) learn.  I can come to your home (especially if you’re near Osceola, WI or Anoka, MN) at a time that works for you and see how we can work together. You can send me a message here: Contact Me.