Lessons or Self Taught?

ZaQ[MTG]

New member
Everywhere i go and play shows i always get 2 or 3 people who ask me where i took lessons at...my reply...."I'm Self Taught"

thus follows gasps and weird faces...all of a sudden I'm less of a drummer cause I've never taken a lesson in my life...but have no problem keeping up with the drummers that have...

I've never liked the ideas of lessons...of course they open up many doors to proper technique and essentials...but they never were for me...

I'm not bashing lessons...I'm just saying that its more than possible to learn without them
 

SHOGUNWARRIOR32

New member
The only lesson I've ever taken was watching my older brother play...i wish i would have though..still might if i find time... would still like to learn to read music and stuff... couldn't tell ya what a paradiddle was to save my life. :D
 

tchfunkta

New member
ZaQ[MTG said:
":3j3e1h6n]Everywhere i go and play shows i always get 2 or 3 people who ask me where i took lessons at...my reply...."I'm Self Taught"

thus follows gasps and weird faces...all of a sudden I'm less of a drummer cause I've never taken a lesson in my life...but have no problem keeping up with the drummers that have...

I've never liked the ideas of lessons...of course they open up many doors to proper technique and essentials...but they never were for me...

I'm not bashing lessons...I'm just saying that its more than possible to learn without them

If someone gives you a chart, you won't be "keeping up with the drummers that have." Also, good technique is a lot more efficient to learn in lessons. Lessons give you a focus that keeps you honest with yourself and good teachers guide the student to learning what the student wants to learn.
 

king_friday

New member
tchfunkta":181urcap said:
ZaQ[MTG said:
":181urcap]Everywhere i go and play shows i always get 2 or 3 people who ask me where i took lessons at...my reply...."I'm Self Taught"

thus follows gasps and weird faces...all of a sudden I'm less of a drummer cause I've never taken a lesson in my life...but have no problem keeping up with the drummers that have...

I've never liked the ideas of lessons...of course they open up many doors to proper technique and essentials...but they never were for me...

I'm not bashing lessons...I'm just saying that its more than possible to learn without them

If someone gives you a chart, you won't be "keeping up with the drummers that have." Also, good technique is a lot more efficient to learn in lessons. Lessons give you a focus that keeps you honest with yourself and good teachers guide the student to learning what the student wants to learn.
so your saying that you cant read music unless you have taken lessons? my father never took a lesson in his life, he can read music just fine, and he is an amazing player. there are plenty of really good self taught musicians out there. myself im half and half, i have taken lessons, but i consider a lot of my knowledge and skills to be self taught.

ZaQ[MTG], don't let the bastards grind ya down! being self taught does not make you any less of a drummer!
 

tchfunkta

New member
king_friday":3puvl6se said:
tchfunkta":3puvl6se said:
ZaQ[MTG said:
":3puvl6se]Everywhere i go and play shows i always get 2 or 3 people who ask me where i took lessons at...my reply...."I'm Self Taught"

thus follows gasps and weird faces...all of a sudden I'm less of a drummer cause I've never taken a lesson in my life...but have no problem keeping up with the drummers that have...

I've never liked the ideas of lessons...of course they open up many doors to proper technique and essentials...but they never were for me...

I'm not bashing lessons...I'm just saying that its more than possible to learn without them

If someone gives you a chart, you won't be "keeping up with the drummers that have." Also, good technique is a lot more efficient to learn in lessons. Lessons give you a focus that keeps you honest with yourself and good teachers guide the student to learning what the student wants to learn.
so your saying that you cant read music unless you have taken lessons? my father never took a lesson in his life, he can read music just fine, and he is an amazing player. there are plenty of really good self taught musicians out there. myself im half and half, i have taken lessons, but i consider a lot of my knowledge and skills to be self taught.

ZaQ[MTG], don't let the bastards grind ya down! being self taught does not make you any less of a drummer!

A lot of drummers who don't take lessons never learn to read music. You can find as many exceptions as you like, but it's true a lot of the time. I didn't say he was necessarily any less of a drummer, just that lessons give you a strong focus and helps you stay on track as far as how to practice in a productive manner.
 

king_friday

New member
yeah, good point. but it is possible to learn to read music on your own. hell i didnt know how to read music until about 5 or 6 years after i had been playing and taking lessons! i was taking lessons from a local drummer, he was a damn good drummer and a damn good teacher. after about two years or so, he set down a piece of music and say play that for me. i just kinda looked at it, looked and him then told him i didnt know how to read music. his jaw dropped and he just kinda starred at me, he had no idea. usually when he was teaching me something he would play it first, and i just learned by listening to him. he was really suprised when he found that out, and suprised i was able to pick things up so quickly and play them well.
 

drummerfreek55

New member
I'm kinda glad I took lessons, only because it opened me up to genres I wouldn't have explored otherwise and have definitely played a role in my style of drumming. But for the past three or four years I've self-taught everything including double bass so I'm definitely saying that self-taught has helped me in many areas.
 
There is nothing wrong with being self taught, just as long as you're teaching yourself the right things. And thats easy, just look up different things on the internet. youtube is really great for that. The only lessons I ever took were from DVDs of Tommy Igoe and Marco Minneman. Oh and of course the master of the shuffle, Bernard Purdie. So as long as you kinda set out a schedule of what to learn and look up how to do it online/books/DVDs you should be fine. Oh and dont be afraid to put your own "twist" on the things you learn. Thats what sets you apart from everyone else!
 

adrenilinecrash

New member
Ive been playin for about 12 years. Through the first 9 I took lessons every week. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I have very good technique and know all the 'basics.' I think lessons are great and I also think every drummer should start taking lessons that way they have a foundation built on proper technique and music. Music being the ability to read and write it. (Yes I know you dont NEED to take lessons to learn how to read music). I dont however think theyre necessary to be a 'good' drummer.'

Then after a couple years of lessons go out on your own and explore everything the drumming community has to offer. Periodically go back to a teacher, a professional one if possible, and have them show you their acquired knowledge. Having taken lessons from Dave Weckl, Sonny Emory, and Steve Arrington (let me pick those names back up real quick... lol) I can attest to the value of someone far advanced in experience.

-mike
 

xadamskix

New member
either way! the majority of drummers who have made careers out of drumming! the people we look up to such as neil peart, buddy rich, so on so forth have been taught by someone else! having a teacher provides a way of focusing, and progressing in a steady way! the drummers i know who havent been taught through lessons progress too quickly in the playing department but havent got the necessary technique and background rudimental skills necessary to progress to a higher level! my two cents!
 

tchfunkta

New member
king_friday":t2eoytaj said:
yeah, good point. but it is possible to learn to read music on your own. hell i didnt know how to read music until about 5 or 6 years after i had been playing and taking lessons! i was taking lessons from a local drummer, he was a damn good drummer and a damn good teacher. after about two years or so, he set down a piece of music and say play that for me. i just kinda looked at it, looked and him then told him i didnt know how to read music. his jaw dropped and he just kinda starred at me, he had no idea. usually when he was teaching me something he would play it first, and i just learned by listening to him. he was really suprised when he found that out, and suprised i was able to pick things up so quickly and play them well.
I agree, it's possible to learn to read music on your own, but there's not always a lot of motivation to do so without a teacher. Being a mix of both self taught and lessons is great and possibly ideal. I've taken lessons for many years and recently graduated college and am on a break from lessons right now and it's been nice. But I'm doing more teaching now which teaches you sometimes even more than taking lessons.

I taught a new student 2 weeks ago who had been playing for a year and was mostly self taught and was a bit of a hot shot. I spent a little bit of time having him play stuff and figuring out his abilities, impressed with some of the things he could do after only a year. He mentioned being stuck and not knowing what to practice so I asked him to play a simple rhythm from Syncopation (an eighth/quarter note measure) and he couldn't do it at all. Things got a little awkward and after the lesson he sent me an e-mail saying he wasn't going to do lessons anymore. For each his own, I suppose, but learning to read isn't always something people want to take the time to do without lessons.
 

Airborne Ranger

New member
Far more important than lessons is actually playing with real musicians. You can learn to sight-read like there's no tommorrow and play different styles backwards and forwards but until you start playing with a band it won't matter as much. Playing with other musicians will teach you interaction and improvization and finding your place in the music. It's one thing to be great in your basement but another to be great with a band, lessons or not.
 

SGarrett

New member
Both are important. If you're not teaching yourself something you're relying too heavily on other people. But if you're not taking any lessons at all you're making the road more difficult than it has to be.
 

Jaydrummer1987

New member
Well personally i say bollocks to lessons, and the whole crap about being less of a drummer cause you haven't taken any lessons is crap aswell. In my opinion you get more recognition and respect because you are self taught and that you have the ability to do so. I first started playing drums in my school orchestra, it got me started i had 1 lesson basic four beat bass snare. I have no idea how to exp[lain it because i dont know all the terminoligies.
even though i'm self taught i found a book called art of the drummer and I've found it fantastic so far, takes you right back to the beginning. which i found helpful.
 

MikeRowland

New member
When I first started playing (long ago, in a galaxy far away, ha!), you learned how to play drums by watching/listening to other drummers, or by taking lessons. I generally taught myself, and had some basic lessons on posture/stick handling/etc. These days, however, with the huge amount of media available (books/vhs/dvd), it is entirely possible to take 'lessons' from the masters without leaving your home. I can't tell you how much I have learned from watching instructional and performance dvds. I would classify this type of info as lessons, albeit informal ones. I think that taking formal instructions is beneficial, but not absolutely necessary, especially if you have concrete goals and the motivation to meet your goals.
 
Hi guys first post here

I am a classically trained pianist who learnt drums from scratch without lessons

Its all good so long as you know enough theory from "somewhere" to know what you

a) want to do
b) "need" to do to serve the song

Personally I see speed is a dead end - I used to think speed was amazing - I fell in love with players like Dennis Chambers who could rip on single strokes like nobodys business - so after my initial phase of just playing basic beats I started on single strokes then doubles - at ridiculous speeds - I worked every day and eventually could play 300BPM 16th note singles for short periods. Big Wow, no-one cares. But from a drumming technique perspective there is very little "techique" to actually learn. It doesnt matter if you know that a para diddle is just a pair of singles and a double. Most musicians dont know either, they just say play a fill that goes "Blap Blap Brrrr" And thats basically it - everything is made up of different combinations of those two different things - singles and doubles

Reading is a different matter, I have built my career on being able to read. If you are serious about being a pro you need to be able to say one word when people call and thats YES. YES i can do that date (unless you cant), YES I can read your bands material even though you guys get off jamming in 13/16, YES I am not an alcoholic

Of course if you just wanna jam in a band for a bit you dont NEED these things but better musicians will get tired of your lack of knowledge pretty quick and you will get left behind.

Stu
 

mortem

New member
Just as SGarret said, both are important.. and trust me, I know this. Almost 7 years ago I began playing and teaching myself and I don't regret this, I'm really glad I did... this lead me to begin a training that you must endure on your own.. developing listening skills (ear training) and the projection of 'feeling' on the kit. I'm not going to brag about it but I was doing rather well by myself and I was proud of my achievements as a drummer!! Just about a year ago I met this drum teacher who convinced me to try getting a couple of lessons from him.. and oh man I'm so glad I did!! Armed with my nicely trained ear, taking lessons and executing whatever I was told to was so much easier for me compared to other students... I know this because my teacher has told me so. This convinced me that my self-teaching process was as important as what I am doing now, taking lessons.

Yes, I sacrificed my "reputation and respect" for being 100% self-taught... but that's a sacrifice I decided to take in order to become a better drummer... and damn, it was well worth it.
 
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