Percussive beats are central to various music styles practically all round the world, and a good drummer is one of the most demanded skills in the world of music. Learning to play drums as an adult is one of the best personal challenges you can undertake.
It comes with several benefits among them improved limb coordination, and better brain functioning and generally good moods when making good music with drums. Your self-esteem will also get a big boost from the bragging rights that come from being a Rockstar drummer.
Many drummers are self-taught, with amateur music bands in clubs and churches being the most popular launching pads. But learning to play drums can be learned just as one learns any other instrument like the piano.
However, learning to play as an adult has unique challenges in accessing a good teacher, and getting the free time to attend classes. Taking online classes can help you overcome these challenges.
They also come with the added advantage of accessing a wider pool of drumming talent around the world. If you still believe in old-fashioned physical classes, you can also use online matchmaking platforms to find a teacher in your locality.
Here are some drumming lessons you can enroll as an adult today.
15 Best Drum Lessons for Adults Review
1) ArtistWorks - Jazz Drums with Peter Erskine
How would you like to learn how to play the drums with a Grammy award winner? These lessons are offered by one of the foremost drummers, Peter Erskine, who has worked with artists like Chick Corea, Joni Mitchell, John Scofield, Jaco Pastorius, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Steely Dan, Weather Report, and many others. These are lessons for all levels of drumming skills; beginner, intermediate and advanced.
· Introduction to jazz drums
· How to hold the sticks
· Practice pads – introduction, basic strokes, warm-up pattern, warming up with rudiments
· Introduction to basic tone production
· Cymbal riding techniques
· Basic hi-hat and ride practice techniques
· Independence and coordination – unisons exercises, contrapuntal
· Coordination exercises
· Staccato to legato phrasing
· Hi-hat control - basic technique, exercises
· Brushes techniques
· Call and response exercises
· Back phrasing
· Playing a melody on drums
· Slow jazz blues
· Playing ballads
· Odd time signatures
· Playing Brazilian
· Building a solo
These lessons are available on Udemy. You can use ArtistWorks Video Exchange Learning® platform to upload your practice videos for peer reviews by the tutor and other students.
2) Udemy - Learn to play the drums with Billy Baker
At the end of these lessons you will be able to drum to the tunes ‘Three Little Birds' by Bob Marley, 'Jump into the Fog' by the Wombats, and 'Road to Nowhere' by Talking Heads.
This course is good for anyone with an interest in drumming, whether you have picked up the sticks for the first time, or you need to expand your repertoire by learning to read music notation for drumming.
These lessons will give you skills in;
· Playing the basic rhythms that make up a different style of music
· Playing the rudiments that make the building blocks of drumming
· The theory of drum music
· Reading drum music notation
· Playing rock grooves
· Different styles of drumming including Blues, reggae, Latin and March
The lessons are in 8 levels;
· Level 1: Playing with a Click, 3/4 Grooves, 16th Notes & Paradiddles
· Level 2: More Advanced Grooves using the Floor Tom & Different Time Signatures
· Level 3: Using Advanced 16th Notes in Your Drumming
· Level 4: Next Level Coordination
· Level 5: Advanced Techniques, Feel and Irregular Time Signatures
· Level 6: Advanced Combination of Rhythm
· Level 7: Faster Double Strokes, Double Pedal & Weak Hand Lead
They are available on Udemy.
3) Udemy - Drums for beginners with Brendan Bache
This is a short beginner’s course designed to help you become comfortable with the feel of the drum set, and give you basic backbeats. It will also teach you how to drum at a faster speed and more accuracy. You will also learn how to create music variations in different sections of a song.
You will start by learning the basic rhythms and groves in drumming, and then proceed to beat permutations and patterns, to help you use them in different music styles. This will establish solid fundamental skills that will help you play the drum kit in a variety of skills including pop and rock. The lessons are on 2 levels;
· First step – Quarter and eighth note grooves, the crash, fills and phrases, musical form
· Bass drum 8th note – Bass drum 8ths, 16th note fills, permutations and advanced phrases
The course is taught by Brendan Bache, who has been playing drums since the age of 8. The lessons are in 15 lectures are taking about 3 hours. The course is available on Udemy.
4) Udemy - Masterful Drumming Volume 1 with Larry Crowe
This course is designed for beginners and intermediate drum players. This course is designed to give you a solid understanding of playing the drum set. You will develop skills in sight-reading drum music by learning to read basic note values in the quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes.
It will also help develop independence and coordination which will help you gain confidence on the drum set to express yourself musically. This course is note based;
· Introduction – the drum kit, sitting position, left and right hands, musical terms and notations
· Quarter notes and exercises
· Eighth notes and exercises- Grooves and fills of the eighth note
· Eighth note triplets – Grooves and fills, and exercises
· Sixteenth notes- Grooves and fills of 16th note and exercises, alternating 16th notes
This introductory course is designed to be light on the student. The course is in 24 lectures taking a total of 2 hours. It is taught by Larry Crowe, an accomplished drummer who has played with the likes of Grammy Award winner Patti Austin (R&B/Jazz), Jesse Gress (Todd Rundgren), Robert Michaels (Latin Jazz), and John Hawken (The Strawbs). It is available on Udemy.
5) Udemy - How to play Drums: The Ultimate Guide to Drumming with Rohan Bumbra
This is a comprehensive course that is designed to cover as much ground as possible in drumming. The author has stated a timeline of 18 months to complete the course, at the end of which you will be a professional drummer. It has 80 lectures taking over 9 hours of video lessons, and over 350 exercises. You will learn;
· Playing fills and grooves
· The rudiments of drumming (building blocks)
· Fundamentals of music and rhythm
· Reading and playing sheet music
· Foot and hand coordination
· Playing different music styles including jazz, blues, reggae, and rock
· Hand speeds, accuracy, and endurance
· Improvisation of grooves and fills
The course is set in 8 levels;
· Chapter 1 - Setting Up
· Chapter 2 - Foundations
· Chapter 3 - Advancing Concepts
· Chapter 4 - Rudiments
· Chapter 5 - Triplets and Shuffles
· Chapter 6 - Drumming Styles
· Chapter 7 - Advanced Notation
· Chapter 8 - What Next?
· Student FAQ Section
· Backing Tracks
You can find the course on Udemy.
6) SkillShare - Drumming Secrets - 0 to Rocker in 30 Minutes! with Coulter Peterson
Have you often wondered how good drummers can get into the flow of any song within a few minutes of hearing it? This is the secret that this short course is designed to teach you.
This secret will work for beginners, as well as drummers who have been playing for some time, who would like to strengthen their core skills. This course will also help overcome the notions that good drummers are either born with the talent or have to study lengthy drumming courses.
The only requirement in this course is that you can tap your foot along to the rhythm of a song. The skills you learn in this course will also be very helpful in helping you learn skills in other musical instruments, because the drum establishes a rhythmic foundation that is applicable in other instruments as well.
This is a very short course taking only 30 minutes with 9 lessons;
2. Crash Course on Rhythm & ‘Hearing’ the Drummer
3. The Core Beat
4. Strengthening Your Core
5. The Core of the Chorus
6. Adding Flare & Fanciness
7. The Secret Beat
8. Your Final Project
9. Final Thoughts
The course is available on Skillshare.
7) Lynda - Introduction to level 1 with Rich Lackowski
In this course, you will be learning to play the drums using beats and fills from some of the world’s all-time popular songs. This is level 1 of the three series drumming course, On the Beaten Path that teaches how to drum using techniques learned from the world's greatest drummers, in iconic songs that shaped how music is played in the modern-day.
It starts by studying legendary rock drummers like Dave Grohl (Nirvana), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), and Tré Cool (Green Day). You proceed to enrich your drum vocabulary by studying beats and fills from jazz and blues drummers like Buddy Rich, Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan), and Max Roach (Miles Davis).
This will also develop your syncopation and coordination on the drums. Finally, you study other music styles including reggae, funk, country, and Latin by studying drummers in these styles including Carlton Barrett (Bob Marley), and Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste (The Meters).
The course teaches you over 140 drum vocabulary that you can use to make your music. at the end of the course you will be competent in;
· Setting the drum kit
· Basic foot and hand techniques
· Reading drum sheet music
· Playing in different times e.g. ¾, 5/4, and 7/8
· Playing in different music styles
8) Drum lessons on 180drums.com
If you would like to get the feel of drumming before committing, you can visit 180drums.com for free introductory lessons. There are 40 video lessons open to free members. You can search for what you want by video lesson, skill level, or instructor.
The lessons are on different topics including grooves, fills, independence, hands, speed, and performance. There are about 30 drumming teachers who are professional drummers with long years of experience playing in bands and teaching.
The site is open to drummers of all levels. As a free member you will have;
· Access to free 40 video lessons
· Access to the site’s private Facebook group where you can interact with the instructors and other students, as well as discuss various topics on drumming
· 24/7 access to the site’s learning area
Full membership entitles you to;
· Lessons with a 90-day money-back guarantee
· Access to professional drummers
· Access to more than 500 lessons
· Access to the site’s private Facebook group
· Unlimited 24/7 access to the site’s learning area
· No ads on your learning workstation
You can start a free trial without the need for a credit card.
9) Drum lessons on Drumeo.com
Drumeo was established as an online platform for drummers in 2005 and has since grown to attract more than 100 of the world's best drummers as tutors, and more than 1.3 million subscribers.
The site has developed the Drumeo Edge teaching method, which immerses the student in video lessons, exercises, and one-on-one sessions with tutors. Students take the lessons in a self-paced mode. You can opt to learn gradually and go up the levels, or you can jump to a specific lesson. The course levels are as follows;
· Level 1- Getting started on drums
· Level 2 – Basic theory and ear training
· Level 3 – Motions of drumming
· Level 4 – Moeller method and essential grooves
· Level 5 – Rhythmic groupings and improvisation
· Level 6- Odd time and finger control
· Level 7 – Foot technique and combinations
· Level 8 – Brushes, texture, and articulation
· Level 9 – advanced styles and musical decisions
· Level 10 – Go anywhere on the drums
The world-class teachers here include Billy Cobham, Benny Greb, Brian Tichy, Anika Nilles, Claus Hessler, carter Mclean, David Garibaldi, and many others. You also get over 220 play-along songs for practice.
10) Drum lessons on Mikeslessons.com
These online lessons are offered by Mike Johnston, an accomplished drummer from North Carolina. There are about 100 lessons in different categories; hand speed, foot speed, grooves, fills, independents, rudiments and techniques.
The lessons are in a library that you can filter according to your skill level; beginner, intermediate or advanced. The lessons are designed to develop specific drumming skill sets using step-by-step instruction. These video lessons come loaded with practice tools for a holistic learning experience.
You can access the lessons on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can also download the Groove Scribe app, which is a product of Mike’s collaboration with programmer Lou Montulli. It will help you create, practice and share grooves.
It is like having a virtual drum kit with notation software. There is also the Groove Freedom app which you can download and use to develop your independence skills with challenging patterns that come with the app.
Mike also offers 8-10 drum camps in North Caroline. The camp lasts for 5 days and is a good opportunity for one-on-one with Mike, and meeting fellow drummers.
11) Drum lessons on Drumchannel.com
Drum channel is a combination of an online drum teaching platform, drum entertainment channel, and online store for drumming related items. There are more than 800 lessons and 400 entertainment shows on the platform.
It was founded by Don Lombardi who has invited other professional drummers to offer lessons, insights, and interviews on different subjects in drumming. The channel has featured legendary artists like Grammy award winner Nick Mason, Steven Perkins, Ralph Humphrey, Danny Seraphin, and Cobus Potgieter.
You can find beginner lessons like;
· Learn the Beginner Rock Beats
· Basic Rock Drumming Chad's Way
· Technique 1 - Basic Body Motion
· Emergency Styles Toolkit Vol 1: The Essential Genres
More advanced lessons include;
· Play Rudiments: Rudimental Crash Course
· Bass Drum Control
· Frontiers of Composition and Articulation
You also get secrets from the pros and hundreds of play-along songs for practice. Whatever drumming gear and accessories you need will be in the online store on site.
12) Drum lessons on stephensdrumshed.com
This website offers free and paid lessons taught by Stephen Taylor. The free lessons are teasers to give you a taste of what full subscription would get you. he has categorized his lessons for beginners, intermediate, advanced and players who are coming back after being away from the drums for a while. There is a lot of good free stuff on offer including;
· Creating a drum fill vocabulary – A program to help drummers of all levels create endless drum fill vocabulary
· Lessons on improving the single stroke
· Steps to the Purdie shuffle
· 5 essential reggae drum fills from popular Bob Marley songs
· Lessons on bass drum speed
· 5 practice tools offered on downloadable PDF
He also offers a comprehensive 30-day free program, offered in video and PDF that includes;
· 10 exercises for 25-minute drills per day
· A proven program for double strokes
· A method for creating drumming goals and achieving them
A paid membership gives you access to all this free stuff plus a program with more than 1,000 video lessons on different drumming subjects. He also offers one-on-one Q&As to paid members.
13) Learn drums with Dann Sherill
These lessons are offered on learnandmaster.com, a site that teaches a myriad of things including musical instruments, dancing, and photography. The mode of teaching is a bit old-fashioned, with lessons offered on DVD. These lessons come in 12 DVDs covering a wide range of beginner and intermediate lessons. You will find drumming topics like;
· How to Set Up the Drum Kit
· Tips to Drum Soloing
· Vital Musical theory and Concepts
· Rock music Drum Playing
· Pop music Drum Playing
· Latin music Drum Playing
· Swing music Drum Playing
· Rudiments and their importance
· Reggae music Drum Playing
· Funk music Drum Playing
· Jazz music Drum Playing
· Classic music Drum Concepts
· How to execute the Moeller Technique
· Playing a Shuffle
· Drumming on the Double Bass
· Playing Brushes
· Soloing techniques
· Drum Fills and grooves
The DVD pack comes with play-along CD songs. These are recorded by actual bands in the studio to help you practice how to accompany them. It is expected that you will be confident enough to play in your style at the end of the lessons.
14) Drumming lessons with Mike Michalkow
Mike Michalkow claims these lessons are the encyclopedia of drumming and he has dubbed this teaching method ‘the drumming system.’ These lessons were designed to overcome learning challenges that drummers go through like having to learn everything from scratch, reading sheet music and information overload.
These lessons have been designed drawing from over 20 years of drumming experience. Drummers, whether beginners or advanced, will learn much from these lessons. You get a practice routine generator to help establish a custom plan depending on your schedule.
some of the topics covered are;
· Drum tuning and setup
· Hand technique
· Speed and endurance
· Drum rudiments
· Bass drum techniques
· Drumbeats and fills
· Odd time signatures
· Practice play-along
The lessons cover all popular genres including reggae, funk, country, metal, blues, Latin, jazz, Celtic and many others. The lessons are not offered online, but rather on DVD and eBooks. Mike Michalkow is the teacher in all lessons.
15) Drumming lessons with Jared Falk
These are DVD lessons offered by Jared Falk, who has dubbed his method ‘Successful Drumming.’ These lessons are designed for fresh drummers, and also drummers who have been playing for some time but feel they have hit a wall. This pack of DVD lessons contains;
· 10 training DVDs
· 7 play-along CDs
· An interactive workbook
Purchasing the lessons also gives you access to the members’ area on the website. The lessons are in levels;
· Foundation - You will be introduced to The Drumming Tree™ which is a holistic approach for drum kit setup, posture, holding the sticks, basic bass drum techniques, note and rest values, as well as tips on accepting the rebound of the stick.
· Techniques – Here you learn more advanced techniques like playing ghost notes, playing cross-stick, heel-toe technique, using the metronome, and Moeller method among others
· Grooves – This involves practicing with different music styles and genres
· Breakdown- Tips to help you read music
· The Bassist – Tips for playing the bass drum
You also get tips on drumming in a band, doing music shows, developing your style, and the lifestyle of a drummer in general.
Choosing the Best Drum Lessons for Adults
Being a good drummer takes determination, practice, and a good teacher to establish the requisite foundational skills. You can learn to play the drum as an adult, and it will turn out to be the best personal improvement project you’ve undertaken. You may also be surprised that learning to play the drum piques your curiosity to experiment with other musical instruments.
Good drummers are always in demand, and you will hardly lack for gigs especially casual ones. It is never too late to do what you love. One thing you can be sure about is that no one can ever describe you as boring.