Intro

Are you interested in learning the drums, but still on the fence about whether to invest in a more expensive series of lessons?

If that’s the case, and budget is a top priority, Begin Drumming might be a good course for you. It comes at a very low price and the material is solid. Just try not to focus too much on the website design.

Jim McCarthy developed these materials over 10 years for his students, and now he’s made them available online for a one-time cost of $49.95. To learn more, read through my detailed Begin Drumming review below.


Features

– 4 hours of video lessons
– 198 audio files
– Complete sheet music


Screenshot

Here’s an example screenshot of lesson #45 in the Begin Drumming course. As you can see, professional design is not Jim’s focus, though the content is good.

Begin Drumming Lesson 45


FAQ

Here are the most common questions I receive about Begin Drumming. If you have more, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to find an answer for you.

Q: How much will this cost me?

A: One-time payment of $49.95 for lifetime access

Q: If I don’t like it, can I get my money back?

A: The guarantee says that, “If you don’t benefit, you don’t pay.” Contact them within 8 weeks and they will refund your money.

Q: How does Begin Drumming compare to private lessons?

A: From what I remember, these lessons are very similar to what I received from my instructor. (It’s all basically the same message when you’re studying fundamentals.) The main selling point of Begin Drumming is that you get a years worth of online lessons for about the cost of 3 private lessons. Of course, the downside is that if you’re doing something incorrectly, you won’t get any feedback from the online lessons, but this goes for all of the products I’m reviewing.

Q: How many lessons will I have access to?

A: Begin Drumming includes 4 hours of video broken into 45 lessons. You can see the full list of lessons below.

Q: How many instructors are there?

A: All of the lessons are taught by Jim McCarthy. You can read more about him in the Instructors/Styles section below.

Q: Can I learn actual songs with Begin Drumming?

A: In a word, no. There are no play-along tracks, but I wouldn’t expect any since this material is geared for beginners. For play-along experience at the beginner level, I recommend you turn on some pop music and rock eighth-notes on the high hat with snare on 2 and 4. It’ll probably work out okay.

 

Properties

Drum Lessons
Overall Rating

This is my overall rating for the course. It is based on a weighted rating algorithm that uses dozens of factors.

71.9/100 Rating
Rating: 71.9%
Price

The current price of drum lessons (not including any coupon codes, trials or discounts we find for you.)

$49.95
Cost/Lesson

Price divided by total lessons. Note: We assume 12 full months of membership for online lessons.

$1.11 / Lesson
$12.50 / Hour
Best Deal

To help you save money, we find deals and coupon codes for each of the drum lessons we review.

$49.95
Guarantee

The guarantee tells you how long you can try these drum lessons and get a full refund of your money if it doesn't work out.

56-Day, 100%
Money Back
Lesson Format

How is the material organized? Where can I access it?

Online Videos
PDFs & MP3s
Delivery

Delivery refers to how you will receive your drum lessons and how long it will take to get access and start learning how to drum.

Instant
(Online)
Visit Site

This button takes you to the official website to check out their drum lessons and get started.

Beginner

Does this product/service offer beginner drum lessons? This is the most common level, crucial for getting started at any age.

Intermediate

Do they also have lessons beyond the beginner level? Once you've mastered the basics, you'll want intermediate lessons.

Advanced

Some teachers even have lessons designed for advanced players that have moved through beginner and intermediate lessons.

Song Lessons

Want to learn popular songs on the drums? Some instructors work hard to get license deals to teach you specific songs step-by-step.

Live / Feedback

Some services offer live lessons with webcam or chat, and/or private instructor feedback.

Video Quality

If these lessons offer video instruction (and we hope they do), this gives an idea of how well-filmed the videos are.

Acceptable
Lesson Length

Most private drum teachers do 30 minute blocks, but most topics don't require that long by video.

5-10 Minutes
Total Lessons

Some courses out there have less than 50 lessons, which isn't much to build on. Look for at least 100 lessons, preferably over 1,000.

45 Lessons
4 Hours
Teachers

One benefit of Online and DVD lessons is the ability to learn from multiple instructors with different backgrounds, genres and skills.

1 Teacher
Lesson Quality

Our personal rating for how well-made, organized and helpful these drum lessons are overall.

72.1/100 Rating
Lesson Quality: 72.1%
Value for Price

Value for price is our way of comparing lesson quality, features, tools and support with the cost of these drum lessons.

74.7/100 Rating
Value for Price: 74.7%
Ease of Use

How easy does the creator make their drum lessons to use? Are the videos easy to follow? Are the tools helpful or too complex?

86.7/100 Rating
Ease of Use: 86.7%
Support

Support refers to how much help you will actually receive as a customer. Will the teacher(s) and students answer your questions?

75.0/100 Rating
Support: 75.0%
Lesson Variety

Variety is the spice of life. Don't get dragged into boring lessons that all follow the same formula. More lesson variety = more fun.

59.8/100 Rating
Lesson Variety: 59.8%
Entertainment

We personally evaluate each lesson for many logical ratings, but it's also important that you'll be entertained while learning.

67.9/100 Rating
Entertainment: 67.9%
Rudiments

Will I learn rudimental drumming patterns that will help me improvise?

Hand Technique

Will they teach me how to hold the sticks and how to increase my speed and endurance?

Foot Technique

Do they pay much attention to increasing skills with the bass drum and hi-hat?

Gear and Setup

Do they devote lessons to equipment, tuning, and setup?

Theory

Will they teach me how to read music?

Rock

Are there lessons about rock drumming?

Jazz

Are there lessons about jazz drumming?

Latin

Are there lessons about latin drumming?

Fills

Are there lessons that focus on drum fills?

Solos

Are there lessons that focus on drum solos?

Jam Tracks

Are there lessons or other recordings that allow me to play along with other musicians?

Best Deal

We do not sell drum lessons; we are a free drum lessons review service. This link goes to Begin Drumming

Full Review

Summary

Rating: 71.9/100. Begin Drumming has solid beginner’s material, and the best price of any product I’ve reviewed.

However, if you’ve already invested in a drum kit, you owe it to yourself to seek out higher-quality drum lessons. To check them out, compare the top 5 drum lessons.

Pros

– Great price ($49.95)
– Clear explanations of all drumming fundamentals

Cons

– Only suitable for beginners
– Poor website and course design
– Extremely basic, and not very motivating

Lesson Format

The 4 hours of video are divided into 45 lessons, each of which lasts about 5 – 10 minutes. For absolutely new beginners each lesson should be equivalent to the core content of a 30-minute live lesson and will require practice time of approximately 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week.

So with moderate motivation you should be feeling comfortable with this material in a little under a year.

The lesson starts with Jim explaining the rhythm, technique, exercise, or solo verbally and then he will play through the music on either a practice pad or on the drum kit as appropriate. It uses a single camera angle for each setting so nothing too fancy here, but the examples aren’t particularly fancy either so I have no real complaint.

At this skill level, this lesson format handles everything just fine, though it would still be nice to see a cleaner design/layout like online drum lessons.

Instructors/Styles

Jim McCarthy has a master’s degree in percussion and has been teaching students for over 20 years. He developed the Begin Drumming materials simply because he couldn’t find any books that targeted beginning drummers in a comprehensive way.

What does he mean by comprehensive, you might ask. To give you a much clearer idea, here are the titles for all 45 lessons.

  1. Basic Equipment
  2. The grip – how to hold the sticks
  3. The First Strokes – Singles, doubles, triples.
  4. Movement Techniques – The Stroke Types
  5. Reading the notes and rhythms
  6. Accents
  7. First Rudiments – The Paradiddle Family
  8. Reading Rhythm 2 – Quavers or Eighth Notes
  9. First Lesson on the Drum Kit
  10. Accented Quavers and Combining Drums with Hi-Hat
  11. First Rock Beats (using quavers on the high hat)
  12. Flam rudiments 1
  13. Drum kit solo #1 – Four Steps One
  14. Reading Rhythm 4 – Semiquavers
  15. Reading Rhythm 5 – Semiquavers on Drum Kit
  16. Reading Rhythm 6 – More Semiquavers
  17. Drum kit solo #2 – The Big Rock
  18. Dynamics – Loud and Soft
  19. Advanced Accents
  20. Drum kit solo #3 – Rock The Boat
  21. playing in 12/8 time
  22. Reading Dotted Rhythms
  23. Flam rudiments 2 – Flam Accents, Flam Drags, Flam Paradiddles.
  24. Rudimental Solo 1 – “Fire & Flams” AND 6/8 Drum Kit exercise.
  25. Playing in 3/4 time
  26. Drum kit solo #4 – Play-Time
  27. Paradiddle rudiments 2 – Paradiddlediddle, Diddle-egg 5, Diddle-egg 7.
  28. Snare drum 16ths between high-hats
  29. “Special Rudiments” – Using Short Bursts of Speed!
  30. Bass drum 16ths between hi-hat notes
  31. Drum kit solo #5 – Funky Chook
  32. Reading Rhythm 9 – Triplets
  33. Complex Time Signatures and Rudimental Solo 2 – “Double Yolks”
  34. More 16ths between high-hats
  35. 16ths Between 8ths on other Drums
  36. Drum kit solo #6 – Funkasaurus Rox
  37. Reading Rhythm 10 – Demisemiquavers
  38. Roll rudiments 1
  39. Semiquavers on High Hat
  40. Drum kit solo #7 – Dots n’ Dashes
  41. Roll Rudiments 2 – Six stroke roll, 9 stroke roll, 10 stroke roll, roll exercise
  42. Drum kit solo #8 – 4 to 6 Funk
  43. Playing in “Mixed” or “Complex” time signatures – & – Using open High hat notes.
  44. Drum kit solo #9 – 7/8 Coffee
  45. Drum kit solo #10 – The Kit Kat

As you can see, the styles that he focuses on are rudimental, rock, and funk drumming. In my opinion, these are the most important styles for beginners to focus on. Though, pretty much every set of beginning materials focuses on these so nothing special here, I just wanted to emphasize that his approach is solid and reliable.

Tools/Resources

All the resources of Begin Drumming are fairly basic. You get access to online videos which you can stream or download as either MP4s (Mac) or WMV (Windows) files. Sheet music is available for everything in PDF format which you can download individually or as the complete book. And finally most lessons are accompanied by audio-only files in MP3 format which you can download, though I didn’t see any option for downloading them all at the same time. Be aware that the video is of only medium quality, though this isn’t visually intensive material so it get’s the job done.

Is Begin Drumming for You?

Essentially, these no-frills lessons will teach you all of the basics of rhythm, rudiments, reading music, and moving things around the drums. If you are a very casual learner and not yet sure if you want to invest in another product, Begin Drumming is probably the best thing for you. At fifty bucks, you can’t really go wrong and I do believe that the material will get you through the beginning stages of learning the drums.

However, if you have more than a mild curiosity in drumming and are looking for a more solid product, take a look at Drumeo. They offer live lessons 5 days a week as well as a deep archive of past lessons from a team of 16 instructors. It is a monthly subscription membership with a 90-day money-back guarantee if you decide it isn’t for you.

If you would prefer a product with lifetime access for a one-time cost, then Drumming System is worth checking out.

Conclusion to my Begin Drumming Review

I hope you enjoyed my review of Begin Drumming and that you now have a better idea of whether it’s right for you.