I’ve been in music for long enough to know most of the questions you are likely to have. Have a look below and if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, leave your question in the comments and I’ll find an answer for you.

Q: How long does it take to learn the drums?

A: The drums are simple enough that you’ll be able to play along to basic rock tunes after a month or so. The next stage is for you to develop a solid feel for the main styles, a good sense of time, an ability to improvise fills, and to have some confidence when you are play. With 30-60 minutes of practice 5 days a week, you should be there in about 12 months.

That’s the intermediate plateau and to move to the amateur stage where you are going out and playing gigs with your band will likely take another 2-3 years. This process does depend on how much you practice, but more importantly you will need to meet other drummers, find a band, and get comfortable making music with other people.

Q: What is the average cost of drum lessons?

A: Live drum lessons with a private instructor usually go for $25-30 an hour, though they can get a lot more expensive if you want to study with a really great drummer.

Q: Are online or DVD lessons really as good as a private teacher?

A: Of course, the answer to this question depends on the videos and the private teacher. However, in general, online or DVD lessons can be just as good as and often better than private teachers. The main advantages are: 1) far more flexibility with your schedule and no need to drive to the private lessons, 2) lower cost because video instructors are able to teach many students at the same time, and 3) the ability to easily rewind and review specific sections of the lesson, both during the initial viewing and while you practice throughout the week.

The main value of private teachers are that they can give you direct feedback and advice. This becomes more valuable at the advanced levels when you are trying to get gigs and things become more competitive. But for the beginning, intermediate, and even semi-pro stages, I find video lessons to be more convenient and a better value.

Q: Who are you?

A: That’s a very good question. I have a wide range of interests and activities: foreign language study, business management, blogging, but I’ve spent the most time as a drummer. I’ve played the drums and other percussion instruments for over 15 years and will always identify as a musician in my heart. If you’re interested, here’s a more in-depth look at my musical experience.

Q: Where are you coming up with those ratings?

A: I put together a fairly simple spreadsheet where I assign scores to many criteria for each product and then weight those scores depending on how important I think each criterion is. There is a more thorough explanation of how to interpret these ratings at the bottom of the drum lessons comparison page.

Q: Which lessons got the highest rating?

A: Drumeo came out on top mainly for their huge archives, interactive live lessons, high quality videos and website, and highly skilled and motivating instructors. They are more expensive than the other online options, but still significantly cheaper and more convenient than private instruction. In brief, serious drummers use Drumeo. It is the gold standard for all ability levels. The other products are more geared toward drummers that are looking to invest in a one-time payment course to get started, but none of them have as much content as Drumeo.