Intro

So, you’re looking for quality DVD drum lessons to cut down on the cost of live lessons? Well, Learn & Master Drums can certainly fill that need, especially for drummers in the beginning stages of the learning process.

I’m Ben, and I’ve been playing drums for over 15 years, including a percussion performance degree and a concert at Carnegie Hall. After years of private lessons, I decided to see what home study courses had to offer.

Learn & Master Drums is quite popular, so I bought it and reviewed it thoroughly. Check out my complete Learn and Master Drums review below to see its pros & cons and find out if it’s the best drumming course for you.

Disclosure: I spent hours thoroughly testing and reviewing Learn & Master Drums, and this site is 100% ad-free, so I would really appreciate your support in purchasing drum lessons through a link on my site. It won’t change the price, but I’ll receive a commission from Dann Sherrill for my time on the review. Thanks for your support!


Features

The Learn & Master Drums system includes:

– 12 Lesson DVDs (22 sessions and bonus materials)
– 5 Play-Along CDs
– Lesson Book (Over 100 pages)
– Online Forum


Video

Video overview of the Learn & Master Drums course by Dann Sherrill:


FAQ

Here are the most common questions about Learn & Master Drums with answers directly from the instructor, Dann Sherill. If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to find an answer for you.

Q: How long will each session take?
A: Each session is 35-55 mins. You’ll watch a session, then practice with the drills for a week or so.

Q: How long before I move to the next session?
A: You should typically practice one session for about 1 (or 2) weeks, depending on your level of skill. You should work at your own
pace! It’s best to think of ‘mastery’ as the sign to move on. Once you can do a lesson very cleanly, move to the next.

Q: Where do I start if I’m an “intermediate” drummer (been playing a while before I got the course)?
A: I highly recommend that you still start with Session #1 on DVD 1… just because the sessions aren’t super-long, I’d like you to get my terms down so if I mention them in future sessions, you’ll know what I’m refering to.

Q: If I don’t like it, can I get my money back?
A: Absolutely. Learn & Master Drums comes with a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

 

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.

81.5/100 Rating
Rating: 81.5%
Price

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

$149 + S&H
Cost/Lesson

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

$6.75 / Lesson
$8.75 / Hour
Best Deal

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

$149.00
+ S&H
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.

60-Day, 100%
Money Back
Lesson Format

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

12 DVDs
5 CDs
1 Workbook
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.

3-14 Days
Shipped
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.

Very High
Lesson Length

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

35-55 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.

22 Lessons
17 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.

85.4/100 Rating
Lesson Quality: 85.4%
Value for Price

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

75.8/100 Rating
Value for Price: 75.8%
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?

85.3/100 Rating
Ease of Use: 85.3%
Support

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

85.0/100 Rating
Support: 85.0%
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.

81.3/100 Rating
Lesson Variety: 81.3%
Entertainment

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

75.5/100 Rating
Entertainment: 75.5%
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 Learn & Master Drums

Full Review

Summary

Rating: 81.5/100. Although it lacks advanced material, Learn & Master Drums will help beginner and intermediate drummers feel more comfortable around the kit.

You probably won’t “master” the drums after completing this course, but you will certainly “learn” quite a bit for the price.

Pros

– Great overview of drumming
– Excellent packaging/materials
– High production quality
– Lifetime access for one price
– Forum support is helpful
– Well organized and easy to follow
– Very fair price for amount of content

Cons

– Lacks material and examples beyond intermediate level
– Basic pattern demo segments can feel long & uninspired
– May not be as convenient as online drum lessons (shipping, lesson navigation, portability, etc.)

Lesson Format

Each lesson starts with a warm welcome from Dann and an introduction to the topic of that session.

He will then move through a series of 10-15 exercises in the course of a 30-60 minutes. As you might expect, some exercises are short, some are long, some are wide, some are narrow, musical, technical, heavy, light, slow, fast… but nothing really stands out.

Don’t get me wrong, everything is legit and solid playing from Dann, but some of the lessons could do a lot more with the visual format instead of playing slow simple exercises on a practice pad for far longer than is necessary.

Note: This only applies to some of the sessions.

I understand that they were going for a consistent approach for all of the material, but I would have preferred much more concision on those segments where the examples are easily understood through sheet music. In my view, the real value of video is to show different camera angles and musical examples of how these simple patterns can be applied.

Instructors/Styles

Dann Sherrill has the kind of warm and encouraging personality that you would like to see in an instructor, especially as a beginner. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee and specializes in Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussion, though he is also quite versatile as a studio drummer. If you would like to know more, here is his full bio.

Learn & Master Drums aims to give beginners and intermediate players a solid foundation and explanation of all fundamentals and musical styles.

The 22 DVD sessions are:

1. Starting Off Right
2. Basics of the Beat
3. Musical Notation
4. The Ride Cymbal
5. Expanding on the Basics
6. Blues & Shuffles
7. Basic Rock Beats
8. The Jazz Ride & Brushes
9. Jazz Coordination
10. Rudiments
11. Rolls
12. Moeller Technique
13. Drum Fills
14. Advanced Rock Coordination
15. Advanced Sticking & Linear Drumming
16. Time, Groove & Pocket
17. Double Bass Drumming
18. New Orleans and R & B Drumming
19. Latin, Brazilian, & Reggae Drumming
20. Song Structure & Musicality
21. Soloing
22. Beyond Drumming Technique

I’ve gone through all of these lessons and Dann does an excellent job of explaining the concepts and styles, both technically and musically.

The sessions are 35-55 minutes each, though you should consider them equivalent to 60-90 minutes of live instruction given that you would ordinarily spend lesson time playing for the instructor and getting comments.

The first 12 sessions will build your technique and musical understanding with each session building on the previous one, so it is important to complete them in order. After you’ve gone through the first 12, you can feel free to pick and choose among the last 10 to focus on the topics that interest you the most.

Depending on your skill level and the complexity of the session, you will need to spend at least 30 minutes a day for 1-2 weeks on each session before moving on to the next one. And it is probably a good idea to review the video once toward the end of the 2 weeks, just to make sure you caught everything.

Tools/Resources

The Learn & Master Drums system includes four types of resources: DVD lessons, play-along CDs, the lesson book, and an online discussion forum.

Everything is pretty self-explanatory here, I just want to clarify that the play-along CDs don’t come with any sheet music or real introduction. They are just 5 CDs of songs in various genres to give you an opportunity to groove and fill with other musicians.

They are certainly useful for applying the exercises and techniques in a more musical context and each song comes with and without click tracks.

Though, it seems a little strange to include these songs without any real introduction or commentary to connect them to the DVD lessons. I guess the publisher felt that the value of integrating the musical examples more tightly didn’t merit the production expense.

Anyway, they are still quite useful, I just think they could have done more to educate young drummers on how to apply the lessons in context.

Is Learn & Master Drums for You?

Really, this question depends on your budget and skill level. If you really prefer not to spend any more than you have to and you’re checking out drums for the first time, then Learn & Master Drums will certainly meet your needs, and has enough quality content to help you become a great drummer.

If you’re looking for advanced material, it’s important to note that L&M claims to offer advanced content, but most of what counts for advanced material is just speeding up fundamental patterns. Dann Sherrill is certainly a very advanced drummer, but this course lacks interesting examples of how and why to apply the patterns and ideas in different musical contexts.

Either way, I would recommend comparing all of the top 5 drum lessons I’ve reviewed side-by-side to be sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

Conclusion to my Learn & Master Drums Review

Overall, Learn and Master Drums is a fantastic course for beginner and intermediate drummers at a great price.

I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a DVD, CD & Workbook course that helps to lay a solid foundation while saving money on private lessons.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Learn & Master Drums and that you now have a better idea of whether it’s right for you.