As both the official capital and the cultural centre of the UK, London offers a multitude of choice when it comes to drumming lessons.
It will all depend on what your current level is and what you are looking for.
For a beginner, it is highly recommended to get a private tutor or to join a drumming class. Most private tutors propose to start with a free lesson which is a great opportunity to see if you are really into playing the drums. Either a private tutor on one-on-one lessons or within a drumming class, you will be taught the rudiments of the drums, from using the cymbal to finding your drum beat.
If you are already an intermediate or advanced drum player, you might prefer to join a music school and continue your way into a music industry career, or maybe just find a band to keep playing the drums recreationally.
Lucky for you if you are living in the capital, there are a plethora of drum studios, music schools and universities offering a wide range of possibilities from private tutored lessons to three-year degrees.
The Royal Albert Hall South Kensington, London is one of the most famous concert halls of the capital and has been open since 1941. (by-amandabhslater)
If you are thinking about starting playing the drums is probably because you enjoy music and would like, maybe, to become another famous British drummer.
However, drumming goes beyond music. Many researchers have found the playing the drums actually has a lot of benefits on the learning skills, the well being and the confidence of the musician.
Here are 5 reasons why you should take on the drums:
“Everyone knows deep in their hearts that the drums are the coolest instrument and that a band is only as good as its drummer. So I’m all for drum solos. I’m all for drummers hamming it up. I’m all for drummers standing up and kicking over the kit.”
– Fred Armisen, American actor, writer, producer, and musician
Rafael Monteagudo, a Cuban born drummer and percussionist, is famous for his Latin jazz contribution. (by-Timothy-Forbes-Photography)
If you are looking for a private tutor and one-on-one lessons, it would be probably best for you to look into drum studios.
Because drum kits are quite cumbersome and expensive, beginners usually won’t be able to be practising at home, and drum studios are the best option, at least until you’re sure that the drums are for you.
Drum Hub is a North London based studio which was founded by Alex, a 10-year veteran of teaching drums in schools, music academies and as a private tutor.
The studio offers private lessons in their Manor House facilities, using professional equipment and a fully equipped studio, as well as providing home visits for students who already possess their drumset.
London Drum Studio is an East London based practice studio, founded in 2012 by Nick Roberts who has been playing and studying the drums for more than 15 years and who graduated from the Academy of Contemporary Music Ba Hons Degree in music performance.
The studios feature four purpose-built drum practice booths are on offer to both members and non-Members for solo drummers to practice seven days a week. The studio also has its app for drummers to book and schedule their practice time.
Watford Drum Lessons is a teaching studio located in the eponymous area of South London. Every tutor teaching in this studio is professional musicians currently working in the industry. While you might not have the same tutor for every lesson, given their professional obligations, it also means that you are learning the last techniques and trend of drumming.
“Without a drummer, you’ve got that sort of running, chicken-chasing, rhythmic thing happening with the banjo in the top end – it’s what gives our music a lot of its momentum, a lot of its energy.”
– Ted Dwane, British musician and photographer, bassist of the Mumford & Sons
The London Music School and The Institute of Music Performance both offer a wide range of courses for those really serious about making drumming their future career.
The LMS run a variety of unique and challenging drum courses, from their one year BTEC National Award in Music Performance, to their LMS Performance and Production Courses. The LMS also offers a score of part-time courses and an amazing two-week intensive summer course.
All of their course will teach you key technical skills essential for playing the drums: timing, feel, groove, left and right-hand independence, snare drum technique and performance.
The LMS’s full-time courses also include group workshops, rhythm workshops and recording sessions, giving every student the opportunity to fully experience a professional live performance with other musicians and vocalists.
The ICMP offers more of a full-time education and boasts incredible installations and studios in which you will be able to practice on industry-standard equipment from “Tama, Mapex and DW drum kits; cymbals by Paiste and Zildjian and triggers and pads by Roland and Yamaha”.
As well as covering all the theoretical basis of music and drumming, the ICMP will also challenge you to “build your technical expertise, play to professional standards and make meaningful contributions to the bands and working situations you find yourself in”.
You will be able to fully assimilate advanced drum techniques while developing your own style and learning how to be adaptable, creative and an overall well-rounded modern musician.
If you are really passionate about drumming and music, why not consider joining the London College of Music?
“I’ve heard the stories. Like, Eric Clapton said he wanted to burn his guitar when he heard Jimi Hendrix play. I never understood that because, when I went and saw a great drummer or heard one, all I wanted to do was practice.”
– Neil Peart, Canadian-American musician and author, former drummer of Rush
Frank Beard is the bassist of the famous American rock band, ZZ Top. (by-RalphArvesen).
Learning how to play the percussion online is also a possibility. Though that will require you to own a drum kit.
Many online videos go through the basic of how to play the drums and review many techniques and methods to improve quickly on your beat.
If you’re looking into online learning, take a look at Drumeo, it is a platform entirely dedicated to learning the drums online. On top of offering loads of free videos and tutorials to completely hone your skills, they also have a weekly podcast that will give you a great insight into the world of drummers.
Some tutors also offer remote lessons through Skype, which can be an option if you’re living far from major cities or town or if you can’t commute at all.
While it will probably take you a bit longer to progress using remote lessons, it is entirely possible and will just require you to have your phone or camera pointed at your drum kits while you play for the tutor to be able to correct you as you go.
If you are already an intermediate drum player or maybe even an advanced drummer who’s looking to practice with other musicians, why not join a band.
Rehearsal rooms are also great spots to meet fellow musicians and make friends with potential future bandmates. This is also a great place to meet musicians playing other genres: jazz, rock, punk or electronica, it will be a great way to broaden your repertoire.
Another way to meet other jammers is to attend open-mic or jam sessions. You don’t have to perform if you don’t want to obviously but if you like a band’s cover of Led Zepplin or the performance of a singer, don’t be shy and engage with them. Music is always more fun when shared with others.
The Elvin Jones Trio with Elvin Jones on the drums,
Superprof is a hub of professionals looking to pass on their knowledge and experience onto students. One of the best things about it is that you can see reviews left by other students about a drum teacher and find the perfect match for your needs and expectations.
Just search for drumming teachers in London, see if some tutors are willing to come to your home or maybe join a group lesson schedule near where you live.
Finding a drum tutor has never been easier!