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I live in a smaller city with <25,000 people. There are no drum teachers here (I've looked everywhere), and I want to reach a higher level of drumming. What replacements are there for a good drum teacher? More practice?

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    Aug 30 '21 at 6:25
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More practice certainly isn't going to hurt you (as long as you're practicing well, as opposed to practicing "bad habits" a teacher might correct).

Since it sounds like an in-person teacher isn't an option at present, consider one of the many on-line resources available: from instructional YouTube videos, to teachers who offer online lessons.

If your city has a college (of any size) with a music school, you could see if the drum instructor will take you on. You could also keep an eye on their calendar in case a drumming master class comes up.

If travel is a possibility, you could consider finding a master teacher in another city and take lessons only periodically. A city within reasonable driving distance might allow for a lesson every couple of weeks or months. Perhaps a longer lesson — say two hours — would be possible as well. A city outside of driving distance, the lessons might be less frequent, but a really outstanding teacher can, in one lesson, give you enough to practice for months (if not years).1

Other musicians can also be an outstanding source of feedback. Going to jam sessions, or joining or forming a band, can quickly expose areas that need work. And if "live" options aren't available, play along with recordings. That's a tried and true method regardless what style of music you gravitate to.


1I can attest to this personally. I took a single trumpet lesson from Manny Laureano, and that one lesson fueled my daily practice for two years and directly influenced my practice for another five.

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It's been said many times, and I believe it to be true, but teaching something makes you improve very well. It's certainly worked for me. So, if you have the patience and facility required, you could start teaching drumming (and percussion) yourself. Obviously at a low level initially.

You are already experienced, but to what degree and in what styles, we don't know yet. You could teach yourself to read - reading drummers are sought after.

You could join a band, this will give you challenges of new material and working with others - understanding that the drummer is rarely a stand-alone, but has to work as part of a team. Style of music will maybe make your playing more diverse - no bad thing.

With no teacher locally, there's a possibility you can use Whatsapp, Zoom, et al for lessons - I've done that successfully with both guitar and piano, and I'd be surprised if you can't find some teachers willing to be involved that way.

You could also set your own targets - which presumaby your former teacher did for you. Lists of drum rudiments are all over the place, work through them systematically. Try playing with a 5/4 piece, try changing grip, try leading with the weak hand, try playing along with a video with the sound muted - timing is paramount. And so on... All of these involve more practice, inevitably!

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