1. HOW DO ONLINE LESSONS WORK?
Online lessons are super straightforward – you'll get the hang of them in no time! All you need is a decent internet connection and a phone or laptop that can connect to ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp.
I'm happy to work with whichever software you prefer. Just let me know when you book your session and I'll make it happen.
2. HOW SAFE ARE ONLINE LESSONS FOR MY CHILD?
For safeguarding reasons, I do ask for a parent or legal guardian to be in the room while your child has their online lesson. This will protect you, and it will protect me.
For your peace of mind, I hold an enhanced DBS certificate (previously known as a CRB check), so I'm legally eligible to work with children and vulnerable adults.
3. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PRACTISE?
Ah, the million-dollar question! Depending on how much time you have, I'd aim to practice every day – even if it's just for a few minutes. Or, as Dr Suzuki puts it: "Practise only on the days you eat." (Only kidding! But I do love this quote.)
When you practice, you don't have to use a drum kit. You can refine your craft by listening to songs, reading a piece of music, listening to a podcast, tapping on the table – you get the gist. It all counts!
To help get new students started, I set a 100-day practise challenge. The challenge is a calendar chart that you tick off, and there are milestone achievements on days 25/50/75/100, with rewards like stickers, badges, and certificates.
Don't worry – this challenge is designed to be fun, so there's absolutely no pressure to tick everything off. I also understand that this practice all depends on your level of involvement
and I do suggest taking regular breaks, which is just as important.
4. WHAT TYPE OF DRUMSTICKS DO I NEED?
Adults - I recommend buying size 5A drumsticks, which is the standard-sized stick.
Children - I recommend buying size 7A drumsticks. Try to avoid buying junior sticks, as they're designed for toddlers.
*Nerd alert!* The drumstick's weight and diameter are indicated by number and letter retrospectively; for example, 7A, 2B, 5A.
Drumsticks can also be wooden tipped or nylon tipped. It really doesn't matter which one you choose.
5. SHOULD I GET MY OWN DRUM KIT?
To be honest, the sooner you get one, the better. While you can still practice without a drum kit, nothing beats getting the feel and sound of your very own instrument. You might want to wait until you know you like drumming first, but once you do, a kit is a great investment.
A new beginner acoustic drum kit costs around £199.
6. WOULD I BE BETTER OFF WITH AN ELECTRONIC DRUM KIT?
Electronic kits are excellent. They're small and compact, and great if you don't have much space in your house.
You can still hear the taps on the pads, but they reduce the noise levels, keeping you on good terms with your neighbours!
They also come with a range of built-in features, such as a metronome (time-keeping device) and an array of different drum kit sounds. I highly recommend them.
8. WHAT’S A GOOD SHOP OR SITE FOR DRUM GEAR?
Gear4Music is an excellent online shop. They're based in the UK and are really reliable.They also stock a great range of equipment for drum players of all abilities. I've bought loads of gear with them, and they always sell their stock at reasonable prices.
If you're looking for a drum shop specialist, Graham Russell Drums in Fareham, Hampshire is the best place to go. They're the UK's biggest drum store and walking into the shop is like walking into heaven. Seriously, it's that good.
It's owned by super lovely guys who have loads of guidance and advice to share, whether you're a seasoned drum expert or just starting out. I can't recommend them enough.
9. WOULD I BENEFIT FROM A DRUM BOOK?
Don't worry about this just yet, as it'll all depend on the type of lessons you choose.
If you're looking to gain some general knowledge on drumming beforehand, Drums for Dummies is an excellent book, which I recommend to all my students. It contains tonnes of useful chapters about drumming, lessons, and styles.
10. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SECOND-HAND DRUM KITS?
Before buying a second-hand kit, check out its overall condition. Is anything missing? Does it come with all the foot pedals? Does it come with a stool? These are the questions you should be asking before parting with your cash.
Always take a look at the drum kit before you agree to buy it and, if you can, try to ask for some advice from someone you know who has knowledge on drum kits. Having this conversation could save you time and money in the long run.