I don’t have a drum kit. Can I still practise?

Yes! Pots and pans, pillows and cushions are your best friend for this.

What is the minimum age to start?

We accept students aged 5 (Year 1). At this age we keep lessons fun and inspiring, with lots of musical games. In an ideal world the ideal age to start would aged 7 (Year 3). This is because of the ability to maintain longer periods of concentration.

Am I too old to start?

No! I’ve taught people in retirement age. I’ve found that adults progress quickly.

What drumsticks do I need?

Sizes 7a or 5a are fine.

Are the lessons individual or group?

Both are available!

Individual (Schools) – 20 mins.

Individual (Private Tuition) – 30 mins or 60 mins.

Group lessons (Schools) – 30 mins.

How much do lessons cost?

Payment for your child’s lessons is required via monthly direct debit.

30-minute group lessons = £33 per month

20-minute individual lessons = £49 per month

30-minute individual lessons = £66 per month

60-minute individual lessons = £129 per month

Sibling discount is available at 20%.

You are billed equal amounts over 12 months which means payments are still taken during the school holidays (i.e., August when no lessons are given).

For your first month if starting midway through, the remaining weeks will be calculated and billed appropriately. 

How many lessons are taught?

Your child will receive 33 lessons across the academic year. No lessons are taught during the school holidays.
We follow the 39-week school calendar and allow a 6-week lesson buffer for circumstances where we cannot teach lessons i.e., bank holidays, inset days, SAT examination weeks.

What happens if a student misses a lesson?

Unless the teacher is absent, all missed lessons will be charged for. Lessons will not be refunded or rearranged in the case of short-term illness, school trips or planned/unplanned absence (including non-emergency closures with less that 48 hours’ notice).

What if the teacher is absent?

Should one of our teachers not be able to take a lesson a suitable cover teacher will be provided who will be notified of current material. If we can’t find one due to time constraints, a free lesson will be credited to your account and rearranged for you. Cash refunds are not given.

How much notice period do we have to give if we want to discontinue lessons?

A full term’s notice must be emailed to Alex (support@drumwithalex.com). This must be received within the first two weeks of the beginning of term. Lessons will then cease at the end of that term. 
After we receive your final notice, we will schedule your final payment before cancelling the mandate. Because the payments are taken by direct debits as equal monthly amounts throughout the year there may be unused lessons which you can use up before you leave us. We will settle your account via direct debit and then we will close the mandate.

Are the lessons taught during the school day?

Yes. Lessons are taught throughout the school day. Children will miss some of their normal lessons. Teachers are aware. 

How are the lessons timetabled?

Lessons will be timetabled at different times each half term to ensure the same lesson is not missed. Some lessons may be scheduled before school or during break times if requested. Timetables are emailed to parents at the beginning of term. 

Do I need to buy a drum kit immediately?

Not to begin with. Our founder didn’t have a kit for his first 2 years of learning, until his parents gave in! We recommend buying a kit after about 3 months of lessons.

What drum book do I need?

The Rockschool Method book is awesome for complete beginners. It costs around £18 and is available online.

It’s been 3 months – should I get my own drum kit?

Honestly, yes. While you can still practise drums without a kit, nothing beats learning with your very own instrument. You might want to wait until you know drummings for you, but once you do – a kit’s a great investment. A new beginner acoustic drum kit costs around £199. Buying brand new or second hand are both fine.

Would I be better off with an electronic drum kit?

Electronic kits are awesome. Their small and compact structure lets you practise in smaller spaces. Those reduced noise levels lets you tap those pads to your heart’s content and stay on your neighbour’s good sides! The built in metronome and kit sounds features help you hone your skill, explore different sounds and get the most out of this wonderful instrument.

What brands can you recommend for beginner drum kits?

Roland, Yamaha or Alesis are brilliant for electronic kits. For an acoustic kit, you can’t go wrong with Pearl, Natal, Mapex, Tama, or Yamaha. Our favourite online shop is Gear4Music – they stock a wide range of equipment that considers drummers of all abilities. And the prices are even better!

What’s a good shop or site for drum gear?

If you’re looking for a drum shop specialist, Graham Russell Drums in Hampshire is the best place to go. It happens to be the UK’s biggest drum store. And drummer’s heaven. Seriously – it’s that good. Whether you’re a seasoned drummer or just starting out, their lovely staff are itching to share their guidance and advice.

What do I need to look out for when buying a second hand kit?

Before buying a second-hand kit, always make sure to check out its overall condition. Before you part with your cash, ask yourself: is there anything missing? Does it come with all the foot pedals? Does it include a stool? If you can, ask for advice from someone you know who has drum knowledge. Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are great places to pick up decent second-hand kits.

How often should I practise?

The million-dollar question! Even if it’s for a few minutes, practising everyday makes a world of difference. Practising isn’t just using the drum kit. It’s listening to songs, reading a piece of music, watching a YouTube video, tapping on a table. You get the gist. Whatever floats your boat – it all counts!

What are you practising?
A straight-forward question, but what content are you practising. Is it a piece of music? Is it a warm-up exercise? Is it a famous song? We recommend practising your current work AND practising your old material to see how far you’ve come. Don’t forget to have fun and jam along to your favourite songs at home. This is where the magic happens! 
When are you practising?
Are you tired? Are you hungry? Are you in a bad mood? These might lead to frustration. Consider what time you practise. Make it a habit then make it a routine. A bit like cleaning your teeth! I.e., 2-minutes after dinner. 

How are you practising?
Are you tackling the tricky bits? Are you taking it step-by-step? Are you starting slowly and then adding speed? Sometimes it takes a few goes, or days/weeks to fully nail a piece of music. Mistakes are part and parcel of learning. Practise makes progress! 

Where are you practising?
A student once told me they were discouraged to practise because their drum kit was in a cold, damp shed at the bottom of the garden. Is your child’s practise area a warm, well-lit, and inviting place at home? Do they have access to play music/backing tracks? Do they have a speaker or headphones they can use? Do they have a music stand so they can see their book?

Why are you practising?
Having a target to aim for, such as a performance or exam, is a great way of staying motivated at home. Equally, a performance to family and friends is just as good. We recommend videoing your child’s practise so they can get used to performing and have a bit of added pressure!

Have I got you covered?

If not… No question is a silly one!
Pop me a message on support@drumwithalex.com.