Frequently Asked Questions.......
Am I too Old / Young to start learning the drums?
Definitely not!! Our youngest students tend to be around 8 years old, and we've taught people in their 60's... Age is irrelevant, as long as you or your child have a desire to play drums I will be happy to teach you!
What if I've never played before?
Even better! Its much easier for me to start from scratch..that way you won't already have any bad habits to correct. I will take you from the first steps such as learning to hold the sticks, how to strike a drum, and then play some simple beats.
Or, I've played drums for a while but need some direction?
Great, we can all get stuck in a rut now and again...its easy to end up playing the same beats and fills over and over. I will gladly look at your playing, see where improvements can be made, and most importantly will give you some new techniques, tools, and ideas to get you moving forward again with plenty of inspiration and a fresh outlook.
Do I need my own drumkit?
Initially you will need a pair of drumsticks (size 5A) and possibly a practice pad... these can be purchased fairly cheaply and will allow you to practice rudiments and techniques quietly at home between lessons. As you get more into drumming you may well decide that you want a kit to use at home. I am happy to advise, and there are plenty of great acoustic and electronic drumkits out there from around £250 upwards. However, having a drumset is not essential. You can purchase drumsticks, practice pads, drums etc online from www.drumandguitar.co.uk or i can pick some up for you. Its a good idea to get hold of a copy of the Drumsense Vol 1 book too, but we will discuss this during your lesson.
Will I need to learn to read drum music?
Yes, from your first lesson I will begin to explain drum notation. It isn't as hard as it looks, and once you get the hang of it you can make use of all the various tutor books that are available.
How much do drum lessons cost?
All of our lessons are individual, one on one lessons of varying lengths (decided by you). Current rates are £12 for 30 minutes, £18 for 45 minutes, and £24 for 60 minutes.
Can I take Drum Exams / Grades?
Yes, I will happily help you through the drum exam syllabus should you wish to go down that route. I can cover Rockschool or Trinity Rock and Pop drumkit exams grades 1 to 8.
Are you insured and DBS/CRB Checked?
Yes, as a member of the Musicians Union I have public liability insurance (£10 million) and also hold a current DBS certificate.
What is "Drumsense"?
Drumsense is a world wide drum teaching program, devised by drummer and educator Colin Woolway (drummer for Suzi Quatro). It offers a structured approach to drum lessons, and involves learning notation, various beats, rudiments and playing along to backing tracks. When put all together, this results in the student becoming a well rounded player, confident in playing many different drumming styles. As a drumsense teacher, I undergo continuous regular training from Colin to ensure that I can deliver the best possible tuition for our students. The Drumsense volume 1 and 2 books are the main teaching books that we use at Amber Valley Drum School.
What Books do you recommend?
There are so many great books out there nowdays.... here's a list of some of the ones we use most of all -
Drumsense Vol 1 - Colin Woolway
Advanced Funk Studies - Rick Latham
Stick Control - George Lawrence Stone
Groove Essentials - Tommy Igoe
Alfreds Kids Drumset Course - Dave Black/Steve Houghton
Primary Handbook for Mallets - Garwood Whaley
Any other questions?? Please drop me a line via email or phone 01773 715870 and I'll do my best to answer them!