Learning an instrument is not easy. People look for lessons everywhere, and, more likely than not these days, on the internet. The grand wide web has, so far, answered most of their questions about life: learning to play them drums should be no exception.
They look for lessons. They are usually expecting something that will answer their prayer at least in some way. And maybe sometimes it does when that improbable mathematical equation happens: internet = my wishes. But, most of the time, YouTube falls short. They end up with a few exercises that look great, but they can’t get it to the speed the guy is demonstrating it at. Or they end up with something way too complicated explained very simply so that anyone can get it, but it’s still way too complicated (I heard that one a lot). Or, and that one’s a classic too, you understand the exercise, you practice it at speed, you’re pretty good at it, but you can’t find a situation for it. In other words you use the stuff once and then that’s it, it’s useless! Million of hours of practice for nothing. O despair! O pity!
Sometimes also, one of my student will come to the lesson with a new cool thing he saw online. The student didn’t practice what I gave him, or vey little, instead, he explains to me that we have to do this new thing, see? it’s great! Look here, Sol, see how cool that is! Then we watch a video of someone making the pattern sound as smooth as a cheese soufflé. Then we work the stuff a couple weeks. It’s hard! (Yes, it’s always hard! Looks easy online: will be hard in real life!) After the 2 weeks of suffering, the same student will come back with yet another video about some subject that is ultra-mega-giant! And we’re going for another 2 weeks. We were. Because no more!
I used to shut up and do the job and help them the best I could. That was when I started teaching. Now? Now, I explain just what I told you in this blog. I tell them that I’m ready to study and help them with anything they propose as long as we will work on the stuff until it is done. And I tell them that I will do one assignment they suggest per week. The rest will have to be what I propose. Why? Because I’d rather do a few things well rather than a lot things sloppy.
And you know the kicker about this subject? They always understand. They never give me a hard time and we can proceed on our road of fun and education in learning the drums or the piano. Great people!