How to Take Online Lessons

Unfortunately, I’m no longer able to offer one to one drum lessons in person at the moment. However, I am now set up at home to offer video lessons which should stave off boredom and keep you motivated and practising the drums.

Below I will offer a quick guide to getting set up and making the most of these lessons.

When you are ready to get started please email me to book a slot ultrastu@gmail.com

To take online drum lessons you will need:

  • A drum kit acoustic or electric with an amplifier and a practice pad if you have one.
  • A computer with a webcam, ideally a laptop but an Ipad or phone can also work.
  • A strong internet connection.
  • Downloaded software to take part in the lesson. Zoom is the best but Skype etc are also possible (more on this below).
  • A good well lit place to angle your camera to get a view of the drum kit and yourself
  • Parental permission and supervision if you are under 18
  • Please wear appropriate clothing as you would to a lesson in person.
My Setup
My Setup

Zoom

Zoom is the best software for taking online music lessons for a few reasons; stable connection, better quality audio and video and also it’s much easier to set up appointments. You can get it here; https://zoom.us/download or on the app store if you are on Apple or Android. There is a good tutorial here on how to get better sound from the Zoom software https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2T7PCk_cWs However if you prefer we can use Skype or another service.

Our first online lesson

Get in touch with me and arrange a time for the lesson. I will send you a zoom meeting link that looks like this:

“Stuart Smith is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: George Drum Lesson
Time: Mar 19, 2020 18:00 London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/1111111111

Meeting ID: 11111111

You simply need to click the link at the time of the appointment, enter the password and then set up which webcam and audio device you want to use in the software. At this stage, if there are any setup problems, please give me a call. We should then be connected and can begin the lesson.

Please make sure you have everything to hand when you start the lesson including, book or sheets, drumsticks, practice pad if you have one and a pencil to make notes on the music.

What we will do in the lesson

An online lesson will be a bit different from a lesson in person but it will follow the same format.

Starter

We will start by discussing how your practice went in the week, how you progressed with your targets and anything you found challenging and would like to focus on. We will then move on to some technical work on the snare or practice pad. Ideally, for this, it would be good to get a decent camera angle, where I can clearly see your hands, so I can offer pointers. Also, have a metronome to hand so we can work on timing.

Main Focus

Next, we will look at the main focus points for the lesson. These could be new drum beats, fills and styles or any pieces you are working on. In this section of the lesson, it’s important to watch me for a signal to stop at different sections of the piece, so we can correct any mistakes. Focus on your timing when playing and remember to play sections slowly at first.  I may also ask you to write notes on your music and I can share how the beats should sound on Groovescribe or show Youtube links.

Targets

At the end of the lesson, I will set some targets for your practice in the week and you can ask me any questions.

Summary

After the lesson, I will send a written summary of what you are meant to practise in the week. You can feel free to get in touch if you have any questions before the next lesson.

I hope this guide helps you get started taking online lessons.

I’ll be offering lessons as 30, 45 and 60 mins.

To book a lesson or for any questions please email ultrastu@gmail.com