Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) how to play the drums and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person drum lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos and articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the drums (drum kits).
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the drum learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let’s list out the learning resources.
The top 11 best online resources to learn how to play drums are:
- Sage Music
- iMusic School
- Learn & Master
- Drum Ambition
- Stephen's Drum Shed
- Drum Channel
- Berklee Online
In this article, we'll go through each of the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning drums. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each of the options for yourself to learn more about drums and drum kits. We'll also consider a few “honourable mentions” worth considering.
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ArtistWorks is a notable online learning resource that lets students interact and receive feedback directly from their instructors while also learning at their own pace and schedule.
They offer hundreds of courses for various instruments. The courses are taught through on-demand videos and include sheet music, study materials and video exchange submissions.
The Video Exchange Learning method is unique to ArtistWorks. Students will get to record videos of themselves playing and submit them to their teachers for direct feedback and advice. Their instructors will create a personalized video response. Then, this interaction is uploaded to the Video Exchange Library, where you and your fellow students at ArtistWorks can watch and learn from this interaction and thousands of others in the library.
TrueFire offers video lessons taught by Grammy award-winning artists and teachers that can be accessed anywhere. Although TrueFire primarily focuses on online guitar lessons, they do offer a few specialized courses on certain instruments like the drums, ukulele, saxophone and more.
The video lessons are interactive, which allows you to go at your own pace and break down sections. They also include slo-mo and looping options and progress tracking.
A notable course is Danny Gottlieb's Master Class Drum Lessons. In this course, students will learn the techniques and skills needed to master modern jazz drumming.
Sage Music is a great learning resource that offers online and in-person learning programs at their music school. They both follow the same learning structure and step-by-step lesson. There is a range of courses on various instruments such as the piano, violin, guitar and drums, to name a few. Programs are available for adults and children.
Rather than on-demand videos, the classes are live. Students will receive a link in their email to access their class. During your scheduled class time, click the link on a video-enabled device, and your teacher will be there. This is great for students who want to set weekly classes from the comfort of their own homes.
iMusic School is an excellent resource that lets students learn multiple different instruments with one membership. Along with drums, they also teach violin, guitar, flute, ukulele, etc.
Membership options can be done on a monthly, 6-month or annual subscription. Included with the membership is unlimited access to every instrument lesson, sheet music, playback tracks and various tools, including a metronome, tuner, and chord dictionaries.
You can either log in on the website or download the iMusic School app to access lessons. This makes it easier than ever to learn anytime, anywhere. Along with lessons, students will also be able to take master classes from acclaimed musicians and instructors.
Learn & Master
Learn & Master is an online learning resource that, instead of offering on-demand videos like their competitors, Learn & Master's courses come in the form of DVDs. They offer courses in a range of topics such as guitar, piano, painting, ballroom, and the drums.
The drum course Drums With Dann Sherrill covers various musical styles and goes through basic and advanced techniques over 12 DVDs. Also included are play-along CDs with both beginner and intermediate songs to practice. Lastly, all students will get access to a student support forum to ask questions and get advice from their fellow peers.
Drumeo offers step-by-step online learning videos taught by teachers and legendary drummers such as Simon Phillips and Larnell Lewis. This is a great opportunity for students to learn the drums from musical icons.
Along with on-demand video classes, there are also popular song tutorials and live and private lessons. The song tutorials are unique as they can be broken down. You can slow down or speed up the tempo, loop difficult sections and add or remove a metronome to help with counting. In addition, you will have access to downloadable sheet music, a supportive community for tips and advice and progress tracking.
Memberships can be purchased on a monthly or annual subscription. Drumeo also has a 90 days guarantee if you change your mind.
Drum Ambition aims to create fun yet relatively short lessons to give you quality information without taking up too much time. They offer courses ranging from beginner to intermediate drummers and are typically around 10-minutes long.
There are three options for memberships. The first is free and includes three lessons from Module 1 and 21 free beats. This is a great option to explore Drum Ambition's teaching methods and see if it is a good fit for you. The other two options are monthly and annual memberships. Both include full access to all five Modules that feature 100 video lessons. Additionally, paid members will also get sheet music, audio files, a beginner drummer ebook and access to a membership area and support.
Stephen's Drum Shed
Stephen's Drum Shed (SDS) offers an online drumming school called Drum Better Daily that helps you learn the drums by practicing 20 minutes a day.
DBD is a great choice for beginner and intermediate drummers and has a step-by-step approach that breaks down video lessons so they are easy to follow and understand. Along with video lessons, DBD includes playback tracks, downloadable sheet music, a daily practice log, community forums and monthly student challenges with prizes.
Drum Channel offers on-demand and live stream classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced drummers. With over 100 instructors, Drum Channel has put together an extensive library of courses, step-by-step academy lessons and masterclasses with everything you need to know to master the drums.
With a Drum Channel membership, you can learn at your pace. Students will automatically be enrolled in their DC Academy, which has 12-months of curriculum to take you through each step of learning the drums. Also included is a library of play-along tracks that range in difficulty and genre, 24/7 live stream, shows and concerts.
180Drums is considered Netflix for drummers. Known for its streaming platform, they have over 500+ step-by-step video lessons that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. 180Drums is an excellent option for those on a budget, costing $199 annually, which is only $16.58 a month.
Lessons can be watched online or downloaded and saved for offline use. Included with the video lessons are PDF workbooks for each class. New classes are added regularly, ranging from beginner to intermediate and advanced levels. In addition, students will also get access to a community to reach out for advice and tips and practice videos that feature play-along beats and exercises at varying tempos.
Berklee is one of the top schools that teaches aspiring musicians to become professional-level. They are known for their renowned teachers and education methods. With Berklee Online, students can now access Berklee courses from the comfort of their own homes.
Students can earn credit or non-credit courses and undergraduate or master's degrees. Whether you want to take one specific class or an entire degree, there are numerous options and opportunities available at Berklee Online.
Some courses may require prerequisites and the purchase of additional materials such as textbooks and software programs.
- Masterclass (ShareASale – PENDING): Sheila E. Teaches Drumming and Percussion
- Masterclass (ShareASale – PENDING): Ringo Starr Teaches Drumming & Creative
- Online Drummer (free)
- Virtual Drumming (free)
- Orlando Drummer
- Drum Workout
- Drum Beats Online
- Mike's Lessons
- Yousicplay: Robert “Sput” Searight