Tag Archive for drums

Modern Drummer Recommends “How to Teach Drums”

how to teach drums modern drummer reviewModern Drummer’s review of How to Teach Drums (June 2014 issue) says “Want a career in education or simply a better structure for your lesson plans? Look no further.

I’m delighted that “How to Teach Drums” has been reviewed and recommended by Modern Drummer. It’s the USA’s biggest drum magazine and I’ve enjoyed reading the magazine for years (it’s a lot easier to get hold of in the UK than it used to be!). It’s great that I’m able to help current and potential drum teachers across the world.

Here’s the review in full (reproduced from Modern Drummer’s June 2014 issue, page 89):

HOW TO TEACH DRUMS: YOUR GUIDE TO BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL DRUM TEACHER
by Claire Brock

“In this no-nonsense, notation-free, easy-to-read textbook-style manual, Claire Brock outlines several basic ideas geared toward helping you begin instructing students of all levels. Whether shedding light on the subjects students are interested in learning, illustrating a proper way of explaining fills, or providing tips on teaching with Skype or YouTube, Brock offers valuable insight that could come only from extensive experience. A key component is her concept of the drumming time line – what you want to teach and the order in which you want to teach it. Modern issues like building a website and thoughts on advertising are also touched on, so you can return to the book even after you’re past the point of explaining single strokes to beginner students. Want a career in education or simply a better structure for your lesson plans? Look no further.” Ilya Stemkovsky

Many thanks to Ilya and Modern Drummer.

how to teach drums modern drummer

 

Teaching Drums to Beginners: How to hold their sticks

When teaching drums to beginners, one of the first things you’ll need to show them is how to hold their drumsticks. There are a few different grips you can use and they all have their strengths, weaknesses and most suitable applications. Personally when starting beginners I use matched grip (German) with first finger fulcrum, but whichever you choose to teach, the most import thing is to be able to describe it to your students in a clear, concise and memorable way.

The following extract is taken from How to Teach Drums p21:

Before even thinking about playing a drum, you’re going to have to show your student how to hold the sticks. Some of you might never have really thought about how you hold your sticks. Perhaps you were shown in your very first lesson or if you’re self-taught, do what you’ve seen on videos or what feels right to you. This is where I think teaching is great for every drummer as it actually makes you analyse what you do, especially technically, and can make you a much better player as a result. Look where the stick is in relation to your fingers and work out how to explain this to your students.

In the book I go on to describe in detail how I explain the positions of wrist/fingers/stick etc. to my students, as shown in this video:

Common issues I find are the students holding the stick too tight, not having any stick out the back of their hand (if there’s some markings/words on their sticks that happen to be in the same place as their thumb for example, I tell them to always look for that when holding their sticks) and pointing their first finger up the stick towards the tip rather than gently wrapping it round the stick. Once you’ve sorted these issues, it’s all about flicking from their wrists and getting a good rebound off the drum.

Hopefully this has given you some things to consider when explaining how to hold drumsticks. Helping your students get their grip right from day one will make your and their lives much easier in the long run.

More great reviews roll in…

More reviews of “How To Teach Drums” have been published over the last couple of weeks.

How to Teach Drums book review from MikeDolbear.com

Firstly, on the excellent MikeDolbear.com drumming site. I was really pleased with this review, as by his own admission, the reviewer (Rob Crisp) was dubious about the concept of a book “teaching” people how to teach drums, as he feels it’s such a personal thing and something learnt out of experience. The reason I was so pleased, is that I (or rather the book) won him round! He ended up saying it’d be a great read for not only new and aspiring drum teachers, but those who’ve been teaching for a while too. Here’s the first few paragraphs:

As a teacher myself I was extremely interested to see what Claire had to say with this book. I personally feel that the best teachers are those who go the extra mile, know their stuff and have built up their own teaching methods over time.

In other words, I don’t really think “teaching” is something you can learn per se. There are of course many more elements to being a good teacher than just the teaching itself.

Once I began reading this book I was completely absorbed. I literally read the book from cover to cover, finding myself agreeing with almost every point Claire made. It was evident she and I have a similar outlook when it comes to this area of the music industry….

To read the full review visit: http://mikedolbear.com/story.asp?StoryID=3674

iDrum magazine book reviewSecondly came the review in iDrum magazine that sums up the book really well for me. If you haven’t read iDrum before I’d definitely encourage you do so. It’s an online digital drum magazine that’s totally free. Interviews, articles and lessons come alive as they’re able to add videos directly into the pages of the mag.

Here’s some snippet’s from Sam Pert’s review (iDrum mag issue 23, p124):

“Depending on your experience, the book can be your confidence-boosting personal coach, the catalyst for you to make the leap; or simply a handy reference point for existing teachers, subtle reassurance that you’re doing a worthwhile and valid job.

From the theoretical and the psychological to the practical aspects of teaching, Claire covers it all, including the business side of things…. in this well-rounded and encouraging read.”

Sam’s also talks about my concept of a “Drumming Timeline” and how helpful that can be for teaching beginners in particular. Read the full review here: http://view.ceros.com/lick-library/idrum-magazine-issue-23/p/63

Many thanks to MikeDolbear.com, iDrum mag, Rob and Sam.

Coming soon… Claire’s interviewed by Tom Tom Magazine

Rhythm Magazine Recommends “How to Teach Drums”

Rhythm logoRhythm Magazine’s 4 star review of How to Teach Drums (Dec 2013 Issue), recommends anyone seriously thinking of getting into teaching to get a copy of the book and keep in it within reach.

How to Teach Drums review Rhythm December 2013

I can’t tell you how pleased I am. Firstly, it’s great to feature in the pages of a magazine I’ve been reading since I was a kid, but most excitingly because respected drum teacher Colin Woolway (Founder of “Drumsense“) basically says that I’ve achieved exactly what I hoped to do when I started writing the book!

Here’s the review in full (reproduced from Rhythm Magazine’s December 2013 issue, page 20):

CLAIRE BROCK
HOW TO TEACH DRUMS

A ‘kit-side’ companion for the budding teacher

“Claire Brock’s useful guide for drum tutors contains some really valuable advice and embraces not only lesson planning but contemporary aspects of teaching such as Skype teaching, website building and YouTube videos.
Claire delivers her wisdom in a user friendly manner, devoid of jargon, her tips on advertising and things like Public Liability are just the kind of advice an aspiring teacher could use, and she even has tips on dress sense, which if you’ve never taught in a school before, you might not have thought of. Anyone thinking seriously of getting into teaching should get a copy and keep it within reach. (CW)”

Thanks to Rhythm and Colin.

Rudiments Aren’t Boring. #1: Paradiddles

Rudiments don’t have to be boring. In fact, working on them should be fun for both you as a teacher and for your students. They’re the building blocks of so much we do on the drums and can be used in fills, beats and soloing. Don’t just make them a dull snare warm-up at the start of the lesson with no focus.

Over the next few months I’ll be writing a series of blogs (each complete with video) giving you some ideas of how you can teach rudiments in a fun and relevant way. To start us off we’re going to focus on…

Paradiddles

There are hundreds of ways you can use RLRR LRLL, but one way I use a lot with my students is as a beat (it’s also great for honing ghost notes). With one hand on the hi-hats and one on the snare, using a mixture of ghost notes and accents, you can create a great sounding beat. Without further ado, here’s the video:

Played on the hi-hats it would be good for funk and fusion, but by moving it to the ride bell you get a much rockier vibe. Get your students adding fills and trying different bass drum patterns too.

How To Teach Drums

I’m really excited to say my new book How To Teach Drums will be released this month on Kindle and in Paperback. I’m also going to be writing this blog with tips, suggestions and ideas about teaching, so subscribe to keep up to date.