A short time ago I did a feature about Drumeo’s own Jared Falk. Drumeo, as some of you know, is an online drum lesson website which essentially is one stop shopping for drummers who want to learn and better themselves; think of it as a percussive and rhythmic Disneyworld for timekeepers. You can check out my feature on Jared Falk and Drumeo here.
Well, I bring this up not to simply repost my original feature but rather, to follow up on it. Here is what I mean.
We here at Beato’s Blog feel, as a matter of policy, that we really only do features on vendors and companies that we really believe in. Having said that, after speaking with Jared and considering that I was looking to get back to lessons myself, I considered signing up for Drumeo. To this point in my life I had studied infrequently and only with teachers on an in person basis. Online instruction was admittedly foreign to me and to be honest, I was skeptical. However, I did know that Jared knows teaching and I did see a good amount of Drumeo promotional videos around. Plus, I got a good feeling from speaking with Jared during my interview with him.
So, I signed up for Drumeo. I felt good about that decision in and of itself because what better way to really test a product than to try it out for yourself? Any vendor can tell you that their product is great but until you actually play with it, you just don’t really know.
Editor’s Note: My last teacher, Roger Wolford, was my favorite and he was also a masterful player and beloved person. I wanted to mention and remember Roger on his birthday. Roger has passed but what he taught me in our sessions together has not been forgotten. I am grateful for the time that we had together.
Well, to cut to the point, I tried Drumeo and I loved it. In fact, I liked Drumeo so much that I thought it was only appropriate that I do a follow up to my original feature to report back to you about what I really thought about the product. Here’s my reasoning.
First, Drumeo is pretty entertaining. Make no mistake about it; the site is very instructive and educational as one would expect however, we all can remember a professor or teacher in our educational experience who, despite being brilliant, was incredibly boring.
That combination, in my opinion, stifles the educational experience and it also promotes inattentiveness. So, if you can combine entertainment with learning, you having a winning formula from the student’s point of view. Not only does the student learn but the experience is fun.
Drumeo is entertaining for a variety of reasons. First, the segments with Falk and longtime colleague Dave Atkinson are reminiscent of the type of interaction one used to see in the days of ESPN’s Sports Center when personalities like Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick were on the air. The two (Falk and Atkinson) make a great pair and it’s a fun watch regardless of what they are talking about. They combine humor with instruction and it really works. Second, in some of the videos you will occasionally see a teacher make a mistake. That’s not a knock on any of the teachers as they are all master players. Instead, the realism gives the student a peak at the human side of the teachers and a comfort level in knowing that indeed everyone makes mistakes. In other words, the videos don’t come across as being over produced. In addition to all that, some of teachers have pretty engaging personalities. Case in point is one of my favorites; Aaron Edgar. Edgar has a mannerism about him such that you almost feel as if he is actually talking to just you.
Second, and perhaps most important, the level and quality of the teaching and instruction is superb. Although being a newbie to Drumeo I have already encountered a number of those “ah, that’s how you play that” moments. There are just too many teachers and features to mention them all but trust me, you won’t be disappointed in the content or the quality of the instructional material. Drumeo has rustled up the right combination of talent, styles, players, and personalities to ensure that there is something for everyone regardless of your playing ability, available time to devote to instruction and practice, or, regardless of the style that you play.
Editor’s Note: A great example of the purity of the instructional material is a special feature Drumeo did with iconic drummer (and former Chicago member) Danny Seraphine. When asked by Dave Atkinson to explain some of the legendary fills that Seraphine designed and played on the band’s many hits, Seraphine candidly confessed that he plays largely by feel. The segment serves as a fantastic lesson to students that some things just can’t be charted or taught; you have to feel them.
Finally, Drumeo is flat out convenient and economical. For example, I found myself taking 5 minutes here and there to go over portions of prior lessons and that is something I never experienced with in person teaching. I also found great value in being able to repeatedly review pertinent lessons that were of interest to me; that repetitive technique–I found–works great in adults. Moreover, with today’s technology, you can study at any time by viewing lessons easily on your Smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You will also find that despite their success, Falk and Atkinson are readily available to answer questions and help out. In addition to all that, Drumeo offers different pricing packages that will work for everyone.
In the end I will say this. One of the things that Drumeo promotes is “community.” In other words, when you join Drumeo you apparently join a community of drummers. Although sounding cliche it actually turns out to be true. If you spend any time on Drumeo you actually do become connected to a special group that is made up of drummers teaching drummers. Refreshingly lacking on Drumeo is a competitive feel that sometimes inhibits the sharing of information. Everyone–teachers and students alike–are in it together. The “community” feel sneaks up on you and that is certainly nothing I ever experienced in one-on-one in person lessons.
All in all Drumeo is a great service and/or product. I give Falk and crew a lot of credit. There are many online instructional sites and many videos which are prevalent on platforms such as You Tube. Yet, Drumeo, despite fierce competition, stands out and marches to its own drum. If you are a drummer Drumeo is for you. Additionally, it’s always nice to sample a product we promote here on the blog to find out if it’s the real deal. Drumeo is indeed that. Rock on guys.