Best Online Drum Lessons (2021) – Top Free & Paid Platforms

Author: Brett Clur | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Online drum lessons have become bigger than they’ve ever been in recent times. The Internet has allowed drum education to evolve and turn into something that is easily accessible to anyone in the world. Placing a laptop near your drum kit and having a virtual lesson has become a very normal thing to do.

With so many lesson platforms on the web, I thought narrowing them down to just a few will help you choose which one is the right fit for you. They’re all fairly different from each other, with some catering better to certain types of audiences.

Top 3 - Online Drum Lessons


Platform

Best Feature

Details

Most content & best value for money

Jazz lessons from a pro drummer

Lessons for both drums & percussion

If you're short on time, here's a quick summary.

I think Drumeo offers the best online drum lessons. They offer by far the most content of any platform (whether paid or free), and you can even get personalized advice through their weekly student review sessions. When it comes to offering the best cost-to-value ratio, Drumeo is the one to beat!

As a paying customer for over 4 years, I've got a way to get people to try out their premium 'Drumeo Edge' membership for free (with no strings attached) for 30 days. All you need to do is to click this link and get started.

The biggest difference between many drum education platforms is the fact of whether you need to pay to have access to the lessons or not. Paid lessons are typically more extensive and provide higher quality content, so we’re going to look at those first.

Drumeo

Drumeo is undoubtedly the largest and most popular drum education platform online. Their Drumeo Edge membership (here's an exclusive 30-day free trial) unlocks a wild amount of content for you to work through. The lessons are taught by a large pool of different teachers, many of them being professional drummers.

While lessons form the bulk of content on the site, there are also entertainment videos to watch such as documentaries and gear demonstrations. You have to go into the Edge membership to fully grasp how much it offers.

My favorite part of Drumeo are all the shows that they have. I found it really enjoyable to sit and have dinner while watching documentaries about some popular drum companies and seeing all the ins and outs of how drums are made. It was also eye-opening to watch vlogs of live gigs of famous drummers.

Before I initially joined Drumeo back in 2016, I thought that the platform was good mainly for beginners. Soon enough, I realized that there is plenty of content for advanced drummers to work through. There are lessons on all styles of music and all kinds of drumming concepts.

They have a weekly student review session where students can upload videos of themselves playing. One of the instructors will watch and give tips. This section was the most connected I felt to Drumeo. Here's a screenshot of a video on their platform that shows me playing.

That's me playing drums in one of their 'student focus' videos, 4 years ago.

Larnell Lewis is one of my favorite drummers and he’s one of the Drumeo Coaches. There’s a group of pro musicians that give weekly live lessons. Watching a weekly lesson with Larnell where he responded to my questions was something I never dreamed of having a few years ago.

All the coaches ofter valuable insights that they’ve gained from their professional playing careers.

Since the platform is so large, it’s easy to get lost with no clear direction. While they try their best to steer you the right way, it doesn’t always work out. There’s also not a huge sense of personal connection when you sign up for a membership here. That’s easily understandable as there are so many members on the site.

If you know exactly what you want to learn and what you’re interested in with regards to drumming, it’s a really good place to get lessons from. Out of all the lesson platforms that we’re going to look at, Drumeo arguably has the most content.

Since it has so much content, I feel it has the most value for the money you pay. I don’t think it’s possible for any drummer to master all the lessons offered on there, so it will keep you busy for many years. Also, new content is constantly being uploaded that will keep you on your toes.

ArtistWorks - Peter Erskine Jazz Drum Lessons

Peter Erskine is a legendary jazz drummer that has countless performances and albums under his belt. This platform of drum lessons is provided by a website called ArtistWorks. You pay for a few month’s subscription and you’ll gain access to an elaborate course on jazz drumming from Peter Erskine.

He takes it right from the very early stages of beginner jazz all the way up to advanced concepts. Getting jazz drum lessons from one of the best jazz drummers alive at the moment is an awesome opportunity that online drum education has made a reality.

After watching a few of these lessons, I realized that Peter Erskine is kind of like the Bob Ross of drumming. His voice was so soothing to listen to and the advice he gave on certain concepts opened my eyes to a lot of things.

Perhaps the best part of this platform is the fact that you can upload videos of yourself playing for Peter Erskine to see. After he watches them, he gives personal feedback directly to you in video form. This means you’ll have a video of famous drummer, Peter Erskine, speaking directly to you and giving you tips for your drumming. Invaluable stuff!

If you’re not interested in learning how to play jazz on the drums, this platform isn’t going to work for you.

Here’s one of the lessons offered by Peter Erskine. There are hundreds more like this.

Sheila E. MasterClass

Sticking with the theme of lessons from famous drummers, Sheila E. has some unique lessons that are offered on MasterClass. Sheila E. is also a legendary drummer who is most famous for her work with Prince. She’s a drummer and percussionist that has incredibly valuable insights to offer.

The big difference between these lessons and the other ones is that there are quite a few percussion lessons involved here. Sheila E. teaches you how to play the drums as well as the congas and bongos.

I really enjoy how the lessons are structured. It feels like you’re watching a high-quality DVD that has expert advice coming from someone who really knows their stuff. Sheila goes through personal life experience and uses it to teach different concepts. The lessons are more conceptual than the straightforward ones on other platforms.

The downside to this is that once you’ve gone through all the lessons and progressed through the work, there’s no more educational content to work through. It’s a one-time thing that Sheila E. has recorded. This means it’s more of a short-term lesson option. One that is full of value.

I appreciate how Sheila E. is a strong example of how far women can get in the drumming world and taking lessons from her will most likely increase your appreciation as well.

MikesLessons

Mike Johnston has always been one of my favorite drum teachers to watch online. He posts quite a few YouTube videos, but the meat of his teaching comes from MikesLessons.com. The most attractive thing about this platform is Mike Johnston himself. He’s such a motivating guy that offers valuable lessons about life and drums at the same time.

He’s built a very strong family of members on the site. They all seem to know each other as they upload videos and give support to each other where needed. Mike gives personal feedback to everyone on there and is even known to give direct phone calls to new members to get them started.

The platform has lessons for everyone and includes beginner and advanced concepts. If you want to get your drum lessons from a place where the community is highly supportive and the teacher will bring the best out of you, this is one good place to be.

Most of the members on the site have even adopted all the phrases that Mike Johnston often says. You’ll find these in many comments on the forums.

A lot of my personal drum teaching philosophies are inspired by Mike Johnston. He’s a fantastic educator to look up to, and his website is top-quality. It doesn’t have as much content as Drumeo, but the personal touch more than makes up for it.

180 Drums

I followed 180 Drums for quite a while a few years ago. They had a YouTube channel that was gaining traction and seemed to be one of the next big drum education platforms. 

For some reason, they stopped posting many YouTube videos and that traction stopped. However, the website is still a large education platform that is constantly growing and improving.

180 Drums at first seemed to be a similar thing to Drumeo. It was a bunch of pros coming in to give lessons alongside a single host for each video. The format has shifted over the years and the platform has developed its own identity.

The most notable part of the site is that there is a pool of professional drummers that upload lessons for you to watch. These drummers are called Ambassadors. Two of the most famous ones are Wojtek Deregowski and Jerrod Sullivan.

The subscription service works similarly to the other platforms. You pay monthly to unlock all the content that has ever been uploaded to the site.

The final thing that is different about this platform is that they offer a few free courses. These courses are advertised in a similar way to other niches such as marketing and finance. It’s cool to see these methods being tested in the drum world.

OrlandoDrummer

The final paid platform worth noting is OrlandoDrummer.com. Adam Tuminaro is the sole provider of all the lessons here. This platform has over 160 hours of drum lesson content, ranging in broad and focused topics. It’s like Netflix for drum lessons.

I love this platform as Adam Tuminaro offers a lot more than just drum lessons. He has some of the best-looking drum videos on the Internet, and there are courses where he teaches you exactly how to film drum videos. He also does social media masterclasses along with unique videos such as yoga sessions for drummers.

Adam Tuminaro has a deep philosophical understanding of many things and all that knowledge comes through in his drum lessons. Whether you’re learning to play a basic or complimented beat, he’ll tell you exactly why and how those beats are.

The other great thing about this platform is the extensive loop library for you to play drums to. Drum loops often sound very flat and lifeless. The loops from Orlando Drummer are some of my favorites to play along to as they’re professionally recorded and designed specifically for drummers.

Free Online Drum Lessons

There are way more free lessons than there are paid on the Internet. With so many options, narrowing them down may take some time. So, I’m just going to mention a few places where you could look to get some valuable drum education.

YouTube

The best platform to watch free stuff is undoubtedly YouTube. No matter what niche you’re looking for, YouTube will have someone telling you about it. There are so many drum lessons on YouTube that you could probably learn to play purely by watching just those.

The problem is that there are so many and most of them don’t provide the direction you may need. That’s where the strengths of the paid platforms come in. However, if you want to learn specific things, YouTube is a great place to look.

I’m going to do a small self-plug here and promote my personal YouTube channel. If you want to learn how to play a few chops on the drums, here’s a video for you to check out.

There are countless other drummers just like me out there that upload videos like these, giving small pieces of advice for you to learn from. The possibilities are endless with this platform.

FreeDrumLessons

Drumeo’s influence on the Internet reaches way further than just on their current website. FreeDrumLessons.com is what Drumeo used to be several years ago. They’ve left the platform running, allowing you to watch and learn from a good amount of free drum lessons.

The lessons are taught by the founders of Drumeo, and most of them are aimed at beginners who are just starting out. There are a few pro guests that make appearances for lessons as well.

If you like the quality of content offered by Drumeo, another place to look for free lessons from them is their YouTube channel. A large amount of content that they film for Drumeo Edge gets uploaded there as well.

The Free Drum Lessons platform has a fairly sound structure to follow whereas Drumeo’s YouTube channel doesn’t. If you’re a beginner, I’d suggest you look through the website first.

Online Drummer

The final platform that I feel is worth noting is Online Drummer. It’s run by a man named Alex Ribchester who’s he’s been posting free drum lessons since the early stages of YouTube and online education.

The platform has an impressive amount of in-depth drum lessons that are completely free. Every lesson also has sheet music to go along with it. If you’re not able to pay for any of the platforms above, this is one of the most extensive free platforms that I’ve found. There are also insightful blog articles to read as well as full drum sheets for popular songs.

The big downside to this platform is that there are a large number of Google ads that take up space on all the pages. With the platform being completely free, it’s understandable that the ads are there to make some money. However, they can be very distracting and sometimes just plain annoying.

Considerations When Choosing Online Drum Lessons

One of the biggest things I’ve learned when it comes to online lessons is to consider whether you want single or multiple teachers.

Some people thrive when learning from different teachers, soaking in different point-of-views. Other people prefer to have one teacher who will build with them. This consideration is the key difference between choosing platforms like Drumeo or Mike's Lessons.

You should also factor in the cost and decide whether it’s worth it for you.

While all the platforms provide an incredible amount of value, you may not have the time to practice as much as you want to. This will leave you feeling like you’re paying too much when you’re not playing enough. Balance is key, especially when you’re paying monthly subscriptions.

In-person vs Online Drum Lessons

A huge debate that often takes place is whether online drum lessons will eventually overtake in-person ones. Personally, I don’t think so. As much as online lessons over an incredible amount of value, it will still never beat the experience of having someone right next to you and showing you the ropes.

In-person lessons also make it way easier for teachers to hold you accountable, encouraging you to improve at the drums. In-person lessons are especially vital for beginners who are starting to understand technique. It’s always better to have someone there to correct what you’re doing wrong before you develop bad habits.

This may be countered if you have a personal one-on-one online teacher who can do this for you, but most of these online education platforms don’t offer that. So, in-person lessons win the argument every single time for me.

However, I feel that it’s great to have an in-person teacher as well as a subscription to these platforms. The content can supplement anything you’re learning, giving you deeper access to certain drumming topics. I personally have many students that have seen something on Drumeo and asked me to explain it further for them.

Beginner vs Intermediate and Advanced Lessons

The final consideration you should think about when choosing an online drum platform is whether it offers beginner, intermediate, or advanced lessons.

For example, Peter Erskine’s course is aimed at drummers who want to learn jazz. Jazz isn’t something beginner drummers will be able to easily understand, so that platform is more geared towards intermediate and advanced players.

A platform like FreeDrumLessons.com is specifically geared towards beginners who have no experience on the drum kit. That would be the best place to go if you’re starting out. All the other platforms fall somewhere in between.

Wrap Up

Each platform has unique features that some will like more than others. The online drum education space is incredibly inspiring, so I encourage you to check out the ones that seem the most promising to you. 

We live in a crazy world where you can just type what you want to learn into a search bar. Whatever you type in will most likely be found on one of the platforms that I’ve gone through.

About Brett Clur

Brett has been drumming for almost two decades. He also helps his students get better at drumming. He can be found on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where you can regularly catch glimpses of his drumming.

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