COVID-19 got you down? Pick up your sticks & get remote drum lessons!

person set in front of computer with a webcam, microphone and headphones, surrounded by musical equipment

Under new advice from the government, many of us are staying at home as much as possible. This means working from home, not attending social events and limiting time outdoors to essential travel and exercise. What a downer! Cancelled all your album listening parties? No gigs and concerts in your diary? And we assume jamming with your band is off limits too? Don’t fear – let us tell you about remote drum lessons and other tips and tricks for staying in with your kit.

Despite all of the different musical events we’ll sadly miss out whilst doing our civic duty, it’s important to remember that we’re all helping to counteract the spread of COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) by staying home. So whilst you’re inside, why not get in some practice? Or, if you’re thinking about starting to learn, why not take up some virtual guidance? Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, it’s still a great time to take lessons. The tutors we represent now offer online, remote drum lessons via video call. Students say it’s like their tutor is in the room with them!

Here at East of London Drums we think it’s still a great time to play music: it provides a great mental or physical workout, and research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. We certainly all need a mood boost right now, and this is a really effective way to do just that.

How playing music benefits your brain

With this in mind we’ve asked the tutors what they think the best resources are out there, as well as what their tips and tricks are for getting practice in during lockdown.

What are the perfect practice books for working on your technical exercises and coordination skills during the lockdown?

Tommy Igoe's groove essentials cover
Marvin Dahgren's 4 Way Coordination Book Cover

4-Way Coordination by Marvin Dahlgren as well as Groove Essentials by Tommy Igoe are classics for a reason and these books work great as a duo. The first will help you nail down your independence and tightness whilst the second imparts vital groove knowledge which will get you through just about anything.

Or you could try Stick Technique: The Essential Guide for the Modern Drummer, a compilation of articles by Bill Bachman written for the Modern Drummer magazine.

How’s that for years of knowledge and expertise in just three handy books?

How do tutors recommend you spend your lockdown practice time?

Some tips from those who know best: the tutors.

Peter Udall

Practising with a pad is a great way to keep up your technique if you’re away from the drums. (If you’re really stuck then you can use a cushion or pillow until you can get your hands on one). Consistency and patience will go a long way too!

You can read more about Peter here.

Az Khan

If you have access to a kit make a list of things you would like to get better at and challenge yourself to work on them. Using YouTube to slow down videos works a treat. Work on transcribing fills and grooves you want to learn. And make sure to dig out and read that difficult techniques book you always have an excuse to put off!

If you don’t have access to a kit you can still get a pair of sticks and a practice pad to work on your hand technique. Practice rudiments at different speeds and learn a bunch of snare drum technique exercises. You’ll be amazed at how it translates to a kit so quickly!

You can read more about Az here.

Remote drum lessons: your teacher, your kit, your lesson – how do we get started?

Tutors all now offer remote drum lessons. These are conducted by video call over freely available services like Skype and Zoom. They can be done anywhere with an internet signal, even if you only have a practise pad and sticks to hand. It’s incredibly convenient and so many students have said they would like to have more lessons now they have more time!

So how does it work?

Tutors spend a lot of time preparing specially designed, individual lesson plans that are effective for remote drum lessons. Your tutor will direct you to the most appropriate software and will provide a private link before the lesson. Once connected, your tutor will take you through some settings to optimise the audio on either end of the call. And that’s pretty much it! Before you know it your tutor will be in your headphones guiding your playing! Magic.

If you have any questions about remote drum lessons, any of the drum tutors or simply want some guidance on drumming at home, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help! Drop us an email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.