No matter who you are, you can always learn something new behind your kit. And it doesn’t hurt to sometimes learn those things for free. Here are six drummers that not only impress on their thrones, but deliver their know-how in a way that’ll make you want to pick up your sticks immediately.
Just hanging out on Mike Johnston’s channel is not going to give you all of the great videos this pro has on Youtube. Instead a query of “Mike Johnston Drum” will give you a lot more of his lessons on Drummerworld, Drum Central and many other channels. And you’ll want to go digging as he dishes out loads of tricks and tips delivered in a super straight forward manner that even newbies can follow, like his videos on linear fills, building hand speed and how to comprehend those magical polyrhythms.
These are no-nonsense videos that skimp on the production values, but make up for it with in-depth talks on pulling off flams, speedy paradiddles and how to nail down a solid ⅞ groove. Sometimes the top of Steve’s head is cut off, and you may even see some big bites taken out of his cymbals, but that just shows he understands that what you see doesn’t matter when what you hear sounds so good.
“How To Impress Your Girlfriend with Implied Metric Modulation” is a pretty good example of how this channel breaks down technical discussions with a little more personality than most. He also takes requests, and does videos based on viewers’ questions, such as explaining the difference between matched and traditional grip and how to practice drums without being too loud.
This guy may look like, and sound like, someone that is more skilled at filing your taxes than playing drums, but his channel is for elite jazz and funk drumming techniques. His breakdowns hold your hand all the way through the process to get you using quarter note triplets, ghost notes and, of course, the classic “Purdie Shuffle.”
This is the youngest teacher on here, likely younger than a lot of you reading this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some valuable things from him. Explaining the basics he needed to get into Berklee is highly informative, as is watching a guy with a mohawk play a great bossa nova beat.
He also won, at the age of 21, a national Guitar Center drum-off, and his explanation of how he put together the winning solo is pretty fascinating (even if the toms sound horrendous in the clip). And while you may not want to get life advice from a kid who can barely rent a car, he also tries to inspire those trying to learn.