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Best online drum lessons 2022: our pick of tuition platforms for new to advanced drummers

Man views a drum lesson on his laptop while sat at his electronic drum kit
(Image credit: Getty/Oleh_Slobodeniuk)

Traditionally, if you wanted to learn the drums, you found a teacher in your area, booked a lesson and started on your merry way to becoming the next John Bonham. But in 2022, our options are much greater, with the best online drum lessons now able to teach you everything you need to know.

Thanks to advancements in technology such as cameras, audio equipment and speedy internet connections, it’s now possible to take a lesson from pretty much anyone, pretty much anywhere. But with many options available – from independent teachers to collections of lessons from some of the biggest players on the planet – which are the best online drum lessons for you? That’s what we’re here to find out.  

Best online drum lessons: MusicRadar’s Choice

It’s impossible not to recommend Drumeo Edge (opens in new tab) if you’re after the biggest range of lessons as well as song transcriptions. You’ll need to remain focussed (and Drumeo’s structure does help with this) as there’s so much stuff, it’s easy to get lesson FOMO and try to watch everything you can. It’s a one-stop shop of drum education. 

Beginners should give Drum Ambition (opens in new tab) a good look too as, while it doesn’t have the big names and massive range of features, it does cut out the potential distraction.

For improvers, and those who want to feel a more personalised approach, we have to recommend MikesLessons.com (opens in new tab) along with Stephensdrumshed (opens in new tab). If you feel like you’d respond better to single-teacher consistency we think you’ll love the delivery and dedication of both teachers.

Likewise, experienced players who want to go down the rabbit hole with some legendary drummers should check out Dave Weckl’s Online School (opens in new tab) and Peter Erskine’s jazz courses via Artistworks (opens in new tab)

Melodics (opens in new tab) gets a nod for being aimed at electronic drum set players who might want to get started in a different way, but we do think that you’ll eventually want to move on to more ‘human’ lessons.

Best online drum lessons: Services guide

Sign up, and you’ll be livin’ on the edge

Specifications

Price: $29 monthly, $240 annually
Platform: PC/Mac/iOS/Android
Free trial?: 7-day

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible unlimited access to courses by some of the best drummers in the world
+
Song transcriptions
+
Flexible app access
+
Broad range of styles and ability levels

Reasons to avoid

-
The amount of content could become overwhelming

If you’ve ever shown the slightest interest in online drum lessons, there’s a strong chance you’ve already watched one of the 1,200-plus videos currently hosted on Drumeo's YouTube Channel (opens in new tab). Take out a subscription, however, and you’ll get access to thousands of hours of lessons from some of the greatest drummers on the planet, thousands of song transcriptions, jam tracks, live lessons and more. 

If you’re a complete beginner, the Drumeo Method syllabus will guide you from kit set-up to advanced techniques. Intermediate and more experienced players will love the ability to delve deep into more refined and niche techniques and approaches. There really is something for everyone, regardless of ability and music taste.    

Read the full Drumeo review

2. mikeslessons.com

Dedication to education personified

Specifications

Price: $29.99 monthly, $149.95 bi-annually, $269 annually
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: 7-day

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent lessons with detailed presentation and explanation
+
Single-tutor consistency
+
Live lessons and feedback available
+
Broad range of subjects

Reasons to avoid

-
Possibly not the starting place for novices

Revered drum educator Mike Johnston really cares about teaching, and it’s reflected in the design and presentation of his lessons. There are over 50 courses included with a membership, each one designed to improve the core areas of your drumming. Mike is constantly working on the best way to present and explain concepts, and offers multiple camera angles, full notation and multiple tempos for every one of his lessons. 

But what we love most about mikeslessons.com (opens in new tab) is its ability to deliver the lessons in a way that feels personal. There’s a comprehensive practice planner to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time, homework assignments to ensure progression and live sessions including jams and Q&As to give you actual contact time with Mike. It’s possibly not the starting place if you’ve only just picked up sticks, but advancing and intermediate players will love Mike’s enthusiasm and friendly presentation.

3. Stephensdrumshed.com

If your good friend happened to be a brilliant drum teacher…

Specifications

Price: $29.99, $259 annually
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: 14-day

Reasons to buy

+
Broad range of lessons
+
Personal and friendly delivery
+
Consistent tutor approach
+
Student/teacher interaction available

Reasons to avoid

-
We’re struggling to think of any

Stephen Taylor is another teacher who you may have discovered via his excellent YouTube content, and his website stephensdrumshed.com (opens in new tab) offers enrolment on his Drum Better Daily programme. With over 70 courses, weekly live Q&As and regular interactive guest artist sessions, there’s plenty to get stuck into. 

There’s accountability and support provided too via a community forum, personalised lesson plans and feedback. The lessons are presented with a friendly and inclusive approach and, similarly to Mike’s Lessons, most of the content is taught by the same teacher – which adds to the familiarity and personal approach. 

4. Drum Channel

Turn on, tune in, geek out

Specifications

Price: $25 monthly, $197 annually
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: No, but free content available with mailing list sign-up

Reasons to buy

+
Extensive video lessons with famous drummers
+
Song transcriptions
+
High production values

Reasons to avoid

-
Like Drumeo, the range of content could be overwhelming

Drumeo’s vast amount of content is rivalled only by Drum Channel (opens in new tab). With masterclasses from the likes of Chad Smith, Bruce Becker, Thomas Pridgen, Abe Laboriel Jr and many others, there are lessons and courses covering the basics – from your first beats to extreme double pedal playing, and even fitness (see Yoga for Drummers). 

Plus you'll find song play-alongs and transcriptions, and jam tracks. An annual plan costs $197 a year (working out at $16.41 a month) or you can pay monthly at $25, plus Drum Channel offers a 90-day money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied.

5. Dave Weckl Online School

Inside the mind of a fusion drumming legend

Specifications

Price: $36 monthly, $360 annually
Platform: Web browser, teachable mobile app
Free trial?: No

Reasons to buy

+
In-depth lessons from one of the greatest of all time
+
Comprehensive range of subjects
+
Refined, serious technical advice

Reasons to avoid

-
Perhaps too advanced for beginners

Dave Weckl is a true icon of the drums, and while he’s a technical powerhouse from another planet, he’s been an educator in parallel to his playing career for decades. Here, Dave has created a series of courses via Teachable (opens in new tab) based around all aspects of playing, from set up to hand and foot technique, timing and feel, soloing and even recording. 

As well as the courses, there’s interaction directly with Dave and his team (including representatives from the brands he plays) via an exclusive, private Facebook page and forum. You’ll also get access to performances, playalongs and guest lessons/seminars from top instrumentalists such as Mike Stern and Oz Noy. The courses cater for all ability levels, but we think the detailed nature could be more applicable to intermediate/advanced players.

6. Drum Ambition

Got to be starting something…

Specifications

Price: $29 monthly, $199 ($499 – Pro) annually
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: No, free lessons on site

Reasons to buy

+
Dedicated to beginner/intermediate-level drummers
+
Clear, well-produced lessons
+
Strong focus on drumming fundamentals 

Reasons to avoid

-
If you’ve been playing for a while you might prefer a more advanced option

If all this talk of blistering chops and world-class celebrity teachers has you feeling a little intimidated, Drum Ambition (opens in new tab) narrows things down a little by focussing on beginner to intermediate drummers. Simon Dasgupta has developed a curriculum to take you through the fundamentals of drumming over five modules, split into 100 videos. 

The Drum Ambition app means it’ll work across your devices. There’s over 40 minutes of free lessons on the Drum Ambition site to give you a taste of the lessons and presentation style, starting from the very beginning of how to count eighth-notes. Once again, you can pay monthly or annually, with tiered pricing starting at $29 for pay-monthly, $199 for pay-annually and a $499 Pro package which includes a monthly one-to-one video chat with Simon, and a personalised practice plan.

7. 180 Drums

Don’t know what to learn? Get ready for a turn-around

Specifications

Price: $16.60 monthly (billed annually at $199)
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: No, but free content available on email sign-up

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Focus on fast learning
+
Lots of content

Reasons to avoid

-
You can only subscribe annually

180 Drums (opens in new tab) was started with a view to giving drummers their ‘180-moment’ that is a noticeable change of direction and progression that feels tangible. As with Drumeo and Drum Channel, lessons are delivered by a mix of in-house and famous drummers, with over 500 videos available covering many different styles. 

We love the Progress Killer Quiz that's designed to help you decide what courses to take, and 180 Drums has structured its presentation so that you can learn from individual tutors, by style or technique. There’s also a strong focus on improving quickly, making sure that you stay engaged with getting better on the drums.

8. MasterClass

Learn everything, with some lessons from some legends too

Specifications

Price: $14.99 (billed annually at $180)
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: No

Reasons to buy

+
The only place you can get lessons with Ringo!
+
Great production values

Reasons to avoid

-
It’s not a drum lesson specialist
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You might feel like there isn’t enough drum content
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No rolling monthly option

MasterClass (opens in new tab) is an all-round education site, with courses on many subjects from cooking to… drumming! Current drum courses include Ringo Starr (Drumming & Creative Collaboration), Shiela E (Drumming and Percussion) and Metallica’s guide to being in a band (featuring some instruction from Lars Ulrich). 

There’s a lot to be learned, but we’d say it’s better suited to players who have found their feet (and hands) and want some more specific lessons or to learn directly from the players mentioned. MasterClass memberships starting at $180 (billed annually), but this gives you access to every course on the MasterClass site.

9. ArtistWorks Jazz Drums with Peter Erskine

Want to learn jazz drumming? You’re Erskine the right guy

Specifications

Price: $105 (3 months), $179 (6 months), $279 (12 months)
Platform: Web browser
Free trial?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Learn jazz from a world-class master of the genre
+
Very detailed jazz course
+
Feedback available from Erskine

Reasons to avoid

-
It only covers jazz
-
Pricier than many other options

The beauty of online drum lessons is that you have the freedom to niche-down if you want to, and that’s exactly what Peter Erskine’s course with ArtistWorks (opens in new tab) offers. Focussing solely on jazz drumming, you get to learn from one of the all-time greats. 

As well as a very detailed jazz syllabus, there’s access to a video submission service where you can submit five videos per-year for Peter’s feedback, plus you have unlimited access to his feedback on other students’ drumming. It’s priced at $105 dollars for a three-month plan, $179 for a six-month plan, or $279 for a 12-month plan.

10. Melodics

Bot for teacher

Specifications

Price: $29.99 monthly, $149.88 annually
Platform: PC/Mac application
Free trial?: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great fun
+
Well-suited to teaching yourself

Reasons to avoid

-
We think you might run out of inspiration after a while

Melodics presents a different approach to the rest of the platforms featured here. First, it’s aimed at electronic drummers, and second, it isn’t based on the personality/teacher style of lessons we see presented elsewhere. Instead, you download the Melodics (opens in new tab) software, and hook-up your kit to your computer. From here, you learn through a slightly ‘gamified’ interactive learning concept. 

It’s a great way of teaching yourself, and it’s the educational partner for both Roland and Alesis. However we do feel that you might be seeking further inspiration and more human instruction before very long. If you’ve got an electronic drum kit, download it, try the free lessons and there’s no obligation to continue.

Best online drum lessons: Buying advice

Man plays along to a Drumeo lesson on his electronic drum set

(Image credit: Musora)

Choosing the best online drum lessons for you

There are plenty of teachers and organisations offering online drum lessons, usually presented as pre-recorded courses aimed at different ability levels in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.

Can't I just watch drum lessons on YouTube?

You have probably come across many of the best known educators in the online drum lesson game already via YouTube, which begs the question: why not just watch the stuff they post online for free? Well, obviously that’s an option, but it’s important to note that free content on YouTube – while often extremely informative – is posted partly as a marketing tool.

But what you don’t get from sampling a lot of free content is structure. You run the risk of only learning disparate grooves, chops and tricks whereas paid-for courses are designed to give you a logical progression and a more complete understanding of the topic you’re learning.

Which online drum lessons service is right for me?

Selecting which service to go for will partly depend on you, your current ability level, schedule and the ways that you prefer to learn. Just as with face-to-face lessons, it’s worth having some objectives of what you’d like to achieve from the lessons. Are you looking to start playing from scratch, or are you a more experienced player wanting to improve a narrower, more specific style or technique? 

If you only have a small amount of time to dedicate to drumming each week, you may find that having access to too much content is overwhelming or distracting. Likewise, feedback and accountability for making sure you’re progressing properly and consistently could be high on your list of priorities. If so, it’s worth checking out a membership that gives you the option to submit your playing for feedback and ask questions etc.

How much should I spend on online drum lessons?

Man sits at a drum kit viewing Drumeo on his laptop

(Image credit: Musora)

But we also need to consider budget. Many of the memberships in our guide cost less if you pay annually – with a cooling-off period if you change your mind – but also offer a pay-as-you-go option if you’d rather not pay a lump sum. We’d suggest taking advantage of a free trial, or perhaps starting on a monthly plan if you need more time to decide. This way you can give yourself a test run with dedicated lesson and practice time and see how it fits into your schedule before committing to a full year.

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.