The Drum Instructors Guide Part 1


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If you are a (somewhat) accomplished drummer, and if you have the ability to communicate your thoughts; YOU CAN TEACH DRUMS!

This manual is designed to help put away all negative feelings of self-doubt and get you moving forward. I sincerely hope it'll become the catalyst that helps you get started, immediately.

It is so easy to get setup and doing this, I'm betting you'll be on your feet and doing it, . . . maybe by this time tomorrow!

After teaching your first student or two . . . you'll be hooked for life. Teaching drums for a living (or part time) can be VERY lucrative. It can be both rewarding, and great fun! Take it from a guy who started on a shoestring in 1965, with as much self-doubt as you may be feeling right now; Teaching drum set techniques is a lot easier, and more fun than you can imagine.

I often shudder to think where my own life might have gone, if someone hadn't grabbed me by the collar at a very young age, then begged me to teach them to play. I taught my first two students as a favor (for free) at age 18, and it grew into a lifelong career. You can most likely make that same thing happen for yourself, once I've helped you see just how easy it is to get started, then do it.

You do NOT have to be a 'nationally known' drummer to begin teaching. Even a beginning drummer can teach, as long as he or she knows more than the student. The important thing is, the 'teacher-to-be' needs to enjoy 'talking drums', and they need to enjoy the process of teaching.

Once you've digested ALL the facts below, and once you've discovered just how easy it is to get started and gain a foothold as a teacher . . . I'm betting you'll will be hooked for life. I'm about to unload a lifetime of valuable secrets on you! You really have no idea, how easy, fun, and lucrative all this can be!

Yes! Teaching drums pays VERY well!
To find out, just make a few phone calls around your locality and ask what an hour of lessons will cost you. If you have trouble locating a reasonable teacher at a reasonable price, it should turn on a few lights within your head. You'll immediately discover that you are onto an idea here that could lead your life in some great new directions. I've recently raised my own rate here in the central Florida area, to $50 per hour. I understand that in some larger metro areas the going rate is even higher than that. It doesn't matter where you live; As a drum instructor you can make very good money right from the very beginning. This is also true for people in foreign countries as well.

Together, we will examine all the possibilities. If there is a drum instructor living within you, this new and exciting career will begin to open in front of your eyes within the next few minutes. You'll begin to realize that the greatest obstacle in front of you may be YOU, and your own feelings of self-doubt! Everything else will hopefully be very easy, once we get beyond that.

Though this manual may be short, (it's only about a one hour read), it may light a fire under you that could last a lifetime. It contains numerous little known secrets and ideas that should cause you to act immediately towards the betterment of your own future, as well as those people you are soon to be helping and teaching.

By the time you put this E-book down, you could be embarking on a lucrative new sideline (or full-time) career as a drum instructor.  It is much easier than you might think.  I will show you how to overcome the major obstacle, your feelings of self doubt. It is entirely possible to begin LIVING this brand new career, as early as tomorrow afternoon, even if you are still a student of drums yourself. Believe it!

OK! I can hear your questions and arguments already! I can imagine all the 'what-ifs', forming in that cynical mind of yours! I can even understand and relate to some of your cynicism. Sure, it can seem daunting if you allow negativity to rule, but . . . honestly, if you'll read the facts and ideas below, I think you see it all quite differently, just minutes from now.

Some of your arguments and doubts may be warranted, but most are completely unfounded. So . . . let's take it, 'one-doubt-at-a-time', and together we'll dispel them, right here and now!


      Question #1:

      How will I know if I'm good enough to teach?  


      • ANS: You'll overcome your initial doubts and fears by hand-picking your first few students. You'll hand-pick, then teach your first few students, for free. In other words, to give yourself a break and make all this extremely easy, you should seek free students who know and like you already.

        Teach a couple of neighborhood kids, a young niece, nephew, or a close friend or two in the beginning, until you have your act together. Once you've taught a couple of friends or relatives, you'll gain confidence in your own ability as a teacher. Then, you can use my (upcoming) economy-advertising tips, or start running ads in local papers and wait for the phone to ring. It will ring! Trust me! 98% of the respondents to your ads, will be total beginners. They're very easy to teach!

        You'll be teaching my proven lessons and methods, but you won't even need to master each and every one of my lessons to begin teaching and making money. You'll start on a shoestring, you'll grow as you go, and you'll earn as you learn with this plan I'm about to layout for you.

      Qustion #2: 

      Where will I teach? I don't own a studio!

Here are a few suggestions:

      • ANS: You can start in your own garage or living room. Some students may want you to come to their home. The options are many and varied, but none are expensive. There's no need to lay-out a fortune in the beginning. Start small and grow as you go. Teach anywhere you have space for a drum set!

        Where are your drums right now? 
        That's your studio!

        So what, if it's a bedroom or a garage. That doesn't matter! Most SERIOUS students won't care. If you are good at helping them learn, they'll follow you to the moon for their weekly lessons. It's a fact! Believe it! Just get started asap!

        At one point for a while in the late 60s, I had a drum kit setup in the back of my van, and I drove around the city of San Antonio Texas. I drove to people's homes, giving lessons. It was great for them! They loved the idea of taking drum lessons in their driveway. (I only did it that way to get started.) It made it easy for me to build a schedule of students by going to them. The traffic was horrendous, but it worked. It got me started! You may want to consider this as a potential startup tip. (Actually, I was much happier later, after my schedule grew enough to warrant opening my own brick and mortar store. Still, it was a way to start!)

        One other time . . . I made a deal with a mom on the far side of town. I already had the brick and mortar store going pretty well on the North side, but I had a couple of days with open time. I needed more students and I knew there were a lot of students on the South side of town who wouldn't fight the 5:00 o'clock traffic driving 25 miles across town to me. I needed to fill up another day of my teaching schedule in a hurry. The wolves were at the door. So . . . we made a deal. I taught her son, in their family garage, for free, one day a week, . . . But, while there, I advertised and brought in other students, in 30-minute sessions, between 3:00 and 7:30 pm. The free space was my payment for the free lessons her son was receiving. It turned out to be a win/win for everyone.

        At the wishes of some students who already own a drum set, you may even elect to go directly to your students homes and use their equipment.  I've done that a lot, at various times when my own teaching studio wasn't as great as I might have liked. The students you teach that way tend to get the best end of the deal. You'll be running around all over town if you decide to do this. The traffic can be a real nightmare at times. I usually charge a little more, if I have to fight the traffic and go teach just one student.

        As your student schedule increases and your confidence grows, you will then (hopefully) be in a position to open your own brick and mortar shop one day soon.

        Better than that, you'll have some special leverage then; You can work a deal with almost any music store in your area. Having a line-up of weekly students (10 or more) will give you talking-power and leverage that could get you a spot in any large music store in your locality. Almost any music store will be quick to find a little spare space, if you can bring them guaranteed business (instrument sales and room rent) without them having to advertise for you. The demand for GOOD drum instructors is actually very high, especially in small towns.

        Here are some additional tips on acquiring a teaching space . . .
        Your local church may offer inexpensive space on weekdays when the church is closed. Also; many small towns have community centers that can be perfect for such an enterprise. At different times in my own career, I've rented teaching space (very inexpensively) in Karate schools, dance schools, and once in a TV repair shop, after hours. (Haha . . . that last story, is a rather long story of lean-times.) I'll not go into it here, but the point is . . . "Where there's a will, you will find a way"!

        Utilize your own garage, patio, living room or bedroom as a teaching studio in the early days, to save money and get started. Once you have a few students, offer a percentage of your fees to any shop with space, after hours. It can be any sort of shop, but a shop with a connection to education or music, is best, (ie; music stores, dance studios, karate schools, churches, community centers, etc.,) Higher quality studio space will come to you, once you have a fairly large schedule of students. Until that occurs, teach anywhere you can find space enough for a set of drums.

      Question #3:

      What about licenses and permits?

      • ANS: Don't worry about city ordinances, permits or licenses in the beginning. Music instruction is normally allowed anywhere. Many music teachers teach from their homes, and you won't really need a city license until you open a brick and mortar shop, later on. There's no law on the books that says you have to have a license to help someone learn art, music, or most vocational trades. If you can't invite a friend to come to your house for a drum lesson, there's a little issue of freedom there. You can do it! It may be best to check, just to be certain, but I've never had a problem with this issue.

      Question #4:

      How long will it take to begin making a livable wage?



      • Ans: When everything goes as planned, I've found that with minimal advertising and a little luck, I can usually build a schedule from scratch, to 10 or 12 students within a five to eight month period. It takes time, luck, and patience but this tends to be the average.

        A lot depends on whether or not there is, or isn't, competition in the immediate area where you want to teach. Most people do not want to drive much further than ten to twelve miles for lessons. This means there's a lot of opportunity out there, if we're willing to drive to different areas of town on different days of the week. If some other drummer has your neighborhood covered already, then go to an area that is without any competition. Survey your entire town or area to learn these things, before you spend money on a lot of advertising. (I'll be showing you my best kept advertising secrets a little further on in this E-book.)

        If you want to build your schedule really fast, and you don't mind driving a few miles each day, it's possible to build a full week of afternoon lessons by moving around each day. Teach in other nearby towns or in other parts of a large city. Build a schedule on different days in each area you are willing to drive to. Make a deal with one student in each area, to teach them free for providing you a space where you can teach others. I've done this, and it works well for getting up to full speed within the shortest amount of time.

        Otherwise, expect to be building your schedule in one location for a year or more before you can relax and call it a full time job. Don't quit your other job until then.

      Question #5: 

      What will I teach? I can't write music notation all that well?

      • ANS: This is the easiest question to answer! Use MY prepared lessons! It's ok to print them and teach them, one-at-a-time, to any of your local students. Just don't try to sell the course as a whole. That would constitute a copyright infringement. Yet, I'm telling you plainly right here, it IS ok to print-out and teach my lessons one-at-a-time, as long as you do not change any of the lessons, and you do not try to sell my work as yours.

        You'll be feeding your students MY lessons, one-at-a-time. If you understand the lessons, you can easily teach them. By following my lesson plan, your students will excel and progress rapidly! I've devoted a lifetime to preparing these lessons. It's a proven method, and it works really well! There are more than 125 lessons in the course. Do the math, at $20 per (30-minute) lesson, per student.

      Question #6: 

  • Where will I get the paying students?

    • This is easy to answer as well . . .


      Advertising is the key to success.  You'll need an inexpensive, steady, repeating ad, in a publication that covers an area of about a 15 or 20 mile radius near your studio.  You'll want to concentrate your advertising in your immediate 10 to 20 mile neighborhood.  Most students want lessons near their home, (within 5 or 10 miles.)

      The little (weekly) suburban shopper newspapers are usually the very best places to advertise.  Around here, a 2 or 3 line classified ad will only cost a few dollars per week.  I just have them bill me by the month and I pay the bill faithfully, even if the phone doesn't ring.  It takes a while to get the first few calls.  Be prepared to wait faithfully for the first calls to begin trickling in. It's something called the rule of seven. 


      Marketers claim that an individual needs to see an ad six or seven times before they will respond directly to it.  It must be true!  Every time I move from one locality to another it is the same way.  The ad will very often run 4 to 6 weeks before I get that first call.  From then on it will usually remain fairly steady, from one to several calls per week . . . (If the advertising publication is being read by 50,000 or more readers of each weekly issue.)

      Certain times of the year are far better than others for gaining new students.  The best time is usually 3 weeks before school starts in the fall, and it is often still doing really well through late November.  It usually dies around Christmas then picks up again following the Christmas holidays through January to March.  A slump may begin to occur through March, April and May.  Then (here in America) there may be another busy time as school lets out for the summer.  Some new students may begin lessons for the summer, while others drop or go on vacation, until school begins again in the fall.  Mid summer is usually the pitts here in the US.  Everyone tends to vacation at that time.  That is when I usually pull in my own shingle and go sleep in the woods myself.

      TRY THIS IDEA (BELOW), until you can afford to pay for advertising:

      Print out twenty or thirty 3" X 5" AD-cards at your computer, then distribute the cards with your phone number to all the free bulletin-boards around your neighborhood. Most grocery stores, laundromats, churches, public (and private) schools, plus some restaurants, have bulletin-boards that are totally free. Use them! Walk in and tack-up your small ad on any board you can find.

    • School newspapers and church-bulletins are both cheap and excellent places to advertise. You'll get results, if you just get the word out. You want to reach primarily the school age kids in the 8 to 15 year old group, and their parents.

      Speaking of schools! Visit the schools in your neighborhood.  See the band or music director and offer your teaching services for free once or twice a month.  Just tell the band director you would love to help the drum squad with rudiments, drum set techniques, or whatever.  This way, once the kids become aware that you are teaching drum set techniques on the kit . . . they will cry to mama for private lessons with you.  It is a cry that no reasonable parent can refuse.  Be sure to give each student one of your business cards, and your phone number. You will be hit with student overload. This may be the absolute BEST way to get new students, if you'll do it.

      Keep your ads simple and to the point, even if you pay for advertising. A 2 or 3-line ad is usually all that is necessary. My ads most often look something like this:

          *** DRUM SET LESSONS ****
      Your place or mine. Ph. 555 5555
                BILL POWELSON


      Place your ad and keep it running.  Pay the bill even if the phone doesn't ring at all.  It may not ring much for 5 or 6 weeks but it will eventually ring, if you leave the ad running, (and, if people are reading the publication your ad is in.)  It is important that you advertise only in your area.

      Some city newspaper cover too large an area, and you'll wind up paying for ads in an area you can't service.  The city newspaper rates are MUCH higher because of that coverage you can't service. Don't make that mistake.  Stay local with your advertising and stick with the absolute lowest-rate / highest-circulation you can find, within the immediate neighborhood you plan to service.

      WHEN THE PHONE RINGS: (Your Sales Pitch.)

      You will develop your own pitch but it is best to keep it simple and sweet.  Something like this . . .

      "I specialize in drum SET techniques.  You may start without a drumset but if things go well you may want to pick something up within a month or two.  My rate is $XX.XX for one 30 minute lesson per week.  You will be asked to pay by the month, in advance, at the end of the first lesson.  If you feel these lessons aren't for you, there will be no charge for that first lesson.  I have Tuesday at 4:30 open.  How does that sound"?

      Usually there will be a little discussion about which of your openings are best and then they will sign up. You are officially in business!

      SIDE NOTE: It goes without saying, every student you teach will be needing and wanting a drumset. So . . . teaching offers the teacher a great lauchpad for selling drums and other musical equipment. I've never liked retail. It can become a conflict of interests for an honest, dedicated, teacher. But, that's for you to decide. There's a lot of money to be made, retailing drumsets. But, since this isn't the topic of this manual, I'll just leave it at that.

    Question #7:

  • What if I get a student who knows more, and is already a better drummer than I am?

    • ANS: Good point, and it's a worthy worry! Yep! It has happened to me too! (RATS! Until then, I was totally convinced I was the #1 drummer on the planet, haha.)

      I suppose it happens to all teachers sooner or later. There's nothing more scary than to have a new student walk-in claiming to want and need help . . . only to burn you on your own drum set. Those types are tough on our egos and our confidence.

      Over the years, I've found a GREAT way to impress and hold other accomplished drummers totally spellbound, even when I've felt they were as good, or better than me. It'll work for you too! Here's my SUPER SECRET ANSWER to that frightening dilemma:

      Honestly is always the best policy! If I see immediately that a new student already knows most of the same techniques, and materials that I know, I go immediately to plan B.

      First, I tell them the truth. I never try to bluff them into thinking I'm something I'm not. It won't work anyway. They'll know immediately!

      Instead, I simply compliment them on their equal or better ability, then I explain that there isn't a lot I can do to help them.

      EXCEPT . . . BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO LEAVE, I hit them with my very best stuff! I throw my 'Ace in the Hole' at them, right away. It's guaranteed to blow even the most advanced of the monster drummers, totally away . . . no matter what! This is the perfect 'Ace in the hole' too. You'll also have access to it if you're enrolled into my complete course.


      This 'Finite to Infinity' knowledge is the answer. No one is aware of the material contained in this little e-book. Buy it, and learn what's in it! You'll never, ever, be stumped again, when it comes to teaching even the most advanced and most technical pro-drummer. This is my secret weapon, and it can be yours as well. Yes! It's truly awesome! Buy it and then use it when teaching your own advanced students. This small (7-lesson) e-book will take any drummer to new amazing levels overnight. It's absolutely the most power-packed, unbelievable music knowledge on the planet today. No kidding! Check it out, and get a copy for yourself. Finite to Infinity will become your 'Ace in the Hole' for life. Guaranteed!

      In this 'Finite to Infinity' e-book for ultra advanced drummers, you will learn secrets that are guaranteed to hold ANY advanced drummer spellbound for many lessons.  You may not hold them for long, but after you've taught them this totally awesome material, they'll leave you with tons of respect, and nothing but kudos, for the ease at which you've helped them grow. This material is unbelievably simple, yet it's absolutely mind-boggling in scope. Within seven short lessons, the student will add 18 quintillion new beat patterns, and total command of the entire time signature system, to their arsenal of knowledge.

      Even if they CLAIM to understand the entire time-signature system, you'll prove them wrong, then teach them the truth as they've never seen it before. This knowledge isn't available anywhere but here. It's my own 'Ace in the Hole', and you should make it yours, if you hope to rise in the ranks as a respected teacher and/or drummer.

    Ok! I hope I've dispelled and relieved some of your fears and doubts about this teaching gig, but lets' keep going. Now, we need to do some deeper soul-searching. I want you to look at the whole thing objectively before you leap into all this. Hopefully, the 'objectivity' that follows will serve to fire you up a little more . . .

    NEXT, we'll do a little self-assessment and discover if you have what it takes to become a GREAT teacher. If you don't possess these qualities already, maybe I can help you grow them . . .

    Self Assessment . . .


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