Since I'm often told that the Internet, with its abundance of free materials, is rendering teachers obsolete, I thought I'd put that to the test, searching YouTube for beginning rock drumming “lessons”, and not stopping until I found a truly good video, or until I thought of something better to do with what time I have left on this planet.
I'm taking these in the order they are returned by the search engine, filtering out a few things that are non-instructional. I've given a few notes, quickly, test-pilot style, on their strengths or shortcomings. My purpose is not to belittle anyone's efforts, or discourage anyone from trying to teach others what they know, but here I'd rather be entertaining than diplomatic; if you see your video here, and don't like what I say about it, be tough, and keep working on your craft, as we all do. If you tire of this faster than me, be sure to scroll to the end and give the winning entry some hits.
Drum Lesson:The Basic Rock Beat
Six and a half minute video explaining how to play the Back In Black beat, and not as terrible as you would expect from someone who self-identifies as “turdadactyl.” No tempo consistency between the demonstration of the the beat and the counting the rhythms of the parts, which will confuse some of the beginners who are his audience. Uses the highly questionable method of speeding up the beat as you go. Not wild about his recommended benchmark for success: the ability to talk to someone while you play the beat. I'd rather students were able to play the beat while concentrating on what they are doing. Great speaking voice.
Many more of these after the break:
Drumguy demonstrates a basic rock beat
A minute and a half. Can't tell if that's his real voice and accent— I hope so, because that would be fun. Good, straightforward explanation of how to play the basic beat, quickly jumps to a more complex beat with nothing by way of explanation of how he got there. I think I'm definitely over this thing of routinely playing hard rimshots on your backbeats.
How to do a rock beat, for the beginner
British tweaker sets up his drum in his kitchen. Explains the beat by counting notes, which will screw up any of his quarter-million viewers with poor enough judgement to take this video seriously. Maker apparently does not understand the replayability feature of YouTube videos, because he uses much of his minute and a half saying the same damn thing again and again.
Basic 4/4 Rock Beat
Just under five minutes explaining playing basic beat with quarter notes on the cymbal. Ten seconds of stick twirling at the beginning does not inspire confidence. Explains bass drum technique without showing it. More gratuitous stick twirling while demonstrating the beat. Gives a good exercise for moving between the hihat and ride cymbal, but does not explain its purpose.
BEGINNER Drum Lesson #1 Basic Rock Beat
All over the place, and incoherent— sorry. I guarantee none of his target audience made it more than one minute into this near-seven minute presentation. Script, please.
How To Play A Basic Rock Beat On Drums
Nice and short, but the explanation probably doesn't help the kind of person who is looking to have this explained to him in a video. He may be a decent teacher, but not good enough verbally to ad lib his presentation. Not sure what to make of his wacky set up.
Beginner Rock Beat EASY Drum Lesson
by Philip Ellis
How to play a dance beat on an electronic drum set. “For the person who has never ever played drums in their lives.” We're told to play “quarter notes on the bass drum and 8th notes on the hat.” To which his audience who has never, ever played drums before responds “Wuh-wuh-waitaminit, what's a quarter note and what's an 8th note? What's a 'hat', for that matter? A rubber black rubber thing on your left?”
I must say I grow weary of these monkeyshines. No more letter grades.
Beginners Guide To Drumming - Basic Rock Beat Tutorial
A novice drummer explains how to play a beat. Incredibly, the information is not a lot worse than some of the other videos from apparent actual teachers. I kind of like the way he plays the beats.
BenDrumStudios - How to play the basic rock beat!
It's hard not to like these British teenagers. Not the greatest videos in the world, but they're kids. Leave them alone.
Rock Beat w/ a simple groove
Two skulls too many in this video. It's creepy in a way unintended by the video maker.
Learning to Play a Basic Rock Beat - Drum Lessons with J.C. MacFarlane
Not bad, as far as it goes, but I wish we would not teach these beats by counting notes.
Basic Rock beat and 16th Beat
by Hugh Dalrymple
Couldn't make it through more than one of the nine minutes of this, I'm sorry. Troops, if you are unwilling to throw out your Smirnoff/Jimbo empties, at least move them out of the frame when you're making your video.
Rock Drums: Hi-Hat & Ride Cymbal Patterns : Basic Rock Beat for Ride & Hig...
Same goes for your laundry.
Drum Lesson No.3: How To Play a Basic Rock Beat By CHRIS BRIEN
Pretty good, actually. I think we have a winner. He gives a lot of information, I thought maybe too much at first, possibly overwhelming to the beginner, but no— this is a solid, professional lesson. He knows how to teach, and he knows his subject well enough to concisely ad lib eight minutes of beginner-appropriate information. I like his style, too— I'm sure kids like him. Chris Brien gets an A.