If you’ve always dreamt of being the next Travis Barker but you don’t have the financial resources or even the spare time to dedicate to receiving drumming lessons from a professional teacher, then you can still achieve and live out your dream through online resources.
These online resources will allow you to learn in the comfort of your own home and if you’re starting out and you’re not quite sure if you’ll be any good, then you won’t even have to invest in a whole drum set until you’re ready to commit to your new-found passion.
Learning the drums through online resources instead of going to training with a professional will give you the freedom to learn how and when you want. It’ll take any pressure off you as you won’t have to learn pieces ready to show your teacher every lesson and you’ll be able to spend as long as you want during your sessions with money not being an option.
You’ll find a huge collection of subscription resources, paid applications, and courses online, but there is also a wide variety of accessible free content that you can use to help you build up your confidence and improve your skills.
As we said, you won’t even need a full-on drum set when you’re starting, rummage around your house to find some pillows, food storage boxes, or maybe some small bins to practice jamming out.
So whether you’re looking for some free or paid online resources, we’ll be giving you the low down on the best online drum lessons at the moment.
YouTube is probably one of the best resources out there to learn pretty much anything to everything, so it’s no wonder it’s top of our recommendations.
It may be so obvious that you may have not even considered it entirely, but if you’re looking for some free content that is easily accessible then YouTube should always be your first port of call.
YouTube is great as you can access the site via a tablet, smartphone, or even on your TV so you can learn wherever you want and when you want.
You’ll find some of the most popular drum lesson platforms sharing free content on their YouTube channels including Drumeo and Stephen’s Drumshed (more on those later) but also some lesser-known content creators who are sharing tips and lessons for beginners.
Once you’ve exhausted all the beginner tutorials and tips, you may find YouTube more restrictive on your improving abilities so then it may be time to move on to some of our other recommended platforms to build your skill level.
2. Drumeo or Drumeo YouTube
If you’re completely new to drumming and you want a more structured approach to your learning in comparison to YouTube, then Drumeo is a great option. Drumeo calls itself the ‘The Ultime Online Drum Lesson Experience’ and it’s hard to argue with that claim due to its content and courses available which are suited for all abilities.
The Drumeo site boasts a 10-level curriculum filled with over 230 courses and over a giant 2000+ classes hosted by a collection of professional drummers. From beginner tips to building confidence when performing in gigs to also how to do some incredible drum solos, the site has it all covered and you’ll find yourself with something new to learn every time you sign in.
They also have a YouTube channel with nearly 2 million subscribers with dozens of playlists jam-packed with amazing free content, so if you’re not ready to commit to the annual subscription then you can browse through their free online videos first.
The premium subscription to DrumeoEdge allows users access to the full vault of content, weekly live lessons, downloadable sheet music, and way more for $240. They even offer a service for private lessons starting from $50 a lesson to help you learn and build your confidence.
If you want to try Drumeo Edge for a week before making your decision then you can do it via their week-long trial completely free.
MasterClass has been quickly growing in popularity as the platform has managed to obtain tons of professionals to host courses and classes on their platform, with the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Samuel L. Jackson having their own lessons available.
When it comes to drumming classes on Masterclass, Sheila E will be the first person you want to watch. Sheila was raised in a family of musicians and has collaborated with the likes of Marvin Gaye and Ringo Starr in her time. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, then the fact that she was named one of the all-time greatest drummers by Rolling Stone will.
You’ll be able to learn all the basics and the principles of drumming, even if you don’t own a drum set. There are 15 lessons in her MasterClass course. A subscription to MasterClass will cost you $180 a year or $15 a month but gives you full access to every course available on the site, so if you’re passionate about music and looking to get into the industry then you’ll get good value for money with your subscription as there is tons of content from singers, songwriters, producers and musicians on there.
Drum Ambition is an online program designed for beginners to be able to learn the basics of drumming and help reach attainable goals through the 75 videos available when you’re subscribed to the curriculum.
There are 3 subscription options available to you, the solo plan ($27 a month), the rockstar plan ($199 annually), and the concierge plan ($499 annually) all of which differ in what they offer.
The solo plan is more than enough to get you started as it provides you with access to the full curriculum and you’ll also get the email and live chat support to help you with any questions.
If you’re serious about turning your hobby into something bigger, then the concierge plan will be a stand-out option for you. You’ll get access to the full curriculum, a monthly video chat with the founder Simon DasGupta, a personalized practice plan, and an e-Book with everything you need to know about drumming. $499 for this subscription plan seems a tad pricey, but when you consider 1-to-1 drum lessons around $50 each time, you’re getting some top value for money.
Mike Johnston is a Sacramento-based drummer whose website is one of the largest drumming education resources around. He is a large collection of free videos on his YouTube channel to dip in and out of as and when you’d like.
He also offers a subscription plan to his course online which comes in at just under $30 a month and includes live streaming lessons, personal reviews from Mike himself, and practice tracking so you can keep on top of your progress.
It doesn't matter if you’re a true beginner or you’re looking to work on whatever foundation of skills you’ve already built, Mike’s Lessons will be able to help you improve and be the most confident drummer that you can be.
Stephen’s Drumshed or else known as Stephen Taylor runs a popular website for drummers of all levels. He has a wide range of free content available over on his YouTube channel and has featured on some of Drumeo’s content as well.
Stephen’s content offers a more personal touch to learning and will be as close to receiving in-person lessons as an online resource could possibly offer. His content is unique and engaging and will keep you coming back for more even when you’re not looking to practice.
His subscription plan ‘The Drum Better Daily Experience’ is $29.99 and includes a personalized lesson plan from Stephen, regular correspondence with Stephen about your progress, and full access to all his old and newly released content.
If you are looking for someone with a bit of edge to show you the ropes, then Stephen comes highly recommended.
If you’re not looking to be a heavier rocker and would prefer the softer dynamics of learning jazz on the drums then Peter Erskine’s course over at ArtistWorks will fit you perfectly.
A subscription for his course is available in 3,6, and 12-month plans starting from $105 and will give you access to hundreds of videos, backing tracks, and tips from Peter himself. The course is open to all levels and you’ll be able to learn quickly from the man who did the drumming music for big films like La La Land and Austin Powers.
This course from ArtistWorks is higher priced than other courses we’ve come across but we do feel like the uniqueness of the course is something you won’t find anywhere else without having to get private in-person lessons.
Bill Bachman is very well-known and highly regarded in the drumming world thanks to his expertise and experience in drumming. He’s also a columnist for the Modern Drummer magazine and has also written 3 books on drumming and his experience.
Bill’s website offers subscriptions to basic and more premium plans ranging from $7.99 a month up to $200 a year.
The basic plan includes access to the basic video lessons whilst the more premium plans include a drumming plan made for you by Bill and also a monthly check-in video chat with him to see how you’re getting on with the course.
If you’re looking for a free platform that has an expansive collection of content and videos, then try checking out OnlineDrummer.com. The site has over 500 drumming lessons to choose from and you’ll even have access to drum sheet music so you can learn new songs whenever you want.
Whilst the site doesn’t have as many personalization options as other platforms, there is more than enough available to you to help you learn whenever you want without having to pay anything.
There are some drumming video courses that you can pay for in the site’s Shop if you’re looking for tutorials on how to play specific songs, however, there is more than enough free content available to keep you occupied for a while without having to commit to a subscription plan.
If drumming is not just about playing to you but is more of a lifestyle and you live for immersing yourself in the culture and the history of drumming, the DrumChannel will light up your eyes.
The brand was founded by Dan Lombardi in 1972 and now boasts a growing YouTube channel and a website that offers premium lessons.
The Drum Channel YouTube site has a wide range of videos including interviews, education content, and also amazing live performances from legendary drummers.
An all-access DC membership gives you access to a catalog of 50 courses, 800 lessons, 400 shows, and even masterclasses and you’ll be automatically enrolled into the DC academy with a 12-month curriculum where you progress week by week for only $25 a month.
11. Virtual Drumming
Our final recommendation for the best online drum lesson resource is another free option called Virtual Drumming. The site offers basic drum lessons for beginners, covering topics like stick control, drum grooves, and learning different genres of drumming.
There are some advanced lessons for drummers who’ve gained experience previously, however, this is slightly more limited compared to the beginner’s classes.
The site offers audio samples so you can play along with the music if you have your own drum set, or you can watch the sticks automatically play the beats on the onscreen kit. If you don’t have your own drum kit yet, then Virtual Drumming will be a useful resource to help learn music notation and rudiments before you invest in a kit.