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San Francisco, CA Drum Lessons

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Beats in the Bay: Drum Lessons in San Francisco

By Jeff W. - San Francisco Drum Teacher

My name is Jeff and I teach drums in the Peninsula, which covers all the cities between San Jose and San Francisco. I’ve been teaching for five years, and playing drums for 17 years. My favorite styles are pop and funk because of the sweet grooves and accents.

San Francisco is a great place to learn drums. Think about the drumming from Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Santana, Metallica, Third-Eye Blind, Green Day, and Rancid; those are just a few of the legends to come out of the Bay Area.

With so many well-qualified teachers in San Francisco, aspiring drummers can feel confident about learning to play a new instrument.

Drum lessons in San Francisco are fun, and aspiring drummers have access to live music of all genres seven days a week. Here are some of the awesome venues you can explore:

Bottom of the Hill

With live shows almost every night, you can check out local, up-and-coming, and well-known artists. The Bottom of the Hill was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as “the best place to hear live music in San Francisco.”

Davies Symphony Hall

This is the perfect spot for drummers who are interested in classical music and percussion. Make sure to reserve your spot in the pit section for the best view of the percussionists at work.

The SFJAZZ Center

With over 300 performances each year, the SFJAZZ Center is the mecca for jazz in the city. The SFJAZZ Center also offers listening parties, live drum/instrumentalist scores, and a discovering jazz class.

Farley’s Coffee Need caffeine fix to get you amped on learning the drums? Check out Farley’s Coffee in Portero Hill!

With its unique history and rich culture, San Francisco is a great place to experience music and learn to play drums. I love seeing students learn and grow as drummers, so if you sign up for drum lessons in San Francisco, maybe I’ll see you soon!

Time to go teach, -Jeff W.

About Rob F.

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San Anselmo, CA
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About Rob
Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, performer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ h
as directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused.
I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact,
I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers.
I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning.
I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach.
I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.

Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset.
Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.

*** Specialties ***
Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
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Reviews
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Barbara S. October 29, 2013
· Drum ·
I Got Lucky

A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
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KatyV January 11, 2012
· ·
Rob Franco

You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
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Rob F.

Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA 94960
(2)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Jeff W.

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Montara, CA

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Primary focus: rudiments and chart reading, and hand development. Drum kit: Hip-hop grooves, Pop grooves, Funk grooves, Reggae, Rock, Dance, and country shuffles. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

About Jeff
Hello Students/Parents:

I have been drumming for 20 years. I tend to work mainly as a freelance drummer on multiple acts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My main Styles tend to include; Pop,Rock,Funk,Reggae and Hip-hop. I am funny, friendly, outgoing, great with kids, and have been teaching music for 5 years and counting.

Example of our First Lesson:
we will work on a fun song/groove-- then we will work on reading and/or rudiments. I am also very patient and Flexible to those students whom have special needs, or want to go slower.
I teach using a combination of modern, traditional and personal books, and Popular music charts.

"œWhen the student combines his/her playing with a strong practice, playing, and performance regimen, they are bound to get better and improve to continue making music a concrete hobby in their life."

-Jeff
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Reviews
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Julia March 28, 2016
· Drum · In studio
Jeff has been great! I'm an adult student, returning to drumming after at least 15 years. My lessons have been fun, and the instructions have been excellent.
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Matthew B. October 19, 2015
· Drum · In home
Jeff is awesome! He's super kind and patient, as well as talented at the drums. He's definitely invested in his students' success too.
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Adrien P. February 8, 2014
· Drum ·
Great lessons, great teacher

It's only been 4 lessons but I really appreciate how the lessons are going. Jeff gives good explanations on how to read music and how to execute on the drums.Good pieces of advice too when some parts are hard to play !
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Jeff W.

Jeff W.

Montara, CA 94037
(9)
starting at
$37 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Beginner
I'm not currently taking beginner drum students. Please refer to my studio partner Andrew:
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Intermediate
Start to learn about polyrhythms as well as developing your ears and body to play songs more accurately. Start to spice up your playing with ways that are interesting, but not intrusive.

Advanced
Really push your polyrhythms and add asymmetrical meters to your repertoire to expand your grasp of complex rhythms. Also learn to use dynamics, cymbal work, and fills to effectively communicate and lead a band without words.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
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Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Brad A.

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Peculiar, MO
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I've been playing the drums my whole life. If I had to pick just one instrument to play, it would be the drum-set. I have a real passion for jazz drumming, simply because to me, it offers the most creative freedom for a drummer. I do enjoy and teach many other styles of music as well, including rock, country, blues. I've played professionally in all these types of groups as well. I can teach you to do the same, if that's your goal.

About Brad
Professional musician with 20 years of performing experience, including 7 years in the U.S. Army Band. Have performed with many different types of bands, including jazz, rock, blues, alternative, country, and steel drum. Recorded 5 CD's. Achieved 1st. chair percussionist for 2 state honor bands, winning the position over 70 other students who auditioned. Helped several students to achieve 1st chair in their state honor bands as well. Have several former students who are now playing professionally. Helped several adult students, who had never played an instrument before, learn to play well enough to play in local bands, achieving their lifelong dreams. Over 10 years of experience teaching guitar and drums to students ranging from small children to adults. Hobbies and interests include songwriting, singing, home recording, bicycling, runnin
g, weight lifting, history, traveling, movies and web design. Fun teacher who loves to help others learn to play an instrument.  

*** Lesson Details ***
Instructor teaches both drums and guitar, depending on the student. This is unique because if you're studying drums, the teacher plays along on guitar. If you're studying guitar,the teacher can play along on the drums. In this way you learn to play in a band rather than just learning to play an instrument. Most importantly, it's fun!The focus for new students is to quickly teach them to perform in a band. For beginning guitarists, this means learning power chords, simple songs, and 2 scales, eventually progressing to more advanced songs and techniques. Most beginning drum students start by learning basic rock beats, and songs, eventually progressing to advanced fills, techniques and styles. Lessons are geared to the individual student's interests and abilities as well. For instance, percussion students sometimes focus on marching percussion techniques, jazz band skills, etc.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Ludwig s/l series drums, and Zildjian cymbals. Fender stratocaster electric guitar, Carvin all tube amp and Peavy trans-tube amp. Seagull acoustic guitar, handmade in Canada.  

*** Travel Equipment ***
Instructor provides drum-sticks, mallets, a practice pad, and/or guitar and amp if applicable. If student is taking drum/percussion lessons, they need to have their own snare drum and /or drum-set and sticks. For guitar lessons, they need to have their own guitar and picks.

*** Specialties ***
Many years of experience in jazz and rock drumming. Many years of experience in marching percussion. Additional skills in country, blues and Latin drumming.

I also play and teach rock and folk guitar.

Ed Feltman
"Brad worked as a drum teacher for my son from the ages from 11-16. Brad encouraged by son day by day at each lesson, the encouragement resulted in the constant addition of new skills and great competence, Brad encouraged him to play in many different styles and situations and provided opportunities that allowed him to stretch himself out of his comfort zone in many situations. In outside situations my son was not required to "try out" due to his well-known skills."

"I would recommend Brad's teaching expertise to anyone interested in learning drums or continuing to expand their skills."

Kim Wheeler
"Brad started teaching our 11 year old son the guitar about 2 years ago. He offers reasonable rates and flexible scheduling. Our son was enthusiastic about music but discouraged after taking piano lessons and feeling like it was a chore. Within 3 months of taking guitar lessons with Brad, he had learned the power cords and could play over 5 songs by ear. Brad s method of teaching emphasizes learning the basics and immediately applying it to playing music a young student recognizes and can grasp. He understood that just learning notes in a book would not keep a young man s attention long, and instead emphasized learning cords by sound and developing good fingering and hand/eye coordination on the instrument. Brad emphasizes positive encouragement while adding layers that pushes our son s learning a little bit further with each lesson. After 2 years, our son can play a portfolio of songs including the solos, he s performed in school talent shows and he s learning to read music on the page just in time for school band. We couldn t be happier with our son s progress thanks to Brad s measurable teaching abilities."
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Reviews
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John J. March 3, 2017
· Drum · In home
Brad does very well with my 8 year old who hashould a very short attention span. He I'd more than accommodating coming to our place for his first lesson and showing him how to put his drum set together.
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Sean December 3, 2016
· Drum · In studio
My daughter has taken four lessons so far and Brad has her playing very well already. He will even play along on the guitar which gives her the feeling of playing in a band. She is having a good time and looks forward to more lessons.
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Duane S. December 5, 2013
· Drum ·
Great Drum Instructor

Brad is currently working with me as a drum instructor. I had been working with another instructor for about 2 yrs when I realized it was time for change. Brad was a perfect fit when we met. Brad works with me once a week for anywhere from 1/2 to 1 hr depending on my needs. He has been so encouraging and supportive of everything I want to learn as well as what he feels I need to learn. My skills are improving everyday with the techniques he uses which fit me very well. I am very blessed to have him as my new drum instructor. He is very good at adapting to where you are and moving forward from there. I would recommend Brad to anyone who is ready to learn the drums no matter at what level you are currently playing.
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Brad A.

Brad A.

Online
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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Whether you are a complete beginner or getting more advanced and need some keys to reach the next level, I'm your man! I started playing drumset (and snare drum) when I was 12yrs old (I'm quite a bit older now so I've been doing it for a while! :) and I LOVE teaching drums.
I wanna teach you to read and write drum music, play strong beats and fills, develop natural technique, relaxation and independence. Eventually you will learn to use stylish transitions, interpret song structure, and achieve proficiency in a variety of styles. And most importantly, know how to play it musically.

About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Reviews
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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About Dudu E.

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Dublin, CA

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I`ve been teaching students from all ages for almost 10 years, at the music conservatory I took classes with the best drum instructors in Brazil.
I always try to make my students able to achieve self-control on the drum set, developing the technique, coordination and the timing.
I use good methods like Creative Coordination for the Foot Technique, Stick Control and others in my classes, and I always try to work on the theory at the same time with my students.

About Dudu
Hi there! My name is Eduardo Emerick, I'm a passionate drummer and music instructor who loves working with students from all ages and levels. I started to play drums at age 9, went to Tom Jobim Conservatory of Music in Brazil from 2008 to 2011. I've been working professionally as a musician for almost 10 years; teaching, performing, recording and doing workshops and masterclasses. I really like teaching and love to share experiences and knowledge about drumming with my students. Besides playing the drums, I love biking, hiking and exploring new places.
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Dudu E.

Dudu E.

Dublin, CA 94568
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Andrew I.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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I will help you get familiar with a drum set or hand drum. I will make sure my students understand proper technique when playing drums. You will learn to count along to the music as you play to keep track of yourself and most importantly to keep a steady pace while playing (keeping time). We will discuss different rhythmic styles and how to apply them to the beat you play on the drums so that you can play any songs you like. I teach all my students to read music for their instrument so they can have a foundation that works with their instrument and other instruments as well. With drum lessons I always play a different instrument alongside to give it a bit of a group feel if you are interested in learning to play in a group. My lessons are adjusted to the specific student's pace and their learning style.

About Andrew
I have been playing and studying music in a variety of settings since 2008. I have performance experience with both classical ensembles and contemporary rock bands. This has given me experience in writing music, playing music, and ensemble management all within a wide range of musical styles.

I have been training people in various fields since 2013. I am currently a junior instructor at MTS Studios in Sunnyvale CA where I teach a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano and ukulele.

I am looking forward to helping you further your musical goals and aspirations. Feel free to send a question if you want to ask about anything before starting up.
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Margarita M. November 6, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My daughter just took her first piano lesson with Andrew and we really liked his super patient and friendly personality. We are looking forward to taking more lessons with him.
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James August 28, 2017
· Drum · In studio
My 8 year old son just had his first drums lesson with Andrew and can't wait for his next drums lesson. My son also took a couple of guitar lessons with Andrew and we really like his super patient and friendly personality. Andrew definitely knows how to work with kids and my son always looks forward to his music lessons!
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Shankar S. August 26, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Andrew is a great teacher. He's very methodical and teaches theory right from the beginning. He draws musical notes and beats nicely on the board and plays along with the student in his ukulele. My six year old son started reading music the first day.

I liked his his studio - it is lovely with so many instruments! Looks like he teaches several instruments.
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Andrew I.

Andrew I.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(23)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Eyal S.

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Oakland, CA
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A private drum teacher for over 10 years, based in Oakland, CA, I am a lover of music and I share that passion with my students of all ages, from beginner to advanced levels. My lessons are fun and motivational, encouraging students to perform the best they can while enjoying the learning process. I am patient, and I am a big believer in improvisation to improve creativity and confidence. I expect students to practice the techniques they learn and come prepared for each lesson.

About Eyal
A private drum teacher for over 10 years, based in Oakland, CA, I am a lover of music and I share that passion with my students of all ages, from beginner to advanced levels. My lessons are fun and motivational, encouraging students to perform the best they can while enjoying the learning process. I am patient, and I am a big believer in improvisation to improve creativity and confidence. I expect students to practice the techniques they learn and come prepared for each lesson.
...
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Eyal S.

Eyal S.

Oakland, CA 94621
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Dennis W.

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Palo Alto, CA

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I make sure all my students play with proper technique and dynamics. You will learn how to play to a metronome, read music and rhythms, play with your favorite songs, and improvise your grooves while playing with other instruments. I teach many various genres of music including those with odd signatures, polyrhythms, and double kick patterns. Over time, you will learn to play like the professionals that inspire you.

About Dennis
I have been playing drums since I was 9 and have been teaching for 4 years. I currently play in a professional band in the bay area. I specialize in many genres and odd signatures. I make sure that every one of my students understand and play with proper technique and dynamics to perform like the professionals. I teach how to read music, play various types of rhythms, play to a metronome, and play along to any of your favorite songs. I will often times play another instrument with my students to give them an understanding of what it is like to play in a band setting. I also offer group lessons where multiple students learn to play different instruments together to make music.
...
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Dennis W.

Dennis W.

Palo Alto, CA 94301
starting at
$35 / 30-min

How it Works

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Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

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Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

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No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

Convenient

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Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

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Average Cost of Drum Lessons in San Francisco, CA

The average cost of 60-minute drum lessons in San Francisco is $62. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $75 per hour.

30-min $35
 
$42 average
$60
45-min $42
 
$47 average
$52
60-min $50
 
$62 average
$75

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute drum lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute drum lessons are 25% less expensive at $47, and 30-minute lessons cost 33% less at $42.

Curious how much drum lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best drum teachers near San Francisco.

Drum Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Drum instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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