Recently, we had the opportunity to review “Learn and Master Drums” by Legacy Learning Systems and we were very impressed. This is a self-study DVD and lesson book course that allows drummers at every level of ability to take their playing to the next level and beyond.
We rated the course 4.8 out of 5 stars because we both believed the level of instruction and the quality of the production far surpassed anything at or above its price range.
Let us break it down for you.
Learn and Master Drums impressed us right from the start with the packaging. It comes in a beautiful magnetic closure box that’s the perfect size for taking with you or book shelving. It contains 17 DVDs and a lesson book that follows along with each DVD. The lessons are taught by Dann Sherrill who is a Nashville studio icon.
Here’s a session by session breakdown of what’s covered in the course:
- Starting Off Right
- Basics of the Beat
- Musical Notation
- The Ride Cymbal
- Expanding on the Basics
- Blues and Shuffles
- Basic Rock Beats
- The Jazz Ride and Brushes
- Jazz Coordination
- Moeller Technique
- Drum Fills
- Advanced Rock Coordination
- Advanced Sticking and Linear Drumming
- Time, Groove and Pocket
- Double Bass Drumming
- New Orleans and R&B Drumming
- Latin, Brazilian and Reggae Drumming
- Song Structure and Musicality
- Beyond Drumming Technique
A bonus DVD with sections covering the history of the drum set, how a drum is made, setting up your kit, tuning your drums, drumsticks, warm up exercises, bass drum and high hat technique workshops.
Five Play Along CDs that allow you to listen with or without drum accompaniment covering Blues, Early Rock; Basic, Sixties and Modern Rock; Soul and R&B; Jazz and Brazilian.
Finally, there’s a comprehensive “How to Use This Course” written section inside the box that spells out exactly what to expect and what is required of you. All in all, a phenomenal amount of material.
But How Good Is It?
Here is a breakdown of Darin and my impressions of the course. We both felt this drum course could help drummers of any experience level move it up a notch at least. Let’s get right to it.
What We Liked
- Instruction – The material being presented was of the highest quality and was delivered in a professional and articulate manner. It would be completely accessible to a drummer of any level.
- Course Content – The range of the content was extensive. It covered everything from the basics of setting up your kit to the Moeller technique and even learning to play different styles of music. The extent of content covered was so comprehensive that we think it would ideal for a beginner or intermediate student not wanting to take lessons at this point.
- Production – The video was shot in a professional manner with clear shots that were well lit. Video always provided timely and clear visual aids for the concepts being discussed. The audio was clean and crisp and just the perfect level no matter what was happening.
- Printed Material – Is thorough and goes along with the DVDs nicely. No omissions or typos to confuse the student between the DVDs and the workbook. We would like to see a separate book with only the exercises in it for the more advanced students to be able to assess which areas they need to work on first.
- Extras – The play along CDs are fun and can teach a beginning drummer timing and how to listen to the band. We also liked that you have the choice of tracks that do and do not have drums on them.
What We Disliked
Both Darin and myself felt that Legacy Learning Systems was doing a disservice to themselves and their potential students by offering this course as an “All or Nothing” product. In other words, you had to buy the whole Learn and Master Drums course even if you didn’t think you needed all of it. We both thought offering a la carte downloads of each of the modules would be a much better way to get drummers to see what an incredible course it was. Then, they could decide if they wanted the whole course or they would be motivated to at least buy more modules because they trusted their quality.
We brought this up with Legacy Learning Systems and they assured us they tested nearly every possible alternative from free lessons to pick and choose. They said that students either buy the course or they don’t. People who get freebies don’t necessarily come back for more (oddly enough) and that sales of the piecemeal offerings were no better and even worse from a conversion standpoint.
Freebies Don’t Convert?
This really surprised both of us. Darin still maintains that he believes the “right” combination was not tested but I agree with them. If you’re not providing an easier way for somebody to use your course and improve their drumming, what is the point? I believe Legacy Learning System is a business, yes. But I also think they really believe in their educational programs. Anything that gets in the way of a student completing their training is counterproductive to their goals. Further, I think trying to pick and choose your modules without an understanding of the whole course is just wrong. Once you have the course, you can watch and read and determine what you need from it. Not just guessing what is meant by “soloing” and thinking you don’t need that.
Learn and Master Drums is a professionally-produced intensive drum course that can benefit anybody from a beginner to a seasoned veteran. We rated the course 4.8 out of 5 stars because we both believed the level of instruction and the quality of the production far surpassed anything at or above its price range. This course is the perfect choice for anybody that is serious about becoming a better drummer no matter where they’re starting from.