Are Private Lessons Worth the $$$? – #ASKHUEI Ep. 003

With running the podcast show for a few months now, I’ve become more and more fascinated with the value of audio content.

The conversations have been so enlightening and joyful.

I’ve also found it so interesting how my perception of the conversation will shift at different points of the creation process, from recording, editing, to publishing. In many ways, it’s like listening back to a favorite album or watching a movie you’ve seen countless times – you pick up something a little different each time.



To parallel this audio work with my Q&A series, #ASKHUEI, I’ve started recording and sharing the audio versions of my written responses to questions I receive via social media. My hope is that with these recordings, others may find the information useful, but furthermore, I hope these audio files will be the seeds for more dialogue within our online communities.

Below is the third audio file in the series. If you’d like to catch previous episodes or receive them by email, just join the the HP Music Community!


Are Private Lessons Worth the $$$? – #ASKHUEI Ep. 003

Listen to #ASKHUEI Q&A

Join the conversation and leave a comment or question on the original post below:




I tried taking lessons at a place (Music Store Name) and it was awful. The guy was nice, but he clearly and purposefully spent a lot of time talking about himself and getting off topic and just not teaching. When I specifically asked to learn just rudimental stuff to get good enough for drum corp, he said he would still teach me the set.

Long story short, $20 for 30 minutes, me not even learning anything, and him just trying to figure out where I was and where I needed to go (even though I played and told him) has ruined lessons for me.

I came across your Drumline Blueprint 1.0, and I was wondering it it’d truly help me.

The money is a lot for me, and those lessons + two books the teacher decided I should buy for $10 each, took up most of what I had. But, it’s my birthday soon so maybe I can get enough.

I really really wanna do Drum Corp. I know money can’t buy skills or passion, but I already have the passion.

Besides your blueprint, is there any other way I could get better? Like Youtube videos? I would like to try this blueprint out, but with the whole lesson thing, I’m kind of scared of getting scammed.

I know you’ll refund, but the point is I’d rather not go through the hassle of trying to ask for money from my parents, just to spend the money, then tell them I have to refund it cause it was a scam (and I mean no offense, cause I doubt it is a scam), but I’m a very doubtful person at times.

Thank you.



Hi Derek,

Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience with lessons. I can understand why you are tentative about taking your next steps.

When I was in high school, i was lucky to have a really great lesson teacher. Because my parents were incredibly supportive, I was able to take lessons with him every week, each time for 30mins at first. As I got better and could handle more information, I eventually grew into taking 1 hour long lessons.

There is no question that training was what helped me enter college more technically and musically proficient than I would have been without those lessons. I made the college snare line as a freshman, and the training and relationships I made there set me on a course to participate in drum corps as a member (Snare, Phantom Regiment ’01; Snare, Cavaliers ’02,’03; Marimba, Cavaliers ’04) and then as staff (Percussion Caption Head, Phantom Regiment ’13,’14).

If you already have the passion, then you’re already halfway there. You have a full tank of gas, but it sounds like you need a roadmap and someone to point you in the direction of where you should start driving. You’re looking for resources so you know where and how to channel your passion into developing the skills you’ll need to achieve your eventual goal of getting into a drum corps.

Let me see if I can answer your question this way.

Imagine you’re involved in a triathlon…swimming, cycling, running.



You step onto the beach front for the initial swim. Before you start, you have to first find all the things you’ll need for the race: swim goggles, running shoes, a bike, a helmet…and a bunch of other stuff.

The entire beach is covered with this kind of gear – for free! However, it’s all in piles and piles as far as you can see; shoes, all in different sizes, sometimes mismatched or missing laces, or perfectly fine. Some bikes are even brand new. Others have flat tires. Stuff is everywhere.

You find a helmet that kind of fits your head, a pair of swim goggles that are a little too tight, and you take off towards the water. It isn’t until your body hits the freezing ice water and you gasp, that you realize you should have also found a wet suit.



You’ve got someone who once knew nothing about triathlons, spent years learning, training and competing in them, went on to teach professional triathletes, and now has turned their attention to coaching others on how to start competing in triathlons, as well as coach other coaches how to train triathletes. They’ve been doing this activity for over 20 years.

In fact, the coach has already put together a duffle bag with all the gear you’ll need, in your size, and they’re waiting for you at the starting line.

Just in case they’ve missed something, or maybe you prefer a different kind of wet suit, there’s actually a SECOND coach waiting there as well. They’ve got a different duffle bag with other options, also in your size.

As everyone starts to pick up these duffle bags, each person realizes they’re actually joining an entire team of triathletes who are willing to share what they have and know, as you all work together in this race against your personal best.


Is it possible to embark on the race in Scenario 1? Absolutely. But the question to ask yourself is, do you want to spend more time up front, figuring out how to get started, OR are you ready to just go, and spend all your focus and energy on completing the actual race?

If you have the time to poke around and self-direct your learning, there are so many great resources out there for you to learn. It seems like there’s a YouTube video for everything now,!You just have to take the time to find it.

To help, I have a free PERC101 Playlist on YouTube, as well as an entire page dedicated to free video lessons and handouts on my website at



As for the Drumline Blueprint – the premium, detailed content that comes with this video course is organized and sequenced so you have everything you need to confidently start working towards your goal of rudimental drumming and your personal goal of getting into drum corps.

Especially now as a Beta Tester, there’s more personal attention, a community of other teachers and learners to keep you going when you get lost, tired, or off-course, as well as lifetime access to future releases of the course.

We’d love to have you as a Beta Tester, but whether you try it now, in the future, or not at all, I’d encourage you to keep an open mind about finding a great lesson teacher. The mentorship of someone more experienced and skilled at coaching a player is invaluable in the development of a player, and to perform at the incredible level you see in WGI and DCI, many if not most have invested in various kinds of formal and informal training – that, their passion, and a lot of the proverbial (sometimes real) blood, sweat, and tears 😉

Good luck, hope this helped!





One thought on “Are Private Lessons Worth the $$$? – #ASKHUEI Ep. 003

  1. Read the kid’s post and your reply. Wouldn’t hurt for him to ask the next prospective teacher before he pays, “Have you ever marched drum line?”


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