Netography 3 – The tutorial sphere of Drumeo Videos

Having the Adams (2014) I can say that some of the experiences he documents definitely chime with my experiences with drumeo. Although I know that they are not always in a little room in Canada, bashing away at kits and doing Q&As with other more famous drummers it still feels like Jared and Dave (the main drumeo tutors) are ALWAYS there. It probably explains why their sticking technique is so much better than mine.

Another point that I would agree with Adams is that surprisingly intimate relationships have built up in my mind with some of the drum tutors I watch. For example, I have a particular affection for Alex Ribchester as he is one of the few prolific British drum vloggers and as his videos have built up over the years you can see more posters appear in his practice room, his camera set up get more elaborate etc. Quite often I find that it is not the content of his lessons that I like most (his lessons are a bit too centered around US skate punk beats for my liking) but it is the imaginary relationship I have with him. It’s nice to hear a British accent compared to the overly chipper North Americans like Jared Falk and Adam Tuminaro.

I have to say I haven’t quite experienced the feeling that I am actually in a shared space with the tutor, as Adams (2014) reported some of the MOOC students describing. That is not to say online drum lessons should seek to replicate the experience of sharing the same space with the tutor. Merely that it does not happen in the same way that Adams reported.

As an online drum student I am always conscious that the lesson is a mediated experience. There are two reasons for this, firstly I have heard drums being played in a real time environment enough times to know what I am hearing through the computer would be completely different if I was actually there. Secondly, online drum lessons are always filmed from multiple angles, often with a front of kit view, birds eye view and back foot view. This angles are often shown together at the same time so that you can get an idea of how different limbs work together as the music is played. This is very useful but is not representative of how I would see things if I was really in the shared environment with the tutor.

Finally, Adams termed online lecture videos as a “a hermeneutic speech act that is augmented with technology” (Adams, 2014, p.11). Online drum lessons can be similarly termed. The technological augmentations being the ability to see multiple angles at the same time,  as well as read a transcription with a synchronised “read-a-long” pointer.