As most of you know, I am relatively new to drum, and come at a more advanced age. In the beginning I was self-taught, because I didn't really know how far I could go, at my age. I discovered very quickly that I had much more talent than I gave myself credit for (I had always wanted to play drums, from a very early age, and I always loved music that had a driving drum beat). I read articles on the internet, and downloaded rudiment information.
A month ago, I decided to sign up for lessons with a drummer at one on my local music stores. We had built a good relationship, I knew he had 40 years of experience as a drummer, and he had commented that he could hear my talent, but that it was still raw, needing polish. Unfortunately, my drum teacher had a bad back, that required surgery, and I lost him after just two lessons.
I tell you all this as a background, because I have been studying with the store owner for the past two weeks (also a long time, excellent drummer). The problem that I am having is that my current teacher wants me to hold my sticks just as he does (I prefer matched grip, although I do practice traditional from time to time). My teacher prefers German grip - palm down - with all finger tightly wrapped, and empahsizing the wrist action. I prefer the Ammerican grip - matching grip with palms at 45 degree angle to the drums - with a loose grip and finger action.
I am frustrated that my teacher is not allowing me to play what is most comfortable to me, but I am wondering if this is just normal teaching strategy for beginners. Do most teachers start students out with a specific technique to develop specific muscles, or am I justified in being frustrated. I do want to say that I feel most free on the kit when I use the "American grip." I am a very intuitive drummer, and I am already doing things that lessons are beginning to name. The lessons are filling in gaps for me, which is what I wanted, and I want to be technically good, but I also don't want the lessons to hold me back.
AM I BEING UNREASONABLE???