Gary Chaffee patterns.....What order to work on?

Steve.B

Junior Member
Hi Guys,

I have purchased the above books and was hoping for some advice. Which order to work from them would be most beneficial for a relatively new rock drummer?

Thanks

Steve B.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
They're actually designed so that you can work on them in any order you choose. You can work the sections in random order and you can even work from two (or more) books concurrently.

They're cleverly designed for you to more or less do as you please with them.

Forum member Mighty joker did an excellent series on YouTube that I've found beneficial. Worth checking some of them out: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jonathan+curtis,+gary+chaffee
 

renardvert

Silver Member
I've been studying with Gary for the last two years and I too say that you can work on them in the order you feel like depending on what you want to develop and where you are at with your drumming. That being said, I often will have students start with the Fat-Back exercises (found in Time Functioning Patterns) or the first studies found in the Sticking book.
 

Steve.B

Junior Member
They're actually designed so that you can work on them in any order you choose. You can work the sections in random order and you can even work from two (or more) books concurrently.

They're cleverly designed for you to more or less do as you please with them.

Forum member Mighty joker did an excellent series on YouTube that I've found beneficial. Worth checking some of them out: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jonathan+curtis,+gary+chaffee
Thanks for the link, I will check them out.
 

Steve.B

Junior Member
I've been studying with Gary for the last two years and I too say that you can work on them in the order you feel like depending on what you want to develop and where you are at with your drumming. That being said, I often will have students start with the Fat-Back exercises (found in Time Functioning Patterns) or the first studies found in the Sticking book.
Thanks for your reply.....Im kind of a beginner so am looking for a sort of guide to work through the books from that perspective.
So is there an order you would have students work through generally until they reach a point where they need individual study material (hope that makes sense).

Steve B
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It doesn't really matter it just depends on what you want to develop at this time.

Most of the stuff is just templates and needs some guieance in how to get the most out of it just like extending Syncopation and Stick Control for the kit.

These things are endless, so it's good to think about how you work on it and once you come up with something cool, like with anything, spend enough time with it and develop your own ideas around it so that it actually shows up in your playing.

If it's of interest to you Gary gives skype lessons.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Thanks for your reply.....Im kind of a beginner so am looking for a sort of guide to work through the books from that perspective.
So is there an order you would have students work through generally until they reach a point where they need individual study material (hope that makes sense).

Steve B
Steve those books are some of the best work ever written for drums, but they are not for you YET. You´ll be only able to play the fat back exercises if anything.

You have first to develop a good CONCEPT and READING ability to use them.

Take care!

Please check out my webpage: http://www.alexsanguinetti.com
 

renardvert

Silver Member
Thanks for your reply.....Im kind of a beginner so am looking for a sort of guide to work through the books from that perspective.
So is there an order you would have students work through generally until they reach a point where they need individual study material (hope that makes sense).

Steve B
Well, it always depends on the individual. Everybody learns in a different way. So try to go through the fat-back stuff with eight notes on your hihat to start with. Then, when it feels comfortable, do it again with a different cymbal ostinato, maybe quarters or 16ths. Then, improvise with it to make it your own.

Then, you could work on the level concept (full, down, tap, up). You can see some of those exercises in the beginning of the "Sticking" book. And then work on the first few accent exercises which are following. This should keep you busy for some time.

Depending on where you're at with your technique, you could eventually begin to work through the "Technique" book. The most difficult one to me is the "Rhythm & Meter" book but it is also a lot of fun. I would wait before working on this one.

Hope this helps.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I frequently teach beginners through advanced students, and have introduced these books to several students along the way. We tend to start with Time Functioning Fat Back exercises, because nearly all my students are primarily interested in playing rock. But, I have used all the books at some point. The Patterns series shouldn't be your *only* source of information, but they will be among the most valuable, and serve you the longest. Expect to refer to them over the next ten years or so! The Time Functioning book is routinely assigned in university jazz programs, in the first year (by that point, the average student has already been playing drums for many years).

Thanks for your reply.....Im kind of a beginner so am looking for a sort of guide to work through the books from that perspective.
So is there an order you would have students work through generally until they reach a point where they need individual study material (hope that makes sense).

Steve B
This question should be decided by your teacher. The Patterns series wasn't really intended for self-study; probably, it was assumed the owner of the book would use them, while having the guidance of teachers in lessons or courses. In my experience, beginning students need some assistance with interpreting the rhythms correctly, choosing a reasonable tempo, and establishing a frame of reference for dynamics, evenness of spacing, and sound.

So, my advice would be: definitely study from the Patterns series, but seek out private lessons with a teacher who is, specifically, VERY familiar with that material. Some drum instructors may not have worked from them, and won't be able to advise you very well.
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
I think Gary Chaffee's books are a must, but they are not for beginners. I've known these books since 1982 and I self-studied them but I was a professional, much into Frank Zappa's music, and well versed in polyrhythmic stuff already.
I liked the "fat-back" exercises in the Time Functioning Patterns book, and I used them with students in the 80s.
Then I wrote a book called Time Manipulation which started as another take on the same subject, since its first section also makes you work on basic rhythmic figures in a groove context. My book is constructed in a different way though, and it is more accessible to beginners although it is a very advanced book as well.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
If you are a beginner your time may be best spent on other things. As a teacher I'm known to break the rules(as some of the old almost religious ideas make little sense), but there is a certain order that would be wise to follow some what.

I went quite deep when I started, but it's worth noting I was educated, had been playing for 25 years and was a gigging pro on another instrument. My main interest was also in jazz and fusion and that had ben the case for a long time.

If you don't have a backgroud and som musical skills yet that should be your priority and it should be the main focus even if you had my type of background. Drums are very different from my main instrument the guitar.

I'd get a basic book on progerssive drum beats. Also the play-a-long packages by Tommy Igoe, Dave Weckl and Jim Riley. You really just need to spend time behind the kit, condition your musicles, train your bass drum foot etc.

Also learn to read and had at least some sort of routine for developing your hand technique. It's best to get some guidance from a teacher there. Be aware that some teachers wil have strong opinions on technique at what't the best way, but in the end the physical principle of good technique is the same. You have the rest of your life to get nerdy about it and adjust what works best for your own body. If one teacher doesn't work for you, try someone else.
 

jdjones

Junior Member
I have been playing a long time, been through many books and am just starting the Sticking and Technique Patterns books. I am very excited to see what these books do to my playing. The Sticking Patterns book especially seems like it is super dense and has great potential to open up new possibilities. The Time-Functioning book looks really interesting too but there are only so many hours in the day! Can anyone speak to which book they found most-valuable? Maybe that depends on what you feel you need to work on. I can't imagine a beginner getting very far into these books without feeling a lot of frustration.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
As it's an encylopedia of options obviously I do some of this stuff with my students, the young ones, too. It's just a few bits and we totally milk them. Theres no way I'm gonna try taking a young student through all the options. That's madness.

I basically did the fat back stuff as sort of a conditioning exercise. Quarters, 8ths, 16ths and off-beat eights. After that I did the paradiddle permutations and also the jazz comping. It's good confditioning and coordination work, but a lot of work especially if you start adding in toms and the ride bell like I did. It's not really how Gary will work on this stuff with you. It's just possiblities. the point is to make your own grooves, improve flow and improvise with a period concept.

I didn't use the technique patters much as I had other ideas and also had plenty of time to practice. It's become more a part now when I try to be more effective, split things up and better understand what I need to work on.

As I was to be become the next Vinnie I dove head first into Rhythm & Meter Patterns. Probably not that directly useful to most drummers. I had a lot of time to practice and a place to do so. As a side note, as of this week that's the case again. Office, practice room 30 feet away and a boss who gets it.

I guess the first chapter of Sticking Patterns with singles is ok to work on for accents. Not the only option for that, though.


Talking about books in general is hard. I think I have about 500 books at this point and it's actually pretty rare I get a student a book unles it's a progressive reading book or something like that. They're just an encyclopedia of ideas I use to get inspired myself and get ideas to create the best specialized method for each one of my students. The basic curriculum I take the new students through I wrote myself. Obviously, inspired by others and the play-a-longs are not made by me, but there is no one sizde fits all. Through the usually 1-3 years of basic training there's stuff I want all of them to know and if there's a book I feel will fit them well and inspire them to take charge of their own practice and creativity I'll advice them to buy that book.
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
They're actually designed so that you can work on them in any order you choose. You can work the sections in random order and you can even work from two (or more) books concurrently.

They're cleverly designed for you to more or less do as you please with them.

Forum member Mighty joker did an excellent series on YouTube that I've found beneficial. Worth checking some of them out: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jonathan+curtis,+gary+chaffee
Hey, thanks for the plug. I have actually been thinking about updating these videos recently, as they are pretty old now, and my ability and production techniques have come a long way since then.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Can anyone speak to which book they found most-valuable? Maybe that depends on what you feel you need to work on.
With students, Time Functioning gets the most use by far, but this is after the student is pretty comfortable learning a song, and has gone through some simpler materials w.r.t. coordination, fills, and groove playing. The student truly learns to coordinate the bass drum, and develops enough facility to improvise with it, or learn any bass drum pattern they happen to hear in a tune. It's usually difficult for a student to read the bass and snare part, while coordinating it with unseen 8ths in the right hand. Up to this point, students will swear in their lives that they are good at reading rhythms, but the Fat Back exercises always kick their butts, haha.

With advanced students, I've been into Rhythm and Meter Patterns, and Technique Patterns. The exercise with the different subdivisions, played for one beat each, is a fun and enlightening challenge. But we only scratch the surface, really. Not a ton of drummers are interested in, or even ready for, a septuplet snare exercise.

For whatever reason, Sticking Patterns gets the least use. For developing funky fills and fusion licks, it's genius. It's eye-opening to see a different take on assembling singles, doubles, rolls, and paradiddles into larger phrases, without sounding like a Wilcoxon book. Many drummers don't make it through Wilcoxon, so perhaps that's why it sits on the shelf more than the others.
 
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