TITLE: The Drum Master Key
AUTHOR: Florian Alexandru-zorn
PUBLISHER: Alfred Music
the Volume is published worldwide and comes both in a german and english version
A Compact Guide to Complete Musical Manifestation
This volume is the distillation of all studies I have undertaken up to the present day. I practice these concepts in intricate detail on a regular basis. It has taken me several years to complete the process of writing this book and I am now looking forward to being able to share these practice techniques and concepts with others.
The Drum Master Key can be utilized within a wide range of styles and is therefore timeless. I consider it essential not to limit the focus to a single genre or playing technique.
Each new ‘vocabulary’ enriches our own individual mode of expression and simplifies conversation with fellow musicians. We percussionists occupy a special role in music; our primary focus is on rhythm and phrasing and we devote our concentration to these two areas to a substantially greater degree than most other instrumentalists. For this reason, I consider it essential to practice exercises not only within binary and ternary fields, but also to incorporate quintuplets, septuplets etc. into our daily vocabulary. This knowledge and the associated “thinking outside the box” will reinforce our playing technique and permit us to become more open-minded for new paths.
Each chapter of this book opens a further door to a wide range of musical dimensions. Beginning with fundamental rhythms and dynamics and proceeding to polymeters, displacements and daily workouts, I have attempted to compile all essential elements for independent practice. I find it fascinating to observe how each individual percussionist has a different sound although we are all united by a single factor: the rhythmic foundation on which all our playing is based. This master key has been conceived for all percussionists who are individually free to decide how this material can be best employed to enhance their own personal style.
Children provide us with a good example.
They enjoy playing with building blocks and, depending on their whim of the day, produce the most amazing variety of constructions: towers, castles, dragons or diggers. Some times they simply build whatever comes into their head.
All utilize the same starting material, but produce different results every time.
If you have a precise vision of what you want to play, you will succeed in combining all these building blocks differently every time with the aid of this book, thereby extending your abilities and learning how to employ them flexibly.
If you do not have a clear picture of what you want to play, I advise you to work systematically through the concepts towards the point at which the previously fuzzy image will gradually come into focus and reveal its clarity.
Now enjoy this musical voyage of discovery!
It is not important to proceed through this volume in chronological order.
Each chapter is devoted to self-contained work fields which are imperative for all percussionists. A solid foundation always is the ideal basis for a stable learning process: this is provided in the first chapter "The Key to Time".
The other chapters can however be worked through in any order. It is in fact advisable to jump back and forth between the different chapters to gain new insights into the individual exercises.
Where possible, the concepts in this book are deliberately reproduced in tabular form. This means that the individual parts have to be assembled mentally which will in turn ensure that the material is memorized better and you will be quicker in developing the ability to retrieve this material at any time.
Progress through the exercises one by one and attempt to play through each section until you are even able to continue playing if your attention starts to wander.
According to new scientific studies (status 2012), the human brain requires around 160 repeated attempts to memorize something permanently. Here this will take around 15-20 minutes at approx. 100 bpm per 4/4 bar.
The principle of repetition is however only one aspect of reinforcing something which has recently been learned. I attach even greater significance to the question of how the acquired knowledge is to be used. It is therefore first necessary to know how to go about learning something, but equally important to recognize the purpose of learning.
Here is a concrete example:
Can you remember back to your first day at school or the route you took during your driving test?
Older persons are able to recall situations, emotions and scents which sometimes go back several decades: how is this possible?
The solution is extremely simple: the intensity of a particular situation. This is not merely dependent on repetition, but also on the individual attitude and associated degree of motivation with which exercises are performed. It is therefore necessary first to recognize why something has to be practiced as this will make actual practice significantly easier. My guiding principle is that I feel privileged as a musician simply by being able to “play”.
To get an impression I have produced this little video today. I really hope you enjoy it!