A Funky Primer, Section 1 problem


I'm sure there are plenty of people on these forums who are familiar with "A Funky Primer for the Rock Drummer" by Charles Dowd. I've been using it for a few weeks now, but I skipped directly to the bass drum independence exercises in Section 3. I've decided to start over from Section 1 and go back through each section in the linear fashion the author intended. I've already hit a snag, though, in Section 1. You see, the author recommends that you not move on to Section 2 until you've thoroughly mastered Section 1, but "mastering" section 1 involves performing a number of sticking exercises with 32nd note patterns at 120 bpm. This seems...excessive for a beginner. I imagine it could take me months to get to a point where I can do 32nd note paradiddles at 120 bpm. That sounds like master-level speed. Should I really spend months working exclusively on speedy rudiments before even touching the bass drum and hi-hat? Am I over-estimating how difficult it would be to accomplish this? Or am I reading the notation wrong?

The following link contains a PDF with the exercises (legal sample pages from Google Books). They're on page 9.

Master section 1 is mentioned on page 5. To me that means being able to play each sticking proficiently at a comfortable tempo in a relaxed manner.

Playing the figures at 120 bpm is mentioned on page 8 as a goal for section 1.

I think these are independent statements.

I think the idea of mastering section 1 is to be able to play section 2 using any of the sticking combinations in section 1. Notice there are no stickings given in section 2? (at least page 10). I would think that would mean for you to play the figures in section 2 using the sticking combinations in section 1. You need a certain comfort level with the stickings to be able to do that.

I would also want to work on whatever section in the book that starts with time feels at the same time at I would work through the sticking material.



Gold Member
Here's what I take from AFP- Think of an inch. You've got half inches , quarter inches, eighth inches and sixteenth inches, etcetera etcetera. Those are all essentially "points on a line". What AFP does for you is illustrates all those "points on a line" for you to become fluent with your bass drum.

Once you begin to understand the significance of each point then it's only a matter of substituting a bass drum note with a snare drum note, and at that point you're creating stuff. :D

If you want a challenge over the 8th note beat section of that book play paradiddles over everything while accenting the 2 and 4 within that pattern and playing the bass drum notes. That'll keep you busy.


Platinum Member
Don't sweat it. He never tested anybody at the U of O on that. It's not an absolute prerequisite. He just wants you to be sure to work on your hands alone, as well as the beats.


Platinum Member
Funny story, quite relate-able. Back when I first started to work from that book with my teacher, they didn't have any copies in stock on the shelves, so she made a copy of the page you're talking about for me to work from until next week when they'd get the book in.

One little catch, though. The copy of the page cut off just a little bit of the top, the perfect amount in fact so that it looked like they only wanted me to do 16ths! No sweat!

Of course, I was in for a rude awakening and a lot more practice until I could pull of those stickings in 32nds at 120.