A video progressive sight-reading course for drums?

jotadrums

Active member
I wondered if something like that could exist, just like https://www.talkingbass.net/simple-steps-sight-reading/ but designed mainly for the drums.

I do sight-read drums decently by now, but I would like to take advantage of the covid thing (seems the industry is now almost under minimum) in the hope that once it is over I would be ready to put myself in the market...perhaps cruise gigs as a drummer, or theaters, Broadway....whatever. I know that by then my reading chops will have to be rock solid.

Does anybody know about it? I finished level 5 of the talkingbass.net Simple Steps To Sight Bass Reading Course, and I am on the quest for something like it for the drums.

Edit: I have seen this in Drumeo. Something like that, but progressively aimed to a professional sight-reading standard.
 
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Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Maybe you can try to find this out of print DVD from Pat Petrillo
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
The charts I use just tell me the feel and has dashes through the bars, no notes...

I would suggest Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials.



Lesson Books and etudes are your friend.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
These two books will give you some excellent charts to boost your reading and playing:

The more you read, the better you read.
 

jazzin'

Silver Member
If you are looking at getting better with your sight reading for working shows, cruise gigs, etc then you probably need to look at some slightly different stuff. I think we can occasionally get mixed up with the different versions of ‘sight reading’ and which we need to work on, depending on the situation. If you can read drum stuff reasonably well ie standard drum notation thing (grooves/snare/syncopation kind of stuff; basically your typical drum book stuff) without any trouble with your basic rhythms etc, then you probably need to look more at interpretation, set ups, transitions, articulation etc of charts.
Drum notation will help you with reading drummy stuff, but you won’t actually read much drum stuff like that in the large majority of big band/pit type work for shows. You need to have a solid, well worked vocabulary of grooves and styles in your memory bank and then your main job is to interpret rhythmic figures with clean time, clear articulation and clarity. Simple, clear, clean time while serving up the figures and any changes/transitions on a platter for everyone to catch as clearly and easily as possible.
It’s less about actual reading of complex rhythms and lots of notes and stuff like that, because you won’t often see super complex rhythms and dense stuff in charts.
Often (not always of course) you’ll see the same basic rhythmic figures again and again and it’s how you set them up and interpret them based on the style, tempo and articulation of the piece that will make you a good reader.
In a way, practicing this stuff is actually pretty simple (time, interpretation, clarity) and I think easily over complicated. It’s not about being able to read 64th note gospel chop fills grouped in 11 easily or sight read a Delecluse etude (though they are certainly important skills in their own right to work on). Find all the books on chart reading you can (Steve houghton, Steve fidyk, etc...there’re lots) and all the charts you can (from great simple stuff like Igoes groove essentials to Gordon Goodwin, to Music Minus one stuff, etc...anything and everything). Practice memorising figures and simple, clear set ups in different styles, feels, tempos, dynamic ranges and transition between all those things using the figure as the transition point. Get a memory bank of go to stuff, all of which should be easy, simple and very clear. All with metronome obviously. Also, daily practice of actual sight reading (a single read, noting what was good and what tripped you up or a figure you need to work on) a chart or section of a chart, which is why you want to find lots of charts.
It also goes without saying that you should watch and listen to as much of the music/work that usually requires sight reading as possible. Big band, show music of all types.... Immerse yourself in it, check out the way different players play, how they set stuff up, listen for common figures, watch pit drummers, big band guys, find and watch rehearsals, everything!
Yikes, sorry for the essay! Got a bit carried away. Hope it helps somewhat though.
 
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jotadrums

Active member
If you are looking (...). Hope it helps somewhat though.
---Hi, Jazzin!! Thank you so much for your comments. I think they are very focused and are truly useful to me. I've been already running thru show-band written stuff, like that in sheetmusicdirect.com and the like, where you have access to TONS of sheet-music standard organized by instrument (bass chart, trumpet, trombone, piano...and drums, of course).

So I suppose that I should kick myself into daily reading jazz/pop standards drum charts arranged for ensembles or big-bands. Besides that, a daily practice of click-reading exercises of eight-notes, sixteenths, triplets....as well as grooves, would perhaps complete a nice training.

Anyway I am afraid that, sadly, the cruise ship showband industry is a bit halted these days...and nobody knows for how long....No auditions, no nothing...
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
A progressive method for reading charts vid good video guidance on how to play and interpret things is probably something there would be a market for. It would be quite an undertaking to do it well, though. That's not how those things are generally taught or learned, but it's obviously possible to do for someone with the right experience in all the areas necessary.
 

jotadrums

Active member
A progressive method for reading charts vid good video guidance on how to play and interpret things is probably something there would be a market for. It would be quite an undertaking to do it well, though. That's not how those things are generally taught or learned, but it's obviously possible to do for someone with the right experience in all the areas necessary.
----Yep!! I am fully convinced. As I mention earlier, just in the "Sight reading course" from talkingbass.net fashion. But progressively for reading drum charts in a show-band.
 

vxla

Silver Member
You could always:

1. Learn to sight-read up to an intermediate level on snare drum, THEN
2. Begin sight-reading simple beginner drum set books WHILE
3. Continuing to work on sight reading snare etudes WHILE
4. Continuing to work on drum set sight reading.

It's a wash, rinse, wash-type of thing....you only get better at sight-reading if you do it daily and consume new material each time.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
----Yep!! I am fully convinced. As I mention earlier, just in the "Sight reading course" from talkingbass.net fashion. But progressively for reading drum charts in a show-band.
It's more big band oriented (and not "show band") but The Chart Reading Workshop For Drummers (Bobby Gabriele) is very, very good. It talks about set ups, ensemble figures, etc. in a progressive, explicit, and thorough way, and there are play-alongs for the exercises, plus about nine complete songs/charts.

Anyway, if you get acclimated to sight-reading in a big band context, then adapting that skill to pop or show tunes isn't much of a stretch at all. When you get used to setting up hits, you also have to get used to reading ahead, what beat you're starting a set up on, and being super aware of what beat you're on at any given moment. In pop, it's not stylistically mandatory to set up figures, although it can sound really good to play that way, when there are horns in the bands.

In my working experience, I'm usually reading pop and jazz charts, which are hardly ever written by a drummer. So if you see a drum groove, go ahead and assume it's wrong, haha, and listen to the version of the song that the band is going for. The rest of the chart will tell you the song structure, if there are any solos, and if there are any transitions to other tunes, ensemble figures to hit, endings, etc.

It can be really, really difficult to find a lot of material to practice reading. Often, band leaders and arrangers are VERY protective of their charts, because they don't want other bands and players to profit off of their work, or steal their arrangement ideas. It takes a ton of skill and labor to arrange parts for a band. But, if you approach an arranger and ask to borrow some charts, there's probably some that they're not so protective of, that they may let you have. Or maybe you just swear on your life to not share or distribute their work. I've gotten that phone call: "There's a dropbox folder with charts. You need to give me your word right now that you won't share them."

It will also really help your skills if you WRITE some drum charts yourself. Get a Sinatra record and write out the form, along with any horn rhythms that the drummer sets up and hits. Don't transcribe the drums; transcribe the rhythm of the horn parts, where the drummer is hitting along with them. You can also add dynamics and articulation. Try to think like an arranger.

EDIT: if you actually do this last thing, get a copy of Live At The Sands. Quincy Jones producing, Ellington's band.
 

jotadrums

Active member
It's more big band oriented (and not "show band") but The Chart Reading Workshop For Drummers (Bobby Gabriele) is very, very good. (...)
----Hi, Brentcn!!! Thanks a lot for your comments. In fact I'm about to get Bobby Gabriele's book, in a few days. As for writing my own parts I am already on it since years ago, and it's a fine thing; thanks for mentioning. Ted Reed's Syncopation is another good to go. And as for the bandleaders, I know, they are not about to share many of their things...

----Other sightreading gadget I managed to setup is SightReading Factory with a one note bassline (the third space, which is an E, for instance) with every kind of rhythm figures and phrases. Simply add yourself a quarter note bass drum and a quarter note ride cym when playing and you can be real sight reading snare for hours!
 

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jotadrums

Active member
It's more big band oriented (and not "show band") but The Chart Reading Workshop For Drummers (Bobby Gabriele) is very, very good. (...)
----Hi, Brentcn!!! Thanks a lot for your comments. In fact I'm about to get Bobby Gabriele's book, in a few days. As for writing my own parts I am already on it since years ago, and it's a fine thing; thanks for mentioning. Ted Reed's Syncopation is another good to go. And as for the bandleaders, I know, they are not about to share many of their things...

----Other sightreading gadget I managed to setup is SightReading Factory with a one note bassline (the third space, which is an E, for instance) with every kind of rhythm figures and phrases. Simply add yourself a quarter note bass drum and a quarter note ride cym when playing and you can be real sight reading snare for hours!
 

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Icetech

Gold Member
Jota, not sure if you are a drumeo member but they have quote a few lessons on sight reading and notation.. and creating charts and such also.. just went to take a look to make sure.
 
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