funky primer by charles dowd question

daxz222

Member
The instruction on how to use the book tells the student to master all sections (Section 1-5)

However, I cannot find Section 5 in the book. The last section in the book is Section 4. I am thinking this is an error? If someone can actually check the book to confirm. Thanks in advance!
 

Igotsoul4u

Junior Member
Hi. I finally got myself a nice kit after being a hack for many years. Been practicing the funky primer book and had a question. What is the realistic tempo range for section 1? 16th notes at after a certain point seem impossible. Is it assumed that double strokes enter at some point?
 

Brian

Gold Member
Hi. I finally got myself a nice kit after being a hack for many years. Been practicing the funky primer book and had a question. What is the realistic tempo range for section 1? 16th notes at after a certain point seem impossible. Is it assumed that double strokes enter at some point?
there are doubles in the first section, and I wouldn't double anything unless specifically instructed to. That's just my opinion, though, others are probably more knowledgable. For me, around 140bpm is the single handed "clean" limit. So exercise #1 section #1 i'd generally practice from 100 to 140. My four-stroke moeller, push pull and whatever techniques aren't quite that hot though.
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Play the exact stickings as written in section 1. The ones with more than two notes per hand are obviously going to be a harder to do endlessly at faster tempos.

I think good initial goals for the left hand column patterns would be:
- Ex. 1-2: quarter note = high 90s-low 100s
- Anything w/three notes on a hand ~= 120-130+
- Anything with just singles and doubles ~=150+

For the right hand column:
- Ex. 1-2 high 90s-low 100s
- Anything w/32nd note singles ~110
- Anything w/32nd doubles ~130
- Patterns w/32nd fours and eights: who knows? Do what you can with them.
 

Zaster

Well-known member
Play the exact stickings as written in section 1. The ones with more than two notes per hand are obviously going to be a harder to do endlessly at faster tempos.

I think good initial goals for the left hand column patterns would be:
- Ex. 1-2: quarter note = high 90s-low 100s
- Anything w/three notes on a hand ~= 120-130+
- Anything with just singles and doubles ~=150+

For the right hand column:
- Ex. 1-2 high 90s-low 100s
- Anything w/32nd note singles ~110
- Anything w/32nd doubles ~130
- Patterns w/32nd fours and eights: who knows? Do what you can with them.

Hi, I found this old thread because I just started looking at this book and I had the same question. This guy’s method has as exercise 1.1 an unending stream of single-handed 16th notes at metronome marking quarter = “Try for 120”? (Not to mention “keep each stroke 16 inches high”!) I see people referring to this as a somewhat beginner/intermediate method so I’m just curious how fast a beginner/intermediate or, hell, even seasoned drummer can typically execute continuous single-handed 16ths. I’ve been working at that on the hi-hat for a couple years now and can get around 95-100 on a good day. I can’t imagine ever getting to 120 and yet this book starts with that as the very first exercise. What am I missing?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I studied with the author, and I know he couldn't do 16th notes single handed @ 120 with 16" strokes. Not remotely. Take the instructions as guidelines, and do what you can with them, but use your judgment.

Your 95-100 bpm 16ths on one hand is basically normal-- that seems to be the speed most people (I mean professionals) can do them without having to use a special technique.
 

Zaster

Well-known member
I studied with the author, and I know he couldn't do 16th notes single handed @ 120 with 16" strokes. Not remotely. Take the instructions as guidelines, and do what you can with them, but use your judgment.

Your 95-100 bpm 16ths on one hand is basically normal-- that seems to be the speed most people (I mean professionals) can do them without having to use a special technique.
Thanks for your quick reply! The issue is that when an instruction seems so off like that, it makes me unsure whether I’m grasping the method correctly. Like, what’s a logical way to proceed through this book? Actually follow his instructions but ignore tempo? (Is that for real with the 16” stick height? I’ve been keeping mine low, since I saw peter erskine demonstrate that in an instructional video.) I’ve been working from Ron Spagnardi Progressive Independence and I thought I’d throw the Dowd book in the mix to avoid getting in a rut of endless repetition of the Spagnardi patterns. But I’m just confused as to the best way of working with this book.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
My opinion on that book is that it's both limited and dated. There are so many other books dealing with funk rhythms that I think are superior to it.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I've felt that since I was first using it in the 80s, but I keep coming back to it-- it has its place. The format is good-- with all the notes on one set of stems-- even if the patterns aren't real hip. I just treat it as stick control for a really common form of rock or funk.

There aren't that many funk books that are good for normal stuff, and none of them completely replace funky primer.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I love this book and use it with students a lot! (And I worked through left handed/footed at one point.) It's so gradual with coordination (independence) that you never really hit a frustrating wall. I prefer to be able to accomplish something and turn the page more than have a nearly endless set of ways to manipulate a page. That's just how I'm wired.
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
Man my first lessons was with that book back in the 90's - amazing its still being used today.
 
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