How did the New Breed affect your playing?

Joffry

Well-known member
I've been going through the New Breed for a while now, and I really feel like my groove and timing have improved even though I'm only on the 9th system. I'm curious to hear the experiences of anyone who has heavily studied it or anyone who is currently studying it.

By the way, the method I'm currently using to go through the book is this:

60 bpm
System #1 (for example) - Play all ten melody pages while singing: pulse (day 1), left hand (day 2), right hand (day 3), right foot (day 4), left foot (day 5).
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I've worked on it off and on over the years. The main thing I've noticed it has improved the accuracy of my bass drum attacks. I used to be *ever* so slightly off the grid with my bass drum playing, not noticeable but I couldn't line it up with my snare hits. New Breed really helped me fix that.

I also used the open handed systems to improve my left-hand playing speed, which has helped.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I've got a Weckl video where he mentioned how that totally drove him crazy so with that said I was always afraid to check into it. I'm going to follow closely every response and maybe get up some courage to deal with this scarey book.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I've recently converted to open-handed, and I've heard this is the go-to book for it. Based on your post, I did some research, and I see that he even has exercises for a left side floor tom, which is something I've recently added to my kit. So, now I have to go and buy this book. Maybe I'll report back once I get into it.
 

Joffry

Well-known member
I have been through New Breed a few times in the past (not all the advanced systems though). I can tell you that if you find New Breed challenging, don't buy Minnemanns book "Extreme Interdependence". Just the warm-up exercises in that one will take a month.
I'm curious, how did you work through the New Breed? I'm particularly wondering about what you did to practice multiple tempos. Right now I've just been going through at 60 bpm but I'm not sure how to start incorporating higher tempos in my routine. Should I just go through all 39 systems with all 10 reading pages at 60 and then up the tempo and go through again?
 

JohnRick

Member
I'm curious, how did you work through the New Breed? I'm particularly wondering about what you did to practice multiple tempos. Right now I've just been going through at 60 bpm but I'm not sure how to start incorporating higher tempos in my routine. Should I just go through all 39 systems with all 10 reading pages at 60 and then up the tempo and go through again?
I wore out my first issue where I had the notes. I bought the same book again, but not too many notes in that one. I don't think there is a set way for that. Technically you could stay on one system and redo the reading pages again and again until you reach a goal tempo. I believe I ran through one system with the reading pages at a given tempo. Moved on to the next system etc. Then maybe after five systems or so I began over at a new tempo from the first system until I had the top tempo for that system batch. And so on.

I was also more prone to pick out specific systems that would be challenging. Those where I played the melody with the left foot or left hand for example.
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
It certainly improved my coordination and it made me able to play patterns that I was hearing in my head with more ease, but after a few systems I grew frustrated with how my playing wasn't becoming any more interesting, my musicality wasn't improving so to speak, I wasn't getting any new ideas, and the tightness of more intricate, faster fills wasn't improving at all, so I dropped it after some three months.

All in all I think it's a great, great coordination exercise, but it has little to nothing to do with music.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I worked my way through the book, but the only "system" I used was a basic box beat.
I played an 1/8th note ride with the kick on 1 and 3, and played the parts with my left hand on the snare.
Then I switched and played the snare on 2 and 4, while playing the parts on the kick drum.

I found that really helpful. Someday, hopefully, I'll get around to working through the book with a few other "systems". The only "systems" I'd use are beats I actually play on a regular basis - or beats I want to learn. After that, I have to assume the law of diminishing returns would apply in a big way.
 

davezedlee

Senior Member
NB taught me to improvise

in the early days, i didn't know how to read, so it would take me quite a bit of time to even execute ONE bar of anything, so i'd hammer away until i got one, then try to transition into the next one.... i'd often lose my way so often that i'd just keep playing, and wait to reset the next bar around

soon all my "errors" would lead to phrases that i liked, or at least made sense, so i'd repeat those for fun until i could reset and start over

eventually, a "call and response" system developed in my brain, which i still have retained ; )

whenever i want to try a new idea, i bust out the NB and use the same approach (half-time shuffles, left hand riding on snare, fast two-handed shuffling, upbeat hihat foot, etc)
 

Tom C.

Junior Member
It's a helpful book but can be kind of rigid if you force yourself into doing everything systematically. It helps with coordination and timing. Great way to warm up and think about constructing grooves. I don't use alot of the systems because some of them require you to have a really elaborate setup, so I have a few basic ones and I make my own. I'm not really into the really far out ways of setting up a drum kit, because it isn't practical for most working drummers. But it can certainly open up your perspective. I think the book was probably pretty groundbreaking when it came out. Great for internalizing your timekeeping. I highly recommend practicing the melodies and exercises and different tempos. Also set your metronome up with different rhythms or think of the metronome pulse as the 'and' or other subdivisions.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
This is my opinion of it, and I don't mean to insult those who love it. To me it is the most useless and difficult book I can think of. Learn your basic beats. Play to records. Learn to read music.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
To me the concept is great. It's all about feel and accuracy and working both sides provides balance which I find acually is both very useful and provides a lot more general comfort behind the kit. Singing all the parts creates a deeper connection to what you're doing which is the real key to feel good.

There's this idea that you won't use it in real playing, but to me that's missing the point.

First of all, many things won't show up in your playing unless you discover them first. It's also a different and more musically useful wayto condition and coordinate all limbs. That combined with the singing and the full control it provides I it find very useful, especially as someone who improvises a lot, but don't want to loose the thread in what I'm doing. You need a systematical approach to improve your ears at the same time and it provides that.

In the end it's a tool for grooves and to a greater degree give you the ability to play new ideas with confidence instantly. Having the general facility to just hear and play what you want to play.

If you really work on it properly I think it provides great benefit and you can obviously come up with your own ostinatos that you like and use those or whatever reading pages you find relevant.

It ties a bit into why we learn to read and play all sorts of rhythms that we may not actually play much at the gig. The point is not just overhead, but just a much or for many even more that you'll be accompanying others playing those things and then you can really understand what's going on and react appropriately. It's just part of the skill set, like understanding the basic rules and framworks of different styles etc..

It's a personal choice if you want to take these things on, but I think this has been a well proven method for many drummers that represent the higher levels of skill and versatility.

I personally find a lot of value in practicing open handed even if I won't generally choose to play that way. Balance, conditionng and accuracy. Freedom and relaxation, so I can focus on just the music when I play.

It's very important to take your time though, as working on these things in a sloppy way won't provide much benefit at all. It's all about quality and then you have a method provided to get you started with material to work on with that mindset. What it eventually ends up meaning to you is completely personal and individual.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I still kinda go through the first three pages when I want to make sure I can still read stuff. After doing this for 40 years now, I’ve never gotten into a situation where my reading was required to be that good, and I’ve never been on a gig where somebody came in with drum parts totally written out. So it’s a refresher book for me (the first three pages anyway).
Now that I’ve said this, im sure somebody will now come to me with stuff all written out (but I’ve been telling myself this for the last 25 years).
 

Joffry

Well-known member
This is my opinion of it, and I don't mean to insult those who love it. To me it is the most useless and difficult book I can think of. Learn your basic beats. Play to records. Learn to read music.
I half agree half disagree with you. Practicing any of the systems on the first page with all the melody pages has been a good way for me to build groove and time. However, many of the later systems are just gratuitous. I've decided that it would be a better use of my time to perfect the more useful systems instead of trying to play all the systems with all the melody pages just to be able to say that I got through New Breed.


What makes this book great is its concept, and I think the best thing for every drummer to do when it comes to conceptual books like this is to look through it and take what you find to be most useful for your playing and try to perfect those aspects of the book as opposed to trying to do a little bit of everything without actually becoming GREAT at anything. I mean, Chris Coleman even says that the main systems from New Breed that helped his playing are 2 and 4 and 6 and 8. Unsurprisingly, these 4 grooves are some of the most common used in pop/funk/r&b, which just so happen to be the genres that Chris Coleman gets most of his gigs in.
 
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