If you could only recommend three instructional books, what would they be?

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Whatever Realistic Rock has to offer is wrecked by the stupid format:

realistic-rock-example.png

Like I refuse to read that crap, and I'm definitely not making my students read it. They need to recopy the whole book.

Really? I use about half of it, too. I think the accent pages are really good for getting control of up/down/tap strokes. The 8th and 16th and triplet stuff I use for reading and speed practice, too. What do you use instead?
All of that, plus parts of it are useful for breaking things down for students. I have a bunch of rock methods I do with the early parts. I teach jazz kicks and set ups by adding ties to pp. 10-11. The linear quarter notes part can even stand in for the beginning of Stick Control. I think the only pages I never use are the ones with the dotted 8th/16ths.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
It's an archaic type of notation-- writing it out like it's for three different instruments. There's a place for that, sometimes, but here it just obscures what's going on for actually playing the pattern. Nobody ever thinks of the snare drum "part" as being an independent rhythm when playing filler like that.

I'm real serious about the drumset being one instrument-- it's played by one person, playing one combined rhythm. Understanding that it's all one rhythm, and knowing what the rhythm is, is a major part of learning coordination on the drums. I've seen that over and over-- a student struggles with the coordination on a pattern, I make them count the combined rhythm, they immediately nail it.
 

Joffry

Well-known member
You could probably get a semi useful answer if you mention what you're out to learn and your current level.
Well I was kind of just looking for a general response just to see what books people considered "essentials" besides Stick Control and Syncopation since I hear about those a lot. Part of the reason why I asked the question was because I frequently find myself having choice paralysis when it comes to books; there are so many good books that I feel like I need to go through all of them, which is obviously not true. I guess I just wanted to hear what books people have gotten a lot go mileage out of.

Personally, I've been playing for about 8 years and lately I've been into bebop drummers (Philly Joe, tony, art Taylor...) and fusion (Vinnie, Dennis...) . On the bebop side of things Ive been using The art of bop drumming and syncopation, but for fusion I've kind of just been learning grooves and solos by ear.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Well I was kind of just looking for a general response just to see what books people considered "essentials" besides Stick Control and Syncopation since I hear about those a lot. Part of the reason why I asked the question was because I frequently find myself having choice paralysis when it comes to books; there are so many good books that I feel like I need to go through all of them, which is obviously not true. I guess I just wanted to hear what books people have gotten a lot go mileage out of.

Personally, I've been playing for about 8 years and lately I've been into bebop drummers (Philly Joe, tony, art Taylor...) and fusion (Vinnie, Dennis...) . On the bebop side of things Ive been using The art of bop drumming and syncopation, but for fusion I've kind of just been learning grooves and solos by ear.

I think you're on the right track. Lots of great input by some awesome players and educators. When you're setting a challenge to limit the mountains of drum literature that has been published to three texts, you're going to want to find literature that is multi-disciplinary and all-encompassing.

A similar parallel would be if I have only had 20-minutes to work out, which exercises would you recommend (hint: compound movements that simultaneously work multiple muscle groups).

So to me the stick controls, syncopations and other general purpose reading texts like Bellson's Modern Reading Text in 4/4 are so foundational because they can serve any purpose (hand/foot technique, timing, reading, groove, comping, etc.). Really the only limit is the imagination of the student.

I have a lot of specialty texts but it's the Bellson book and stick control that are literally falling apart at the seams because I am constantly thinking of new ways to use them based on whatever I'm working on. I've had them for years and never once felt like I had "mastered" them or they weren't applicable to my playing.
 

MG1127

Well-known member
Mastering The Tables Of Time by David Stanoch is one of the most important books ever written

not just for drums but for any instrument
 

prokofi5

Junior Member
Mastering The Tables Of Time by David Stanoch is one of the most important books ever written

not just for drums but for any instrument
Thanks for the lead. Just found the ebook on sale on the Hudson site for $12. There's some brain-breaking material in there but it seems doable and more practical than a lot of seemingly hard-for-hard's sake material out there. I have a question for you though. In the introduction video he talks a lot about "steering" the time and playing on top of, on, and behind the beat but never once mentions it in the book. Do you know if he's saying the exercises in the book help improve this skill or is it skill to develop and then apply to the exercises?
 

MG1127

Well-known member
Thanks for the lead. Just found the ebook on sale on the Hudson site for $12. There's some brain-breaking material in there but it seems doable and more practical than a lot of seemingly hard-for-hard's sake material out there. I have a question for you though. In the introduction video he talks a lot about "steering" the time and playing on top of, on, and behind the beat but never once mentions it in the book. Do you know if he's saying the exercises in the book help improve this skill or is it skill to develop and then apply to the exercises?
I do not know the answer but I just texted David and this was his response

" hello! Doing well here, thankfully and certainly hoping the same for you and yours, my friend! I just saw your friend posted this question on my Instagram site I’m on the move right now but I will send a response to both of you guys later and I appreciate the interest. The short answer is that the answer to both questions at the very end of his message are “yes”... so I will break that down for y’all soon! Thanks again for all the support you give me my friend I appreciate it and sure hope I get to see you in person down the road one of these days sooner than later!"
 

prokofi5

Junior Member
I do not know the answer but I just texted David and this was his response

" hello! Doing well here, thankfully and certainly hoping the same for you and yours, my friend! I just saw your friend posted this question on my Instagram site I’m on the move right now but I will send a response to both of you guys later and I appreciate the interest. The short answer is that the answer to both questions at the very end of his message are “yes”... so I will break that down for y’all soon! Thanks again for all the support you give me my friend I appreciate it and sure hope I get to see you in person down the road one of these days sooner than later!"
Lol, thanks a bunch. It's good to know people.
 

ZDrumMan

Well-known member
Anything by Gary Chaffee. His books are one thing, the way he taught from them is another. Creativity is what his books are all about - creating your own style.
 

Sebenza

Member
Anything by Gary Chaffee. His books are one thing, the way he taught from them is another. Creativity is what his books are all about - creating your own style.
He did some podcasts where he explains things a bit more in depth
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I'll play!

1) Advanced techniques for the modern drummer - Chapin is the man! I respectfully consider this very good as a beginning point. Some think it is purely jazz/be-bop...it is not.

2) New Breed - yay Gary Chester...something I think of as, at least, intermediate...but really, depends on what you do with it...like all others.

3) 'Rhythmic' triad (yes, not just one book..but they really are one in my eyes ; ) - Gavin Harrison..certainly a challenging trio of books!

I give honorable mention to 'When in doubt, roll' by Bill Bruford...has a soft place in my heart.

I prefer videos...and i put Dave Weckl's offerings very high on the scale.
 
Last edited:

Spreggy

Silver Member
I'd go with:
  1. Whatever
  2. Your Teacher
  3. Recommends
Get another teacher, you'll love it.
 

Uncle_MC

Active member
If for some bizarre reason, I had to trim my library to just three books, you really can go so far with just Stick Control, Syncopation, and some imagination and some helpful interpretations provided by teachers and/or online suggestions.

For the third book, I'd have to go with something that the other two can't provide. This rules out something like New Breed, because as great as it can be, I feel like there are enough independence-based Syncopation interpretations out there that it doesn't deserve the coveted "third book" slot. Maybe something with advanced snare drum literature, like Delecluse's 12 Studies for Snare Drum or Cirone's Portraits in Rhythm. Or maybe something which provides a very in-depth look at a style-specific thing, such as Uribe's books on Afro-Cuban or Brazilian drumming, or Ed Thigpen's book on brushes, for example.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Uribe's Afro-Cuban book is great, and completely horrifying-- they should sell it with a barf bag. 500 pages with hundreds of practice systems for playing a mambo alone. Includes this motivational quote:

“[In Latin American music t]here is no glory, no media glitz, or peer respect in being a lightweight player— like there often is in American pop culture. In this type of drumming the more prevalent attitude is that there are those who can play and then there's everybody else. You either play or you don't, and if you don't, you have nothing to say. This is not meant to intimidate. It is merely a fact to accept.”

Like, that'll get your attention! His Brazilian book is really good too, as you said.
 

Uncle_MC

Active member
Uribe's Afro-Cuban book is great, and completely horrifying-- they should sell it with a barf bag. 500 pages with hundreds of practice systems for playing a mambo alone. Includes this motivational quote:

“[In Latin American music t]here is no glory, no media glitz, or peer respect in being a lightweight player— like there often is in American pop culture. In this type of drumming the more prevalent attitude is that there are those who can play and then there's everybody else. You either play or you don't, and if you don't, you have nothing to say. This is not meant to intimidate. It is merely a fact to accept.”

Like, that'll get your attention! His Brazilian book is really good too, as you said.

Absolutely! It's the best resource I've found by-far on the topic of Afro-Cuban drumming. I'll go through phases on-and-off where I'm working very heavily out of that book. I've been working on the extensive mambo systems on-and-off for some time now. I don't do it that consistently though. My mambo is already pretty functional for the most part, so it's hard to stay motivated through all the endless variations. I like to revisit it every few months and make sure my basic patterns from the main section are still really solid and then maybe work through a new system or two. I'm still pretty early-on with the all of the right-hand timbale bell variations. I love the way he presents the different situations in a way where you know what parts to play, when. Very educational.

I actually bought the Brazilian book after reading your review on your blog some time back. That combined with your own Field-Guide have been immensely helpful in getting my samba and bossa together to a working level.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
A lot of those systems seem to be just playing the bell part on a different sound-- which I guess emphasizes the importance of orchestrating in that kind of drumming. Luckily for jazz drummers, you can do a reasonable amount of that and work up your own thing to do with it. There aren't that many playing situations around here that require clave-correct drumming.

Glad you liked my little book-- I want to do more style guides in that format, at some point... not all of them are suited to that kind of presentation....
 
Top