Jeff Johnson The Level System

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Here's a great book to check out from our friend Jeff Johnson on the Stone/Morello level system. The book categorizes the four strokes that Joe Morello taught and how to apply them to drum set grooves. It also outlines the level system and how to use it to create accents, dynamic changes and rudiments. It's a great book for learning this technique, and also a great tool for teachers. I am glad to see that Jeff has shared his lessons with Joe Morello with this fabulous book.


http://www.steveweissmusic.com/product/johnson-the-level-system/snare-drum-books
 
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JohnW

Silver Member
I will definitely be getting this. There seems to be a misunderstanding when some people go into say, Master Studies. I think it's important to have a book that shows how to approach books like that.

-John
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Thanks Delta. I'm honored that my book was the reason for your first post this year!

John - Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I always make sure my students apply the techniques to the pieces or books that they are working on.

Jeff
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Jeff, is there any difference between the level system and the height system, or are they just two names for the same thing?
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Jeff, is there any difference between the level system and the height system, or are they just two names for the same thing?
as I understand it the height system is how far from the head you are playing your taps and accents ...mostly used in a marching band context

the level system is the use of your Full, Down, Tap, Up motions and how they apply to your sticking combinations

Full and Down being your accent strokes and tap and up being your grace strokes

for example paradiddle RLRR = Down, up, tap, tap

double paradiddle RLRLRR = Full, tap, Down, up, tap, tap
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
as I understand it the height system is how far from the head you are playing your taps and accents ...mostly used in a marching band context

the level system is the use of your Full, Down, Tap, Up motions and how they apply to your sticking combinations

Full and Down being your accent strokes and tap and up being your grace strokes

for example paradiddle RLRR = Down, up, tap, tap

double paradiddle RLRLRR = Full, tap, Down, up, tap, tap
That is exactly how I understand it.

In my book, I explain the stick height as being relative to the dynamic. For example, mezzo piano and piano are both played as tap strokes, but piano will be from a slightly lower stick height.

Also, the way I think of it - The height and dynamics are also relative to the ensemble. A jazz trio playing at pp will be different from a marching band playing at pp.


In other news, I just heard from Sam Ash today. The book will be stocked in every store in the chain.

Jeff
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Thanks Delta. I'm honored that my book was the reason for your first post this year!

John - Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I always make sure my students apply the techniques to the pieces or books that they are working on.

Jeff
It's a great asset to have, especially for someone who still hand writes notes as he goes along. Just the other day I was working with a student and he said, why is the upstroke there if the accent is on the 'a'. I said because the accent is on the 'and.' So I picked him up your book. :)
 

ronyd

Silver Member
I could use an input on how to approach practicing using the Jeff's book.

I've been playing for about a year. I would really like to learn the main rudiments and accents in the book correctly. It makes so much sense to conserve wrist strokes and energy reading this book. Just never realized it before.

Questions:
1. do I exhaust each rudiment section before continuing to the next?
2. what bpm should I consider adequate before moving on to the next rudiment?
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I could use an input on how to approach practicing using the Jeff's book.

I've been playing for about a year. I would really like to learn the main rudiments and accents in the book correctly. It makes so much sense to conserve wrist strokes and energy reading this book. Just never realized it before.

Questions:
1. do I exhaust each rudiment section before continuing to the next?
2. what bpm should I consider adequate before moving on to the next rudiment?
Ronyd, Sorry I did not respond to your private message yet. I was out of state this weekend.

First of all, thank you to everyone who bought the book. I really appreciate it.

To answer your questions:

1. Pages 6-24 introduce the system, so I would work on those pages first. If you want to skip around, you can take one of each:


  • A review ex. from pg 24-26


  • A diddle exercise


  • Flam exercise


  • Open roll exercise

Or you can simply work through the pages in order.

2. I did not include metronome markings on purpose. The idea is to play each exercise with control and accuracy, focusing on the motions. You should keep track of your metronome markings, but don't have a goal of just playing faster. You want to play with control - speed will come.

Thanks,

Jeff
 
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