Jim Chapin R.I.P.



My old drum teacher told me a story that I always hoped to be true. He said that when Jim tried to get Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer published, the publishing company made him actually play what he had written because no one believed it could be played. Thats how groundbreaking that book was and still is. My beat up copy still haunts me! R.I.P. Mr. Chapin.


Silver Member
I saw the news a couple of days ago and it is really a sad day for all.

I never got the chance to see or even meet Jim ( I am 22 and living and teaching in Scotland so he would have been too frail to travel here) so my only connection to him and his work is his book and the stories I have read. I am really saddened by his passing as I think we owe alot to him. He really is the father of modern drumming.

I personally owe alot to him and his book. Even playing through the first 12 exercises proved mind meltingly difficult but also so freeing once i got them. My left hand became free from my right and it felt great.

What really blew me away was when I started to read some of the passages inbetween the exercises and one in particular really showed me what a ground breaking book this must have been in 1948.

From page 34

' The same method used to develop independance of the hands will be used to learn to play any bass drum ryhtym against the cymbal rhythm. The pupil should go right through the first section playing the solo line with the right foot...
Later the solo line can be played on the hi hat'

For some reason this really struck me and I realised what a monumental book I have in my possession. As Jeff said without him there would be no Thomas Lang or Marco Minnemann. Without him the moeller technique would not have been passed on in such a way.

I feel sad that we have lost him but I also think that through his books and videos and through us he will live on.

All the best

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Pioneer Member
Great stories from all - Thanks for contributing and many thanks to Mr. Chapin for all you've done. RIP


Silver Member
Reading this small segment of the small drum community, Mr. Chapin has such a strong positive legacy of love as much as great drumming and teaching. What a great thing to leave behind for others.

I can only hope to be as vibrant and happy in my old age.

Mr. Chapin: Thank you.

And I just now clicked on the Billy Ward piece. If you haven't, you really should.

michael drums

Yes indeed. VERY sad news! :-( JC was a huge influence on many of us out there in the drumming community. His legacy will certainly continue to be felt for many years to come. His contributions are countless and he will be missed by us all.

Thanks for all you've done, Mr. Chapin.



Junior Member
A huge, huge shame.

Thank you Mr Chapin, I never met the man, but like so many here, his book introduced me to jazz drumming. I remember looking at the solo of 16ths between hands and feet and thinking it was impossible, then learning to play it felt soo good. Probably the book that has opened my mind up the most.

My favourite story on Jim is that Gene Krupa returned to Sanford Moeller later in his life hoping for some more exercises and advice, and Moeller advised that Gene should go and see Jim Chapin, who was about 20 then. I don't know where I heard this story, but I'm pretty sure it's true.

Mr Chapin will be a sad, sad loss to drumming.