The Most Important Instructional Book in Your Drumming Journey

drumholmes

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What was the most important instructional book in your drumming journey?

Like many of us, my first book was Stick Control for the Snare Drummer by George Lawrence Stone.

But the most impactful book in my drumming journey came a couple of years later with Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer by Ted Reed. We were able to use the book in so many new ways as my drumming progressed and I still refer to it to this day!
 
For me, I'd say without a doubt it's Stick Control, which I still practice out of almost daily. After that it might be Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer by Jim Chapin. I haven't practiced too much out of the Chapin book in the last 20 years, but working on it in my teenage years and into my 20's really opened my mind up to the concept of independence, and absorbing its contents (to a certain degree) has enabled me to make use of so many other drum books and techniques since then. And I still do revisit it from time to time.
 
For me, I'd say without a doubt it's Stick Control, which I still practice out of almost daily. After that it might be Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer by Jim Chapin. I haven't practiced too much out of the Chapin book in the last 20 years, but working on it in my teenage years and into my 20's really opened my mind up to the concept of independence, and absorbing its contents (to a certain degree) has enabled me to make use of so many other drum books and techniques since then. And I still do revisit it from time to time.
Because of you I've got these two books and I'm going to dive in again. Your post was as if I'd typed the very same thing. Weird.
 
Frank Briggs did a session for Drumeo a few years back. There was a link to a PDF for his lesson called "Building Your Vocabulary".

I printed it out...... just a single page.

That single page has done more for me than any other book I have.

It's a very unassuming page of work. It looks simple and it kinda is, but the variations of where you can go with it is astonishing.

It makes you groove, it makes you really, REALLY work.

Frank Briggs is an absolute genius. Probably the only drummer who really was born to be one.

There's no flim-flammin, there's no clutter.

Pragmatic seriousness in its natural form.
 
Frank Briggs did a session for Drumeo a few years back. There was a link to a PDF for his lesson called "Building Your Vocabulary".

I printed it out...... just a single page.

That single page has done more for me than any other book I have.

It's a very unassuming page of work. It looks simple and it kinda is, but the variations of where you can go with it is astonishing.

It makes you groove, it makes you really, REALLY work.

Frank Briggs is an absolute genius. Probably the only drummer who really was born to be one.

There's no flim-flammin, there's no clutter.

Pragmatic seriousness in its natural form.
Is that this one?

:IMG_5743.jpeg
 
My first book was Ted Reed's Syncopation. My first teacher gave me an old copy. I had it for a few years before another teacher (a former Alan Dawson student) taught me some of the variations on the exercises. I love working on the variations.
 
I'm a Drumeo member (along with weekly in person lessons) so I went and looked this up.

The concept of the lesson is great and taken seriously it could lead to a lot more fluidity on the kit. I can see why @Benthedrummer was showing such praise for it.

Right now I'm working (for a couple of months now) on getting my kick timing as perfect as can be at a variety of speeds and subdivisions. The goal is to then being able to flow between those subdivisions in a musical context, at will.

I'm right now working at 40 BPM feeling the space and feeling the nudging of the beat (ahead or behind). Working with "A Funky Primer" -Dowd, I plan to use this Drumeo lesson, but apply it to my feet.

I pretty excited to try this out. I'm thinking that a few months of this will begin to pay dividends.
 
When I was first learning basic note patterns, my teacher gave me phonetic food names to remember the notes patterns by. The first line of this top sheet was...
Cake, chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, and coconut. An eighth note triplet was Strawberry. I worked for me.

That's what I did with my guitar students. It works pretty well, especially with kids that can't grasp the deeper concept due to attention span.

Not at all saying that was the case with you. That was just my experience with it and it was highly successful in most cases.
 
That's what I did with my guitar students. It works pretty well, especially with kids that can't grasp the deeper concept due to attention span.

Not at all saying that was the case with you. That was just my experience with it and it was highly successful in most cases.
No offense taken. I was 52 at the time but, I didn't have ADD. LOL
It was just a tool he used to get his students to easily visually recognize the patterns. It worked for hearing them too.
 
There were probably two defining moments for me.

The first was discovering Gary Chaffee's Patterns series, specifically Sticking Patterns. I just inhaled the concept, and it not only changed my drumming completely, but kickstarted my YouTube channel, as early videos demonstrating and explaining Chaffee's concept were some of my most successful at the time.

Much more recently, and in line with my snare drum-centric approach and work these days, Bob Becker's Rudimental Arithmetic changed the way I thought about rudiments, rhythm, and composition, and has been instrumental in my own approach since.

Honourable mentions go to Kim Plainfield's Advanced Concepts, John Pratt's 14 Modern Contest Solos, and Dave DiCenso's Rhythm and Drumming Demystified.
 
I’d have to say my first drum book holds a special place in my heart. I spent the first year under the guidance of my amazing teacher Eric learning to read and working through Joel Rothman’s “Play Rock ‘n Roll Drums”. Eric added his own multiple coordination exercises to the patterns which helped me progress at a rapid pace. For double bass drumming it was Rod Morgenstein’s book and tapes. :) (y)
 
By far, Stick Control. If you have imagination, there are so many ways to shed it.
I'm a new ( guitar player) guy, with a practice pad.

Still on 1st page ( 'page 5') exercises, but have the patterns memorized.
Been on this page for months now.

I basically do the exercises at different tempos, accents, and do all with both traditional grip and match grip.
Is this OK?
( I'm just drawn to the traditional grip!)

-left hand is spazzy, stick likes to run away!
- also still working on a smooth, full stroke.

Probably time to turn that page, too...
 
I basically do the exercises at different tempos, accents, and do all with both traditional grip and match grip.
Is this OK?
( I'm just drawn to the traditional grip!)
Not only do I think that's okay, but it's exactly how I think you should approach it!
When I started playing out of this book I was itching to turn the page, but that isn't the point of this kind of book.
I'd also add that learning both matched and traditional grip is totally cool. Whatever keeps you engaged and itching to play is worth exploring!
 
Not only do I think that's okay, but it's exactly how I think you should approach it!
When I started playing out of this book I was itching to turn the page, but that isn't the point of this kind of book.
I'd also add that learning both matched and traditional grip is totally cool. Whatever keeps you engaged and itching to play is worth exploring!
Thanks,
I find these rudiments kind of intoxicating...

as even when playing them straight/evenly on the practice pad, I hear the pattern repetition, still, as musical.
Then screwing around with them a funky, jazzy, swing-y rhythm, really opens up things.
 
For me, I'd say without a doubt it's Stick Control, which I still practice out of almost daily.

By far, Stick Control. If you have imagination, there are so many ways to shed it.

Out of curiosity, when people practice from Stick Control, is it mostly just the first few pages?

I've had a couple of teachers give me exercises using those first few pages, but never anything beyond that. Whenever I have randomly flipped to the later pages, I've been smacked with things like dividing the beat into 5 parts.

While I can understand how that might be an intriguing challenge, I've never been able to figure out how that type of thing applies to music. I mean that very sincerely without any sarcasm whatsoever. I've never heard anything like that from Max Roach or John Bonham or Steve Gadd etc. etc. So I've never been clear on the reason to practice it.

Good musicians generally have a sense of the subdivisions when they play...and by that, I mean the "normal" subdivisions. Therefore, if the drummer hauls off and starts dividing the beat into 5 parts, I imagine that half of their bandmates will think they're playing 16th notes but rushing. The other half of their bandmates will think they're playing 16th note triplets but dragging! :ROFLMAO:

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand...do loyal fans of Stick Control generally just use the first few pages, or do they actually work through all the other pages as well?

Thanks!
 
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