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Most Important Drum Method Book

Pre ‘72

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Obviously… it’s subjective. But what method book publication is/was the most important influence to your musical development?

I think being introduced to Jim Chapin’s ‘Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer’ in high school turned my critical awareness of what I was doing completely around. And it changed my tastes in music. Before that it was playing to Duran Duran and The Cure and Rush and Big Chill Soundtrack (nothing wrong with any of that music). Went straight into Miles and Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. I guess what I’m saying is the book sort of paved a lot of roads for me musically.

Aside from the challenging independence exercises, it demands you to consistently be aware of feel. It took so long to get to feel even halfway decent about. And that’s the thing. You could work on that stuff endlessly.

Maybe that's true of any good book?
 

Hop

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I got books, a lot of them actually. I haven't been able to fully work through most of them, just grabbing a few things here and there, getting bored/losing focus/relevancy, etc.

However, by far the best one, for me, has been "The Compleat Rock Drummer" by Joel Rothman. The book encompasses several of his solo titles (featuring additional/different content) in a huge hardbound tome of over 700-pages. I've dilligently been working out of this book for a couple of years (currently on pg. 434) and I'm just beyond thrilled and have had so much fun with it. I only wish that I would have found, and worked through the content, when I first started playing drums.

Another good one is Benny Greb's "The Language of Drumming." It has a pretty cool concept of distilling rhythms into 1/4-note binary and ternary phonemes or 'letters.'
This allows you to break down/build up any rhythm imaginable, which is both it's strength and weakness. The strength of the system is pretty obvious. Once you understand it, there's not an exercise in any book that can't be created from the phonemes or 'letters.' The weakness is that you have to do so much assembly on your own once you get past the working examples provided in the book.

Contrasting the books, Rothman's "TCRD" has a ton of content and rhythm permutations, so you don't have to create material, it's simply written out for you.
 

RayB

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Obviously… it’s subjective. But what method book publication is/was the most important influence to your musical development?

I think being introduced to Jim Chapin’s ‘Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer’ in high school turned my critical awareness of what I was doing completely around. And it changed my tastes in music. Before that it was playing to Duran Duran and The Cure and Rush and Big Chill Soundtrack (nothing wrong with any of that music). Went straight into Miles and Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. I guess what I’m saying is the book sort of paved a lot of roads for me musically.

Aside from the challenging independence exercises, it demands you to consistently be aware of feel. It took so long to get to feel even halfway decent about. And that’s the thing. You could work on that stuff endlessly.

Maybe that's true of any good book?
My big 3:
School for Modern Snare Drum -Morris Goldenberg
Syncopation - Ted Reed
Gaddiments - you know who
 

m_anderson

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Good post. Chapin Vol 1 was my first and still most influential as well. I am getting older, and my teacher was ten years older than me. He got me started with Chapin as my first book for set playing and coordination. Back in the day it was considered the bible. I still recommend it. I was in a recording studio a few years ago doing photography for the band. The drummer and I were talking about some of the tunes and the tracks he was laying down. His comment to me was "It's all straight from the Chapin book".

I actually had a copy of Jim Chapin Volume 2 which is very difficult to find, and if you can find it, will be very expensive. (I lent my copy to a drummer friend in Nashville, and he better still have it.) It's an interesting book. Not at all what I was expecting when I bought it. It has templates with windows you move around to create your own rhythm patterns and exercises. Very cool, but not for the faint of heart. In fact, I used to call it "Jim Chapin Goes Over the Edge - Vol 2". :)

Lots of good books out there. I need to get back into reading again.

jim-chapin.jpg
 
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bpaluzzi

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"Rockin' Bass Drum" by Charlie Perry and John Lombardo. It's still the only book I've ever played the whole way through. Was the key in the early days when I was trying to get my right foot to operate "off" the grid of 8th notes from my right hand.


rbd.jpg
 

Tornado

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My big 3:
School for Modern Snare Drum -Morris Goldenberg
Syncopation - Ted Reed
Gaddiments - you know who

I have these books. But Gaddiments? It's a neat book, but nobody really needs to own it.
 

No.15

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"Rockin' Bass Drum" by Charlie Perry and John Lombardo. It's still the only book I've ever played the whole way through. Was the key in the early days when I was trying to get my right foot to operate "off" the grid of 8th notes from my right hand.


View attachment 596175
I have this book and use it a lot, I really like it. Pretty much use this, mini monster and a new method for snare. I am a beginner these of the probably 20 books I have purchased are the ones that I like.
 

RayB

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“Playing a Gig” by school of life
I get it; you learned drumming by going out and playing gigs, not from books. Pat yourself on the back, you're real deal, not one of those bookworm pansy drummers. They can't play as good as you.

I first learned everything on the drumset by "ear" and trial and error with bands. I guess I can't claim to be authentic because I also learned how to read music. Loved playing in my high school band and orchestra, as well as a city wide orchestra. It was a separate world from my set playing, but it helped develop my ears for music.
So yeah, I went through quite a few drum books, too. I was never really got into the Chapin book or any book about jazz and rock playing, but I won't put down drummers who did. I liked books that had some basic ideas about phrasing and sticking that made me think different ways. I didn't take to "how to play this or that" books.
After playing more than 50 years, I bought Steve Gadd's "Gaddiments" and I'm getting so much out of it. It challenges my drumming brain and that's pure joy for me.

There ain't no one authentic way to drumming. There are legendary drummers who learned strictly by ear and experience and others who added formal study to that. The great New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer had a tap dance background, honed his drumming in local clubs, and played on the Little Richard, Fats Domino, and so many other seminal rock records from New Orleans. Wow, what a back beat! He also attended college and became an excellent reader. Moved to LA and became one of the all-time great studio musicians. Incredible resume of records, tv and film scores. I read his autobiography. He had that natural "thing" for drumming and was proud to get schooling, too.
 

dcrigger

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For me - none were more important than Haskell Harr Drum Method Books 1 & 2. The Chapin book and others played a role in my education - but I can't say they were essential. Everything from the Harr books was essential - as it was from there that I learned the technical building blocks of playing - basic hand to hand playing and the understanding of rhythms (including reading). From there, nearly everything else could be figured out (from listening/watching players, recordings, etc... and/or from other books. And it all made sense - because it all fit right on top of that basic foundation.
 

dcrigger

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“Playing a Gig” by school of life
I've never understood how that works exactly. Who wants to play with someone that can't play.... at all? Except other people that don't play. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than sitting around with four guys on four different instruments - each struggling to figure out the basics of playing their instrument.

In no way, am I want to diminish the value of experience. But at least for me, a little bit of work in the shed always reaped huge benefits as to who would ask me to play with them - and how well those encounters would go.
And as garnering positive reactions from those we play with is the lifeblood of moving along a successful path as a player, I never saw playing with other players as the opportunity to actually learn new skills at all. But rather as the place to put previously acquired skills (from the shed) into use. Utilizing the live playing situations as the time to hone and tweak those skills.... In a nutshell, the idea is to play with other players and to practice in the shed. IMO
 

Houndog

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I've never understood how that works exactly. Who wants to play with someone that can't play.... at all? Except other people that don't play. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than sitting around with four guys on four different instruments - each struggling to figure out the basics of playing their instrument.

In no way, am I want to diminish the value of experience. But at least for me, a little bit of work in the shed always reaped huge benefits as to who would ask me to play with them - and how well those encounters would go.
And as garnering positive reactions from those we play with is the lifeblood of moving along a successful path as a player, I never saw playing with other players as the opportunity to actually learn new skills at all. But rather as the place to put previously acquired skills (from the shed) into use. Utilizing the live playing situations as the time to hone and tweak those skills.... In a nutshell, the idea is to play with other players and to practice in the shed. IMO
I can play gigs and come up with my own drum parts on originals..

I’m basically self taught I’ve taken lessons in the past but never buckled down and learned from books …
I’m in a band with educated players ..
lucky for me no charts are required and it’s not really complex music .

And honestly my limitations drive me up a wall , I’ve come to realize just how limited my playing is , I struggle with things and there are songs that I simply can’t hope to begin to figure out ..

My independence level is horrible ..
I really regret not being more disciplined and sticking with a teacher ……
I couldn’t sight read to save my life .

That’s why I say I suck and people think I’m just being too hard on myself …
Truth is ; my bag of tricks is full of holes .



Self taught players beware ……
 

mebeatee

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I've never understood how that works exactly. Who wants to play with someone that can't play.... at all? Except other people that don't play. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than sitting around with four guys on four different instruments - each struggling to figure out the basics of playing their instrument.

Worked out pretty good for the Shaggs....;)
bt
 

RayB

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I have these books. But Gaddiments? It's a neat book, but nobody really needs to own it.
I love Gaddiments. I'm not a rudimental guy, but I never thought of displacing rudiments like this. It's challenging to me, Also gives me insight about how Gadd looks at drumming, which interests me alot.
It's a nice contrast to Goldenberg's thinking, which is no one cares HOW you stick a phrase; what matters is how it fits into the music. He gives no sticking or rudimental instructions and some of his exercises get pretty complicated. And they're always musical. I'm glad you dig Goldenberg's book, too. I still enjoy playing his stuff. By the way, Morris Goldenberg was a versatile, highly-respected percussionist in NYC. He used to play xylophone for all the old TV quiz shows, along with all his classical and theater gigs.
 

RayB

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I can play gigs and come up with my own drum parts on originals..

I’m basically self taught I’ve taken lessons in the past but never buckled down and learned from books …
I’m in a band with educated players ..
lucky for me no charts are required and it’s not really complex music .

And honestly my limitations drive me up a wall , I’ve come to realize just how limited my playing is , I struggle with things and there are songs that I simply can’t hope to begin to figure out ..

My independence level is horrible ..
I really regret not being more disciplined and sticking with a teacher ……
I couldn’t sight read to save my life .

That’s why I say I suck and people think I’m just being too hard on myself …
Truth is ; my bag of tricks is full of holes .



Self taught players beware ……
I understand how you feel. I'm self taught but also had a fair amount of using some books and reading music with a group. BUT, there are holes in my playing that bother me. I was stubborn about learning some things ("I don't don't really need that") or frankly, intimidated. Over the years I became pretty good at some styles, so it's frustrating to fumble around and sound pretty crappy with something new.
But I'm an old dude now and don't mind learning new types of playing from scratch. I tell myself when you were 12 you didn't mind starting out with da da man ma, why not do that now? Besides, new stuff makes my old stuff better, so it's win-win.
 

kdgrissom

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"Rockin' Bass Drum" by Charlie Perry and John Lombardo. It's still the only book I've ever played the whole way through. Was the key in the early days when I was trying to get my right foot to operate "off" the grid of 8th notes from my right hand.


View attachment 596175
This book is extremely easy to get a beginning student "on their way", but it also can be a real workout for an experienced drummer as well. By substituting different cymbal and hi hat patterns over the snare/bass rhythms.
for example: pedal Hi-hat on all four beats, on beats 1 and 3, on all off-beats etc.
 

RayB

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I know you're joking - but dang if the story of the Wiggens sisters (The Shaggs) isn't about the saddest, most depressing story in all of music history. Heaven help those that are cursed to be raised by fanatics...
Oh, now I remember the Shaggs! Can't believe someone remembers them.
I heard a cut from their album; WFUV in New Jersey(formerly the station of defunct Upsala College) had a show about the Shaggs back ib the late 1980's. I don't remember their story, but as for the music, it's VERY hard to be that bad.
 


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