October Book Reviews
October Book Reviews
Ari Hoenig – Systems –Book 1 : Drumming technique and melodic jazz independence
''Systems'' is the first in a series of books by one of jazz drummings new leading lights, Ari Hoenig from Philadelphia. It is set up to help you attain mastery of specific skills and to provide many different ways to practice them.
The first part of the book is the coordination systems, and the second is a collection of melodies designed to be practised with the systems to keep you from getting bored of doing the same exercise over and over again(!). We start with some warm ups, from then on we deal with playing ostinatos on the bass drum, snare or hi hat whilst keeping the swing ride pattern going with the right hand. Next we tackle displacement by shifting a quarter note ostinato to each part of the triplet, eight note fills, using triplet partials to create a shuffle groove, quarter note and half note triplets as well as triplet fills. Then we move on to playing theses ostinatos between two limbs.
Ari stresses that it is not essential to master each and every system in the book, but to use them as reference tools and to work on the ones that inspire you most. This would be a great introduction to jazz for many young players, and would provide the more advanced with a fresh new perspective and approach to their playing.
Elements – John Favicchia
Elements is a method for connecting your musical ideas with technique. If you keep in mind basic rhythmic ideas it allows you to create and play an extensive vocabulary on the drums. Each element is a basic permutation of an eighth note, sixteenth note or triplet. The idea of the book is to learn these one beat rhythms and then practice them in specific ways on the kit to develop a vocabulary that allows you to play any ensemble figure you might encounter, solo around any given rhythm, and generally improve your options as a player.
There is an MP3 / data disc included full of music designed to assist you in learning how to apply the elements. There are bass loops ( including chances to trade with the bassist), ensemble hits examples (to groove and solo around) and play along tracks.
For each element we deal with element improvisations, accented rolls, applications and ensemble playing. There are play along charts and transcriptions of the solos. The CD comes in very handy here and provides an exciting way to practice, the tracks involving ‘stabs’ or ‘hits’ and the tracks where you trade solos are great to play along with.
Overall this a challenging but ultimately rewarding book, in that it keeps things fresh and exciting along the way.
On The Beaten Path : Beginning Drumset Course ( Level 3 ) – Rich Lackowski
On The Beaten Path is a three volume series designed to help beginners understand the essentials of being a good drummer. Level 1 starts with rock beats and fills and Level 2 deals with syncopation and coordination using blues and jazz standards. Here we have Level three, which focuses on latin, funk, reggae and country, plus slightly more advanced concepts like time signatures and time and tempo modulation.
We start with a short run through of the basics – measures, notes and rests, tempo, time signatures and notation. From then on Rich takes us through various tunes used as examples of playing styles, covering basic funk beats with Parliament, James Brown and The Meters, reggae with Bob Marley and The Wailers and country with Willy Nelson.
From then on we progress to Latin territory and more advanced jazz fills and beats, with Art Blakey’s playing with Thelonious Monk being used as a prime example. Pink Floyd and Rush are used to explain time signatures and Metallica’s ‘Wherever I May Roam’ for tempo manipulation, plus many more. Each tune is used as a reference for an exercise, with the exercise being played on the CD that comes with the book.
The author stresses that you don’t need a teacher in order to work through this book successfully but it helps. Rich lays everything out so clearly and precisely that as a beginner if you can’t afford lessons these books are (possibly) the next best thing and can get you to the level that you can start to play in bands.
Please log in below if you wish to add your comments on this item. If you are commenting for the first time, you will need to register for security reasons.
|SHARE||PRINT THIS PAGE|