Book Reviews - Jan 2012
Book Reviews - Jan 2012
Drum Styles Made Easy – Christine Barron
Drum Styles Made Easy is a comprehensive resource for those who want to grasp a basic knowledge of all the main styles that a drummer might be called upon to play at a modern gig. The styles covered include rock, pop, funk, showband, blues, jazz, swing, latin, and reggae .
The styles are explained and made easy to understand by Christine Barron’s ‘cross in a square'' approach, which lays the notes in the groove out in a graph form, similar to modern drum tabs. This makes it very easy to grasp for non musicians or beginners. Even experienced drummers who struggle with their sight reading would greatly benefit from this method, as long as it is only used as a learning aid and they don’t come to rely on it. Turning up to a gig expecting this format and finding a proper music chart might present problems.
Backing tracks and full versions of the songs covered are included on the accompanying CD for you to play along and improvise with. They are also a good tool for getting recommended tempos for certain styles ie Bossa Nova or Mozambique.
Although this approach might turn off a few seasoned pros, it’s perfect for people who struggle with sight reading and are looking for a fresh way to try to understand how it’s done.
£ 14.99 / $19.95 107 pages Scott Music Ltd
Open Handed Playing Vol.2, A Step Beyond – Claus Hessler and Dom Famularo
As a follow up to Open Handed Playing Vol 1, Claus Hessler and Dom Famularo give you a ground breaking step-by-step approach to incorporate this approach into your playing.
The book is in three chapters, the first being the Linear approach , which covers two and three voice patterns using 16th notes and incorporates the hi-hat and double strokes, fill building blocks and syncopation. Chapter two is the Rudimental approach, covering paradiddles, Swiss army triplets, pataflafla, flam accents and more. And chapter three is a section with play along charts. The songs for the charts are included on the accompanying CD and you can incorporate any or all of the ideas covered in the book.
Of course all the exercises here could be played open handed or normally, but they are designed especially with open handed playing in mind. There are many benefits to open handed playing - it will build up the strength of your left hand, make those backbeats on the right sound immense, and give you a lot more freedom around the kit. Many people disregard it (or give up on it as it''s ''too hard'') but I think it’s definitely worth looking into. After all, you never know if certain things you struggle with playing ''normally'' might be resolved by switching to open handed playing. Simon Phillips switched and could you imagine him playing any other way?
Worth checking out.
Alfred Books 136pages $19.99
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