Book Reviews - March 2012
Book Reviews - March 2012
Drumset For Preschoolers – Andy Ziker
Andy Ziker, the man behind the excellent books ‘Drum Aerobics’ and ‘Daily Drum Warm Ups’ brings us his new book ‘Drumset For Preschoolers’.
The book is aimed at two to six year olds and pretty much covers all aspects of drumming at the complete beginners level, including the sounds of the different drums, sticking, basic coordination, feeling a pulse, crescendos, accents, and more. No Dream Theater or Frank Zappa transcriptions here, but you have to remember the book is for preschoolers and it does the job perfectly.
Andy uses songs like ‘the Alphabet Song’ and ‘Yankee Doodle’ to explain rhythm and timing and ‘We Will Rock You’ for basic coordination. There is also a coloured sticker system which would help the kids with basic reading. This involves sticking the coloured stickers on each of the drums, and then that colour corresponds to the notes on the page. These concepts make it easier for a two year old to understand and you can see that in writing the book Andy has really tried not to think like a professional musician but think like a preschool teacher.
Overall the book does exactly what is says on the tin and is in fact probably even more beneficial to the teacher who may have been struggling to explain certain things to their younger or less able students than it is to the students themselves.
The Evolution of Jazz Drumming – Danny Gottlieb
The Evolution of Jazz drumming is one hell of a book, part jazz encyclopedia , part tutorial book, part history book.
Here you will find out pretty much everything you will ever need to know about jazz drumming - how and why it evolved, who the major players were, which records to buy and more importantly how to play like them. It’s designed as a guide and work book for the high school, college level and professional drummer.
There are 31 jazz drumming legends studied in the book including practice exercises in the style of their playing, transcriptions of both solo and time playing, a short biography of each artist along with the author’s personal anecdotes and photos. Included in the package is a DVD of classic video clips of many of the drummers in question, as well as an mp3 disc with over 300 tracks. Video clips on the DVD are analysed and transcribed in the text, while the mp3s consist of exercises from the book recorded at various speeds that can be looped for analysis and practice.
Some highlighted artists featured in the book include Art Blakey, Gene Krupa, Joe Morello, Baby Dodds, Chick Webb, Roy Haynes, Sonny Payne, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Buddy Rich and many many more.
It works great as a study book and an interesting read on the history of the great American art form and its big hitters. A big recommendation to pretty much all drummers, pro or just starting out.
The Language of Drumming Book – Benny Greb
Well here it is, one of the most anticipated drum books of recent times. Ever since the release of the DVD of the same name, the drum community have been waiting eagerly to get their hands on the concepts and ideas written down on paper. And the book definitely doesn’t disappoint.
With ‘The Language of Drumming’ Benny presents a complete system for achieving freedom of expression on the drumset. He does this by creating a language for the drums, providing exercises for grooves, fills, independence and more. As the system progresses he effectively breaks down the shapes of rhythms into letters and words and creating a language.
Everything is explained thoroughly and clearly in the book, which expands on the same concepts explained in the DVD. Of course it helps to have both the DVD and the book but with the help of the mp3 disc that comes with it, the book it can work by itself.
The book is divided into four chapters - chapter one covers snare and pad exercises, warm ups and the letters of the drumset, in chapter two you start to use words, chapter three is syntax and chapter four moves onto advanced language. With each exercise throughout the book there is a mini table on the page for you to fill in the dates and tempos that you get up to, keeping you from scribbling all over the great artwork.
With Benny being one of the top clinicians and generally one of the brightest characters in the drumming world today, I can definitely see this book becoming a success. It certainly lives up to its expectations and will provide tonnes of new practice routines and ideas for players for years to come.
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