Friday, February 1, 2008

Favorite Books for Beginners

I have three books that I like to use for beginning drum students. The first is the classic A Funky Primer by Charles Dowd, written in the '70s but just as relevent today. A simple book of straight eighth note grooves in 4/4 time that gets beginners up and playing fast. The section comprising just hi-hat and snare drum is very versatile. When I teach this section, I have students switch hands, invert the exercises, and play it with feet only. I also have students play the last quarter note of each measure twice, or drop off the last eighth note so they start learning odd time as well.

The second book is another oldie (1973) called Fundamental Studies For Snare Drum by Garwood Whaley. It contains exercises comprising all of your note/rest combinations from whole notes to sixteenths. The exercises are all multi-measure etudes in assorted time signitures. There are several duets and the last section introduces flams, drags, and rolls. For me, this has been a great book for prepping students for junior high and high school band.

Finally, I like The Drumset Musician by Rick Mattingly and Rod Morgenstein. A more contemporary publication. I like this one because it has several complete drum charts and a play along CD. Again, this is a great book for getting students ready to play in stage band.

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