The Top 10 Drum Books
Learning the Essentials
It’s your birthday! Congratulations!
You’ve just received an Amazon gift certificate and you’re trawling through the book section to find something that’ll improve your drum skills.
What do you go for? What should you work on next? Which book is going to make the biggest difference to your playing?
We all know that there are some great books out there but there are also some howlers – which to choose and which to avoid?
Over the past 20 years I’ve purchased my fair share of drum books – sight reading, play alongs, styles, solos and interdependence. You name it, I’ve got it. There are close to 100 books and dvd’s on the subject of music and drumming in my possession.
Some of them are amazing and really helped me and my students but others weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. With that in mind, I thought it would be cool to write a little guide on what I think are the best drum books of all time.
For me, the criteria for a good drum book is simple – was it easy to follow and did it have a significant impact on my playing. All of the books below tick both of these boxes. I hope that they work for you as well as they worked for me and my students:
1) Stick Control (George L. Stone)
2) Syncopation (Ted Reed)
3) Advanced Techniques For The Modern Drummer (Jim Chapin)
4) Patterns Vol. 1,2,3,4 (Gary Chaffee)
5) Modern Rudimental Swing Solos (Charlie Wilcoxon)
6) Buddy Rich’s Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments (Buddy Rich & Henry Adler)
7) The New Breed (Gary Chester)
8) Advanced Funk Studies (Rick Latham)
9) The Art Of Bop Drumming (John Riley)
10) The Commandments Of R&B Drumming (Zoro)
The list includes books that will improve your technique, sight-reading, inter-depedence, musicality and repertoire. No matter what style you play this selection will do wonders for you as a player, musician and educator if you choose to be one.
What matters most, however, is that you sit down with these books and practice, practice, practice.
When you finish a book – you’re not done with it.
You should go back and work through it again at various tempos and dynamic markings.
Each time your technique will improve, your understanding of rhythm will improve and your drum ninjaism will multiply 10 fold.
Good luck and spend your money wisely!