Saturday, December 10, 2011

A stack of books

I got a nice deal on a pile of old books, and I thought I'd just give a quick overview of them, along with representative excerpts. Here, in no particular order:

Rolls, Rolls, Rolls by Joel Rothman

A book about rolls. Looks like a useful teaching aid; also good for self-teachers trying to figure out how to make a roll. The main point seems to be to work on reading and performing rolls in actual music by isolating the connection between a roll and its underlying rhythm. My old edition primarily deals with 16th note and sixtuplet pulsations in 4/4, and their cut-time equivalents. The current edition has about 20 more pages, and includes a section dealing with rolls in 6/8. I think most or all of this book of this is included in my Compleat Drum Reader by Rothman and Garwood Whaley.

Purchase Rolls, Rolls, Rolls (revised edition)

The Solo Snare Drummer by Vic Firth

A very challenging, college-level (junior and up, I reckon) book of etudes and duets for snare and multi-drums. There's some heavy reading in here, approximately the level of Tony Cirone's Portraits in Rhythm- most pieces have changing meters and rhythms that are very tough to negotiate. You don't use this book for sight-reading practice. It's an orchestral-style book, so the generally the only rudiments dealt with are closed rolls, flams, ruffs, and four stroke ruffs.

Purchase The Solo Snare Drummer

A bunch more after the break:

Solos and Duets for Snare Drum by Garwood Whaley

More solos and duets for snare/multi-drums- fully half or more of the pieces are written for two players/drums. Roughly high school through early-college level. Good college-audition pieces in here, also decent for general reading practice. I think the duets and multi-drum pieces may be more interesting than the snare drum pieces. Like the Firth book it's orchestrally oriented, with the same range of rudiments covered. 

Purchase Solos and Duets for Snare Drum by Garwood Whaley

3, 5, 7, 9, Jazz! by Joel Rothman

Deals with jazz comping in 3/4, 5/4, and 7/4, (but no 9/4, strangely), with swing  8ths and triplet partials, mostly suitable for moderate tempos. There are shorter sections on quasi-Latin feels, and playing in 3/8, 5/8, and 7/8. The single pages of "Paila" beats have some potential for developing a more modern linear/even-8th/ECM feel type of thing. An excellent supplement to the more familiar odd-meter books like Even In The Odds, Joe Morello's New Directions in Rhythm or whatever.

Purchase 3, 5, 7, 9, Jazz!

Beyond the Rockin' Bass by Charles Perry and John Lombardo

A sequel to the Perry and Lombardo's more basic Rockin' Bass Drum. A short collection of funky two- and four-measure "solos" based around the bass drum and snare drum with a steady 8th note, triplet, or 16th note right hand part. They're not progressive, exactly- the later exercises are only slightly more difficult than thee earlier ones. Similar in style to Charles Dowd's Funky Primer. The solos are not strictly normal funk vocabulary- they seem to be more designed for cutting some new pathways. I actually like this book a lot- you can cover the entire thing in one practice session; I would use it in a variety of tempos for conditioning. Somehow it makes me think of Jack Dejohnette's funky playing circa Live Evil...

One of the things I like the most is Lombardo's bio: "John Lombardo is a young man who plays mainly with local groups in the Long Island-New York area."

Purchase Beyond the Rockin' Bass (appears to be out of print, but I seem to keep seeing used copies available on line)

Contemporary Studies for the Snare Drum by Fred Albright

Another book of orchestral snare drum etudes (no duets or multi-drums here), from the always-good Henry Adler Publications. Somewhere between the Firth and the Whaley in difficulty. Good, solid, challenging college-level reading.

Purchase Contemporary Studies for the Snare Drum

Odd Meter Rudimental Etudes for the Snare Drum by Mitchell Peters

Fairly traditional rudimental etudes set in an odd meter environment, just like it says. Meters include 5/8, 7/8, 9/8, 5/4, 11/8, and more. The rudiments used are the same ones you find in Wilcoxon or Haskell Harr- and in similar form; there are none of the circa-1970's flam drags, three-stroke rolls, or Swiss rudiments, let alone the more modern "hybrid" rudiments. Which is fine with me; the older rudiments are their own part of the jazz tradition. The solos follow an orchestral etude type of structure rather than the march form you find in Harr.

 Purchase Odd Meter Rudimental Etudes for the Snare Drum

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