Odd Meter Calisthenics for the Snare Drummer
by Mitchell Peters - 79 pages
I own several books by Mitchell Peters, and though they're mostly excellent, I approached this one with caution. I was not wild about his other straight technique book I own, Developing Dexterity— which isn't bad, I just do not find myself using it very productively. I blame the book when I don't practice it. But Odd Meter Calisthenics, it turns out, is excellent. I would say that (along with Gary Chaffee's Odd Time Stickings and Ralph Humphrey's Even In The Odds) it's an essential library item for anyone interested in odd meters generally— the odd */8 meters especially.
It's sort of a Stick Control for odd meters, but more performance oriented, and just better and more fun in general. It covers the major technical essentials, mainly accents, singles, doubles, mixed stickings , flams, and rolls in */8 meters— mostly in 5/8 and 7/8, with some 10/8, 11/8, and other meters. The exercises are well organized into one or two page workouts, and the learning curve for any one section is not steep; the emphasis is more on practical dexterity in these meters, rather than demanding technical combinations. Taken as a whole, the book is basically a complete practical language for the hands for improvising in these meters. Highly recommended.
As a companion to this book, I also recommend Peters's Odd Meter Rudimental Etudes, a book of fairly traditional rudimental etudes along the lines of Haskell Harr, mainly in 5/8 and 7/8.