DrumOpediaReview by Sean Mitchell // July 03 2012
Your first experiences as an aspiring drummer are all too important. It is these first years of learning that will greatly influence your abilities (or lack thereof). Great students can be held back by narrow minded educators and great educators can harness the inner Buddy Richness of even the poorest of student. And as much as it is important for the Benny Greb’s and Claus Hessler’s of the world to showcase new and emerging techniques, it is ultimately more important to make them the standard by which we begin our path in the drumming world.
Enter Dan Britt and his latest book Drumopedia. Dan has created a book that educators should seriously consider making a part of their curriculum. Drumopedia speaks to the student—and not to the ego of the author. It addresses crucial developmental stages and not the age-old belief system that one particular concept is the only way. He has managed to not only create a comprehensive foundation for any student to begin their journey, but has presented the material in a way that lends itself well to further study and adaptation. At the end of each chapter Dan has recommended books that will facilitate a deeper understanding of the lesson at hand.
Within the first few pages the book covers some core basics including drum set, drum set key, notation and time signatures. What is unique about Drumopedia is that we get a quick overview of the three inversions of matched grip, the traditional grip, dynamics and the dynamic symbols. To this end it is refreshing to see a book that addresses these tools for dynamic technique this early in the timeline of a student’s development.
As with most books, Drumopedia then takes us into the land of groove by introducing eighth note grooves—but not before we have a bit of a lesson on rudiments. This is something I truly felt was beneficial in a book aimed at beginners. Not only are the essential rudiments well represented in that single strokes, double strokes and paradiddles are our first foray into rudimentary practice, but Drumopedia also delves into various permutations of these rudiments. It is also suggested that we begin our study of the free stroke at this point, opening the door to possible exploration of Moeller and Gladstone methods. Though the all-mighty flam does not make an appearance, it is not a deal breaker. Dan covers some further coordination rudiment exercises and dynamic exercises later in the book with some seriously intelligent combination suggestions.
The flow of Drumopedia is great from an educator’s standpoint, especially with the further study recommendations. Dan covers everything from fills, hi-hat combinations, and double bass patterns to linear drumming, Latin, jazz, rock and blues patterns.I would be remiss if I did not point out that Drumopedia also addresses some incredibly overlooked concepts when it comes to newbies, specifically open-handed and electronic playing. Open-handed playing has long been overlooked, yet offers every player the opportunity to be completely without limitation behind the kit. Similarly, as the digital drum world evolves, it is those very students that have yet to pick up a copy of Drumopedia who will shape and challenge the future of the electronic drum set and its applications.
Much like Stick Control and Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Drumopedia will no doubt influence a generation of players, for history has always shown that brave new ideas foster the limitless feats of revolutionaries yet to come.
Click on the link below to purchase Drumopedia online.
About the Author
Sean has 15 years experience behind the kit, studying under greats like Mitch Dorge and participating in master classes with Dom Famularo and Zoro. It was these life-changing exchanges that prompted the Canadian-born drummer to create a global drumming community, The Black Page, that was easily accessible to drummers of all backgrounds and levels of expertise. In addition to his work with BP, Sean is one-half of the world soul group The Mitchells.
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