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Keith Moon, Crazy or Genius? 

Keith Moon, the late drummer for the legendary rock band The Who, had a profound and lasting influence on drumming. Known for his explosive energy, wild antics, and innovative playing style, Moon revolutionized the role of the drummer in rock music and became an iconic figure in the music industry.

Moon's influence on drumming can be attributed to several key factors. First and foremost, his energetic and unpredictable style of playing set him apart from other drummers of his time. He brought a sense of chaos and rebellion to his performances, incorporating unconventional fills, rapid-fire drum rolls, and dramatic crashes. Moon's playing was characterized by its intensity and a willingness to take risks, which helped redefine the role of the drummer as a dynamic and integral part of a band's sound.

Secondly, Moon's use of the drum kit as a melodic instrument was highly influential. He approached the drums with a musicality that went beyond simply keeping time. Moon's fills and patterns often took on a melodic quality, creating memorable hooks that enhanced the songs and added an extra layer of excitement. His ability to make the drums sing and speak through his playing inspired drummers to think creatively and explore the melodic potential of their instrument.

Lastly, Moon's showmanship and stage presence were unparalleled. He became known for his destructive behavior, which included demolishing his drum kit on stage. While this behavior was controversial, it solidified Moon's reputation as a larger-than-life figure and a pioneer in rock performance. His stage antics encouraged drummers to not only focus on their playing but also to engage with the audience and make a visual impact.

To appreciate Keith Moon's influential drumming, here are some Spotify links to songs that showcase his unique style:

1. "Baba O'Riley" - The Who

2. "Won't Get Fooled Again" - The Who

3. "My Generation" - The Who

4. "Pinball Wizard" - The Who

These songs highlight Moon's frenetic and explosive drumming, showcasing his ability to drive the band's sound while adding his own unique flair.

Keith Moon's influence on drumming can still be felt today, as his legacy continues to inspire drummers to push the boundaries of their instrument and embrace a more dynamic and adventurous approach. His contributions to rock music and his larger-than-life persona have solidified his place as one of the greatest and most influential drummers in history.


The Power of Rhythmic Meditation: Finding Harmony Within 

In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and anxiety have become all too common, finding inner peace and tranquility has become a necessity. Rhythmic Meditation, a practice that combines the power of rhythm and mindfulness, offers a unique and effective way to achieve this. By engaging both the mind and body, rhythmic meditation allows individuals to find harmony within themselves, promoting overall well-being and a sense of connectedness to the world around them.
The drumset is the perfect instrument in which to explore these concepts while simultaneously working on core skills and fundamentals. Rhythmic Meditation applied to the drumset will have an immediate impact on your mental state as well as your playing. The benefits of a regular meditative practice are greatly enhanced when coupled with the skills employed by studying the drumset.
Personal benefits include...
        1.      Understanding Rhythmic Meditation: Rhythmic Meditation is a practice that involves synchronizing one’s breath and body movements with a rhythmic pattern, such as drumming, chanting, or dancing. This form of meditation has been practiced for centuries in various cultures and is known to have profound effects on mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
        2.      Promoting Mindfulness: At the core of Rhythmic Meditation is the cultivation of mindfulness. By focusing on the rhythm and synchronizing breath and movement, individuals are encouraged to be fully present in the moment. This heightened state of awareness helps to quiet the mind, allowing for a release of stress and worries. Through rhythmic meditation, individuals can experience a sense of calm and clarity, enabling them to better navigate the challenges of everyday life.
        3.      Enhancing Emotional Well-being: Rhythmic Meditation has the power to tap into our emotions and facilitate their expression. Rhythmic patterns and movements serve as a channel for emotional release, allowing individuals to process and let go of negative feelings. This form of meditation can also help in developing emotional resilience, as it promotes self-awareness and a deeper understanding of one’s emotional landscape.
        4.      Connecting Mind and Body: Rhythmic Meditation is a holistic practice that bridges the gap between the mind and body. By engaging in rhythmic movements, individuals can experience a profound sense of embodiment and connection to their physical selves. This connection not only promotes physical well-being but also allows for a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection, leading to a greater sense of overall harmony.
        5.      Cultivating Creativity and Inspiration: Rhythmic Meditation has been known to spark creativity and inspiration. Rhythmic patterns and movements stimulate the brain, leading to enhanced cognitive function and increased creative thinking. By engaging in Rhythmic Meditation, individuals can tap into their creative potential and find new perspectives and solutions to the daily challenges they may face.
Musical benefits include...
        1.      Enforcing Core Fundamentals: When working on your fundamental skills in a meditative state they become second nature. Reinforcing these concepts in this way embeds them at a fundamental level allowing things to happen naturally, in a state of "no thought".
        2.      Strengthening Your Concept of Time: With a designed approach these mindfulness techniques coupled with coordination exercises and creative use of the metronome will put you on the fast track to developing your inner groove to its fullest potential.
        3.      Confidence Boosting: There will be an increase in your confidence and understanding of tempo, groove control, and technical ability.
        4.      Strengthening of Technical Foundation: Your foundation as a musician is of utmost importance and is often the most overlooked aspect of playing. Incorporating a Rhythmic Meditation component into your daily routine will enhance both your mental and musical foundation.
        5.      Enhanced Musicality and Quicker Response: When you combine the powers of your body and your mind in this fashion, you will develop reflexes that you don't currently have access to. 
This video is an example of how the concept of Rhythmic Meditation can be applied to the drumset. The idea is to take a skill set that is basic to you and use it to engage a profound meditative state in which the ultimate goal is to achieve "no thought". Once in the state of "no thought", everything that you do becomes reinforced in your body at the cellular level. If you were to engage in this exercise, you would see an impact on your bass drum doubles, body coordination, groove, and concentration among other mental and physical benefits. Check out the video and then I'll explain the exercise below.
Let's break it down so you can give it a shot. First, you need to find a metronome tempo that feels slow to you. The best way to work on your groove is to control your playing, with precision, at a slow tempo. I am setting the quarter note to 56 bpm and subdividing the beat by playing 16th notes with my hands and feet. The first two 16th notes of each beat,  I play with my hands (right, left), and the last two 16th notes I play with my right foot. My left foot plays the hi-hat on beats 2 and 4, much like it would in a live setting. I am playing traditional grip as a way of incorporating different aspects of technical enhancement. This video is about 2 minutes long, but the idea is to do this for 5 full minutes. Give it a shot! Record yourself and see how long you can last!
There is a lot here to digest. This simple exercise is the result of years of teaching, studying, and playing. It is designed to provide maximum results. This is just a basic, surface-level introduction to a whole new and exciting way to approach your instrument. 
Rhythmic Meditation offers a powerful and transformative practice for individuals seeking inner peace and harmony. By combining the power of rhythm, mindfulness, and movement, this form of meditation allows individuals to connect with themselves on a deeper level, promoting emotional well-being, physical health, and creative inspiration. In a world filled with stress and distractions, rhythmic meditation provides a much-needed sanctuary, enabling individuals to find balance and serenity within themselves. So, let us embrace the power of Rhythmic Meditation and embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. 

Ginger Baker and The Double Bass Drum 

Ginger Baker, the late drummer best known for his work with Cream and other influential bands, had a profound and lasting influence on drumming. His innovative approach, mastery of various styles, and unique playing techniques set him apart as a true pioneer in the world of drumming.

Baker's influence on drumming can be attributed to several key factors. First and foremost, his incorporation of jazz and Afrobeat rhythms into rock music was groundbreaking. He seamlessly blended these genres, introducing complex and polyrhythmic patterns that expanded the possibilities of drumming in a rock context. Baker's ability to infuse his playing with elements of world music helped shape the progressive rock movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Secondly, Baker's technique and showmanship were equally influential. His powerful and dynamic playing style, characterized by thunderous drum fills and rapid-fire snare work, captivated audiences and pushed the boundaries of what was expected from a rock drummer. Baker's skillful manipulation of dynamics and his use of double bass drumming techniques set new standards for drummers to aspire to.

Lastly, Baker's experimentation with drum setups and percussion instruments showcased his willingness to think outside the box. He introduced unique elements such as multiple bass drums and a wide array of exotic percussion instruments, expanding the sonic palette of the drum kit and encouraging other drummers to explore new sounds.

To appreciate Ginger Baker's influential drumming, here are some Spotify links to songs that highlight his exceptional talent:

1. "Sunshine of Your Love" - Cream

2. "White Room" - Cream

3. "Toad" - Cream

These songs showcase Baker's virtuosity, intricate drumming patterns, and his ability to lead and drive a band with his powerful playing.

Ginger Baker's influence on drumming can still be felt today, as his contributions continue to inspire drummers across genres. His willingness to explore new musical territories, his technical prowess, and his unique style have solidified his place as one of the most influential drummers in rock music history.


Dave Grohl, the Rock God. 

Dave Grohl, known for his roles as the drummer for Nirvana and the frontman of Foo Fighters, has made a significant impact on drumming and rock music as a whole. His influential drumming style, energy, and musicality have inspired countless drummers and helped shape the sound of alternative and rock music.

Grohl's drumming with Nirvana laid the foundation for the grunge movement of the 1990s. His powerful and aggressive playing style, characterized by hard-hitting beats and dynamic fills, contributed to the raw and intense sound that defined Nirvana's music. Grohl's ability to perfectly complement Kurt Cobain's songwriting with his drumming was instrumental in the success of the band.

After the dissolution of Nirvana, Grohl formed the Foo Fighters, where he stepped into the role of frontman while continuing to play drums. His drumming with the Foo Fighters exhibits versatility, combining elements of rock, punk, and pop. Grohl's ability to create infectious grooves, catchy rhythms, and anthemic drum parts has helped propel the Foo Fighters to great success.

Here are some Spotify links to songs that showcase Dave Grohl's influential drumming:

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

2. "Everlong" - Foo Fighters

3. "My Hero" - Foo Fighters

4. "Monkey Wrench" - Foo Fighters

These songs highlight Grohl's ability to create driving rhythms, energetic beats, and memorable drum fills. They showcase his influence on drumming, particularly in the realm of alternative and rock music.

Dave Grohl's impact on drumming extends beyond his playing skills. His passion, dedication, and genuine love for music have inspired generations of drummers to pursue their craft. Grohl's influence on drumming and his contributions to rock music continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

Dave Grohl's influence extends beyond his drumming skills to his guitar playing, songwriting, and overall musicality. While he is primarily known as a drummer and frontman, Grohl's guitar work has had a significant impact on guitar players and the rock music scene.

As the frontman of Foo Fighters, Grohl has crafted memorable guitar riffs and solos, showcasing his ability to create catchy hooks and powerful melodies. His guitar playing often blends elements of punk, hard rock, and alternative rock, resulting in a distinct and recognizable sound. Grohl's guitar work emphasizes energy, rawness, and a sense of urgency, which has resonated with guitarists and fans alike.

The song links for the Foo Fighters above also illustrate his work as a guitar player and frontman. These songs showcase Grohl's guitar skills, ranging from powerful and driving riffs to melodic and memorable solos. They demonstrate his influence on guitar players in terms of songwriting, guitar tones, and overall musical impact.

Dave Grohl's guitar playing has inspired guitarists across different genres, encouraging them to embrace a raw and energetic approach to their instrument. His ability to create memorable guitar parts and write songs that resonate with audiences has solidified his status as a prominent figure in rock music.

Note: While Dave Grohl is primarily known for his work as a drummer and guitarist, it's worth mentioning that his influence on guitar players may not be as pronounced as that of dedicated guitar virtuosos. Nevertheless, his contributions to guitar-driven rock music and his ability to connect with audiences have left an indelible mark on aspiring guitar players.

Drum Solos Weren't A Thing Until Gene Krupa Made Them Sing (🤣) 

Gene Krupa, a legendary jazz drummer from the swing era, had a significant influence on drumming and helped shape the role of the drummer in popular music. He was known for his energetic playing style, technical prowess, and groundbreaking innovations that revolutionized the way drums were perceived and played.

One of Krupa's most notable contributions was his popularization of the drum solo. Prior to Krupa, drummers were primarily seen as timekeepers in the rhythm section. However, he elevated the status of the drums by showcasing their melodic and soloing potential. Krupa's dynamic and captivating solos, filled with intricate patterns, imaginative fills, and showmanship, inspired countless drummers to view the drums as a lead instrument capable of captivating audiences.

Krupa's influence extended beyond his drum solos. He introduced new techniques and innovations that pushed the boundaries of drumming. For instance, he popularized the use of the bass drum as a melodic instrument by incorporating it into his solos and using it to mimic the phrasing of horn players. Krupa also pioneered the use of tunable tom-toms, which allowed for greater melodic range and expression on the drums.

Furthermore, Krupa's playing style, characterized by his relentless energy, precise technique, and explosive drumming, set a new standard for drummers. His command of dynamics, ability to create powerful accents, and impeccable timekeeping skills made him a sought-after drummer in the jazz world. Krupa's influence can be heard in his recordings with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, where his driving and propulsive drumming helped define the sound of the swing era.

To appreciate Gene Krupa's influential drumming, here are some Spotify links to songs that showcase his remarkable talent:

1. "Sing, Sing, Sing" - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (featuring Gene Krupa)

2. "Drum Boogie" - Gene Krupa and His Orchestra

3. "Apurksody" - Gene Krupa

4. "Stompin' at the Savoy" - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (featuring Gene Krupa)

These songs highlight Gene Krupa's incredible drumming skills, showcasing his infectious energy, technical prowess, and pioneering approach to the drums.

Gene Krupa's influence on drumming continues to resonate today, as his innovations, showmanship, and musical contributions have left an indelible mark on the drumming community. His legacy as a groundbreaking jazz drummer solidifies his place as an influential figure in the history of drumming.


The Genre Blending Drumming of Stewart Copeland. 

Stewart Copeland, best known as the drummer for the iconic rock band The Police, has had a significant influence on drumming and has left a lasting impact on the music industry. Copeland's unique style, rhythmic complexity, and innovative approach to drumming have garnered him widespread recognition and admiration among musicians and fans alike.

One of Copeland's distinctive contributions to drumming is his fusion of rock, punk, reggae, and world music influences. His ability to seamlessly blend these genres and incorporate diverse rhythms into his playing gave The Police's music a distinct sound. Copeland's drumming provided a driving force behind the band's energetic and infectious songs.

Copeland's technique is characterized by his precision, speed, and dynamic control. He employed a wide range of drumming techniques, including intricate hi-hat work, syncopated patterns, and polyrhythms. His use of unconventional time signatures and complex fills added depth and complexity to The Police's music, setting them apart from their contemporaries.

Beyond his technical prowess, Copeland's musicality and creativity were also influential. He often approached drumming with a melodic mindset, using the drums as a melodic instrument rather than solely providing rhythm. Copeland incorporated various percussion elements, such as cowbells and splash cymbals, to enhance the musicality and texture of the songs.

In addition to his work with The Police, Copeland's solo projects and collaborations further showcased his versatility as a drummer. He composed music for films, television shows, and ballets, demonstrating his ability to adapt to different musical styles and genres.

Copeland's impact on drumming extends beyond his own playing. His rhythmic innovations and unconventional approach have influenced countless drummers across genres. His unique style has been emulated and studied by aspiring drummers seeking to capture his distinctive sound and musicality.

To explore Stewart Copeland's influential drumming, here are a few songs by The Police that highlight his style and technique:

1. "Message in a Bottle"

2. "Walking on the Moon"

3. "Driven to Tears"

4. "Synchronicity II"

These songs showcase Copeland's rhythmic complexity, precision, and his ability to create infectious grooves that perfectly complement the music.

Stewart Copeland's influence on drumming can still be heard and felt today. His innovative approach to rhythm, technical proficiency, and musicality continue to inspire and shape the drumming community.


Steve Gadd - The Master of Groove 

Steve Gadd's Profound Impact on Drumming: A Master of Groove

When it comes to drumming legends who have shaped the course of music history, few names are as revered as Steve Gadd. Renowned for his extraordinary feel, impeccable technique, and versatility, Gadd has left an indelible mark on the drumming world. Let's delve into the profound influence of Steve Gadd on drumming and explore his unmatched contributions to the craft.

The Rise of a Drumming Icon:
Born on April 9, 1945, in Rochester, New York, Steve Gadd began his drumming journey at a young age. By the late 1960s, his reputation as a talented and innovative drummer had grown, leading to a flurry of studio session work. Gadd's ability to seamlessly adapt his playing to different genres, from jazz to pop, solidified his status as a sought-after session musician.

The Groove Master:
Steve Gadd's influence on drumming lies primarily in his extraordinary sense of groove. His ability to lock in with other musicians and create a solid foundation for any musical composition is unparalleled. Gadd's approach to timekeeping, his mastery of dynamics, and his deep pocket have made him a go-to drummer for countless artists, including Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, and Steely Dan.

Innovative Techniques and Signature Licks:
Gadd's drumming style is characterized by his intricate and innovative techniques. From his legendary ghost note patterns to his inventive use of rudiments, Gadd's playing is a testament to his technical prowess and creativity. His iconic drum solo on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" showcases his mastery of linear drumming, a technique that has since become a staple for drummers worldwide.

Widening the Drumming Palette:
Beyond his contributions to the studio and stage, Steve Gadd has also played a significant role in expanding the possibilities of drumming. His exploration of hybrid drum setups, incorporating electronic elements alongside traditional acoustic drums, has pushed the boundaries of the instrument's sonic capabilities. Gadd's willingness to embrace new technologies has inspired a new generation of drummers to experiment and evolve their own playing styles.

Spotify Links to Iconic Performances: To fully appreciate the brilliance of Steve Gadd's drumming, here are some Spotify links to some of his most influential and iconic performances:

- "Aja" by Steely Dan
- "Late In The Evening" by Paul Simon
- "Nite Sprite" by Chick Corea
- "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione

Steve Gadd's influence on drumming is immeasurable. His extraordinary sense of groove, technical prowess, and ability to adapt to any musical genre have made him a true drumming icon. Through his innovative techniques and unparalleled contributions, Gadd has not only shaped the drumming landscape but has also inspired countless drummers to strive for excellence. As we celebrate his legacy, let us acknowledge Steve Gadd as a master of groove and a true visionary in the world of drumming.


The Legendary Neil Peart. 

Neil Peart, often hailed as one of the greatest drummers in rock music, was born on September 12, 1952, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He rose to prominence as the drummer and primary lyricist for the legendary rock band Rush. Peart's influence on drumming and songwriting is widely recognized and admired by musicians and fans around the world.

Peart joined Rush in 1974, replacing the band's original drummer, John Rutsey. His technical precision, complex drumming patterns, and innovative use of percussion made him a standout musician in the rock genre. Peart's drumming style blended elements of rock, jazz, and progressive music, creating a unique sound that became synonymous with Rush's music. He was known for his intricate drum solos, which showcased his technical prowess and creative flair.

In addition to his drumming skills, Peart also made a significant impact as a lyricist. He wrote thought-provoking and poetic lyrics that explored a wide range of themes, including philosophy, science fiction, personal introspection, and societal issues. Peart's lyrics often showcased his intellectual depth and his ability to weave complex narratives into songs.

Peart's contributions to Rush's extensive discography are numerous, with standout albums including "2112," "Moving Pictures," "Permanent Waves," and "Clockwork Angels." His drumming and songwriting helped define Rush's progressive rock sound and cemented their status as one of the most influential bands of all time.

Offstage, Peart was known for his dedication to his craft and his relentless pursuit of perfection. He constantly sought to improve his skills as a musician, often taking on new challenges and incorporating different drumming techniques into his performances. His dedication to his craft earned him the respect and admiration of fellow musicians and fans alike.

Tragically, Neil Peart passed away on January 7, 2020, after a private battle with brain cancer. His loss was deeply felt by the music community, and his legacy as a visionary drummer and talented lyricist continues to inspire aspiring musicians and fans worldwide. Neil Peart's contributions to music, both as a drummer and a songwriter, will forever be remembered and celebrated as a testament to his incredible talent and artistic vision. His technical proficiency, creative drumming patterns, and meticulous attention to detail have left an indelible mark on the drumming community.



John Bonham - The Powerhouse! 

John Bonham's Timeless Influence on Drumming: Celebrating a Legend

When it comes to legendary drummers who have left an indelible mark on the music world, few names hold as much reverence as John Bonham. As the rhythmic powerhouse behind Led Zeppelin, Bonham's innovative and explosive drumming style revolutionized the way drums were played and forever influenced generations of musicians. Let's pay tribute to the iconic drummer and explore the lasting impact of his unmatched talent.

The Birth of a Legend:
Born on May 31, 1948, in Redditch, England, Bonham started playing drums at an early age, honing his craft in various local bands before landing the gig that would define his career. His raw energy, impeccable timing, and thunderous beats quickly set him apart from his contemporaries and caught the attention of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones, leading to the formation of Led Zeppelin in 1968.

The Bonham Sound:
Bonham's drumming style was characterized by his powerful, heavy-handed approach, often referred to as "Bonham's thunder." His ability to create thunderous grooves with a deep pocket, combined with his dynamic use of dynamics and impeccable timing, made him a force to be reckoned with. Bonham's drumming was not just about rhythm; it was a sonic assault that elevated Led Zeppelin's music to new heights. Are you familiar with "Bonham Triplets"?

Influencing Generations:
Bonham's impact on drumming cannot be overstated. His groundbreaking techniques, such as his use of triplets, intricate bass drum patterns, and his ability to seamlessly blend rock, blues, and funk, have influenced countless drummers across various genres. His creation of iconic drum parts, like the unforgettable intro to "When the Levee Breaks," showcased his innovative approach and cemented his status as a true drumming pioneer. This drum beat in particular has been sampled by many hip-hop artists including the Beastie Boys in their song Rhymin' and Stealin'.

Legacy and Continued Inspiration:
Although Bonham's life was tragically cut short in 1980, his influence continues to resonate with drummers worldwide. His legacy lives on through the countless musicians who have been inspired by his style and seek to emulate his thunderous sound. From rock to metal, blues to funk, Bonham's impact remains unmatched, and his drumming continues to inspire new generations of musicians.

Celebrating Bonham's Legacy: To fully appreciate the brilliance of John Bonham's drumming, here are some YouTube links to some of his most iconic performances:

- "Moby Dick" (Live at Royal Albert Hall, 1970) 
- "Kashmir" (Live at Knebworth 1979Live at Knebworth 1979Live Live at Knebworth 1979at Knebworth 1979)Live at Knebworth 1979
- "Rock and Roll" (Live at Madison Square Garden, 1973)
- "Good Times Bad Times" (Live in Copenhagen, 1979)

John Bonham's influence on drumming cannot be overstated. His raw power, innovative techniques, and unwavering groove continue to inspire and captivate drummers across the globe. As we celebrate his legacy, let us remember John Bonham as a true icon and an unparalleled force in the world of drumming.


Billy Cobham - A drummer every drummer should be familiar with. 

Billy Cobham is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer, percussionist, bandleader, and composer. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time, and his playing helped to define the sound of jazz fusion in the 1970s.

Check out this solo in which he uses his famous yellow kit with a double bass drum 🤘😎🤘.

Cobham was born in Panama City, Panama, in 1944. He began playing drums at a young age, and by the time he was in his teens, he was playing professionally in Panamanian dance bands. In 1964, he moved to the United States to study music at the Manhattan School of Music.

After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, Cobham began playing in New York City jazz clubs. He soon became one of the most in-demand drummers in the city, and he played with a variety of jazz musicians, including Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, and Stanley Turrentine.

In 1971, Cobham joined the Mahavishnu Orchestra, a groundbreaking jazz fusion band led by guitarist John McLaughlin. With the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cobham helped to develop a new style of drumming that combined elements of jazz, rock, and funk. His playing on albums such as The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire is considered to be some of the most innovative and influential drumming of all time.

I suggest following the Mahavishnu Orchestra on Spotify.

After leaving the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1973, Cobham pursued a solo career. He released a number of albums as a bandleader, including Spectrum, Crosswinds, and Stratus. He also continued to work as a session musician, and he appeared on albums by a variety of artists, including George Benson, Miles Davis, and Jeff Beck.

Cobham has continued to be active as a musician and educator. He has released several more albums as a bandleader, and he has toured extensively around the world. He is also a professor at the Berklee College of Music.

And of course, he is on Spotify as well! 

Billy Cobham is a true legend of jazz drumming. His playing has influenced countless drummers, and his music continues to be enjoyed by fans around the world.

Here are some of the other things that Billy Cobham is known for:

  • He was a pioneer of the double bass drum setup, which is now standard for many drummers.
  • He was one of the first drummers to use electronic drums in a jazz context.
  • He was a master of polyrhythms and complex time signatures.
  • He was a highly expressive and melodic drummer.
  • He was a highly influential teacher and mentor to many younger drummers.

Billy Cobham is a true icon of jazz drumming. His playing has had a profound impact on the music world, and he continues to be an inspiration to drummers of all ages.

10 Must Own Books For Every Drummer 

Below is a list of books that every drummer should own. These are standard in the industry and you should be able to talk about each of these fluently as well as knowing the strengths and shortcomings of each. You gain this ability by having worked through them and having applied them to your own playing. You don’t need to buy these all at once and the order I have listed below is my suggested order of purchase and focus. You don't need to complete each book before buying the next, but you shouldn't rush the process. If you pair the books with related YouTube content you will be making very good use of your time. With enough creativity, these books will last you a lifetime. Don't rush the process. Enjoy each book for the value they bring. 

  1. Progressive Steps To Syncopation For the Modern Drummer by Ted Reed: This is one of the most versatile and practical works ever written for drums. Created exclusively to address syncopation, it has earned its place as a standard tool for teaching beginning drummers syncopation and strengthening reading skills. This book includes many accented eighths, dotted eighths and sixteenths, eighth-note triplets, and sixteenth notes for extended solos. In addition, teachers can develop many of their own examples from it.
  2. Stick Control: For The Snare Drummer by George Lawrence Stone: This is the original classic, often called the bible of drumming. This is the ideal book for improving control, speed, flexibility, touch, rhythm, lightness, delicacy, power, endurance, preciseness of execution, and muscular coordination," with extra attention given to the development of the weak hand. This indispensable book for drummers of all types includes hundreds of basic to advanced rhythms and moves through categories of single-beat combinations, triplets, short roll combinations, flam beats, flam triplets and dotted notes, and short roll progressions.
  3. Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer by Jim Chapin: Jim Chapin, known as the Father of Jazz Independence," has written one of the most popular drumset books of all time. This classic work should be in every drummer's library as there is always something new to learn and develop from this masterful book. Whether for a beginner or an accomplished drummer, this system will greatly improve independence and coordination, sticking, power, speed, and endurance on the drumset. Dedicated to Sanford Moeller, this book proves Jim's teaching techniques like no other."
  4. Advanced Funk Studies: Creative Patterns for the Advanced Drummer by Rick Latham: This book will help take your groove to the next level. With author and renowned drummer Rick Latham as your guide, you'll learn hi-hat, funk, and fill patterns. Many of the ideas in this book are derived from some of the most famous and proficient funk drummers. The accompanying audio CDs provide examples of the exercises.
  5. The Sound of Brushes by Ed Thigpen: A step-by-step guide that develops total mastery of the art of brush playing. This new edition is updated and revised with a section on rock applications plus additional brush-stroke techniques. Ed Thigpen's thorough approach includes all patterns shown with full-size diagrams and accompanying CDs containing every beat, pattern, and play-along track.
  6. Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset by Fran Malabe: This book is invaluable to anyone interested in adapting these rhythms to the drum set. An introduction to Afro-Cuban rhythms by Frank Malabe and Bob Weiner, including the history, traditional instruments, and basic styles of Afro-Cuban music. The book explores the complexities of these various styles in a simple, understandable way.
  7. The New Breed: Systems for the Development of Your Own Creativity by Gary Chester: Gary Chester was one of the busiest studio drummers of the '60s and '70s and played on hundreds of hit records. His systems have been used and endorsed by drummers such as Kenny Aronoff, Danny Gottlieb, and Dave Weckl. This is not just another drum book, but rather a system that will help you develop the skills needed to master today's studio requirements. These systems are not designed to be played strictly as exercises but used as tools to develop new musical ideas that can be applied to any and all musical styles. By working with this book, you'll improve your reading, concentration, coordination, right and left-hand lead, and awareness of the click.
  8. Drum Wisdom by Bob Moses: This book presents unique and refreshing concepts about such topics as thinking musically, internal hearing, playing off of melodies and vamps, and much more.
  9. Future Sounds: A Book of Contemporary Drumset Concepts by David Garibaldi: At long last, the secrets of David Garibaldi's groundbreaking funk/jazz fusion drumming techniques are presented in this innovative book and recording. Whether you play rock, heavy metal, jazz, or funk, you'll learn to incorporate Garibaldi's contemporary linear styles and musical concepts into your playing and develop your own unique drumset vocabulary.
  10. Polyrhythms: The Musician’s Guide by Peter Magadini: Peter Magadini's Polyrhythms is acclaimed the world over and has been hailed by Modern Drummer magazine as "by far the best book on the subject." Written for instrumentalists and vocalists alike, this book with online audio contains excellent solos and exercises that feature polyrhythmic concepts. Topics covered include: 6 over 4, 5 over 4, 7 over 4, 3 over 4, 11 over 4, and other rhythmic ratios; combining various polyrhythms; polyrhythmic time signatures; and much more. The audio includes demos of the exercises and is accessed online using the unique code in each book. To see Peter in action demonstrating various polyrhythms, click here


An excerpt from a conversation! #percussionlessons #drumlessons #drummerlife 

Dissertation Hallock strikes again! ...and this time with insight regarding the lovely debate of traditional vs. matched grip. Below is an excerpt from a conversation with one of my students that I thought would be fun to share. This is from the online percussion course I created for the College of Southern Idaho.
*drum nerd alert. #drumlessons #drummerlife #drums 🥁
"Yes if a person doesn't set up the snare drum in a way that accommodates traditional grip when playing the drum set, then the grip feels completely useless. Same thing with the toms. In fact, if a drummer is using the bigger toms that are found on rock kits, it is almost impossible to set up the toms in a way that allows a player to play anything but matched grip.
Are you a Buddy Rich fan? Check out this video ( and notice how the snare is titled to accommodate his grip. Also, notice how the tom is positioned so closely to the snare that his left hand can naturally and fluently move between the tom and the snare. More importantly notice how his left hand rarely touches any other drum besides the snare and 1st tom, which are both set up in a way to be played by his left hand easily. So traditional grip, and the limitations of it, cause players to create creative solutions for their fills and their playing. That is why jazz drummers have such strong left hands and do all that chatter on the snare drum. It also offers opportunities for some creative sticking that creates some badass rhythms and fills that you wouldn't even think about if you just played matched grip. So in a weird sort of way, the limitations of traditional grip actually open up the doors to exciting and creative perspectives.
Are you familiar with Buddy Rich's one-handed roll? Check out this video ( and what he does with his left hand. This video also gives stronger insight into how he sets up his drums to accommodate his grip. This one-handed roll was invented because of what traditional grip offers.
You are correct to suggest there is a certain level of delicacy and intricacy that is achieved with traditional grip, and you are also correct to say that the same level could be achieved with matched grip. In fact, if you are doing both grips correctly and have your playing surfaces adjusted accordingly, you should be able to achieve the exact same things and neither grip is a hindrance. The question then becomes, why take the time to learn them both, and I would have to agree with that perspective to a certain extent. Especially when teaching. There is a lot of damage that can be caused to a student's hands if they play trad. grip incorrectly, so why risk it?
However, as a person grows in their craft you do start to notice certain nuances that are musically expressed differently when swapping between grips. Playing with brushes is a perfect example. Have you spent much time playing with brushes? Brushes are actually easier to play with traditional grip. In fact I often times use traditional grip in both hands when playing the brushes because it allows for some crazy sick patterns that simply can't happen with matched grip. You should give it a shot! In fact, I should create a video about this....maybe we will work on brushes down the road!
Historically speaking, if you are going to study drumset, then you do have a certain obligation to learn trad. grip at its most fundamental level. It is a part of the history of the drum set. If you are going to continue your studies of the instrument, it will be difficult for people to think you are a serious student of the craft if you can't use the grip to some extent. However, I am not suggesting that you need to be 100% fluent, but rather just enough to get by🤓."

Online Percussion Course at The College of Southern Idaho 

So for the past couple of years I have been teaching an online music history course that I designed for The College of Southern Idaho and I am excited to share that I am now in the middle of designing an online percussion course and it has been an absolute blast:). 

Wanna hear all about it?

In this 15 week course, students will learn their major scales on a mallet instrument, take a deep dive into the 26 standard drum rudiments, learn practice techniques, and explore individual interests. This is a perfect course for anybody who is planning on pursuing percussion at the university level, and wants to start accumulating college credit in preparation. It is also a great option if you are a music teacher and need some continuing education hours along with an opportunity to strengthen your percussion knowledge base. Or maybe you know somebody who is working on audition material and needs some coaching? …send 'em my way! 

Yes, you now have two options to earn college credit with me while studying music. My ‘Survey of Jazz and Popular Music’ course has been up and running for a while now, and now my percussion course is another great option to knock out some college credit while hanging out and learning with me! Yay!

I thought I would share a quick excerpt from the course! In this sampling we are talking about employing the ‘open to close’ technique into your practice routine. 


"Open to close" is a practice method for playing drum rudiments that involves starting slowly and gradually increasing the speed until you reach your maximum speed, then slowing back down to the starting speed. This method is often used to help drummers develop their speed and control.

To play a rudiment "open to close," start by playing the rudiment slowly and deliberately. As you get more comfortable with the rudiment, you can start to increase the speed gradually. Once you reach your maximum speed, hold it for a few beats before slowing back down to the starting speed.

Here are some of the benefits of practicing rudiments "open to close":

  • It can help you develop your speed and control.
  • It can help you build up stamina.
  • It can help you improve your accuracy.
  • It can help you develop a consistent sound.
  • It can help you learn new rudiments more quickly.

If you are a drummer who wants to improve your speed, control, and accuracy, I highly recommend practicing rudiments "open to close." It is a simple and effective method that can help you take your drumming to the next level.

Here are some additional tips for practicing rudiments "open to close":

  • Record yourself playing the rudiment and listen back to it to identify any areas that need improvement.
  • Be patient and persistent. It takes time and practice to master this method.

With regular practice, you will eventually be able to play rudiments at a fast and consistent tempo. This will be a valuable skill that will help you improve your drumming in many ways.