This post has been inspired by the book ‘How to teach drums’ by Claire Brock, a book that I would recommend to new and established drum teachers.

After purchasing and reading this book I started thinking about how I could work with other drum teachers to provide a catalogue of potential resources to support drummers teaching and learning experiences.

The first part of this series of posts is teaching books; I have compiled a list of recommended books that teachers should consider making use of when teaching students with different abilities and learning needs.

This list of books has been compiled by me using the books that I use as well as those suggested by other drum teachers in response to a question on the ‘BSTDUK(2)’ forum page on Facebook and I would like to thank the following drum teachers for their contributions to this list:

Tim Sharp; Joel Waters; Colin Woolway; Calum Macleod; Julian Ecymbals; Jack Wright; James Sharp; Pip Harbon.

I hope you find this list useful and if you think there are any books that are not mentioned in this list that should be please post a reply with the books Title and Author, as well as your name.


Hand / Foot Technique Development

Stick Control – George Lawrence Stone
The Weaker Side – Dom Famularo & Stephane Chamberland
Advanced Techniques For The Modern Drummer – Jim Chapin
Progressive Steps To Syncopation – Ted Reed
Buddy Rich’s Modern Interpretation Of Drum Rudiments – Buddy Rich & Henry Adler
Buddy Rich snare drum method – Buddy Rich
Syncopated Rolls for the Modern Drummer – Jim Blackley
Natural Hand Development For Drummers- Roy Burns
Wrist And Finger Control For The Advanced Drummer – Charley Wilcoxon
The Moeller Book – Sanford A. Moeller


Drum Kit Tutor Books

Music Reading for Drummers – Dave Hazlewood
Practical Percussion – Kevin Edwards
Drumsense Volumes 1 & 2 – Colin Woolway
Drumset For Beginners – Paul Hose & Jim Farey
Eighth Note Rock And Beyond – Glenn Ceglia & Dom Famularo
Rudimental Rock Rhythms – Ronnie Bottomley
The Art Of The Drummer- John Savage
Rhythmic Patterns For The Modern Drummer – Joe Cusatis
Essential Styles – Steve Houghton & Tom Warrington
It’s Your Move – Dom Famularo & Joe Bergamini
Groove Essentials: The Play Along – Tommy Igoe
Groove Facility – Rob Hirons & Dom Famularo
Afro Carribean Drum Grooves – Chuck Silverman
Latin Grooves – Dave Hassell
Double Bass Drumming: The Mirrored Groove System – Jeff Bowders
The New Breed – Gary Chester
4-Way Co-Ordination – Marvin Dahlgren & Elliot Fine
Mastering the Tables of Time – David Stanoch
Latin Grooves – Dave Hassell
Graded Course for Drum Kit (Books 1 & 2) – Dave Hassell
Groove Alchemy – Stanton Moore
100 Famous Funk Beats – Jim Payne
The Breakbeat Bible – Mike Adamo
The Art of Bop Drumming – John Riley
The Drum Perspective – Peter Erskine
Advanced Concepts & Techniques for simple jazz & rock independence – Peter Erskine
Ultimate Playalong Level 1,Vols. 1 & 2 – Dave Weckl
Essential Styles Books 1 & 2 – Steve Houghton
The Drumset Soloist – Steve Houghton
Realistic Rock for Kids – Carmine Appice
Reading, Rudiments & Rock Drumming – Joel Rothman
Mini-Monster Book of Rock Drumming – Joel Rothman
Rock Breaks Around the Drums – Joel Rothman
Rudiments Around the Drums – Joel Rothman
Basic Drumming Made Easy- Joel Rothman
Evolution of Jazz Drumming – Danny Gottlieb
Riddim: Claves of African Origin – Billy Martin
West African Rhythms for Drumset – Royal Hartigan
Rockschool Drums – Rockschool
Rockschool Hot Rock Drums – Rockschool
Trinty Guildhall Exam books – Trinty Guildhall
Trinty Rock and Pop Exam books -Trinity College
Contemporary Drum Fills – John Savage
Brushworks – Clayton Cameron
Brush Artistry – Philly Joe Jones
Future Sounds – David Garibaldi
Jazz Standards for Drumset – Brian Fullen
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Play Along Series Drums – Gordon Goodwin, Bernie Dresel
The Level System – Jeff W. Johnson
Double Trouble – Pete Riley

Finding a drum teacher (part 1)

So you’ve decided you need to find a teacher but how do you find the right teacher for you?

In this post I will look at how you can find a teacher in your area.

1. Speak to other drummers.

If you know other drummers who have lessons ask them about their teacher; a recommendation is always a good way to find a teacher.

2. Ask at your local music shop.

Most music shops keep a list of local teachers, and some provide lessons.

3. Search the Internet.

Use search engines (google, bing, yahoo, etc.) to find drum teachers in your area or look at specialist websites such as Drumsense or

If you like this post, or if you have any other ideas about finding a teacher please leave a comment.


Learning to play the drums: DIY or get a teacher?

You’ve got your drum kit and you’ve just realised that playing the drums is not as easy as it looks; so what do you do?
You can either find a drum teacher or have a go at teaching yourself, so which option should you choose?

Why choose The DIY method?

If you search on the Internet you will find a wide choice of teach yourself books and DVDs as well as websites and YouTube videos that will show you how to play.

Books and DVDs can cost a lot less than a drum lesson and many online lessons are free, also you can work on them at your own pace, this is great for busy people who can’t always make a regular time for drum lessons.

This makes self teaching look like a very good way to go but in reality it can, in the long term, be a very costly decision, both financially and physically.

At this point some people may be wondering why I’ve stated that teaching yourself can be costly to both your finances and your physical well being and I will get on to answering that in due course.

The biggest problem with programmes that allow you to teach yourself is that in order for them to work you have to have some prior understanding of music and be able to understand from text and pictures the physical mechanics needed to play the drums correctly.

This is where having lessons with a good, experienced teacher is vitally important.

A book, DVD or Internet lesson can’t look at what you’re doing and correct any problems that you have with posture, technique or musical knowledge and understanding.

It is important that you get all three of these right from the beginning of your playing a they are the key to a players development and longevity.
Posture and technique go hand in hand in ensuring a drummer is able to remain problem free for the whole of his career.
A small problem in your posture or technique can lead to long term problems with your back, shoulders, hips and the muscles throughout your body. These are easily sorted out by a good teacher before they become the norm, however, once you get your posture and technique established it can be more difficult to correct because you have to change your bodies muscle memory map at the same time as retraining it to use a new system.

A good teacher will also show you how to read drum notation correctly so that you can follow any drum chart and play any pattern. It is at this point that the many different drum kit tuition books become a usable tool that any drummer can learn from.

I have a pupil who is learning to play the bongoes, he has a lesson every 6-8 weeks. In his first lessons we worked on getting his technique correct and now when he contacts me for a lesson it’s usually because he doesn’t understand what the notation he is looking at means. We go over the rhythm patterns and how they fit with rhythm he has learnt previously and he is then able to go away and continue to work from a teach yourself to play book.

This is how it should be when you learn the drums as well, if you choose the right teacher they will bring your technique, skills, knowledge and understanding of reading and playing drum notation to the point where you can go away from your lessons and make progress on your own leaving your teacher free to correct errors and teach you new skills.

Whether you choose to find a teacher or to learn from a book I hope you enjoy your time playing.

If you agree,or disagree, with anything said in this post please leave a comment.