I am pleased to announce that my next educational publication will be a new and original translation (or transcription or rhythmic interpretation if you prefer) of Samuel Potter’s 1817 rudimental manual Art of Beating the Drum into readable modern notation. I have 2 other books in various stages of development in the pipeline, but they are both waiting on factors outside of my control, so I decided it would be a good time to finish and release my take on this historical masterpiece.
I have previously done a similar translation of Ashworth’s 1812 book A New Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating. Potter’s book is already easier to read than the cryptic and unruly Ashworth notation, however it leaves almost all the roll timing to the player to figure out and, as is usual with ancient manuals, many of the rhythms listed in 8th notes or 16th notes were actually intended to be played in triplets or quintuplets or some other non-obvious timing. I’ve taken all the guesswork and esoteric knowledge out of the equation and presented the signals in a format that a modern player should be able to read and play without advanced background knowledge of 19th century British rudimental signals.
As soon as I receive my proof copy and make any necessary adjustments, I’ll be able to list this newly readable and playable ancient landmark publication. My hope is to get it out by late April or early May 2021.
If you are interested in historical rudimental playing, Potter’s book is not to be missed! Potter was a drum major with the Coldstream Regiment and wrote the first British manual that actually made any sense, after being (rightfully) disappointed with the quality of incoming musical recruits and the previously available education materials for drummers and other musicians. Some of the signals played today in the UK military are still taken directly from Potter and they are all remarkably similar if not identical to the drum signals in the USA during the same period. Applicable on both sides of the Atlantic, Art of Beating the Drum is a timeless classic. Stay tuned for more.