The Other 26

Every drummer worth their salt knows the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD) 26 Standard American Drum Rudiments. A staple of drum pedagogy since 1933, these rudiments have often been erroneously or misleadingly credited as the “original,” “only,” or “official” American rudiments. This claim has persisted even after the publication of the Percussive Arts Society 40 International Drum Rudiments. I will not touch on the 26/40 debate as I have already done so here. Instead, I would like to present:

THE OTHER 26 – Selected American Rudiments 1778-1925.

The Other 26 is a collection of rudiments I have gathered from American rudimental history that features an entirely separate set of rudiments to the NARD 26 that are no less authentic and no less American. They are simply rudiments that NARD did not include, i.e. rudiments that existed in published American literature between the Von Steuben’s time at Valley Forge and Sanford Moeller’s The Art of Snare Drumming and were not on Strube’s 1870 list of Lessons from which the 26 are mostly derived.

If you have percussive training of any kind, you will immediately notice that several of the Other 26 are not obscure or unknown to modern players. I did not select them just to be weird or confusing. 4 of them appear on the PAS 40 in some form and 2 more are ubiquitous and known to most players despite their failure to appear on most rudiment lists. At least 6 others are represented in most collections of Hybrid rudiments, though they are much older than the drum corps hybrid concept. This set of 26 does not include every snubbed ancient American rudiment, but is a manageable subset of that larger group. It is also not in any way intended to replace the Standard 26, but merely supplement it and open drummers’ minds to the wider world of rudiments and their history.

As evidenced in Encyclopedia Rudimentia, there are hundreds of rudiments spanning several centuries of rudimental practice throughout the western world. There is no “correct” number of rudiments to learn nor is any rudimental culture or regional variation inherently superior to any other, however Americans seem especially unaware that a larger rudimental history exists beyond the NARD sheets. The Other 26 is merely an example of what other rudimental knowledge lies beyond the staples of 20th century training, even in our own insular American system. I hope it can provide some subtle insight into the past, inspire some thinking outside of the box, or at least amuse some open minded drummers with ideas they may not have heard yet. Here’s a video I did on the first 8 rudiments in this collection: https://youtu.be/XQ3xKFh8U6E

Postponed: Thrash Book

I’d like to announce that this summer eventually I’ll be partnering once again with Hudson Music to release my 4th original drum book, Thrash Metal Drumming. This development stems from a poll that I conducted in early 2019 where I asked my YouTube subscribers what type of book they’d be most interested in. I have followed through on the results of that poll and created what appears to be only the second book ever written specifically for thrash metal, the other having been released and subsequently discontinued decades ago.

Scheduled for release in roughly 3-5 weeks this year (I’m thinking early to mid July 2020 hopefully Sept or Oct), the book will cover all the necessary skills to play legitimate sounding authentic thrash, and even more importantly, build a foundation from which drummers can expand to any other modern genre of metal or other heavy music.

Thrash drumming had influences, of course, including hardcore punk, heavy metal, and classic rock, but its particular blend of speed, power, and idiomatic phrases went on to form the basis for all the common heavy genres played today. Death metal, black metal, deathcore, metalcore, slam, djent, and many more of today’s styles of heavy music draw directly from a classic thrash drumming paradigm, on top of which they add their own unique flavors. If you want to play metal well, you start not from the current trends, but from the roots. Thrash metal.

Includes 64 transcribed phrases from real thrash songs from both old school bands like Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Kreator, Exodus, Testament, Sepultura, Dark Angel, Destruction, Nuclear Assault, Overkill and new wave thrashers like Vektor, Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer, Exmortus, Municipal Waste, Havok, Skeletonwitch, Evile, Gama Bomb, and more! Written exercises are also augmented with 32 handy audio examples, and the book gives advice and tips for: touring, tuning and tone, health, metronomes and time, and kit setup. There is even an abbreviated history of thrash and an essential listening list so you can absorb the genre properly. Everything you need to get started playing thrash.

If you have any designs on playing metal or -core music at a high level, you’ll want a rock solid slab under you. Thrash Metal Drumming is the way. Stay tuned for specific release date details.

Denver Drum Society and Band Mini Camp

May should be an interesting month despite being quarantined. Tuesday, May 5th I am giving a talk to the Denver Drum Society via Zoom about my experience publishing books and I’ll be giving out a few tips on double bass from my first Hudson book The Complete Double Bass Drumming Explained.

This month I’ll also be holding online sectionals for LAHS marching band spring mini camp. We were hoping to do these with instruments in person to teach marching skills, but we will have to settle for practice pads and working on music. Still useful and important sessions for the future… assuming there is a 2020 marching season in New Mexico. Since there is currently no front ensemble instructor on staff, I’ll be handling battery and front ensemble on a regular basis.

I’ll also continue teaching private lessons online for anyone who wants them. FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc. New students are welcome at any point.

 

 

Pandemic 2020

As with most businesses, I am closed for in-person lessons until the state of NM says otherwise. I am, however, available for video lessons via Skype, FaceTime, or Facebook Messenger Video with payment via PayPal or Venmo. Contact me to schedule a time.

I have also finished a new book recently for which publication is in the works (but certainly delayed by the current conditions) AND I am continuing to work on some collaborative projects that I hope I can bring out sometime soon. There should be a lot of educational material flowing forth this year or next year… eventually.

With school closures, essentially all concert and marching percussion is on hold until next fall. HOPEFULLY, band camp will happen as scheduled in late July. Nobody knows.

Stay safe out there, practice hard, and watch my youtube channel in the meantime.

Early 2020

As the new year opens I am currently working on promoting a few different projects, including my newest adventure in public domain drum notation translation ashworthcoverfront (or transcription if you prefer), Ashworth’s 1812 book, A New Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating in which I’ve taken the illegible 19th century drum notation and rewritten it in a legible and standardized 21st century format. Its currently for sale on amazon, and you can see more details about it here. 

 

Of course, I also just put out my archeology tsankawifrontcovernon-fiction book The Forgotten Side of Bandelier in October, which you can check out here. It details the prehistory of Tsankawi at Bandelier National Monument and can be purchased from Amazon or in person from the Los Alamos History Museum gift shop, if you’re in town. Its not a drum book, but I think its an interesting topic none-the-less.

In other news, I am still working with the 30+ percussionists at Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School for the concert band season and will be occasionally preparing kids for marching band with auditions materials and other exercises. I will also be doing at least one session at Mountain Elementary to prepare for the upcoming middle school placement auditions. At home I have 14 private lesson students this year (and counting, there’s room for more), aged 7 to adult, many of which are working toward better placements and overall increased ability in next year’s marching, jazz, and concert bands.

I have plans for 2 to 4 more books this year or in the next couple of years, which I will have to space out prudently through time. Watch for those announcements; I’ve got more translations of 19th century classics and some much more modern drum kit instruction in the works… plus a totally different collaborative project going.

There has been almost no playing or performing going on, but with the roughly 40 students I see weekly, plus my publishing efforts and dad duty, I’m pretty busy.

New Book: The Forgotten Side of Bandelier

I’d like to announce that I have a new book out this month. I know, I just released my Encyclopedia Rudimentia this year… but this new book is not a drum book, or even related to music. Its called The Forgotten Side of Bandelier: Archeology of the Tsankawi Ruins at Bandelier National Monument and, as the name suggest, its non-fiction about a relatively overlooked portion of Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, NM.

Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1698971079

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Tsankawi is an ancient village that was inhabited by Ancestral Puebloan people from roughly 1400 to 1600. Give or take. People moved to the area, called the Pajarito Plateau, in significant numbers after the collapse of the great Chaco Canyon civilization in the mid-1100s to 1200s. They built many villages with massive stone architecture, including a large pueblo at Tsankawi Mesa which had hundreds of room and may have stood 3 stories tall. Tsankawi also features over 350 cliff-dwellings, a wealth of petroglyphs, and a network of deeply worn ancient footpaths. As a part of a National Monument (though detached and 12 miles up the road) you’d expect that finding information about the site would be easy, but its not. The park service pamphlet on the site is pretty small and, after checking out about half the local library, I found the info on Tsankawi to be scattered and buried in a number of different publications. A footnote here, a paragraph there, a side mention or a picture caption snuck into a book about something else entirely. Nothing I read really gave the site its full attention.

Of course, I took it upon myself to collect everything I could find on the site and compile it into one concise volume that singles out Tsankawi and gives it a dedicated treatment from the geography, geology, and regional context, to the actual ruins and their archeological history, to the conservation and preservation issues facing the park today. I’ve tried to cover it all. I’m not an archeologist, anthropologist, or historian, but I felt compelled to share what I learned in the absence of any other comprehensive resources and I’ve come up with 114 pages and 0ver 40 images that should fill that void.

August 2019 “Fall” Update

Although summer doesn’t end for another month on the calendar, LAPS starts classes next week. Summer is basically over.

As the LAHS Topper Marching Band drum line instructor, I’ll be fairly busy wrangling the battery on the field this fall with rehearsals, sectionals, and performances. This will curtail the time I have for private lessons slightly.

As school starts the bulk of my students will require an evening time slot. Of these, I have only 3 half hours left as of 8/5/19. Schedules change periodically, but I may have to institute a waiting list at some point. Good for me, unfortunate for the student percussionists of LA county. If I could offer more availability, I would. More slots should open up, especially on Mondays, as the marching season ends later this semester. So check in with me if you’re interested in lessons. Thanks.

Summer 2019 Update

It is not technically summer until June 21, but as far as kids are concerned, break has started. As of June 6, I have 17 private students in my teaching studio, but I still have openings. I can book new lessons Monday and Wednesday nights plus Tuesday-Thursday in the daytime. If you’re looking for quality drum instruction in Los Alamos County, I’m the convenient and local choice. Many of the LAPS percussionists are using the summer to get ahead of the curve (I’m teaching band students from Aspen, Piñon, Chamisa, Barranca, Mountain, LAMS, and LAHS) as well as several adults and some non-band kids who just want to jam out at home.

This fall I will be instructing the LAHS Topper Marching Band drum line. Band Camp starts the 29th of July and may impact some daytime lessons for a 2 week period as I try to whip the snares, tenors, and basses into shape. After that 2 week period, normal rehearsals should be after school and the impact to lesson times will be minimal.

I’m focused on teaching, obviously, so I have not done much in the realm of recording, touring, or any type of performance lately. Nothing in that vein is booked for the future at this time. I do have my new book Encyclopedia Rudimentia out with Hudson Music as well as my older titles Live Drum & Bass and The Complete Double Bass Drumming Explained. Check them out.

I’m also regularly uploading to my channel on YouTube   where you can find drumming philosophy, performances, instructional content, reviews, and all kinds of percussive nonsense.

 

 

Encyclopedia Rudimentia – OUT NOW

The largest rudimental collection ever, Encyclopedia Rudimentia is now available from Hudson Music!

rudimentiafrontcoversmall
French Rudiments, Dutch Rudiments, German Rudiments, Scotch Rudiments, British Rudiments, Swiss Rudiments, American Rudiments, Hybrid Rudiments, Ancient Rudiments, Fife and Drum, Modern Rudiments, 19th Century Rudiments, 20th Century Rudiments, 21st Century Rudiments, Ashworth, Hazeltine, Potter, Rumrille and Holton, Bruce and Emmitt, Strube, Hart, Sousa, Moeller, Wilcoxon, Delucia, Queen, Wanamaker, Bachman, Freytag, Pratt, NARD, PAS, DCI, it’s all in here. This isn’t every rudiment ever played, but it is the most comprehensive collection ever published.

The legendary John H. Beck of the Eastman School calls it, “a monumental accomplishment,” and prolific author and publisher Joel Rothman calls it, “a wonderful piece of work.” With a Percussive Arts Society Hall of Famer and an author of over 100 drum books endorsing it, you know you need this book. The rudiments in this book have been developing in practice since the 1300s, they were published in books over a 200 year period, and took months just to compile and edit, often needing translation from antiquated notation styles. Now they’re available to you in one place in clear modern notation.

Encyclopedia Rudimentia – Feb 2019

I’m pleased to announce that in February 2019, Encyclopedia Rudimentia The Ultimate Drum Rudiment Collection will be published on Hudson Music!

“A monumental accomplishment” – John Beck

“A wonderful piece of work” – Joel Rothman

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With over 850 rudiments, this is the largest collection of its kind. I included 70% more rudimental content than the next largest publication. This is truly the ultimate compilation of rudimental patterns including rudiments from the Scotch, Dutch, German, Basel, and French traditions as well as 200+ years of Anglo-American rudiments from 1810 up through modern DCI Hybrids. In fact, I have more Hybrid rudiments in here than anyone else, ever.

Coming in February of 2019! Hudson Music and Amazon.com