Méthode de Tambour

Méthode de Tambour or Drum Method is an 1885 French rudimental manual by N. Pita translated here into English. Available from Amazon in a convenient 8.25×6″ format.

The original was one of several late 19th century infantry drum books that taught a standard set of battle signals, camp duty calls, and marches for the French military. This edition has had all the instructions and background information translated, yet retains the original pagination and notation as well as the French rudiment and signal names.

It is difficult to find much information about the French rudimental system in any language aside from French, so this book is unique in taking period music and pairing it with English for the non-Francophone audience.

Includes 23 rudiments, 31 signals, and 16 marches, with the last 6 also featuring bugle parts. The notation is often presented in 2 ways, one with precise sticking and the other with a more obvious rhythm. Between the two versions, it is fairly simple to determine the desired effect.

If you are interested in French drumming but don’t want to slog through French-language instructions without help, this edition of Méthode de Tambour is your best bet.