Jim Riley Survival Guide for the Modern Drummer Review

I often recommend Jim Riley’s “Survival Guide for the Modern Drummer”. Especially to beginning adults and students who want to learn how to play drum set quickly. And also, to experienced drummers who want to get more gigs by being able to play in any style and expand their musical opportunities.

Drum Set Method Book Recommendations

I thought I would list the method books that frequently are on my music stand. These are the books I most often use to practice. Over time, I have added and subtracted from the pile. In fact some of the books are recent additions. However, some of the books have been on my stand for years and will continue to be there.

Stone Stick Control for Drum Set

I frequently teach with Stone Stick Control pp. 5 – 7. Here are some basic-beginning drum set exercises I use from these 72 sticking exercises. I have the student play eighth notes or quarter notes on a closed hi-hat and play the R’s on the bass drum and the L’s on the snare drum.

Stone Stick Control Order for Speed

There is no rule that you have to play the Stone Stick Control exercises (pages 5 – 7) in numerical order. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? When my metronome speed was the same for all 72 exercises, I could only play them as fast as the most difficult exercises would allow.

Bass Drum Accents in Chapin Section One

When I started practicing Chapin Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer my teacher told me NOT to use any bass drum until Section IV Hands and Feet. Now what I will do for Section I is add the bass drum WITH the snare drum on the ACCENTS.

Reed Syncopation Roll Accents

One of the “must have” drum books is Ted Reed Progressive Steps to Syncopation. You can develop accented rolls using pp. 47-49 and pp. 53-58 . Play accented notes with a single stroke and all others as either an open or closed rebound.

Ted Reed Syncopation Volume Two

I just picked up Ted Reed’s Syncopation #2 in the Jazz Idiom for the Drum Set. It is a series of variations on his original Syncopation for the Modern Drummer book pages 38 – 45 exercises 1 – 8. These exercises are arranged in a triplet feel with a swung 8th note (Jazz). The ride pattern uses the traditional jazz ride but a shuffle ride or quarter note ride also work.