But judging by a recent poll in which Modern Drummer readers were asked to name their favorite volumes, a few characteristics stand out. For starters, many of the books that have stood the test of time and are now considered classics have multiple applications. Another characteristic of a worthy drum book is its practicality. Good books are not just filled with page after page of mechanical exercises that may or may not relate to what you would play on a gig; they offer usable material that develops musicality along with technical skills.
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The idea is that you use Master Studies as a workbook to to get your hands and the sticks working as one. A pretty interesting area is the Stroke combination studies section where you go from playing single to double strokes, single to double to buzz strokes and so on. There are also 5, 7, and 9 stroke roll exercises too. It all gets mixed up for a challenging workout. As well as that, there are exercises to improve your subdivisions of time, endurance, velocity, and dynamics.
A real Killer. Towards the end of Master Studies are the Fill-in and Ostinato studies sections which both offer a range of exercises to increase your capability and confidence. The Ostinato section is good and gives you patterns to play with one hand, while developing total freedom with the other hand at the same time. Last of all is the Flam studies section that adds flams and accents in to the mix as well as different sticking patterns.
Like the rest of the book it gives a good workout and expands the list of cool stuff you can make the sticks do.
Master Studies : Drum by Joe Morello (1986, Paperback)
We were going over the section dealing with ostinatos, and Joe was playing one of the exercises: 8th notes with an accent pattern. I had been working with the ostinato section myself, and I was finding it a challenge to play anything with the left hand without losing the accent pattern in the right, so it was somewhat irritating to watch Morello playing sevens against the ostinato with no apparent strain. It seems that he would approach various big-name drummers and ask them to demonstrate certain techniques. When confronted with this story, Morello admits that it happened but offers an explanation. When they would show me things, I thought that they were just playing them slow so that I could see what they were doing.
25 Timeless Drum Books
Morello, Joe (1929-)