Two new publications are available this week for beginning or experienced drummers to learn from. Both written in 1996, these resources now make accessible rhythms and experiental lessons that helped me in the early phase of my journey as a hand drummer.
This 57-page ebook offers an experiential overview of the confluence and conflict of different musical styles and expectations: acoustic/electric, world beat/rock, drummers/guitarists, perfectionists/amateurs, safe/risk, stoned/straight, standards/improvisation, men/women, fifties/sixties, tight/free. At the core of the journey is the learning of the limited individual ego, with its unique talents and limitations, to negotiate the free and structured spaces with others, to merge in the greater group striving for excellence and beyond, ecstatic union. In rendering this spirit and process, the words too can speak for themselves, players in the mix, jamming on the universal pulse.
Roots Jam is a unique resource which contains hundreds of rhythms from the African, Latin and rock traditions, along with inspired improvisations. Easy notation, useful for all levels, from beginners to performers. Includes lesson guides, arrangements, popular styles, practice exercises, and a list of other resources. Fully indexed.
“Roots Jam is a compilation of hand drum rhythms that is well presented, with an easy-to-understand-and-use notation that appears to be gaining some acceptance as a standard for hand-drum rhythm notation. This foundation has allowed me, a beginner, to use Roots Jam as one of my primary instructional books. I highly recommend this book to any one who hand drums.” –A.E. Rice, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Also see my free djembe lessons for beginners on YouTube!