From DRUM! Magazine’s September 2017 Issue | Lesson Text And Notation By Danny Gottlieb | Video Lesson By Marc Carmi Smith
If you look at the recent reissue of George Lawrence Stone’s classic text Accents And Rebounds, you’ll notice contributions written by John Riley, Dom Famularo, myself, and Steve Forster. We all were students of the legendary drummer Joe Morello, and Steve studied with and was around Joe longer than any of us. I consider Steve to be the most knowledgeable expert in the world concerning Joe Morello’s teaching approach. And as Joe himself studied with Mr. Stone, we are all connected to Mr. Stone’s approach and methodology.
Four textbooks are considered the bibles of technical development: Stone’s Stick Control and Accents And Rebounds; and Joe Morello’s Master Studies and Master Studies II. I am proud to announce that we now can add a fifth text to this special group. Steve recently self-published his own workbook called 143 Binary Algorhythms Applied To Paradiddles, and it is a welcome addition to this special group of texts.
Steve’s book is basically 143 exercise ideas that can be applied to any group of hand-to-hand eighth-notes. Steve uses paradiddle sticking (RLRR) as the basis for his book, but this method, pioneered by Joe, can be applied to any group of eighth-notes. Joe would teach the first three pages of Stick Control and say, for example, “For every R play a triplet, and for every L play a double paradiddle,” instead of writing out pages and pages of exercises. All are variations for developing control using R and L strokes as the catalyst. Steve’s book contains 143 amazing variations inspired by Joe and Steve’s own incredible creativity.
One of my favorite variations, which I use regularly with my students at the University Of North Florida, is to play a paradiddle on each beat. For every R play a right paradiddle and for every L play a left paradiddle.
Ex. 1 begins with alternating paradiddles.
Ex. 2 illustrates Steve’s variation (#13 in his book), where you play a right paradiddle for every R, and left paradiddle for every L in Ex. 1.
Ex. 3 changes to four rights and four lefts.
Ex. 4 then assigns a right paradiddle for each R, and a left paradiddle for every L in Ex. 3.
This is a great exercise for developing your jazz ride cymbal beat. Every right paradiddle, especially when you work it up to speed, is a right-hand cymbal beat. I use this exercise all the time. And as Steve illustrates in his book, you can add all types of variations, including accents, different drum movements and limb choices, and more.
The four established textbooks and Steve’s new addition are the only technique books I will ever use, and I’ll use them for as long as I play the drums. Congratulations, Steve, on creating an epic workbook that I feel will stand as one of the most important texts for drummers.
You can find it on Amazon, and I recommend it for every drummer!
Danny Gottlieb has performed with Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, and Gil Evans, and is currently the drummer with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. He has won four Grammy Awards and is a Professor of Jazz Studies at the University Of North Florida in Jacksonville.