Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer by Ted Reed (1958)
Vs. Drumming Patterns

Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer is a book consisting of three sections. The first section provides very basic material to teach beginning drummers how to read music. The second section provides a series of etudes consisting of syncopated eighth-note figures. The third section consists of various repetitive accent and mixed sticking exercises, somewhat similar to the approach in Stick Control.

For beginning drummers, the first section compliments the material in Drumming Patterns, as it covers different ground: the development of basic music reading skills (as opposed to snare drum technique or four-limb independence).

The second section also compliments the material in Drumming Patterns, but in a different way. Part II of Drumming Patterns details all of the fundamental rhythmic patterns available to drummers, arranged from short to long, simple to complex, which it then sets against the ostinato patterns common to various styles of music in order to develop independence. The second section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer provides rhythmic etudes which can be interpreted so as to similarly be set against ostinato patterns in order to develop independence. So while Drumming Patterns presents all of the rhythms fundamental to drumming systematically, in a logical sequence, so that they may be practiced and mastered individually, the second section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer provides a steady stream of rhythms, as one might encounter when interpreting a big band chart or improvising in a jazz group.

Drumming Patterns compliments the second section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer quite well in another regard. Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer is a very basic book. It neither provides the ostinato rhythms, nor the methodology for interpreting its syncopated etudes against them. Doing so typically requires a teacher who passes this methodology down to the student as he remembers it being taught to him by his own teacher years ago. Drumming Patterns, on the other hand, clearly explains the theory, provides the written ostinato patterns, and details each and every way a rhythm can be practiced against them. It thus provides an essential guide to both teachers and students who apply this methodology to the etudes in the second section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer.

As previously mentioned, the third section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer consists of various repetitive accent and mixed sticking exercises (somewhat similar to the approach in Stick Control). The virtues and the flaws of this approach are detailed in the essay comparing and contrasting Drumming Patterns to Stick Control for the Snare Drummer.