Drumming Patterns reviewed in Modern Drummer
(Reviewed by William F. Miller)
In the preface of this book the author states, “Drumming Patterns is an encyclopedia of technique and rhythm, rather than a method book to be practiced from beginning to end.” Calling this book an encyclopedia of rhythm is not an overstatement, because within the 175 pages (!) of this work, Mr. Braman has put together an exhaustive amount of drumming information. Because of the large amount of material, drummers might find this book intimidating at first, but with a little perseverance, there is a lot of excellent information to be had here.
Drumming patterns is basically broken down into two main sections: snare drum patterns and drumset patterns. But don’t let me give the impression that this book is just a listing of exercises. On the contrary, there is quite a lot of text that thoroughly explains the numerous examples. As for the examples themselves, they are extremely clear and very well notated. The production quality of Drumming Patterns is very high. The time and effort put forth in its creation must have been considerable.
As for the first section on snare drum patterns, such topics of sticking patterns, embellishment patterns, accent patterns, flam patterns, single-stroke patterns, double/buzz-stroke patterns, and roll patterns are discussed. At the end of this part of the book, several fold-out pages are included that show ways to vary the previous exercises presented. This is done by opening up a fold-out page and then turning to the sections to which it applies. This allows the student to see both the old exercises and the ways they are to be interpreted. It’s an excellent idea that works well.
To quote the author, “Part One of Drumming Patterns identifies all the basic patterns of stick (two-limb) technique. Part Two converts these patterns into rhythms, and then applies these rhythmic patterns to various drumset (four-limb) solo and accompaniment drumming styles.” In this drumset section, such topics as patterns with single and triple strokes, rock/funk patterns, jazz patterns, Brazilian patterns, non-independent patterns, and solo patterns are discussed. At the ends of each of these sections are more fold-out pages, which again offer new ways to apply the previous concepts. Finally, the appendixes at the end of the book include a lot of good conceptual ideas on drumming.
Overall, Drumming Patterns is an excellent book that looks at technique in a slightly different way, focusing on what the author calls “the essential patterns of technique.” The only problem with a book like this is its scope, and that it tries to cover so much. It could have easily been divided into two shorter books. However, with patience and the right attitude, this book can be of great benefit to your drumming.