Drumming Patterns reviewed in Percussive Notes

Drumming Patterns reviewed in Percussive Notes
(Review by Lynn Glassock)
Drumming patterns is a 176-page book that deals with technique. It uses sticking patterns of various lengths as the basis for all of the exercises. The approach is broad-based, integrating rhythm, styles and techniques into a unified, comprehensive system.

Part One is devoted to patterns that are to be played on the snare drum. The patterns are two to twelve strokes in length and are to be performed as eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes and sixteenth note triplets. Embellishments such as flams, accents and buzz strokes are then superimposed over the previous single stroke sticking patterns. At first, the inversions of each sticking pattern are shown in vertical columns under the appropriate musical notation. Later, however, the exercises are presented as stickings only.

Part Two takes the above sticking patterns, converts them into rhythms, and that applies these rhythmic patterns to various solo and accompaniment styles for the drum set. Commonly used ostinato patterns (for one or more limbs) conveniently appear on fold-out pages and are to be combined with the material found in other sections of the book. This method of developing exercises will cause some of the patterns to have a more direct musical application than others.

This text is intended as “an encyclopedia of technique and rhythm” that can be referred to in selective amounts over any period of time. While this highly systematic approach to technique and rhythm may not appeal to everyone, it does identify and organize the elements of drumming that are used by performers at all levels of ability. The commitment, both in time and thought, that Mr. Braman has made to this book will be obvious to anyone who studies its contents. Drumming Patterns is an impressive publication and deserves serious consideration by drummers desiring to integrate and unify their approach to performance.