Afrobeat Drumming – Beats Of Tony Allen, Book Review

Afrobeatt Drumming - Beats Of Tony AllenOK, I think it’s obvious by now that I’m really in to the drumming of Tony Allen and Afrobeat in general. When I got into Afrobeat, I looked for teaching materials to help me develop my Afrobeat chops. There weren’t many resources available so I had to start writing my own. Over the last couple of years I’ve managed to get a good sense of Tony Allen’s drumming and have been lucky enough to see Allen live on two occasions. I hope my recent series of posts presenting a range of exercises for developing Afrobeat coordination reflects my understanding well.

I was very excited when I discovered the book Afrobeat Drumming, Beats of Tony Allen by Turkish drummer and educator Anil Sahinoz. The book contains transcriptions of the grooves from 54 of Tony Allen’s tracks including music recorded with Fela Kuti as well as his solo recordings. Each groove is broken down into its component parts to help you learn the patterns by working through a series of simpler steps. The grooves are laid out very clearly with one bar per line and wherever it helps the process there are detailed descriptions of what the student of Afrobeat drumming needs to look out for to get the feel and details right as well as some nice insights into the author’s process in learning these beats himself.

I highly recommend this book to any drummer interested in the music and drumming of Tony Allen and to any drummer who would like to grow their vocabulary and learn a new idiom which will develop feel and coordination. Learning to play like Tony Allen is a great way to enrich a drummer’s set of possibilities in terms of general facility and in particular for developing new perspectives applicable to funk and jazz playing.

I think Anil Sahinoz has made a great contribution to drumming literature in covering a topic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves among drummers. It’s encouraging to see someone independently producing music education material of such a high standard.

I bought the ebook version which is an unrestricted PDF download. An old fashioned dead-trees version of the book is available too.

You can get more information about Anil Sahinoz’s book and buy it here – afrobeatdrumming.com

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