My copy of Todd Bishop’s latest book-of-the-blog has arrived. His blog, Cruise Ship Drummer (he’s based in Portland, Oregon, despite the .co.uk thing) is a frequently updated stream of drum lessons, transcriptions, music suggestions and bits of drumming related wisdom. Todd’s previous publications include the Book of The Blog – ?2011 and the fantastic, almost pocket-sized, 100 Grooves.
The 2013 Book of The Blog has 122 pages and contains all of the downloadable drum exercises and transcriptions that appeared on the blog last year. In contrast to the previous book-of-the-blog, which exclusively contained transcriptions, the 2013 book has a diverse collection of drum exercises as well. The book is divided into five main sections: Basics, Rock/Funk, Jazz, Polyrhythms/Odd Meters and Afro-Cuban/Brazilian. Each section has a range of exercises at different technical levels although most of the material is for reasonably advanced students.
There is a theme of the 3:2 polyrhythm running through the book and the highlight, for me, is the Afro-Cuban/Brazilian section which is bursting with coordination exercises to develop playing in 6/8. I have a need to develop my Songos, Mozambiques and Guaguancos too so I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in this section in particular.
Todd’s exercises are always very methodically written with a view to covering the subject at hand comprehensively but efficiently. One of his favourite things is interpreting reading exercises from Reed’s Syncopation and by learning the different ways to use Reed (or similar reading texts) we are given a framework for developing our own interpretations of any material we’re working on.
The Cruise Ship Drummer Book of The Blog – 2013 is a wonderful compendium of stuff that could keep enthusiastic drummers busy for years and is a great example of how self-publishing creates opportunities for talented and well educated people to make their contribution to the world of music education.
Although you can find all of what’s in the book on Todd’s blog, there is a considerable benefit to having the material all in one place. As well as getting a nice book, giving our support to people who share their vast knowledge with us is, obviously, a very good idea. I would strongly recommend you follow the Cruise Ship Drummer blog and buy his books which are available on Lulu here: www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1072456.