Mark Guiliana’s new book, Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset is the second drum education publication I paid for via crowdfunding. Before that was Benny Greb’s The Art & Science Of Groove. It’s rather fun to be involved in funding a new project. From Mark Guiliana I got the ebook first and a week or so later the physical book with DVD with a signature. You can download the video content using a code that comes with the book. The ebook works through an app on iOS which works pretty well on my iPad mini. On my Windows computers there is Hudson’s ebook reader which I don’t particularly like using, it has this pointless page flipping effect.
In a world with far too many drum books and DVDs to be useful (I have a disturbingly large collection), Mark Guiliana’s book adds something useful and different to the subject. The book and video present a system for developing ideas on the kit that incorporate the full breadth of rhythms and sounds we could use in music making. The creative elements we use are broken down in to the DROP system – Dynamics, Rate, Orchestration and Phrasing. Dynamics are dealt with pretty briefly (hey guys, don’t forget to use dynamics when you practice) but the other areas are developed in great detail. Each section evolves from simple to complex and we get to work through the building blocks of how to use Quarters, 8ths, Triplets & 16ths (notes and rests, of course) to develop new and exciting rhythms, how to mix up those rates, how to move the rhythms around the kit and how to move the phrases we create into different permutations.
If you work through the exercises in the book as they are written, you will improve your sense of time and rhythm, you will discover new abilities to improvise and invent new grooves. Once you understand the concepts presented (and memorise the handy DROP acronym) you’ll be able to apply them to whatever you’re working on.
The material in Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset is style-agnostic and would be useful for any drummer who would like to strengthen their rhythmic awareness and precision, who would like to learn techniques for evolving original and interesting patterns and who would like to gain more freedom on the kit.
The video is really well made with loads of examples of the exercises and some clips with Guiliana’s band.
I would highly recommend this book/video to all drummers, regardless of how indulgent their existing collection of educational materials.