New Percussion Literature and Recordings – July Reviews

July 2018 Percussive Notes, Vol. 56, No. 3

The goal of this method book is to develop greater control over all four limbs. This is obtained through practicing the “limb matrix,” a progressive ordering of all possible limb motions. The author addresses three versions of the matrix. The first version utilizes four-limb motions. The other two versions utilize ostinatos (three-limb motions with a one-limb ostinato, and two limb motions with twolimb ostinatos).

The book uses upper case “R” and “L” to specify the hand motions and lower case “r” and “l” for the feet. The direction of the patterns is notated using arrows. For example, an arrow preceded by an “R” and followed by an “L” means that the right hand will initiate the motion, while the left hand follows. Limbs played in unison are notated with two letters. For example, “Rr” indicates the right hand and right foot played in unison.

The limb matrix is applied to the “control workouts,” which are written using a one-line staff (with notes written above and below the staff). Each note could be assigned to a specific limb (or set of limbs when practicing unison strokes). The control workouts are notated using both duple- and triple- based rhythms. The control workouts are followed by “groove melodies” that are written using both the one-line and five-line staff. The one-line staff creates the foundation for the groove pattern, while the five-line staff allows the pattern to be orchestrated around the drumset.

This is an extensive study of four-limb coordination. Those who are looking for an analytical, methodical approach to independence will find this book especially interesting.

—Jeff W. Johnson


Drumming In All Directions Reviewed by Percussive Notes – Journal of the Percussive Arts Society

Let’s face it,we all at one time or another had to overcome the challenges of limb coordination in order to feel like a ‘proper’ drummer, and could well be the reason many would-be drummers get deterred early on. US drum teacher David Dieni’s book grew out of his teaching experience, and the frustrations he witnessed with his students struggling with coordination. He identifies the problems as that a drummer’s training is hands-first, feet second – and sets about rectifiying the lack of thought given to applying the same techniques for both limb sets, ie:Moeller and Stone. And secondly, he recognizes that out of themanyways four limbs can be combined into alternatingmotions, drummers often only master a handful. So the collection of exercises presented inDrumming In All Directions offers amore integrative approach to limbmotions viamotion techniques, the idea being that a new freedom and proper muscle memory will be developed. A common sense idea, but one which here makes a refreshing addition to the many works of drum education already in print. (CBu)